Oooo… do I get to write the intro again? Ah… blah blah? Stuff happened. Cybermen! Whoohoo!
This thing first aired on 7 December, 1968. That’s the only part that really matters, right Historian?
H = Historian
K = Ketina
R = Ronelyn
Sp = Spoo
MS = Minispoo
EG = Elfgrrl
Cz = Cz
P = Photobug
A = Altair
E = Ezio
K: And by “hundreds” we mean six <referring to the final line in the episode about hundreds of Cybermen coming out of the sewers.>
R: But six running around the building really fast.
P: And at 66 other locations.
EG: So, why didn’t Vaughn get killed when he got shot?
K: Good question.
H: Maybe we’ll find out next time.
K: I hope we’ll find out next time, or that’s quite a plot hole.
EG: What about the Doctor when the Cybermen were Vaughn was beginning to rule the world? When the attack started?
H: His little thing on the back of his neck that kept him from being Cyber controlled fell off, so he collapsed.
Sp: See, that scene with Vaughn handing over the gun to let himself be shot did not go the way I expected it to.
P: Hear, hear!
Sp: It would have been really cool if it was a demonstration of Watkin’s character and conviction if Vaughn was that confident that Watkin’s couldn’t pull the trigger, which is how I thought that was going to go. It turned out to reveal a completely different plot point, and that’s fine too, but it’s not was I was expecting / hoping for.
H: Instead of being predictable it was bad ass.
EG: Well, if Vaughn cannot get himself killed when a guy shoots him with a gun, then he’s totally not human.
P: Or not human anymore.
EG: Probably part-human… or not human… or human anymore. Totally not human.
MS: Dun dun dun!
Sp: So she had one job…
K: To deliver the tea?
Sp: No, to take the pictures.
R: Dude, she had one of those fixed focal length portrait cameras because she’s all mod and hipster and stuff. So she needed them to stand in exactly the right place so she could have a nice bokkeh effect in behind them.
P: How dare you! She had an SLR! She had a zoom lense that didn’t really help her cause. She was not using range finder camera.
K: But she did have infrared.
P: She had high speed infrared film. However, if she was using infrared film she would have had really bright robots and no background.
Sp: Really bright robots and no background? Isn’t that Dalek’s Master Plan?
MS: Exterminate that! Exterminate that!
Sp: Anyway. So, she totally messed up at her one job.
H: But she was very good at making the tea.
Sp: Oh, we don’t know that. It was guessed that the Doctor fell over because he was missing his inhibitor.
R: Dun, dun, dun!
Sp: Blurry tea.
K: The captain seemed to like the tea.
H: The captain seemed to like Isobel.
Sp: He has no inhibitor. Wink. Wink. Nudge. Nudge.
H: <Brig voice> “Isobel and Jimmy… sitting… in a tree. K.I… S… S.I.N.G.”
Sp: <Brig voice> “Deploy all the smootches. Over. Cuddly wuddlies will have to come straight from Geneva. Over.”
<Spoo breaks the Historian>
Sp: So that was the fastest most daring rescue we never saw.
H: Dun, dun, dun!
R: Coupled with the fastest, most devastating execution we ever saw.
K: Dun, dun, dun?
<laughter… and now I broke the Historian>
R: Yeah. They apparently frog marched the guy down from Vaughn’s office all the way down to the sewers just to kill him.
P: Yeah. I think they edited the story after they filmed it to make it shorter, and that would explain why his death was in a new location.
H: It’s more probable that they edited the script before shooting because they would have filmed the filmed inserts before hand. So they had the film insert of him dying and then, once they were in the studio maybe the script ran over long or something.
Sp: It was a weird directorial jump.
P: Non sequitor.
Sp: And, speaking of weird jumps, it looked like, early on in the episode, there was one brief snippet of video on Zoe in the middle of the rest of the film location footage.
H: Did you notice, in the sewers that Jamie, Zoe, and Isobel were on video and the soldiers were on film?
Sp: Yeah, they went back and forth a bunch.
P: I think the sequence in the beginning of the cliffhanger being resolved didn’t continue well into the story. Usually there’s no sudden jump in the story for the cliffhanger being resolved. But in this case the crazed Cyberman doesn’t notice them and continues on. He then encounters the other Cybermen, upon which they seem to want to detain him, and then troops that we hadn’t really scene before are able to show up and have a battle with them.
H: The troops that we hadn’t seen before are the ones at the end of the last episode that Benton was calling for on the radio. But I agree that it was a rather weak cliff hanger resolution, with the crazed Cyberman just walking past them.
K: We’ve had much weaker cliffhanger resolutions.
H: Oh, yes. I agree. But, to your larger point, I do agree that this episode seemed kind of choppy in general.
P: They played the part of the scientist overfocused on his work as the Doctor’s main role.
K: Yeah, the Doctor was hardly in this one.
P: They played the part of “these guys are tough” discovery battles. But I don’t think they progressed the storyline of the companions as much as they moved the rest of the plot. It feels weird when you think of the previous episode until now.
H: Yeah. The previous episodes were much more about the Doctor and company, and this episode felt a lot more about Vaughn and advancing his half of the story, rather than about the others. Which is fine, we needed to get that advancement too, but it didn’t feel balanced.
<Ronelyn has to leave, so we’ll get her final thought later… and the Historian has to move his car… so this happens…>
Sp: I could not disagree with the Historian more.
E: I just don’t get what point he’s trying to get to.
P: Why does he always walk around pointing guns at us.
MS: When he comes back I’m telling the Historian that you said that.
K: He can read it on the screen! This is getting so meta.
<Historian comes back in>
Sp: Oh loyal reader, if you’re reading this now, call the police. I think he’s in the house.
P: But he does smell like gingerbread.
H: In all seriousness, do you actually disagree with what I was saying? Because we could talk about that.
P: No disagreement whatsoever.
P: I remember it was so weird… purposeful no upskirt shots here.
MS: Correction. There was an up-skirt shot. Jamie was climbing the ladder out of the sewer and the Cyberman was right behind him looking right up his kilt.
Sp: My son, everybody <fist bump>
MS: I gain my tallness from my mom and my weirdness from you. Deal with it.
H: This episode does have one of the most… I hate the word iconic… shots in Doctor Who history.
P: The boots.
P: But that is an iconic shot in Doctor Who.
H: I meant the Cybermen marching down the steps with the dome of Saint Paul’s cathedral behind them. It’s one of those things where you see pictures of it in every book. It’s like the Daleks in the Dalek Invasion of Earth going through abandoned London. And they will be using a similar shot in the new series, from what I have been told, during the season finale.
K: They haven’t even aired the season premier yet.
Sp: Are we at final thoughts?
H: I think we’re at final thoughts.
Cz: <raises hand> Did anyone else see the mug that looked like a Dalek?
E: Oh my god, you caught something that we didn’t.
K: They weren’t exactly Daleks, but they looked weird.
Cz: They were drinking out of mugs with Dalek lumps on them.
H: They’re etheric beam emitters! But no, it didn’t look that way to me, but sure.
K: So now final thoughts?
E: They did not mess around this time. Also, I think this one may, or may not, surpass Tomb of the Cybermen for my favorite Doctor Who story of all time.
H: You did miss most of William Hartnell.
A: That whole scene where Vaughn was using the device on the professor all the way until when the professor shot him was so intense.
H: Okay. Photobug?
P: <worried> Um… seriously guys. I think the Historian could have read those comments above.
H: <cocks gun. Waits.> Your final thoughts, Photobug?
P: … Does that fire escape go all the way down?
P: Okay, so I agree with my wife <Altair> that the scene was dramatic. And I think that probably was the whole point of this episode was to bring us to there. And the invasion.
K: If that was the point then this episode was 18 minutes too long.
A: That scene really drove home just how ruthless Vaughn is.
P: I got the feel of this episode that the Doctor’s discovery wasn’t made 30 minutes before the invasion, but that the invasion happened 30 minutes after his discovery. That the invasion was waiting for that moment – the plot sort of felt that way. I enjoyed the new graphics that were displayed for the invasion, and actually thought the sound was pretty cool without being overbearing. The discussion that there are possibly thousands circuits in the world didn’t seem to be enough to cover the populous of the world to me.
H: They said the world, but it was also slightly less urban, slightly less afluent. I don’t know.
P: Also, oddly, this story seems to center about the fate of London. I hope Doctor Who doesn’t repeat that.
E: Yeah. That would be a shame.
H: <sarcastically> This story seems to remind me of the Web of Fear, but I can’t put my finger on why.
Sp: Final thoughts there Elf.
EG: <thinks> “When Cybermen are roaming through London sewers… all you worry about is sleep?”
Cz: Ah, Jamie. I’m on Jamie’s side. Sleep is important.
EG: Yes. Totally. So if you were 500 feet underground you could still be controlled by the Cybermen?
H: I don’t know. It’s actually a decent point.
P: So all the miners are safe.
Sp: Until they reach the age of 18. And then… SLEEEEEEP!
P: Hey, that’s my line.
Sp: Did you like this one ElfGrrl?
EG: Yes. I think. Maybe.
Sp: Good answer. Minispoo?
MS: <from the other room> Yeah? What?
P: Your final thought.
MS: <enters room> It was awesome. <leaves>
Cz: Has anyone discussed the horrible noise we all had to endure? I actually felt like I was there being attacked.
K: I agree.
P: It was awesome.
K: It was painful.
A: It was appropriate.
Cz: <high pitched> Meeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
H: isn’t that the onomatopoeia for your door sound?
Cz: No, that’s lower pitched. Like this <lower> Meeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
H: She’s not here.
K: We’ll get to her later. Spoo?
Sp: Dang. Historian is really ruling with an iron fist. Ronelyn’s gone. I fear I may be next. Tell my wife I… Dun, dun, dun!
K: Apparently everybody gets at least one of those this week. But that was two for Spoo.
Cz: That was mine. He can use mine.
Sp: If only I had some way to express surprise for that!
A: You can use mine!
Sp: Dun, dun, dun!
Sp: Thank you dear.
K: My turn? For final thoughts I mean – I already used my other thing.
H: Now you have nothing to say.
K: Probably not. As I said, not much happened in this one. I really liked this episode, but it felt very vacant. Went too fast… or not fast enough? It could have been easily compressed and not felt so much like filler.
Sp: Now that I think of it, I want to try to get a plot point straight. So, the Cyberman controlling machine, which I will call the emotion gun, Vaughn now has one working prototype…
Sp: And he’s ruthlessly murdered one of the main people who can get this on the production line. So, his primary means of taking over the Cybermen, when the Cybermen have taken over the earth, is just the one prototype emotion gun. Flaw?
H: That does seem to be the case.
Cz: Humans are stupid. Let them be wiped out.
Sp: Okay. So the hole is right where I think it is, and the whole turning the tables part of Vaughn’s plan is going to be rather surprising to him when he discovers that the table is an awful lot heavier than he thoughts.
H: Wait and see.
P: How about… Vaughn discussing how he’s going to turn the tables in front of the transmission device.
H: But the wall was down. So they couldn’t hear.
P: No, they showed it as a separate shot after he said it.
H: That’s a Doctor Who trope. That they’re discussing their escape plan when the bad guys are right there.
P: I guess it’s only a plot hole if the plot didn’t mean to have that. Maybe “we knew you were going to do that” will come out.
Sp: <Cybercontroller voice> “We’re right here you know. We can totally hear you.”
K: So… my final thought then. I think that Vaughn, despite his personal interested, is going to have to team up with the Doctor and gang to defeat the Cybermen. Just before he dies horribly.
P: I totally don’t agree, and here’s why. I think this is a trope already, I think he’s part Cybermen already.
K: Of course he is!
Cz: That’s why the bullets didn’t kill him!
Sp: Welcome to 45 minutes ago.
Sp: <to Cz> Yes. Truly you have bested me. Far be it for me to have a retort for such Swiftian wit. Verily you have defeated me on the field of battle. You somewhat overgrown cat.
Cz: <grinning> Heee.
Sp: Anytime you want to go back to your final thought Ketina, feel free. It’s waiting right there for you.
H: Fair enough. One thing that I noticed again, and found hilarious, that no one has mentioned, was Packers awesome ability to draw his weapon.
H: I love Packer. He’s the incompetent little psychopath that every Doctor Who story should have.
P: I imagine the camera man going “I don’t want to be Ed Wood like.. can we reshoot this?” and the director is like “No, no. Leave it in. We’ve got four more shots to do.” Which is exactly what drove Ed Wood.
H: So, other than that, I agree that the episode was uneven. I think it was all worth it to see that awesome scene with Vaughn and Watkins, and the fabulous Cybermen location shooting at the end. It did advance the plot, but not by a lot. And as I said, the Doctor and company really didn’t have much to do. But I enjoyed it. It’s a lesser episode in a great story.
R: “EeeeeEEEEEEEeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEE!” waddles up subway tunnel “EeeeeeeEEEEEEeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEE!” waddles off down tunnel
More stuff stuff. Blah blah….
IN TWO WEEKS:
THE INVASION PART SEVEN
And I… remain? What does that even mean?
<Historian cocks rifle>