Doctor Who : The Age of Steel

February 19, 2014 in Dr Who by Firebird

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The Doctor uses the TARDIS energy crystal to destroy the Cybermen and they all escape in the Preachers’ van. All except Jackie who was back in the house and has to be given up for dead.


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Rickey wants to execute Pete as a traitor who’s been working for Lumic. They’ve got a government mole who’s been feeding them information, secret broadcasts twice a week. Pete knows about that because he IS their contact, Gemini. Unfortuately Pete thought he was broadcasting to the security services, not “Scooby Doo and his gang”.

Lumic talks to his Cybermen, he wants to know what they think. They think of the humans, “their difference and their pain. They suffer in the skin, they must be upgraded”. Lumic is delighted. He orders that the EarPods be activated and across London people freeze and then start to walk, zombie-like. Jackie is one of them, leaving her hiding place in the house.

A news report tells people to remove their EarPods and stay in their homes.

Mr Crane pulls out his EarPods, he’s not having any of that!

The Preachers and the Doctor’s group split up trying to stay out of the way of Cybermen patrols.

Ricky is caught and killed.

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Mr Crane pretends to volunteer to be upgraded but instead takes the opportunity to kill Lumic, ripping his life support equipment apart before a Cyberman can stop and kill him. Lumic isn’t ready for his own upgrade but the Cybermen don’t give him a choice.

Mickey gets back to the others to report Ricky’s death.

They reach the upgrading plant (aka the old Battersea Power Station) and try to figure out a plan. Mickey – “You’re just making this up as you go along!” Doctor – “Yup. But I do it brilliantly”

Mrs Moore has a schematic of the plant, there are cooling tunnels which they can use to get in. Pete point out the other way, through the front door and it’s him and Rose, wearing fake EarPods, who do that. The Doctor sends Jake and Mickey to disable the control signal for the EarPods on the zeppelin while he and Mrs Moore go through the tunnels.

The cooling tunnel is lined with dormant Cybermen.

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Rose and Pete join a group of victims marching into the upgrading centre.

Mickey and Jake reach the zeppelin where they overpower the guards.

Mrs Moore used to work for Cybus Industries. All she did was read a file she shouldn’t have and after that it was a life on the run. Her husband and children think she’s dead, it was the only way to keep them safe. Unfortunately they trip a motion sensor and the Cymbermen in the tunnel start to wake up, the Doctor and Mrs Moore run. They escape by the skin of their teeth.

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One of the Cybermen comes up to Rose and Pete, it recognises him and declares itself to have been Jaquline Tyler. Both Pete and Rose can’t hid their horror and the Cyberman declares them unprogrammed and orders them to be restrained and taken to Cyber Control.

Mickey and Jake hunt for the transmitter controls.

The Doctor and Mrs Moore run into a Cyberman which she takes out with an electromagnetic bomb. The Doctor is impressed. He takes the logo panel from it’s chest and has a look inside. He finds an emotional inhibitor chip. Mrs Moore asks why. “Still got a human brain, imagine it’s reaction if it could see itself, realise itself inside this suit, it’d go insane”. The Cyberman starts to talk it’s still alive, but the inhibitor is broken and it can feel. So cold. It was a woman called Sally, she was going to get married the next day. The Doctor puts her out of her misery. But this is the key. If he can get the code and disable the emotional inhibitors in all the Cybermen they would realise what they are and the shock might be enough to kill them. He wonders for a minute if he can do that but Mrs Moore says there’s no choice. Just as she stands up ready to leave a Cyberman appears behind her and kills her. The Cyberman has identified that the Doctor is an unknown (with his binary vascular system) and he is to be taken for analysis.

The transmitter controls are inaccessible so Jake suggests crashing the zeppelin. Mickey takes over trying to break into the flight control computer but unknown to the two of them he sets off a silent alarm.

“I’ve been captured but don’t worry Rose and Pete are still out there they can rescue me. Oh well never mind.” The Doctor asks where Lumic is. He has been upgraded and designated Cyber Controller. He makes his grand entrance.

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On the zeppelin an empty display cybersuit that the boys has dismissed as harmless comes to life and attacks. Mickey goads it and tricks it into punching trough the transmitter control panel, destroying the controls and itself. In the processing centre everyone who is still human wakes up and panics. Their numbers overwhelm the Cybermen.

Cyber-Controller is unimpressed, if the EarPods fail his army will take humanity by force.

Mickey and Jake on the zeppelin manage to pick up a video feed from the control room. The Doctor sets off on one of his monologues, but with a purpose, he knows that Mickey is listening. Mickey accesses the over-ride code and sends it to Rose’s phone which she throws to the Doctor, he plugs into a handy data port and boom, every emotional inhibitor stops working.

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Mayhem and explosions.

The Doctor, Rose and Pete head for the roof where Mickey and Jake wait to rescue them in the zeppelin. As they climb a rope ladder Cyber Controller attempts to follow, but Pete uses the sonic to cut through the rope, dropping him to his doom.

Back in the TARDIS the Doctor installs the crystal and the power comes back on. Outside Rose tries to tell Pete who she is but he can’t cope with it and runs off. The Doctor tells Jake Mrs Moore’s real name and asks him to find her husband and tell him and her children how she died saving the world. Then rather unexpectedly Mickey announced that he’s staying. There’s work to do closing down the remaining Cyber factories and his gran is alive, she needs him (unlike Rose). When she says they’ll come back and visits the Doctor says no, they only got there by accident and when they leave he’ll have to close the crack in time which made it possible. They can never come back. Rose and Mickey say their goodbyes and the TARDIS leaves.

It rematerialises inside Jackie’s flat in our reality where Rose runs out and hugs her mum, so happy to see her alive.

On parallel Earth Mickey and Jake decide to liberate Paris first.

Darth_Namialus : To a first-time viewer, the Cybermen had chilling designs. They aren’t “cute” like a Dalek, or freaky like a Weeping Angel, no, they are emotionless monsters capable of more than just killing you – they make you one of them. In this episode, when they stole people to turn them to their side, that was scary. “Delete!” they shout, as they delete the human race one by one and create new Cybermonsters. Unlike Daleks, who just want everything destroyed, the Cybermen want everything *deleted* and become Cyber, which must have been quite frightening to younger viewers. Death is one concept, but turning a loved one into an all-out killing machine is a scary thought and one that sadly our favourite characters had to endure.

Jackie Tyler, of the alternate universe, was taken away to become a Cyberman. That was a shocking change. Jackie had always been that funny old mother who would never ever be hurt, and would always be there for Rose. But this time she wasn’t, this time she was killed, and that was shocking. The whole episode was somewhat emotional, with the death of Mrs. Moore (who I really liked. Why do the one-off companions have to be so great? Oh yeah, because they’re going to be killed.), and, ultimately, the loss of Mickey. It’s common knowledge that I abhorred Mickey throughout Series One but this is the arc where I actually liked him, even more so than a character like Rose. He was the most affected by the alternate universe, to me, considering this was where he finally had to put himself to good use. He’s not a nobody anymore, he’s a hero. I disliked him throughout Series 1 because he wasn’t emotional, he was just dim to me and was too hard to relate to. But he changed here, and I actually felt sad when he had to say goodbye to Rose. And the fact that she still cared for him despite her love of the Doctor made me like her even more, too. I didn’t think we’d ever see him again.

Filled with emotional depth, a multitude of developed and lovable characters, and shocking villains, this arc really stands out when compared to other arcs of its series and the other series. 10/10