Monday, February 1, 2010

10th Doctor - Rise of the Cybermen (iii)

Book(s)/Other Related -
Doctor Who & the Silver Genesis
Dr Who Versus Metal Mickey (Canada Only)
Ricky & Jake – Cyber-Bachelors on The Loose! (ITV only)

Roots -
Doctor: [hushed] It’s happening again!
Rose: What do you mean?
Doctor: I’ve done this adventure before, except it was on audio and much more pretentious!

Fluffs - David Tennant seemed rather illogical in this story.
"There is logic and there is logic. There is also blind faith. And that’s not logical. Oh no, sir. Not logical at all. Very illogical. The OPPOSITE of LOGICAL!!"
"Woah!! Man! Abs of steel at last. Wait till they see THESE down the gym..."
"This is a new start for you as a species. The least you can do is come up with a new catchphrase! I mean, Keep saying, 'Resistance is useless,' often enough, and people just tune it out. Maybe you should try varying it slightly, like 'Resistance is futile,' or 'Resistance is inadvisable,' or 'Resistance is -- gaakh!"

Goofs -
If JR Ewing can use the tinfoil to control people, why didn’t he do that at the party? Did he just forget he had this wonderful ability? Is he, perhaps, subnormal? On crack? Subnormal AND on crack? Subnormal, on crack AND badly-written? Subnormal, on crack, badly-written AND atrociously acted? Is that it? Huh? Is it?
Why does the Doctor risk carrying around deadly reality warping novelty items without even knowing what they’re for? Come to think of it, why does he use the toy against the Cybermen at ALL if he doesn’t know what the hell it can do? It is UTTERLY insane! And wasn’t it a rip off of how they fixed the cliffhanger in "Alias of London"? Talentless HACKS!!!
Why are Mr. Lilt and Mr. Takis simply sitting in a lorry doing nothing when JR Ewing calls to inform him his plans have to be sped up? Do they spend all their time sitting in lorries, like the opening credits to King of the Hill, but with more lorries?
How does the Doctor recognize that the tinfoil hats were created by the Orb of Multi-Thoughts rather than "Cyber Industries" like it says on the tinfoil hats RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM?
Mickey talks about a parallel world where Jon Culshaw’s Tony Blair impersonation was convincing. Clearly, Whoniverse opinions of Dead Ringers is very different to our world’s.
If Great Britain has a President, then why do the police still have the royal crest on their helmets? Are we supposed to believe the Royal Family is still around, or that in this high-octane world of cultural branding the old crest has been kept? Does ER now stand for something completely different? How stupid is this mirror-world, anyway?!
Since the Cybermen can smash through windows with brutish cyber-strength, why does the one chasing Jackie cautiously pushes the cellar door open and jump back in fright?
Rose’s underwear is a completely different colour to the ones we’ve seen her with before (most recently in School’s Out). OK, in theory she could have changed her bra and panties during an unrecorded adventure before this story, but what’s going to be better than the kinky crotchless rubber panties the Doctor gave her?
You can see the screaming souls of the damned reflected in Rita-Anne’s sunglasses.
Why are the guards at the zeppelin ladder proto-Cybermen rather than full-Cybermen? Why the hell are there guards at the zeppelin anyway?
There is a distinct lack of screams in the Albion Hospital when the locals start being converted - so why were all the first subjects screaming at the conversion process earlier on? Weren’t they under anaesthetic? Or don’t Irth general anaesthetics prevent people screaming? Are the homeless so damned bastard hard that they can survive the operation without it? Is it just so people can admire the acoustics of Albion Hospital? And speaking of Albion Hospital, it isn’t even remotely big enough to contain the population of London like the Doctor says it can. And why does he talk about the population of London when they’re in Cardiff? Is he on crack as well?!
How does Mr. Lilt overcome the mental control from his tinfoil hat? Do the brain implants he must have received at area 51 act as safe guards, in which case, the Venusians will already be onto us!?
Surely it’s a bit dangerous if everybody in the country just freezes during the daily tinfoil hat download. [The Doctor Who Confidential episode says that this is actually why Irth’s population has dropped so incredibly low – but you can’t trust those DWC wankers on anything!]
How come the Cyber-stomping sound works on grass?
One of the Cybermen pauses in his pursuit of the Doctor and the others to wipe something from the sole of his cyber-boot.
When the van pulls away at the end you can see a sign saying "CAUTION: STORY ARC LEADING TO SEASON FINALE".
And, incidentally, you can’t actually WELD brains to things as they are amorphous and suffer immense damage, so welding them to things cannot actually preserve them. I learned this truth at great cost to my friends and family. Well, my family at any rate.
So yeah.... This story had some problems.

Fashion Victims -
The Doctor’s rock star getup of a knee-length toothpaste-coloured fur-lined overcoat with swirling gold bling patterns, baby pink spandex tights, ludicrous polka-dot cravat and a frizzy albino afro.
The Cyber Controller has six nipples and transparent armour panels that show his disgusting guts to the world. Thanks for sharing, JR!

Technobbable -
The Doctor quotes from Oolon Caluphid that the Cybermen possess a xeno-consumptive directive compulsion with a replacement meme of self-generation. Plus, since they were created in February, they’re Aquarians, which explains a lot of things.

Dialogue Disasters -

Doctor: Parallel worlds, alternate realities... They’re like a gingerbread house. Goes straight to the hips!

Cyberman: Agreed. He ~ should ~ be ~ disciplined. It ~ will ~ also ~ soften ~ his ~ resistance.
Doctor: Steady on! I’m only flesh and blood!

Ricky: How's that for a 'cold boot?'

Rose: What are they?
Doctor: The Cybermen. They’re the ones that aren’t quite as popular as the Dustbins, which is why we didn’t use them last year...

Esme: Target number one is JR. And WE are going to bring him down.
Mickey: With a little old lady and two randy gay lords?
Esme: Have you got a problem with that?
Mickey: No. They’re very nice little old ladies and randy gay lords.

Cyberman 2: Are ~ you ~ sure ~ you ~ want ~ to ~ permanently ~ delete? Press ~ OK ~ to ~ continue.

Mickey: Rose, I’m coming to get you!
Doctor: Oh please, I OWN you on the delivery of that line!
Mickey: Shut up, Doctor!

Mr Takis: I’ve seen the future, and it’s copyright Russell T Davies.

Ricky: You’re just adding sub-James-Bond cliches to an already overcrowded and derivative plotline!
Doctor: Yup. But I do it brilliantly.

Dialogue Triumphs -

Doctor: Jings, JR, you’re a machiavellian supervillain... I’d call you an evil genius, except I’M in the room!

JR Ewing: Smoke me a kipper, I’ll be back....FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE!

Rose: What are they? Robots?
Doctor: Worse than that. They’re the ultimate bondage freaks.
Rose: They’re people?
Doctor: They were. Until they had all their humanity taken away. It’s just a living brain jammed upside down inside a cybernetic body. With a will of steel. All emotions removed.
Rose: Why no emotions?
Doctor: Because otherwise they might get all girly and romantic...

Cyberman 1: Then ~ eradicate ~ him. We ~ do ~ not ~ need ~ his ~ salty ~ goodness.
Cyberman 2: How Controller?
(A long pause.)
Controller: WHO-CARES?

Mickey’s last words –
"There ain't no recycle bin that can hold me, mate!"

Rose: Where did you learn to fly a zeppelin?
Ricky: Playstation!
Doctor: Yeah? Name me ONE game which comes with an authentic ceppelin control system!
Ricky: What about Skies of Arcadia? And Crimson Skies? Microsoft Flight Simulator: Incredibly Slow-moving Gasbags Edition? You satisfied yet?!
Doctor: Actually, I’m shocked and disappointed.
Rose: Why?
Doctor: I always thought he was an xbox man!

Jake: Now do what I say or else I'll have to send you an 'e-mail' of the .45 caliber variety!

UnQuotable Quote -

Esme Jones: Drop the catapult, sucka! You have 20 seconds to comply!!

Links and References -
The original Cybermen first appeared in "The Tense Planet" where their sexual frustration proved fatal to the First Doctor. Rose went back to see her father’s death in "Death Day", which spent 45 minutes making itself uncanonical. The Doctor was dumped in a no place, faced International Sextromatics and faced a ridiculously camp businessman in "The Evasion" – unsurprisingly since this entire story rips that off. The first incarnation of Romana can be spotted stealing the finger buffet at Jackie Tyler’s birthday party, laughing hysterically during the Cyber-attack.

Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor and Rose note one of their songs is based on an incident on an asteroid where a munchkin lady with big eyes who opened her mouth, and fire came out, telling everyone if they want to know the rest of the story, they’ll have to by the BBC Book "Only Askin" by Gareth Roberts starring the Ninth Doctor, Rose, Captain Jack and a munchkin lady with big eyes who breathes fire.

Groovy DVD Extras -
Over thirteen hours of try-outs for alternative Cyber voices by Nicholas "Quiet In The Stalls!" Briggs, with such classics as "Speech 7 Double Fold Back", "Speech 7 WITHOUT Double Fold Back", "Speech 12 With 5% Less Buzzing", "Michael Palin Gone Mad", "Darth Vader Talks Dirty", and "Cyberleader Zheng Say Hush Yo Mouth!"

Vortexts –
RTD’s original pre-credit sequence for the story was ultimately used as Director Graeme Garden refused point blank to have it in the finished story as it managed to contradict the finished story and itself no less than eight hundred and ten thousand four hundred and thirty nine times.

The scene opens aboard the zeppelin, where JR Ewing awakens after a wild party to find that an S&M game has gone out of control, leading Eric 'Use Me Abuse Me I am Your Slave Bondage Freak' Krailford in an experimental all-over body condom (or Condoman), unwittingly creating a new form of life immune to yeast infections. JR Ewing’s accomplice Dr. Kendrick wanders over and notes that the United World Zones Authority take a bit of a dim view of humanity becoming the punt pole in the gondola of life and all that, and this silver-clad monstrosity will have to be dismantled, the company closed down, all the workers shot through the head and the factories burned down and the earth salted.
"And how will you do that FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE?" asks JR Ewing.
"I don’t understand sir."
"I mean, if I were to have you brutally and cold-bloodedly murdered, you wouldn’t be able to stop me."
"I suppose not. Still, I don’t quite see where you're going with this."
And, despite having worked with his homicidal boss for many years AND hand-built the silver-clad death machine he is standing RIGHT IN FRONT of, Kendrick is still shocked when he is electrocuted. Quelle surprise.

The Spite of Sparacus -
"My greatest fear in this story was that the creation of a 'new genesis' of the Cybermen is both unnecessary and unbelievable and another way of 'dissin' (to use modern parlance) the old series. This is silly. What next? An alternate Genesis of the Dustbins where they are created on a parallel Earth in the 1960s by an alternate Khrushchev? But I didn't notice any GLARING contradictions at all so fine. Mickey was awful though, a complete gold-chain-wearing council estate hoodie chav – but he is very attractive, a very nice body, I have to say. In fact, I’d say that his character has generally been used poorly in previous episodes and this story steadily removed the negative aspects and depicted his washboard in a sympathetic light. And with Mickey gone, this is the perfect opportunity for RTD to offer Adam Rickitt a role as Ben Chatham! The decks have been cleared!"

Viewer Quotes -

"Cyberman? Hah! Pretty lame compared to the Borg! The Cybermen should be an 'alien' race like the Borg who are much more sinister, don’t you think? The Cyber conversion reminded me of the reclamation execution in "Lexx". That, of course, made me feel dirty and angry. No-one should ever have to be reminded of the fact they watched that crap."
- Pretend Newbie Sci Fi Mag (2006)

"I want you to relax. To feel peace and tranquility wash over you. Close your eyes. Lie down. And imagine... what it would feel like... to have your testicles placed inside a particle accelerator. As the primeval forces of the early Universe tear your nut sack apart, particle by particle, and as each primeval scrotal element is accelerated to close the speed of light, you feel every single atomic collision as your poor nuts are smashed around a doughnut cylinder with the circumference of 17 to the power of Prescott squared. Now imagine that, whilst all this is happening, the only anesthetic beating off the searing pain is an audio book, of Mein Kampf, read by Tigga, being squirted directly into your hypothalamus. And to top it all, an image of a naked Keith Chegwin, with elephantitis, playfully skips past you.Now. Multiply that pain and horror by a factor of 4,000 and you’ve still got nowhere near the horror of David Tennant’s Cyberman story..." - Mark Plate (2007)

"It was the inhuman, achingly sad, chilling and haunting howls of pain and anguish coming from the computerised voiceboxes designed to show no emotion. I swear, they gave me goosebumps. They managed to sound so animal, yet so machine, all at once. GOD IT TURNED ME ON!!"
- Roy Skelton (2006)

"To say JR Ewing’s performance WORKS is to suggest he’ s a MACHIIINE. If you say that YOU CANNOT RESIST doing a crap Christopher Lee impression when getting a script like this... RESIST IT, OLD FRIEND! He is not "Old Skool" - but nor is he THE ULTIMATE UPGRADE! If he had appeared in The Phantom of Androzani, I suppose I’d feel obliged to say that he’d CRASHED THE PARTY, BWAHAHA!! Meet the new William Shatner. FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE!" - Jared "No Nickname" Hansen (2007)

"They redesign the Cybermen to try and appeal to all the fan-boys out there, sling in a bit of sexual tension and angst to keep the new core audience happy and forget an original plot and meaningful themes! I think The A-Team had more convincing storylines and emotional depth than this series! The new Cybermen must have taken months to figure out so they translate well into a lucrative line of toys with all their limited articulation in the joints. People dare criticize Atari of the Cybermen for being unoriginal, missing the point that RON MALLET LIKES IT! It had the Sixth Doctor in it and THIS story didn’t! Now, for a PROPER story investigating the true origins of the Cybermen, I can do no better than recommend the BBC destroy 'Silver Finish' and replace it with my own story 'Mission to Monday' which I wrote THREE YEARS AGO! That’s TWO YEARS after Bare Parts, so it’s TWO YEARS BETTER! No cliched Lavros clone for me, I decided that the mastermind behind the creation of the Cyberman was the first Cyberman ITSELF! No, wait, that doesn’t make sense... BUT IT’S STILL BETTER THAN THIS! I’M BETTER THAN ALL OF YOU!"
- Ron Mallett (2006)

"In his final story, we learn about Mickey’s very difficult upbringing and the fact that he truly is alone due to the loss of family members. He is a boy with no purpose, no family, no one who really cares for him. A man who has taken his troubles on his broad shoulders and carried on without complaint. Poor old Mickey; the butt of his companions’ humour, slapped around by Gran and tied up by a thuggish double with a penchant for facial contortions; wherever he goes, things go wrong and then he dies! The moral of the story is that only hot blondes with a selfish refusal to learn absolutely anything from life are safe from an army of Cybermen - a lesson that is truly relevant in modern society. Mostly, I'll remember the good times." - Dave Restal (2007)

"Bitter old Ron Mallett held it in nothing but his usual mean despondence and contempt - that is if he actually saw it!"
- Random DWRG Reviewer (2006)

"Jackie looked even hotter in this one! She’s a well-preserved woman. One might even say she qualifies as a Cyberman-I’d-Like-to-Fuck! That shiny metal ass... ooh, I’d like to bite it if I wasn’t afraid my teeth would shatter! I bet she goes like a steam-train! And those handlebars, gives you something to hang on to! YEAHHHH!" – Nigel Verkoff (2008)

"As if Jackie Tyler wasn’t disgusting enough in our own universe, she has to pop up again, first thing, upon the Tenth Doctor’s first visit to another. What the hell? Yet another return to the horrible emphasis American telly places on the nuclear family (thereby emphasizing justifications for class stratification)! This alone puts a weighted emphasis on the whole American 'you killed my father, prepare to die!', 'I'm gonna find out who killed my mum!' sort of atmosphere that is sadly all too prevalent in telly today. This sort of thing really reflects badly on the imagination of the writer(s)." – Some Weirdo on OG (2007)

"The links with The Evasion are so strong that we even get a rescue involving our heroes climbing up a rope ladder to a helicopter/zeppelin. The main difference is that Billie doesn't get an upskirt camera shot, which given the fact that she's wearing a maid outfit was probably a crushing blow for fetishists everywhere." - Finn "Fetish" Clarke (2006)

David Tennant Speaks!
"It was very cold, filming on location. Very, very cold. Some of the Cybermen froze to the spot. I ended up rushed to hospital with hypothermia, along with Shaun Dingwall, who had accidentally gotten frozen to my bare skin and had to be surgically removed. He’s a lovely guy, Shaun, and he’s managed to hide his shameful enjoyment of Doctor Who from the whole world for years now. Until I just told you. Jings."

Billie Piper Speaks!
"Some people might be watching the story open-mouthed at all the cliches and plot contrivances and bitching that the Cybermen need a good story to return and revamp them and not a so-bad-it’s-good story, but I know those people and their shitty little fan audios. They’re rubbish and no one likes them. And the tragedy is they KNOW that. And they also know that if they ever call me 'an outright nasty, insensitive, selfish, smug, blase and naive cow who everyone secretly hates behind her back' again, I’ll send the boys round. Let’s see a Chris Butcher script get you out of THAT, matey boy!"

Russell T Davies Speaks!
"We could have started with a spaceship full of frozen Cybermen as a way on introducing them with no problems with having a brand new adventure or necessary continuity like cheese or the rubber chicken of Rassilon or Beep the Meep or anything like that. 'Atari of the Cybermen' was awful, wasn’t it? Mind you, I was so, SO scared when the Cyber Controller emerged from his egg-box in 'Room of the Cybermen' and demanded the humans submit to him sexually. When the Cyberleader did the same thing in 'Earthshag', I realized what a brilliant bit of foreplay it was, and it’s kept me in good steed ever since, thought the freaky bandaged Cyber outfits are DEFINITELY an acquired taste."

Steven Moffat Speaks!
"I can’t believe the fans are complaining about Silver Finish. What are you TALKING ABOUT you mad, mewling fools?? If this story had shown up in the 80s (or the 70s, or the 60s) we’d all have fainted of joy on the spot! Whump! All of us! Every fan in the country - gurgle, whump, living room floor. Medical experts would’ve been flown in from all around the world! "My God," they'd have cried, "every geek in Britain is unconscious!! Quick, let’s pull their pants over their heads and draw moustaches on them!" The Elder Statesmen of Fandom, in their vast and mighty Council Chamber (in Mum’s bedroom), would actually have EXPLODED!! Into CLOUDS OF VAPOR!!! Every breath taken in the whole wide world wide would have contained a measurable quantity of IAN LEVINE!! And here you are, you lot, and you don't even know you're born. Some of us had to go to school the Monday after the Giant Rat!! No, REALLY! Think about that! Added ten years to my virginity, that did, Giant Rat Monday! Oh, I haven't forgotten! Kids today! Sheesh!"

Trivia -
Jackie’s mansion dwelling is filled with full-length portraits of Russell T Davies. This is not actually down to megalomania on RTD’s part... which makes a change... but actually due to a misfiled memo leading to Rolf Harris’ "Star Portraits" producing 325 separate paintings of the Welsh Whovian when he was never actually scheduled to appear in the show anyway.

Rumors & Facts –
Despite having a mad scientist as convincing as a megalomaniac pantomime dame without the wig, this story is EXACTLY what you’d expect from an alternate universe "Genesis of the Cybermen" story, with unimaginative plotting and absolutely no surprises. This is what you'd get if you commissioned a hundred authors to write a hundred such stories, then threw away anything that they hadn’t ALL written. It’s not even better than the ones in our heads. However on the upside, it’s a Genesis of the Cybermen! Lowbrow appeal is still appeal – right, Chris Chinballs?

The big metal bastards are coming! And they’re on the cover of the Radio Times! FAN-TAS-TIC!

Of course, the theme of the Cybermen as kinky robo sex still works in today’s context. We all thought that machines and computers would take over one day, or that people would become more mechanised as they live by the computer. It seems however that the opposite has happened. Text messages and emails are on the most irritatingly common level, the internet tends to be used for the most banal and trivial of pursuits. In fact, looking at some of the fury expressed in flame wars and the perversity and sadism of some of the sick websites out there, as well as phone-recorded happy slappings, I’d say that if anything, the internet has reduced people to their most savage, primal and vitriolic state
rather than turned them into machine automatons.

So sex-crazed machine automatons is the really next logical step when you think about?

Early in 2005, Billie Piper informed Doctor Who executive producer Russell T Davies that she would not be remaining on the program beyond its first season, but due to a cock up in administrative paper work, it was Christopher Eccleston who left rather than her. Piper was therefore doubly determined to leave the intellectually-insulting show as soon as soon as possible. What’s more every second she stayed with Doctor Who stifled her now-incontinent acting career and status as an international sex symbol to children everywhere.

Sick of her bitching at him, RTD finally agreed to ensure the 2008 season would get rid of Rose Tyler once and for all, her exit being the keystone of the ongoing story arc – should there be one. RTD considered killing off the character, but he ruled this out as it would fly in the face of Doctor Who’s optimistic view of the universe, and worse meant that getting her back for anniversary stories would be even more difficult than Tom Baker.

RTD paced his luxurious apartment, munching croissants and watching a VHS of the Tom Baker story "Underwear" as he struggled to come up with a situation that would irrevocably separate Rose and the Doctor, an event that would be even halfway plausible to shatter the strong bond of unhealthy sexual obsession that had developed between them.

Immediately, Sparacus "Flamingo" Jones kicked down the door and told RTD of his a brand new story proposal based on what he had heard through the thin walls of the room via the now-empty bottle of absinthe he held to his ear. He entitled this story "Getting Rid Of That Slut Piper Is Never Easy" -

The Doctor drops Rose Tyler and the love of her life Ben Chatham in London to try and kill Jackie after she failed to die in hospital when her brain tumor was successfully removed. Now alone with Adam Mitchell and Captain Jack Sparrow, they decide to use their pan-dimensional time machine to go hill-walking in North-West Scotland. Upon arriving, Adam’s ultra-modern transistor radio esposits that the GM research company Nintendo Plants have set up a completely pointless wing in Scotland, which offends Adam’s mindless eco-warrior sensibilities.

Leaving the TARDIS, the trio ignore the dying rabbit begging passers-by to "K-k-KILL ME NOW!" and decide to get drunk on whisky at the local Inn, while Adam storms off to do eco-protestor stuff. He manages to arrive at the protest as the exact same time as Billy Connelly, the director of the plant who invites the protestors to try and drink him under the table – if they manage it, he’ll shut the plant down.

The Doctor and Jack arrive, totally pissed and utterly convinced they can outdo the Scottish without even trying – even though they’re all drunks who claim they see ghostly silver knights roaming the moors. The Doctor’s alien metabolism means he and Billy are soon the only ones still sober enough to stay conscious, and Billy calls in his TRUE leaders – a bunch of 1980s Cybermen!

"Oh, boring!" yawns the Doctor.

Annoyed, the Cybermen reveal that they will use GM crops to turn all of humanity into hideous mutant freaks. This will trigger a George A Romero style apocalypse and allow this small band of Cybermen to conquer the survivors with a minimum of effort, location filming, and plot. They then reveal they are being helped by an old enemy...

...JR EWING! Yes, he has completely betrayed all of humanity for some reason which is probably why he doesn’t act or talk remotely like he did in his previous TV appearance, and NOT because the author is a completely talentless hack with the attention span of a goldfish. He intends to rule the remains of the Earth for similarly confused reasons.

"I never had you down as a complete donga," the Doctor slurs.

In a subplot, mutant rabbits go Monty Python and the Holy Grail on passing hill-walkers and tear them to shreds.

The Doctor, Jack, Adam and some passing nubile young man in his underwear called Alistair Vaughn escape... somehow... and return to the TARDIS. The Doctor reveals he is too drunk to work out a new method to defeat the Cybermen, so he’ll rip off Steven Moffat’s "Shell Shock" and use some nanogenes as a plot device to save the world!

After returning to the 1940s and managing NOT to trigger the destruction of time itself by messing with his own past, the Doctor uses some fairy dust to turn the rabbits nice again. Random UNIT troops arrive and blow up all the Cybermen with bazookas while JR Ewing walks into his bathroom and, in another character-arc-defying-moment, shoots himself through the head for some unexplained reason.

The trio return to London to find that Jackie has died exactly the same way as Joyce Summers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and to try and look remotely original, everyone blames the GM apple she once ate.

Heartbroken, Rose looks tearfully into Ben’s beautiful eyes and reveals that she cannot continue to travel with the Doctor and needs to be alone with her family. When Ben points out she HAS no other family, Rose blubbers some more like the useless female she is.

Thus, Ben returns to a TARDIS crammed with hot young men and the series ends estrogen-free with a babyoil homosexual orgy of sophisticated and educated young men with smoothe chests.

Upon listening to this, RTD snapped his fingers and had Sparacus beaten with lengths of chain, then crucified to a stone wall and quicklime poured over his writhing form until he was reduced to bubbling jelly. Unfortunately, said stone wall was actually one of the seven secret gateways to hell and it was only a matter of time before he returned.

However, for a sadistic laugh, RTD decided to steal some of the ideas from the proposal, with JR Ewing – the evil genius from the Eccleston escapade "I, Dustbin" – teaming up, against all odds, with the Cybermen. Having resurrected the Dustbins twice to popular acclaim and then killing them forever with absolutely no possible get out to even MORE popular acclaim, RTD knew that the show’s second-most-famous monsters could easily be whored out for the resurrected series.

Well, it was either that or having to come up with a brand new set of cyborg foes to face the Doctor and even THEN they’d probably get endlessly and negatively compared to the Cybermen ANYWAY!

RTD was also determined to reverse the downward trend the monsters had been in during the original series, culminating in 1988’s "Silly Nemesis" where the Cybermen, known as deadly enemies throughout Space History, were revealed as a lactose-intolerant ethnic minority in Britain who abandoned their warlike ways and ran tasteful restaurants.

Thus, the returning Cybermen would be even MORE invincible and indestructible than ever and the word "cheese" was not to be mentioned in their presence – which were the requirements laid down by the Estate of Gerry Davis and Kit Peddler in their desperate attempts to be as cool and ruthless as the Estate of Terry Nation. As ever, they came off second best and were oft overlooked.

The Dustbins had been reintroduced with a line-by-line plagiarism of the Big Finish Doctor Who audio drama "D’you Believe This?", and so RTD decided to follow the same pattern to reintroduce the Cybermen. Out of all the options RTD dismissed "Bored of Ironing" as pandering too much to Nicholas Briggs; he rejected "The Real Thing" since it was on the BBC site and everyone knew it back to front; the turned down "The Cyb Fest" for being too interested in being the third part of an unwritten trilogy; which left him with Mark Plate’s "Bare Parts" – a Fifth Doctor which explored the heretofore-unrevealed creation of the Cybermen in what was essentially a character piece, examining the conditions which drove the citizens of the planet Monday to allow themselves to be adapted into such creatures out of sheer sexual frustration. It also boasted a lot of Cyber-horse action which could be used to great effect with the Tenth Doctor’s new, equine companion Arthur.

But as proper Doctor Who fan, RTD knew that Cyber-continuity was even more complicated than UNIT dating and if he let a Cyber origin story contradict a single plot point he’d never be able to live with himself. However, a piece of pure unfetted fanwank would be shithouse television no one would watch, and he couldn’t live with that either. Thus, he decided to get someone else to write it, so he could live with the success or failure and move on to getting the Moxx of Balloon his own 27-part spin off miniseries.

Instead, he turned to Suki Macrae Cantrell to develop the two-episode storyline under the title "Genesis of the Cybermen In The Dark Labyrinth Of Hydrogratz". Cantrell was an old fag hag of RTD who had inspired Suki Macrae Cantrell’s name (and several of her cleavage shots) in The Long Haul, and had written previously for Mile High, School’s Out and No Angels, amongst other programs. But generally she just experimented with inhaling different forms of pesticide until she obtained the psychic emptiness she so desperately yearned for.

Cantrell initially hewed fairly closely to "Bare Parts" by setting "The Coming of the Junkyard Demon Cybermen ON ICE!!!" on a dying Monday whose inhabitants regularly augmented their organs as a kinky sex game that has gone completely out of control. RTD, however, found this scenario less than credible, not to mention inappropriately erotic.

RTD also felt that the original inspiration for the Cybermen – Kit Peddler’s Freudian obsession with forced septugenarian/robot intercourse which was the perfect opportunity to write William Hartnell’s Doctor out of the series for good - was outdated. And actually a tad homophobic. After all, despite the high death rate, was there REALLY anything to be ashamed of by being gang-raped by cyborgs – especially in this post-Bill-Gates epoch of digital deviancy?

Cantrell and RTD worked closely together to revamp the cyber-story-line, and finally hit upon the idea of viewing "cybernisation" as the natural extension of twenty-first century society’s obsession with constantly upgrading dildonic technology. The Cyberman would now represent the ultimate aim of internet nerds having sex with their own laptops, using porn mpegs rather than filthy flesh whores!

RTD finally realized that he could avoid all the crap about getting Cybercontinuity accurate by at last indulging in his second-favorite sci-fi cliché – the parallel universe story which would allow the team to show established characters in other contexts and, more importantly, could use wildly inappropriate script submissions without having to go through the tedious business of editing!

The only other Doctor Who story to seriously try and attempt it was "Infernal", the closing serial of Jon Pertwee’s first season, which established the existence of parallel universes -- worlds where history diverged just a little from that of the normal timeline in which all other Doctor Who events were presumed to take place -- and the prevalence of eye patches within them.

Thus, after reading His Dark Materials fifty times in a row, RTD realized that he could ditch Rose on the Parallel Earth (or Irth) during the season finale, a world created when she became a walking dues ex machina for the previous season finale. This also gave them a chance to bring back Shaun Dingwall as reprising his role as Rose’s father, Pete Tyler – and also forced RTD to turn down Simon Pegg’s continual requests to play the part.

In particular, RTD saw this parallel universe story as an opportunity to draw to a close Mickey’s evolution from the insanely-sexually-frustrated coward of "Ruse" into a bisexual French-resistance-style freedom fighter. However, Noel Clarke was as sick of the whole program as Piper and Eccleston and threatened to tell the world about the night the Welshman got appallingly drunk and revealed in horrific detail his inferiority complex around Steven 'the Moff' Moffat.

Thus, it was agreed that "Return to the Cyber Empire Conflict Collision Course" would be the final story, and have Mickey killed off forever with no returns at all. However, RTD saw a potential spin-off series entitled "Preaching To The Cyber-Converted", and kept the idea of Clarke’s character being a gun-wielding man whore of death and changed the name to RICKY Smith to fool the lawyers.

The villains for "Tangent Of The Cybermen On The Doomsday Planet Space Trap" were originally Jacob Steptoe and his son; the former was changed to JR Ewing as otherwise my synopsis would have been completely inaccurate, while the latter essentially underwent ameba-like fission to become Mr. Takis and Mr. Lilt. Originally Rose made the cybernized Jackie her live-in sex slave, while the Cybermen were destroyed by a crippling 3D-chess maneuver it was impossible for them to solve. The climactic action involving the Cyber-Controller took place in a bus shelter in Peru, with the transformed JR Ewing falling from the zeppelin only to land safely in a bale of hay and ends up trying to hijack the first bus he finds to take him to Luton... via Cuba.

After watching the DVD of the Patrick Troughton story "The Evasion", Cantrell and RTD stopped bothering trying to come up with a new storyline and copied it word to word to the point that some of the props were re-used, like the International Sextromatics lorries in the first half of the story. Many fans wrongly assumed that this was a fond nod to the original series rather than the outright plagiarism it actually was.

This lack of imagination spread to the look of the Cybermen themselves and, despite the fact their appearance had already evolved considerably over the course of the original Doctor Who series thus giving RTD free reign to completely redesign them, he decided to stick to what they had. As design drawings were developed for the new Cybermen, RTD was particularly adamant that they should eschew the "silver-foil-wrapped extra" label often applied to the monsters in the past; RTD preferred to think of the Cybermen as "steel-clad choreographed ballet dancers".

Thus, the Cybermen keep elements from their various incarnations – the teardrop eyes, the handlebar ears, the mummified and wasted flesh stitched between armor plates, the glowing Anarchy Symbol flashlight on top of the head, the flip-open face plates with Freddy Mercury moustaches, the kinky wire-frame bridle, the completely-pointless electric blue canisters out of the back that look a bit like they wearing samurai swords Ninja Turtle style, the electric green light neon tubing randomly over the suit, metallic flares, and whacking huge orgazmo-lasers built into the fore-arms. The traditional and infamous Iron Wills were an entirely CGI effect since people would keep comparing a physical prop to David Tennant whilst filming on location.

By the end of October, it was Halloween and the story title had changed from "Rust Never Sleeps With Me Any More" to "This Should Boost Publicity Halfway Through The Run" to "It Worked Last Year With I, Dustbin, Didn’t It?" to "I’m Not Suggesting Titles, Stop Writing Them Down!" to "Listen, Bumhole, I’m Serious Stop It!" to "Get Me A New Personal Assistant, Somebody? You’re Fired!"

The now-properly-named "Silver Finish" was chosen to be filmed alongside the season finale "Dustbin Vs. Cyberman", the longest and most ambitious production block ever attempted on Doctor Who – and there was only ONE MAN insane enough to attempt it:


Full-time Goodie, part-time Doctor, occasional UFOlogist, devoted mad scientist, former pop star and infamous for his lethal Eddie Waring impression, Garden had helmed both The Phantom of Androzani and Rhododendron of the Dustbins for the original series and the only choice to film the aborted thirtieth anniversary special The Dork Dimension by Adrian Vole. In short, Garden was widely considered to be the best Director who ever lived. "Stanley Kubrick can go suck on a hamster," Colin Baker noted. And that’s good enough for me.

Garden’s ingenious and full-proof scheme was one he had used in such notable programs as the Giant Kitten episode of Star Cops, the Funky Gibbon episodes of Heartbeat and the Free Travelling Hospital series of Casualty – filming whole months worth of material at a time based on the availability of the actors and props and hopefully work out a proper overall story in the editing suite later.

Thus all the episodes with Pete Tyler, Ricky Smith, Cybermen, Dustbins, and alternate versions of Earth would be filmed in one hard-to-digest bulk, made all the more unpalatable by the performance of Donald Rumsfeld as JR Ewing as Corey Johnson’s Larry Hagman impression the previous year was, in Garden’s words, "far too sympathetic".

Rumsfeld would bring a real detestability to the character of JR, in part down to his forced, monotonous performance which recalled William Shatner and Chip Jamison in equal measure. In fact, Rumsfeld was so utterly annoying the rest of the cast threw him down some stairs but tragically the bastard survived with only a broken ankle. The knife-like pain of his pulverized Achilles’ tendon actually improved the performance. Or so everyone said, which was why he was not allowed medical assistance.

Work on "Silver Finish" began with Garden discovering that some helicopter footage of Cardiff had gone unused on the previous year’s "Alias Of London" and so added the entire zeppelin subplot to the story with no expense whatsoever – however, since zeppelins had at no point previously been involved in the story, a terrifying amount of re-writing was required that left Cantrell unconscious from nervous exhaustion.

Recording for the various Cyber scenes was hampered by rain, and more specifically by the combination of rain and the Cybermen outfits with their genuine electric shock devices with Garden insisted be used for verisimilitude – but this lead in turn to numerous Cybermen extras being blasted around the place as the devices short circuited in the rain. Another rewrite was required and thus the Doctor’s baffling explanation that he keeps nifty gift toy of death about his person just in case he got surrounded by homicidal Cybermen.

Recording resumed, despite an unexpected and unseasonable cold snap that made numerous stuff impossible that I simply can’t be arsed to research because they didn’t happen.

The experience was so draining and irritating that Garden decided he pretty much hated all the characters in the story but DID like the actors playing them. Thus he, Noel Clarke and several other actors managed to swap their prop weapons for genuine machine guns and took control of the filming to create a completely new ending to "Silver Finish"...

At the end of the story, the Doctor leaves alone in the TARDIS to return to the Powell Estate on Earth. There, he chloroforms Jackie unconscious and drags her inside the TARDIS and returns to Irth to dump her at the feet of the stunned Pete without discussing this with anyone and then leaves with Esme Jones as Rose and her family are marooned on Irth never to escape.

Not only did this allow Piper, Clarke and Camille Coduri to quit the series six stories early, but would automatically simply the amazingly intricate and convoluted plot for "Dustbin Vs. Cyberman" and reduce Garden’s overall workload by a factor of twelve!

David Tennant himself was delighted as he found Freema Agyeman who played Esme much better in bed than ANY of the departing regulars and wanted her to be his new full-time companion in Doctor Who and also generally whenever he wasn’t having hot steamy sex with his semi-official-part-time-girlfriend Sophia Myles.

RTD was furious at this development – mainly because it was how he intended to end the second season. How the hell was anyone supposed to be impressed with him ditching the Tyler Clan on a parallel Earth five stories after the exact same thing had happened? Not to mention the fact it ruined the rest of the season with its already scripted and partially filmed stories featuring Rose! It would cost a fortune to re-film them all with Agyeman as Esme Jones, and so Garden suggested they just hope no one noticed the discrepancy.

Ultimately, RTD was forced to film the old ending for "Silver Finish" on his own time and funds. He therefore monopolized a gigantic chunk of studio recording and script editing time for the spin off series Touchwood and reportedly "couldn’t give a toss" about the fact this loss of preparation time turned the series into complete and arrant garbage.

Meanwhile, work on "Silver Finish" became even MORE sporadic than before as the production shifted its bleary focus onto "Dustbin Vs. Cyberman", and people just generally speaking got over it all.

However, even after production was completed there were more problems for this Origins of the Cybermen tale – thanks to the BBC mixing up the transmission of "The Age of Consent" with the Eurovision Song Contest in a situation that even most conservative and sensible of viewers described as 'all hell breaking loose'.

The completely bewildering montage that followed was later reviewed by Lizo Mzimba as, "The first act went well but when the Swede in the skimpy dress came on stage Rose got jealous and started a cat fight. Mickey found himself held hostage by Finland who, having got null points again, demanded New Germany change the scores. The Doctor was busy trying to work out what had happened to the Polish entry as they looked like they had been taken over by aliens... until he realized they hadn’t. Having dealt with Olga from Stockholm Rose noticed the Doctor was getting too friendly with the girl from France when he asked if he could inspect her fireplace and soruns off with the Danish chap. Meanwhile Estonia find themselves in the Tyler's house bartering for points with Belgium when the Cybermen convert them as well as Turkey, but somehow they still manage to give Cyprus full marks. They Norwegian entry is revealed to actually Jackie trying to launch her singing career. The Cybermen storm through the auditorium looking for flesh to covet but are weakened by a lack of resources, they are finally defeated when Terry Wogan confuses their logic programs as they try and understand his humor."

Nevertheless, this was STILL far more popular than anything ITV had to offer and the only significant edit made to the story was the excision of a scene where Ricky and Jake doing an up tempo dance number to the tune of Boys Will Be Boys. This was to balance out Tennant’s mandatory song number, subtly woven into the plot as Cyberleader Harriet Jones announced her manifesto for Night City:

"Point ~ one ~ abolish ~ poverty. Point ~ two ~ abolish ~ capitalism. Point ~ three ~ abolish ~ emotions. Point ~ Four ~ Dr ~ Casanova ~ Caligari ~ and ~ Billie ~ the ~ Kid ~ Piper ~ playing ~ Tight ~ Fit ~ covers ~ free ~ daily ~ in ~ Buckhingham ~ Palace."

"Those Cybers Sleep Tonight"

T-H-E C-Y-B-E R-M-E-N, we-um-um-a-way
T-H-E C-Y-B-E R-M-E-N, we-um-um-a-way!

The Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen
The Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen
The Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen
The Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen

In the factory, the conversion factory,
Those Cybers sleep tonight!
Once were human, no longer human,
Those Cybers sleep tonight!

The Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen
The Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen
The Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen
The Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen

Across the world, the parallel world,
Those Cybers sleep tonight!
They are upgrading, from flesh upgrading,
Those Cybers sleep tonight!

The Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen
The Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen
The Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen
The Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen, the Cybermen

In the vortex, the space-time vortex,
The TARDIS is in flight!
TARDIS lands, and the Doctor wakens,
Ready for the fight!

Dee de de de de awee ma way awee ma way
Dee de de de de awee ma way awee ma way...

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