|YMMV • Radar • Quotes • (Funny • Heartwarming • Awesome) • Fridge • Characters • Fanfic Recs • Nightmare Fuel • Shout Out • Plot • Tear Jerker • Headscratchers • Trivia • WMG • Recap • Ho Yay • Image Links • Memes • Haiku • Laconic|
Peri: Will it believe you?
The Doctor: If it doesn't, I shall beat it into submission with my charm.
Our story starts out in the sewers of London, where a pair of workers are attacked (and presumably killed) by an unknown alien force... which has its name in the title. Say what you will about hokey titles like "Planet of Evil", but at least they don't blatantly spoil the damn monster.
Anyway, back to the dead guys. Yeah, since this is a tale penned by Eric "I <3 Cybermen" Saward, this bit of business won't matter in the slightest and those guys are only the first of many bodies to be seen in this tale.
The Doctor, having greatly calmed down since trying to kill Peri with his bare hands, has randomly decided to try and repair the TARDIS. This involves those "roundels" of the control room being taken off and revealing the circuitry behind them, and the Doctor's aim is to fix the Chameleon Circuit that's been malfunctioning since 1963. For now, it doesn't work, but the TARDIS is tossed about and our pair of travelers are also tossed about. Luckily, the Doctor manages to land the TARDIS in 1985 and uses the scanner screen to show off Halley's Comet. Peri, somewhat understandably considering this Doctor's track record so far, is more concerned about crashing into the comet rather than going "ooooh" over it.
Meanwhile, on Earth, Commander Gustave Lytton has been living a somewhat low-key life after quitting his job for the Daleks. And by "low-key," we mean "organized a gang to rob banks throughout London." And, indeed, Lytton's newest plan is to steal £10 Million in diamonds by digging under the bank and breaking up through the ground of the vault. One of his gang, Russel, is worried this will bring the cops down on them. Lytton leads his gaggle of gangsters down into the Absurdly Spacious Sewer of London, but not before activating a transmitter of some sort.
Up in the TARDIS, the Doctor and Peri pick up a distress signal and drop into a scrapyard in the middle of the city. The TARDIS' Chameleon Circuit has apparently been fixed to an extent, as it has decided to blend in to the surroundings as a large fancy brand-new stove. The Doctor drags Peri around for a little while, continually calling her the wrong name, while he looks for the source of the signal. They can't find it, so they run back to the TARDIS - but not before the Doctor muses over a sign reading I.M. Foreman and calls Peri "Susan." After they leave, though, the Doctor realizes that the signal was being bounced around and finds where the real signal source goes.
Landing in a car repair shop, the TARDIS decides to turn into a pipe organ. It's nice to see the TARDIS has somehow inherited this incarnation of the Doctor's sense of dress perfectly. Our time traveling heroes muck about and are nearly ambushed by a random pair of policemen toting guns. Soundly trouncing them, Peri and the Doctor decide to also go into the sewers for... some reason.
Back with Lytton, one of the four gangsters has decided to head off for a smoke... and is promptly beaten to a gruesome bloody death by whatever assaulted the pair of workers in the start of the episode. Lytton and his remaining team come to a dead end, only to be ambushed by Cybermen. One of Lytton's men decides to shoot the Cyberman, but Lytton decides to disarm his comrade and offers his services to the Cybermen. Russel, quite sensibly, flees from the scene--only to run into the Doctor and Peri coming the other way. Wow, what are the odds?
Wayyyyyy off on another planet, the Cybermen's adopted homeworld of Telos, a pair of guys named Bates and Stratton stumble around, working for the Cybermen in shiny silver suits. They decide to rebel and kill a Cybermen to use the head to sneak into Cyber Control to... do something. Apparently, the Cybermen have stolen a time machine--which may or may not have once belonged to Bates and Stratton--and will soon use it for their own, nefarious ends. Bates and Stratton want to steal it back and use it to escape.
Back on Earth, the Doctor, Peri and their new friend Russel go back to the TARDIS (but not before the Doctor kills a few Cybermen with a Sonic Lance) to talk about what they're going to do next. Sadly, they're ambushed by Cybermen--and their new pets, Lytton and his crony Griffiths, are with them. Russel is killed promptly after killing two Cybermen with just a simple pistol, and no one mourns his passing. The Cyber Leader decides that killing Russel just wasn't enough, so he orders his men to kill Peri as well.
Well, the Doctor doesn't really like the idea that Peri could be killed, so he threatens to blow up the TARDIS if they do. The Cyber Leader decides "well, why not" and simply exposits at the Doctor instead. As it turns out, the Cyber Controller is totally still alive and not dead despite getting his shit well and truly burnt up by some pretty substantial voltage the last time we saw him Because the story is nowhere near over, the Doctor begrudgingly agrees to set course for Telos and is then tossed into a random room somewhere in the TARDIS alongside everyone else. One wonders if that missing Cyberman from a previous regeneration's adventure showed up again during this time. Either way, the Doctor fills everyone (audience included) in on what the hell's going on, explaining about the Cybermen, their leadership and their adopted planet. He also adds information in on the totally old-Who classic aliens the Cryons. Apparently, the Cybermen killed all of them off and used their cities to keep their people in suspended animation. And Lytton knows all of this too, which will certainly never tie in to anything in this story.
Meanwhile, a lone Cyberman (Cyberperson?) is revived on Telos... only for it to go randomly berserk for no reason and destroy things. Apparently, this is happening to all the Cybermen in stasis, but we're never told why in this story. Anyway, the TARDIS arrives on Telos, this time turning into a massive ornamental gate that everyone walks through... but they're in the Tombs of the Cybermen rather than Cyber Control because the Doctor decided to fudge the coordinates. As everyone goes up to Cyber Control, another random Cyberman breaks out of his cryo-freeze chamber and goes berserk because why the fuck not? Lytton, Griffiths and Peri escape--only to nearly get killed by another rogue Cyberman because... well just because it's been a while since something really contrived happened. Luckily, they're saved by the Cryons! Peri goes off to get out of the way with one Cryon while another Cryon meets with Lytton and Griffiths. As it turns out, Lytton is really working for the Cryons in their struggle to destroy the Cybermen and prevent them from using B&S' captured time machine. Griffiths joins in, mostly thanks to the fact that the Cryons are filthy rich and offer him £2 Million in diamonds. The two then find B&S, and it is revealed that the pair of criminals are actually failed Cyber-conversions, left with robot arms and legs.
The Cybermen, meanwhile, show off some remarkably good thinking and decide to lock the Doctor up in a closet doubling as a refrigerator. The closet, which is also imprisoning a Cryon named Flast, contains enough explosives to completely destroy the Cybermen on Telos with little effort, though it's inert at low temperatures.
Predictably, the Doctor and Flast come up with a plan in order to make sure everything on Telos gets blowed up real good--but it seems that Flast cannot leave the room, as Cryons cannot survive at room temperature. But hey, she's willing to warm up the explosives to the point where they'll automatically explode. The Doctor uses a small amount of the explosive to kill off the Cyberman guard, then just leaves Flast to await her death after thanking her for what little help she provided.
Lytton is re-captured by the Cybermen, who decide to crush his hands. Then they cyber-convert him. The remaining three Cryon agents finally make it up to the landing pad where that time ship has landed. What's that? You forgot about the time ship? Eh, it doesn't matter anyway, since our three would-be time travelers are randomly killed off by the Cybermen instead. Flast is also killed off by being dragged outside the cold storage room.
Luckily, the Doctor finds Peri and the other Cryons, and they get to the TARDIS. The Doctor informs the Cryons of the incoming explosions, and the Cryons say they'll go down deep into their tunnels to escape the explosions--but not before telling the Doctor that Lytton was working for them all along and wasn't really that big of a dick in the first place. Our two surviving heroes, meanwhile, take the TARDIS up to Cyber Control to save Lytton and talk to the Cyber Controller for a little bit. For her part, the TARDIS has decided to return to being a blue police box again for reasons better left unexplained. The Doctor tries to free Lytton, but he's been converted well over most of his body and instead begs for death while the Doctor actually starts to apologize for how he treated him earlier.
Possessing perfect dramatic timing, the Cyber Controller and several Cybermen show up and threatens the Doctor with guns. Lytton decides he'll have none of that shit and stabs the Cyber Controller, letting the Doctor grab the Controller's gun. This turns out to be Lytton's final deed, as the Doctor blows away all of the Cybermen with his newfound love of violence. The Doctor doesn't really want to leave Lytton behind, but Peri drags the Doctor off just before the place explodes. Inside the TARDIS, however, the Doctor expresses regrets over how he treated Lytton and how wrong he was about the guy.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Truth in Television.
- Adipose Rex: The Cyber-Controller. It makes as much sense as it sounds (i.e. none at all).
- Continuity Porn: There should be a drinking game for these episodes.
- Creepy Monotone: Unsurpisingly the Cybermen (partially). Suprisingly with the usually bit flippant David Banks' Cyber-Leader, who is a lot less scenery-chewing this time around, which makes him sound very intimidating.
- Diegetic Switch: After the Doctor plays a few notes on the Organ-TARDIS, the song continues on the soundtrack for the rest of the scene.
- Distress Call
- Gambit Pileup
- Heel Face Revolving Door: Mostly a front from Lytton, though.
- Kill'Em All: the most likely qualifier after "Horror of Fang Rock". It's left unclear whether the surviving Cryon resistants might survive the explosion at the end, but given the tone of the story they probably didn't.
- Large Ham: Literally and figuratively in the Cyber-Controller's case. In addition to being physically large, he spends most of the story seemingly channelling William Shatner for whatever reason, contributing to the cheese factor of this story.
- Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard
- La Résistance: the Cryons
- Reverse Mole
- Running the Asylum: Possibly, given the claim by Ian Levine that he had co-written the serial. Eric Saward also applies whenever Cybermen are involved. His insistence that Cybermen are totally awesome has actually ticked off many a writer, including long-time Who writer Terrance Dicks during the writing of The Five Doctors.
- Self-Destruct Mechanism
- Standard Snippet: When the TARDIS turns into a pipe organ, the Doctor plays the opening notes to Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D minor".
- What Happened to the Mouse?
- The X of Y
- You Look Familiar: Terry Molloy winds up in a non-Davros role as Russel.
- ↑ * Supposedly, this is the same location as the series' very first episode, but it's blatantly not.
- ↑ Zoe, Tegan, Jamie...
- ↑ Seriously, start up a drinking game over the Continuity Porn in this episode. You'll be dead before the second episode!
- ↑ The episode gives us no reason for their appearance, it just assumes that you remember they're the two guys who escaped with Lytton at the end of Ressurection, but of course there's no particular reason that you should remember this. According to the Expanded Universe, they're Lytton's bodyguards. This does make some sense, but not much.
- ↑ * He also seems to have gained a few pounds since the last time we saw him.
- ↑ Or any story. It's implied to be the work of the Cryons, maybe, but never stated outright.
- ↑ Which look nothing like it used to, incidentally.