Hello everyone, the Historian here. We continue to make our way through this highly Vaughnted story…no, I’m sorry, even I can’t believe I typed that. Must be Photobug getting to me. Anyway, let’s get to the episode! This episode first aired 30 November 1968.
H = Historian
K = Ketina
R = Ronelyn
Cz = Cz
Sp = Spoo
MS = MiniSpoo
EG = ElfGrrl
P = Photobug
A = Altair
E = Ezio
E: That escalated quickly!
EG: The one that was crazy… they were going that way?
H: Yes. They were practically underneath Vaughn’s headquarters. Which is where the crazy Cyberman came from.
EG: So the Cybermen are killer robots?
H: They used to be people.
EG: Oh. What happened?
H: So, on their planet they started replacing arms and legs and organs. And eventually they were all cybernetic. So they don’t have emotions, or at least they say they don’t have emotions.
EG: Because the one with fear… why did they do that though?
E: Because they’re terrible, horrible, no good, very bad people.
H: Anyway… it’s because Vaughn, the bad guy, knew that emotions might hurt the Cybermen. So he’s gonna use that to try and make sure he can control the Cybermen, rather than the other way around.
EG: How could the Cybermen control him if he rebuilt them?
H: He didn’t rebuild them. They came from space.
EG: Oh. They came to Earth from somewhere else.
H: Yeah. Exactly.
EG: So the Cybermen are people – cyborgs – then Cybermen – and so they… how did they get trapped in their in the little capsules? What were they doing there?
H: They weren’t trapped. That’s how they got to Earth – in the little capsules.
EG: Oh. And so… the bad guy, Vaughn… helped them?
EG: Why, what for? What did the Cybermen want to do?
H: They want minerals and resources from Earth. And Vaughn says he’s going to help them take over Earth, but he doesn’t want them to make everybody Cybermen, he wants to rule Earth.
EG: And those plans eventually turn into gas, if you know what I mean. <giggle>
A: The plans evaporate.
K: I see.
Sp: <The Doctor> “The Cybermen are coming! Quick! To the canoe!”
MS: The best line in history.
<the group starts to sing… “Doctor Who and Jamie” to the old 60’s Batman theme>
R: Biff! Bam! Kilt! Rocket Sound! <quietly> see how I brought it back around?
E: So did anyone else find it interesting that there was a little conflict among the antagonists?
P: Are you referring to the ladies and Jamie?
E: ANTAGONISTS! Although that was very good too.
H: Yes. That was cool. I love how Vaughn really believes he has the upper hand. I just love Kevin Stoney in this story, unreservedly.
P: The same weakness with nearly all Cybermen supporters.
R: I loved Rutlege’s flop sweat when Vaughn starts trying to persuade him.
H: I love the reaction shot for him, when they focused on him when Vaughn is arguing with the Cybercontroller computer. It’s like he’s almost waking up to it.
R: I really like it when human beings actually fight back against the mental control and have at least some shot.
Sp: It was a decent piece of acting. It’s hard to portray fighting mental control in a scifi story without looking like you really need to poo.
K: I knew you were going to say that.
<things go off topic for a bit>
Sp: Speaking of good acting.
P: I really liked the good acting of all the kilts and skirts in that one shot. Everyone groaned at that one shot.
A: Not enough kilt.
R: And speaking of the 60’s, “Those crazy kids!” They actually said it.
H: There was no dog.
<and conversation goes Scooby Doo for a bit>
P: I enjoyed the sewer scenes that was the end of the show here, and the middle part. I enjoyed the sewer scenes because it’s so weird to see an essentially empty place called a sewer.
E: There’s a trope for that – it’s call absurdly spacious sewer, and they don’t actually exist.
R: Technically I think those were supposed to be storm drains, which do technically get larger.
<discussion of sewer and drain sizes around the world. My god, seriously, this is what I have to put up with. Such nerds.>
P: You know, we can read your thoughts.
<Whatever. Moving on.>
Sp: Okay, the really afraid Cyberman scared the crap out of me.
R: He sounded like a bagpipes choking on a kazoo.
Sp: No, he sounded like a cybernetic person in abject terror feeling from directionless abject terror. It was creepy as hell and very well done.
E: I actually flinched when I starting hearing that. I think I have lost at least two hours of sleep for tonight.
H: Now that the big spoiler has been revealed…
Sp: Lots of little spoilers will be sprinkled throughout the remaining three episodes. “Today on Doctor Who, the Cybermen learn to love.”
H: …I can finally say, that before the Project started, on my initial watch through of the original recons, this was my favorite 60’s Cyberman story. In fact, this might have been my favorite Cybermen story, full stop. Now having watched all of them with you guys I’m not as sure, but this is definitely way up there.
<discussion of the Cybermen plot in this story, and if it as inexplicable as previous plots>
R: So my conjecture is, dim-bulb plays Steve Jobs and gets everybody an iPhone. And each of the iPhones has a chip in it that’s a hotline to Cybercontrol. Then, the Cybermen smuggle down a bunch of Cybertroops to…
Sp: To Cyberattack them in their Cybersleep, Cyber.
R: No. Just to guard dim-bulb. Then dim-bulb flips the switch…
Sp: And become a bright bulb!
R: <Mavic Chen voice> “He would never do ANYTHING to become brighter than he currently is.” No… to engage the Cyber brain washing. And everybody on Earth becomes Cyberenslaved. Everybody except Vaughn of course, because he “put his foot down. And said No.” And the Cyberbrain said “yeah, sure, whatever.”
P: I’m sort of waiting for the communication device to kill him when they do take over.
R: I’m hoping he gets run over by a terrified Cyberman.
MS: Mmmmaaaaaahhhh!!! <making terrified Cyberman noises through a straw>
Sp: No. He’ll be fine. Vaughn has got his box of fear. <sings> “Vaughn has got a fear box, everything will be alright.”
<too tired to even attempt to type up the crew devolving into wacky song lyrics, but…>
Sp: See, I devolved into a “Who” song. Who. Doctor Who. See what I did there? Our audience is missing so much because you are too tired to type it up.
H: That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
P: I like the interaction between the troubling teens heading into London and Benton.
H: I love how Benton just lets the cop go down the sewer. He’s standing right next to him. Corporal Benton… true hero! He’s got some growing to do.
R: He grew up on the wrong side of the street and he hated cops. But, if I was going to “fansplain”, Benton said “I’m gonna go get help. You stay here and don’t go down that tunnel.” And he went to radio UNIT HQ.
K: And the cop goes down the tunnel anyway.
R: “Why does no one ever stay put?”
E: Well, we’ve gotta move the plot along some how.
<and we lose the topic again>
K: I think we’re ready for final thoughts… Ezio?
E: Such tension. Very cliff hanger. Wow.
K: Thank you Doge. Altair?
E: <laughs… just can’t stop laughing. I think she’s turning blue. Or red maybe?>
H: So Altair? Go ahead.
A: So now you’ve rebooted my brain. Pass.
H: Okay. Photobug?
P: This show is full of awesome! We’ve got photographers who actually know what they’re talking about. Now, she must have SUPER sensitive film to go down there, but she had the filter right, and the infrared and all that.
R: It’s it a great feeling when somebody on TV gets your chosen wonkatude correct?
P: Yes, it is. And why aren’t all photographers that pretty. They mostly look like me. Mostly. This episode finally showed the plot turning, and that was nice. No more setup – the pieces are all on the board finally. Except for some small spoilers, apparently.
H: I can neither confirm nor deny.
P: Or remember.
H: I couldn’t possible comment.
P: Not much the way of music, but there was a lot of good screen play – that is to say people moving around in scenes, not just standing their delivering lines. So there was a lot of good blocking.
MS: I have to remember this… <thinks> But still, the Cybermen are coming. Go to the canoe!
EG: Well… I was really confused – what was happening with the…
MS: Needs more upskirts. There.
H: You’re too young for that Minispoo.
MS: I know. I learned it from my dad.
EG: What’s upskirts?
R: You don’t want to know.
EG: Trust me, my momma told how babies work.
H: I love you Elfgrrl. That’s all I can say.
P: Finally, someone can explain it to me.
MS: Dad, do you have a mind eraser?
H: Did you have a final thought? Anything to say about the episode?
MS: <whispers> It was awesome.
EG: Yeah, it was awesome. Everything is awesome. So, back to what I was trying to say… So I was really confused when there was the… When Vaughn was talking to the robot. What was he doing exactly?
H: To the computer?
Sp: Watch the show.
EG: So he was making a deal with the computer, but the computer wanted to take over the world.
H: Yup. You got it. Spoo?
Sp: Did we discuss all the sexism stuff yet?
General group: No.
Sp: I left the room three separate times to discuss all that stuff.
H: We needed you.
P: And your years of required HR training.
K: I’ve been too busy typing to talk about it.
Sp: This is the part where the Historian feeds Ketina about a paragraph and a half about the amazing context of the time and how progressive the whole back and forth between… the photographer chick and sweet cheeks…
R: Sexism you say.
Sp: And kilty McBun-Buns.
Sp: Well, it normally would be. If somebody hadn’t hooked up the emotion box to the Historian and set it to endless laughter.
H: You didn’t even mention the Brigadier.
Sp: I respect him too much. Well, if that’s all we’re going to discuss about it, then I will have… nothing else to say.
R: You will go in the kitchen and make me a sammich!
A: Despite the actions in the speech of the two women speaking of feminism we still got the upskirt shots and women in distress. So it was kind of a disappointment.
R: Well, Jamie helped get into distress.
H: And had an upskirt shot.
Cz: Jamie always has an upskirt shot.
H: That’s why you watch the show.
H: Ronelyn, you’re next.
R: “And now, a brief preview on the EVIL out of the box experience for my new iKillerDroid.”
K: Is that an Android device or an Apple device?
R: “Well, technically it’s a cyberdevice. All you need to do to activate it is attach these clamps here on the chest over these tassels. And then the device will come to life. Trust me, it’s the last gadget you’ll ever need. Muuuhahahahahahahahaha!”
EG: It’s creepy. But funny.
R: Just like Apple.
K: Me? I am distracted myself tonight. I did like this episode a lot. There was a bit of dull dialog towards the middle, but overall it was engaging and cool and felt much too short. Which is good for these early stories, especially given how much padding this story has had earlier. I just want to get through the plot now.
Cz: I have a question. Why do the Cybermen come out of what looked like very organic pods?
P: Maybe it was keeping their bodies alive during transport.
Cz: But… CY-ber.
P: But Cyber means both creature and machine.
R: Or alternately you could believe that the Cybermen start out as tiny little larvae that crawl around eating computers until they get very big and sleepy. And then they spin a non-conductive cocoon and sleep through the cyberwinter.
Sp: In a period known as cybernation.
EG: Cybermen are not caller-pitters!
R: And then emerge as beautiful murderous butterflies.
Sp: But, we repeat ourselves. Take us home Historian.
H: “’Scuse me, I’ve got nuthin’ to say!”
H: I’m just going to repeat the same damn things for three weeks. I’m not going to say anything now.
Sp: Right. Hook him up to the fear box.
H: <walks off with arms waving> Aaaahhhhh!
And that’s it for another week. Just a note, we will be “off” next week, but we should return to watching, discussing, and (hopefully) making ourselves and others laugh on 15 August. Until then, I remain
IN TWO WEEKS: THE INVASION EPISODE 6