Shoulda been a two-parter. I like the ability to invest time and cash in each episode that comes with the stand-alone format, but this should have been a two parter. It was much too crowded: too many characters, too much plot detail, not enough time. So what did we get? A rushed if awesome Matt Smith and a lovely pile of one-dimensional characters. Seriously, all I can remember of Angie is that shriek.
Clara didn’t have as much awesomeness in this episode as I’d hoped. She does step up quite impressively, fighting back the cybermen and facing down the Cybercontroller.
Actually, I think I’ve figured out Clara’s major character trait from this episode: adaptability. She thinks quickly and on her feet. She can absorb aliens and ghosts and cybermen taking over her friends and just get on with it.
The Doctor trusted Clara to keep the planet from blowing up, and she stepped up. Rory once said that the Doctor had no idea how dangerous he made people to themselves, and that was certainly Clara in this episode. The Doctor gave Clara his trust and ran away, and she turned into the bossiest boss around.
Also, a large proportion of people seem to be in love with Clara. Seriously. That’s the emperor and the Doctor now. Speaking of which: we seem to have confirmed that the Doctor’s in love with Clara, and that Clara knows him well enough to call out the cybercontroller.
I thought Clara’s turning down of the emperor’s proposal was a lovely example of Clara being the boss. She knows what she wants, and that doesn’t include ruling the universe. And the Doctor may say that he’ll be back on “a Wednesday,” but come on, we know he’ll be back on Wednesday.
By the way: you wanna talk about generic with those kids? I hesitate to criticize a writer way better than I could ever imagine, but damn if they weren’t straight out of a screenwriting textbook.
UPDATE: It’s actually amazing how much more sense this episode makes each time through, and it speaks to how great it would have been if it were a two-parter.
For example: why on earth would Clara and the Doctor wander off leaving Artie and Angie to nap in Hedgewick’s ship? Couldn’t they just have locked them in the TARDIS? Seems weird, but when you think about it, what would Angie and Artie have done if they were locked in the TARDIS, unsupervised, for an unknown period of time? Absolute catastrophe.
And why were the kids so important to the Cybermen? Why did the Doctor get called the Savior of the Cybermen? Why was the cyberman’s personality so strong, and such a clear corruption of the Doctor?
The answer’s in a really brief line when CyberWebley talks about needing to “build a new cyberplanner.” They needed a puppet master to re-animate the cybermen, who would be constructed out of a pre-existing assimilated person. The kids would have been a blank slate, but since the Doctor was so cool they went with him instead.
Previous Episode Reviews:
Discussion (mostly about Clara):
- Clara Oswald
- clara oswald mystery
- clara oswald theories
- clara oswald theory
- clara oswald time lord
- Clara Oswin Oswald
- clara oswin oswald mystery
- clara oswin oswald theory
- clara oswin theories
- clara oswin theory
- doctor who
- doctor who season 7
- doctor who series seven
- neil gaiman
- nightmare in silver
- the doctor
- the impossible girl
- tv review
- women's issues