Inconsistently modernised Cybermen and a wax statue of Matthew Broderick
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Doc, Clara and her charges of varying likability and enthusiasm gate-crash Hedgewick’s World of Wonders but it seems someone’s invented podcasts because nobody visits the old theme park anymore!
They soon find that the only show left in town is wibbly-Webley’s grimey-wimey collection of curios, prize among which is his chess-playing Cyberman shell, actually operated by Porridge, a Biggles impersonator with a waxy taller brother.
While Doc cracks on with being a funny entomologist, stupid future-hating Angie disobeys a direct order not to wander off and joins the punishment platoon.
While Clara’s got her work cut out stopping everyone blowing up the planet, the Doctor finds himself incorporated into the Cyberiad and battling over the last fraction of his brain with the self-styled Mr Clever. Will his resistance be futile?
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I am not very fond of this one.
There is only one facet of this episode that I enjoyed. Warwick Davis is awesome, and I do enjoy his performance as the Emperor Porridge, but one very good thing isn’t enough for me.
We saw one of the creepy dolls from The God Complex, I’m not sure if that’s a plus or a minus.
I mean, it’s cybermen. Again. Oh, but don’t worry, we’re supposed to be interested, because this one is fast. And the cybermen have watched Addams Family since the last time we saw them, and like disembodied hands now.
0.9 Empress Claras, because Porridge’s Universe was robbed. Clara would have made a wonderful Queen of the Universe.
Things I liked:
-Warwick Davis (Legend).
-The Cyberman playing chess.
-The return of the Cybermen’s aversion to gold. Last seen on screen in the Seventh Doctor adventure Silver Nemesis, whereby Ace pelts Cybermen with gold coins from a slingshot!
– The kids. Halfway through, I thought they had been deliberately annoying to soften the impact of their inevitable deaths – no human in ‘Who history has survived Cyber control. Until now, sadly.
-Borg & Bullet Time Cybermen. If they have these abilities, why didn’t they slaughter the punishment brigade?
-The Cyber-Doctor. Why so emotional? Why wasn’t there just a regular Cyber Leader? Was this supposed to be a Gollum / Smeagol thing? Did Matt Smith’s agent negotiate this scene in as his audition for Skynet in Terminator Genesis? And how did he get the role on the back of this claptrap!?
-The Doctor / Cyber-Doctor chess match. Why the cop-out ending? Why didn’t the Doctor zap the implant earlier. A final chess dual was done far better in Seventh Doctor adventure The Curse of Fenric.
-The child battle-computer thing added nothing and was done far better in Seventh Doctor adventure Remembrance of the Daleks. On the plus side, the episode was most bearable when the kids were comatose.
– Retcon: a fully populated amusement park. I wanted a Jurassic Park / Westworld Michael Crichton bloodbath.
Summary: “And I would have gotten away with it too [being a half-decent episode] if it weren’t for those meddling kids!”
Rating: 1.8/5. 0.5 for Warwick and 1 point for the Seventh Doctor’s appearance at the 26 minute mark.