Sunday, January 12, 2014

Doctor Who-Revenge Of The Cybermen

                          Upon leaving Skaro using the time ring that was provided by the time lords the doctor,Sarah Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan find themselves aboard Nerva yet again-only thing time with a TARDIS having yet to catch up in time to them and confronting corridors filled with dead crew members. The doctor is soon able to determine they have arrived on Nerva a millennium before the solar flares had threatened Earth as indicated on their previous encounter there. Of course in another area of Nerva,at this time acting as a mere beacon,the dead crew members don't prove to be quite the mystery they are to the doctor and his companions at this point.

                     In the communications area of Nerva beacon,survivors such as Commander Stevenson are about to warn away an approaching spaceship. A planetary surveyor named Professor Kellman how long Nerva can be run with a skeleton crew-seeing as its acting as a warning beacon to advise newcomers  against a plague that has killing off the crew of Nerva-in fear of it spreading to Earth and perhaps farther.  As the doctor and his companions continue exploring what has happened on Nerva,a signal comes from the nearby Jupiter satellite Voga,apparently once referred to as Neo Phobos but before crew member Warner can intercept the signal,he is killed by a Cybermat and Kellman removes the recorded film of the transmission.

                        At this point where Commander Stevenson and the Professor discover had already met the doctor,he addresses himself and his companions as perhaps able to help cure Warner and the rest of the surviving plague victims. Meanwhile on Voga-a world made of pure gold Vorus,Guardian of the Mines there is discussing how he was able to bribe one of the crew members of Nerva with gold,but said agent was not able to contact him because of possible interference from the Cybermen. Following Warner's death,the doctor than realizes where he heard the name Volga before-in reference to their long war with the Cybermen,to whom the constricting nature of gold constricts their life support apparatuses.

                          While investigating Kellman's quarters he locates a communications device as well as some gold. When Kellman becomes aware of this he attempts to sabotage the room with an explosive device,which the doctor counteracts with his sonic screwdriver. Meanwhile Sarah Jane is attacked while viewing local TV broadcasts by a Cybermat. Upon encountering this directly the doctor determines its the cybermats,not a plague that are the sources of death-using some type of deliberate poisoning. Despite Stevenson's continual fear of a plague,the doctor requests that Sarah Jane and Harry use the trans mat to transport down to the surface of Voga and back in order to rid her body of the poison via reconfiguration during molecular re-materialization.

                           Appearing within the gold mines of Voga,Harry and Sarah Jane are swiftly taken into custody by Vorus,who believes they are their to steal gold. The two companions become involved in the struggle between Vorus's wish to attack Nerva beacon using their rocket SkyStricker in order to take leadership of their world and reveal their identities,which goes against the opinion of the Chief Councilor Tyrum,who wishes to continue his peoples lives in hiding from the surviving Cybermen, who were thought to be dead to the rest of humanity,from discovering them and resuming the long war. On board Nerva,the doctor questions Kellman by using a cybermat to apply enough emotional pressure to convince him to unlock the petalium drive that would allow him to return Sarah Jane and Harry.

                           Unable to lock onto his companions due to their capture by Vorus he doesn't yet know of,the doctor is forced along with the remaining crew of Nerva as the spaceship docks with it and they are cornered by a small army of Cybermen led by the black helmeted cyberleader. He tells them that the Cybermen have come here specifically to destroy Voga,whose mass of gold is of course the greatest threat to their survival. Their intention is to employ a large amount of Cyberbombs,an extremely dangerous tactical weapon banned across the galaxy by this point,in order to use Nerva as one gigantic weapon to destroy Voga-with the doctor and the beacons surviving crew to be tied up with Cyberbombs that cannot be removed safely unless the unlocking code is transmitted.

                           The cybermen attempt to use the doctor and the Nerva survivors for a Kamikaze mission-implanting these bombs within the core of Voga in order to facilitate its destruction. Realizing at this point that Kellman was promised rule over the universe by the Cybermen should they be the victor,the doctor and Stevenson manage to free themselves from the Cyberbombs while Harry meets up with Tyrum,whose arguments with Vorus about his insistence on wanting Voga to again become a major trading post come to a fevered pitch and no choice is left but to end the strike against the Cybermen. With Sarah transporting up back up to Nerva,she and and the doctor are captured by the Cybermen there. 

                              With Nerva still on a collision course with Voga,the doctor manages to free himself and Sarah. He manages to instruct Harry on inside of Voga to use the controls of the SkyStricker's rocket to redirect its course to destroy the departing Cybermen ship. Of course Nerva's collision course remains active. The doctor only has a short amount of time to unlock the Cybmerman's grip manually and make a split second high speed slingshot around Voga-putting Nerva and the planet out of danger with the Cyberbombs now deactivated. Once Harry is transported on board Nerva,the TARDIS finally arrives with urgent news from Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart-after which the doctor and his companions intercept the message by returning to 20'th century Earth.

                                  From the beginning to the end,this story gains such a great deal in pace and plot twists that by the time all four parts of this serial are over,there seems in itself a near eternity of information to absorb. One of the keys to this story is the concept of political bickering taking the place of sound action in a crisis. The internal strike amid two parties of Vogans-one living in fear of protecting its financially valuable mineral nature with the other willing to share it for personal gain leaves both sides vulnerable to the Cybermen,who simply see the planet as a threat and want it destroyed. Its another example from Doctor Who-paralleling human reality,how the perceived need for individual profit is often deemed more important than a crisis effecting everyone.

                                  Another interesting twist of this story is the doctors treatment of the Cybermen. As unemotional cybernetic lifeforms incapable of feeling,the doctor continually taunts the cybermen using just about every verbal bullying tactic at his disposal-totally aware non of it has any effect on the Cybermen's psyche whatsoever. Though very out of character for his usual moral authority,the doctor augments this behavior by using a cybermat under his control to effectively intimidate Professor Kellman with anxiety in order to reveal the nature of his involvement with the Cybermen. Not only is this behavior usually of the type the doctor attempts to discourage others from engaging in,but brings out a now common thread of his character to sometimes resorting to desperately manipulative acts to overcome his foes.

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