Monday, November 18, 2013

Doctor Who-Nightmare In Silver

                          On the insistence of Alice and Artie,the two children Clara is caring for,the doctor takes all of them on a day trip to Hedgwicks Worlds Of Wonder,an alien theme park in the future where they encounter a man named Wembley who are hiding from military troops who now occupy the planet,where the amusement park is now closed. He uses his psychic paper to convince troop Captain Ferring he is an ambassador looking for the departed emperor they are searching for. Wembley takes the doctor,Clara and the children back with him to meet up with a new automated chess playing device that he has invented,which turns out to be the shell of an extinct Cyberman body with a sort man calling himself Porridge manipulating the controls inside. When the doctor notices some odd armored silver insects,he instructs the children to sleep at Wembley's. After he leaves,the Cyberman shell reawakens and grabs Wembley.  After discovering the insects are actually a form of new Cybermites,the doctors sonic screwdriver can of them inadvertently transports him to an orbiting vessel where he meets Wembley-who is now a partially upgraded Cyberman,along with Angie and Artie who are in a more controlled upgraded state. The upgraded Wembley informs the doctor that a new fleet of new Cyberman are awaiting a newer and more powerful consciousness into their central mind-the Cybermariad. 

                  That consciousness is apparently going to be the doctor. The Cybermites effect on the doctor creates a duel personality-the doctor and another who calls itself Mr Clever. The doctor breaks through enough to warn Clara to lead Captain Ferring and her army,who warn him they are an incompetent punishing unit who would be ineffective against an enemy whose destruction is now part of their history. As Clara,along with the surprisingly able assistance of Porridge are able to lead the army into pitched battle against the new and advanced Cybermen,the doctor uses Wembley's chess board as part of a metaphoric game with "Mr Clever"-the doctor trying to gain control and deactivate the new Cybermariad and regain the lives of Alice and Artie. Aware from Porridge that the planet has a self destruct mechanism for situations such as this,Clara attempts to deliver the activation device to who she thinks is the doctor,when Mr Clever is able to deceive her and destroy the activation device. While the doctor is able to use a laser to remove the connection and destroy the Mr Clever identity,Porridge reveals he knows the destruct code himself-and its the now liberated Alice who makes the connection with a statue of the missing emperor she saw earlier that Porridge is that emperor.  He succeeds in evacuating all of them to his imperial ship in orbit,along with the TARDIS before destroying the planet and the new cyber army. After a failed marriage proposal to Clara the doctor returns her,Alice and Artie home.

                     Very much in the spirit of the Daleks,the Cybermen seem to
consistently be able to fool the doctor into thinking that the doctor has at last defeated them. But the situation has changed at this point. The doctor spends the majority of this story literally in pitch battle with himself-that is as a highly organized Cybermariad manipulated version,triggering some type of time lord psychosis. Needless to say Matt Smith's playing two separates sides of himself with split second precision is an award winning performance in and of itself. Clara instantly takes on responsibility,
apparently drawing on her nanny skills,in leading Herring's army against the new Cybermen. In the end however the story is punctuated by two unexpected twists. Though even more cyber controlled through much of the story as the doctor,its Alice who reveals Porridge's status as the missing Emperor-having grown board and lonely in his position to such a degree he decided to hide in the abandoned amusement park. The introduction of the Cybermites is certainly a fascinating modern update of the Cybermats seen in The Tomb Of The Cybermen. Another interesting quality mentioned again in this story is the doctors seeming mission,ever since the departure of Amy and Rory,of trying to erase himself from history. Of course,that will remain a whole other story.
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