Classic Rewatch: Revenge of the Cybermen

Revenge of the Cybermen

There seems to be a running trend in social media right now of voicing unpopular opinions as conversation starters. While we have no issues with this practice — it does, after all, spur some interesting discussions — it has an undertone at times that implies that what is about to be shared will be upsetting, inflammatory, or the seed of debate-turned-argument. We’re positive people, and try to find some quality and enjoyment in most of what we consume, so we tend not to drift into this sort of thing. That said: we had to put a little more work than usual in highlighting the great things about the Season 12 closing story.

We were ultimately able to, damned if we will be daunted, but just the same. It was work. Sort of like trying to do your job with a rather uncomfortable, distressing pack on your back, that if you attempt to remove it…oh, you get the idea.

This time around, we put Sarah Jane and Harry through some shoulder-gripping struggle, as they deal with a foe they were assured was eradicated in “Revenge of the Cybermen”. The cybernetic soldiers are back with a new look, new voice, and new agenda. Haley learns that the council of Voga don’t know anything about bad poetry, Keir does a little digging to find out why a certain famous seal keeps appearing, and Jay wonders how long it takes to wash gold dust off sweaty hands.

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World Enough and Time

World Enough and Time

We could not count the times over the course of the past five-plus years on GPR that we have come to the defense of Steven Moffat. His writing, his style of production, his casting choices, his vision for the series, his whimsical-bordering-upon-maddening way of talking about the program through vague words and red herrings. Through it all, we recognized that he is a consummate fan, like us in many ways, and he revels in putting forth stories and ideas that delight and astonish him — in hopes that we will share in that delight and astonishment.

With this most recent episode, he must be grinning like the cat who ate the canary at what he has accomplished…and he’s not quite finished with us yet.

This week, we release our grip on the edges of our seats long enough to reflect on “World Enough and Time”, the penultimate episode of Series 10, and the first of an unofficial trilogy leading up to the end of Moffat’s tenure as showrunner, and the close of Peter Capaldi’s time as the Twelfth Doctor. Given the perfect storm of a solid TARDIS team, the fascinating return of Mondasian Cybermen, and the baffling duo of Missy and the Harold Saxon Master, we had high expectations. We were not wrong. In fact, we were unprepared for how intense it would be. We discuss the emotions (many), the tone of Rachel Talalay’s direction (chilling), the complexity yet plausibility of the script (wonderful), and the questions left to be answered…or so we hope…with the series finale episode to come, and yet a regeneration that is reported to occur months later, but yet…BUT YET.

Oh, Steven; you brilliant, maddening, magnificent bastard, you.

BONUS: We announce the winner of our latest listener contribution contest, where we discussed the DW contributions of Mark Gatiss!

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Classic Rewatch: Tomb of the Cybermen

Tomb of the Cybermen

There are Doctor Who stories that you keep on a short list of those to recommend to the uninitiated or under-exposed, in hopes of winning them over to the fandom. Often these stories have a solid amount of explanation for newcomers, a solid plot and conflict to hold interest, and a degree of plausibility that will keep skeptics and critics at bay. There are also those installments of DW that are one’s personal favourites, for a myriad of reasons, that may not be sound candidates for the aforementioned ‘introductory’ list, because they either rely too heavily on existing knowledge of the characters and relationships, are not approachable enough for the uninitiated, or are not ideal representatives of the series as a whole. Sometimes, however, the paths converge, and you have an adventure that is nothing short of wonderful for any viewer.

This week, we revel in the simple perfection that is the fifth season classic, ‘Tomb of the Cybermen’. Enjoying peak performances from Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines, a thorough but not overly complex script from Pedler and Davis, great supporting cast, and a thoroughly enjoyable ‘upgrade’ to our titular villains, it is a staple of our new viewer recommendations, and simultaneously one of our most treasured classic Doctor Who adventures.

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Classic Rewatch: The Tenth Planet

The Tenth Planet

There are quality science fiction stories, and there are iconic ones. When you have a story that not only provides the origin of a terrifying adversary that persists for over forty years to follow, but simultaneously presents the viewers with the departure of their principal actor, to be replaced in a most unprecedented fashion by another individual in the same role — but somehow yet to be explained within the script — you’re on to something legendary.

 

Closing the Hartnell chapter on our classic Doctor Who rewatch, we end on “The Tenth Planet”, the Cyberman origin story, and a wholly entertaining story from the legendary Kit Pedler. We bid an emotional farewell to our First Doctor, discuss the merits of “Mondas Cybermen” versus “modern Cybermen”, praise the virtues of the quintessential ‘angry military leader’ and ‘exasperated scientific advisor’, and demand that Polly get to do more than fetch coffee, damnit. #teampolly

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Our Series 8 Recap

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For three months, we have journeyed with Peter Capaldi on his first series as the Doctor, and it has been every bit of the wild ride we had hoped for. Together, we battled clockwork droids, Daleks, and Cybermen. Side by side, we faced down new villainous threats like the Skovox, Blitzer and the hastily (poorly?) named “Boneless”. With his guidance, we found the hidden truths behind misunderstood monsters like the Teller and the Mummy. Spurred on by his relentless pursuit of adventure and curiosity, we explored complex human struggles like the stuff of childhood nightmares, and the horrifying world of dating. And now, it is time to take a look back at our journey and see just how far we’ve come.

This week, we take a comprehensive view at Doctor Who‘s Series 8, and look at the work that Steven Moffat and his team of writers, editors and producers put into telling a cohesive story — and whether or not they honored all the promises that they spent the entire summer of 2014 dangling in front of our faces like so many carrots. Join us as we travel once more into darkness, and address the tough questions about our favo(u)rite program.

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