This week’s episode was frankly a bit of a mess. It had many good elements as well as some really bad ones. BUT, first and foremost, this episode was about the return of the Cyberman. And was it a successful return? Well, sort of.
I’ve never cared for Neil Gaiman. I’ve never really been interested in anything he’s written and the last episode of Dr Who that he wrote, “The Doctor’s Wife”, wasn’t one I really loved. It was great, just a little overrated perhaps. That being said, this episode didn’t sell me on Gaiman’s talent. The Doctor vs Doctor scenes were awesomely written, but the rest of the episode and the characters within (besides perhaps Warwick Davies) ranged from mediocre to absolutely terrible. The plot for the episode was a winner, cyberman in a futuristic theme park? Count me in! But it didn’t really use this scenario to it’s full potential. The supporting characters were weak as well. Warwick Davies had some good scenes though and Clara remains likable I think but the thing that really let this episode down were the child actors. Now I don’t want to heap too much scorn on them because obviously they were kids and that might be a bit far, but my god were they awful. I should have seen this coming, but it was as bad as anyone could have predicted. I listened to my friends say “BELIEVE IN GAIMAN” but to me it seems he just can’t write child characters.
The highlight of this episode for me was the Doctor’s very personal internal battle. I think this more or less cements Matt Smith as my favourite Doctor and a damn good actor. His impression of the 9th Doctor followed by the 10th was hilarious. He perhaps went a little into the over the top into a camp territory in some parts but I loved every second of it. It was my definite favourite part of this episode, and a real highlight of this series.
Now the real question is if this was an effective return for the Cybermen. I’d say overall, yes it was. They were much more threatening now. They even used the amazing Cyberman theme and didn’t revamp it like they have done for other music in the show. They were actually almost scary. I wish they had been fully scary but I’ll take what can get, when one Cyberman ripped the mace from Clara I got shivers. The only thing I wish they’d explain was why that one Cyberman could run like the Flash yet others seemed to be without that ability.
Overall I seem to like this episode more than I thought, looking back. But that being said, it was still most defiantly a disappointment. How big a disappointment is up to you. It would have been an excellent two part episode but apparently Doctor Who don’t do that anymore. It was decent though and I enjoyed it. Which is more than I can say for most things on TV nowadays.