Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Know Your Cybermen No.18

The Time of the Doctor (2013).
It is yet another cameo for the Cybermen (the Daleks develop to be the main villains as the episode progresses). However, there are three significant aspects of the Cybermen worth noting.
The first is that the new Cybermen, introduced earlier in the year, are back and have a new design of spaceship - one that the Doctor doesn't recognise. Those Tomb design features are evident again.
Then there is Handles. At some point the Doctor has picked up the head of a damaged Cyberman, and he is using it as a companion of sorts (Clara being absent for most of the centuries that this story covers). It is also used as a sort of personal computer - so memories of K9 are kindled. (It even says "Affirmative"). The voice is not the same as the usual Cybermen. The Doctor finally runs out of spare parts to keep it running.
The reason for the inclusion of the Cybermen in this story is that they have joined numerous races in coming to Trenzalore to investigate a mysterious message. The Church of the Papal Mainframe has managed to shield the planet from intrusion by any alien technology.
To get round this, one Cyberman is able to breach the embargo due to it being made of wood.
It is of the same design as the metal versions, but the light in the centre of the chest is yellow instead of blue. It is destroyed when the Doctor tricks it into shooting itself with its own arm-mounted weapon. This weapon operates as a flamethrower.

Story Notes:

  • It's Matt Smith's swansong - and the Christmas Special - so all the popular monsters get wheeled out, hence the Cyber Cameo.
  • Handles is voiced by comic actor Kayvan Novack, rather than Nick Briggs. For a change it isn't Paul Kasey in the suit also - it's Aidan Cook.
  • Actually, this is the first time that Kasey hasn't been called upon to play a Cyberman.
  • The wooden Cyberman gets its own catchphrase - "Incinerate". It is a bit odd that a flame throwing weapon should be thought logical for a wooden Cyberman...
  • It is the second time the Cybermen have appeared at Christmas - and the second time they have appeared in a regeneration story.
  • On a non-Cyberman note, Matt Smith had shaved his head because of a movie he was making (the Ryan Gosling one nobody saw). Karen Gillan had done the same (for the Marvel one everybody saw), so the pair of them are wearing wigs in that scene leading up to the regeneration.

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