Written by John Hussey
I’ve certainly been very apprehensive towards Doctor Who Series Ten due to the fact that Steven Moffat‘s talents as both a writer, and showrunner, have drastically declined, leaving me with a bad taste in my mouth. Series Eight was doing so well, specifically with its shift in tone and development of Peter Capaldi‘s Twelfth Doctor, but then died on its arse upon the reveal that The Master was now a woman. Shame on you Moffat!
Alas these piss-poor, and somewhat delusional, ideas continued to flourish throughout Series Nine and ultimately made me start to hate the very show I grew up with, which made me the person that I am today. It’s a sickening feeling to know that one man’s selfish ambitions can lead to me wanting to turn my back on Doctor Who. So yeah, Series Ten has a lot to live up to and I really hope Moffat can once again become to the creative genius I used to look up to and grant Capaldi a fulfilling send-off (after suffering with an inconsistent era).
Luckily things seem to be looking up as it’s been revealed that Series Ten’ finale will feature the long-awaited return of the original Mondasian Cybermen, first featured on Doctor Who in William Hartnell‘s final serial, “The Tenth Planet”. It has been known since the very beginning how fond Capaldi was of this particular design and how he constantly begged Moffat to bring them back. So it would seem Moffat is being kind by granting Capaldi what he desired most, giving a neat bit of closure.
I will admit that this piece of news came as a massive surprise (which is good). But it does seem like the BBC are trying to jazz up the new series with forced publicity and hype (something that became a massive issue throughout Series Nine). It would’ve been nice to perhaps have had this reveal be a nice surprise during the finale. Nonetheless, it would seem like (from the released image above) that they have done justice to the original Mondasian Cybermen and they do actually look a little chilling. My only concern is I don’t like the looks of the setting, which reminds me too much of the dull environments within Class (and we all know how that turned out).
As a die-hard fan of the show I am really excited to see how these original Cybermen are brought back and used (along with being happy for Capaldi) but as a critic I am less inclined to jump up in the air in celebration and scream “hallelujah”. In fact this idea seems rather silly and out of nowhere, almost like some sort of gimmick (a trend that has taken over the show’s core aspect). I know “Asylum of the Daleks” made big on the idea of bringing back past Dalek models but there was a legitimate reason for their return. Come “The Magician’s Apprentice/The Witch’s Familiar” their return was somewhat confusing and massively messed with continuity and the structure of the Dalek Empire (which has become more and more unfocused as Moffat’s era has proceeded).
Considering we have only recently received a redesign of the Cybermen (returning them to their Mondasian roots) it seems odd now that they would suddenly downgrade to their original design (which would surely be obsolete to them). Then there’s the consideration that it’s become a strange law within Moffat finales that the Cybermen must show up. Every single Episode 12 within his era has had an appearance from the Cybermen, whether it be for a cameo, to be the antagonist. Heck, even the ones not written by him have featured them. And none of these appearances have been worthwhile. In fact their short, but sweet, appearances have delivered the most impact (for me personally).
I’d go as far as to say that the New Series hasn’t delivered a single Cyberman gem. Their stories are either riddled with flaws, or the Cybermen are terribly misused (and almost ruined). The only story I can consider calling good is their first outing, “Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel”. But the problem lies with the fact that those Cybermen aren’t the original Mondasian Cybermen, but rather John Lumic’ Cybus-men, thus don’t really count.
I suppose I lay in the middle with this news. Call me a kill-joy if it pleases you but all I’m saying is I am yet to be convinced. What with Moffat’s track record since 2014, and the fact that the Cybermen haven’t had one outstanding outing in the entirety of the New Series, I haven’t got much faith. Plus Michelle Gomez is slated to return as Missy which adds more salt to the wound. Didn’t we see this in “Dark Water/Death in Heaven” and that ultimately ended up overshadowing the creepiness of the walking dead Cybermen (a great concept that had no pay-off, and instead left me both disappointed and angry – added by The Master being ruined).
In the words of The Seventh Doctor, “Time will tell. It always does.” This finale can go one of two ways, and at the moment I’m more inclined to say Moffat won’t live up to his promises and will find some way to ruin the narrative, whether it be from poor writing, or his new fascination of forcing his mad suggestions down our throats, thus ruining the canon of Doctor Who. But, just maybe, Capaldi might just get the finale he deserves and I’ll happily be proven wrong and I can finally sleep soundly at night knowing everything is back to the way it should be.
What do you think of this news? Do you agree with bringing back the original Mondasian Cybermen? And if so, what do you think of the reimagined design? Sound off in the comment section below and let your voice be heard!