Mon, 26 July 2010
Fab Free fanzine with a little bit by me.
something for the summer
Sun, 25 July 2010
Revenge of the Cybermen was the fifth and final story of Season 12 (although it was not originally intended as the finale). The story saw the return of the Cybermen as lead villains for the first time since the 1968 story The Invasion, and their only appearance (barring flashbacks) until Earthshock in Season 19.
It was further significant for being the first Doctor Who story released on home video.
Everyone but a few men of the crew of Nerva Beacon have been killed by Cybermats. The Doctor realises that the Cybermen are close by and are hoping to destroy the planet Voga, the famous planet of gold. Gold is lethal to the Cybermen and Voga must be destroyed to enable their survival. The Doctor is captured and is sent to Voga with two humans, all three with bombs strapped to them. The Cybermen hope to detonate them in a sensitive spot in order to destroy Voga. But the Doctor manages to defuse the bombs, so instead the Cybermen decide to fill Nerva Beacon with bombs and crash into Voga. But the Doctor gets to Nerva and prevents it from destroying the planet of gold. Meanwhile the Cybermen retreat into their ship and the Vogans destroy it with a missile of their own.
 Part One
The Doctor, Harry and Sarah Jane use the Time Ring, spinning their way through time and space back to Space Station Nerva. They land back in the control room they left when they last beamed down to Earth, but Sarah notices the TARDIS is not there. The Doctor tells Sarah that the time ship is drifting back in time towards them and they just need to wait for her to catch up. A door slides open, revealing a dead body, and many more beyond, littering the outer ring of the station.
In a communications room, crewman Warner warns off an approaching spaceship away from Nerva Beacon, which is under quarantine due to a plague. Professor Kellman, a planetary surveyor, asks Commander Stevenson how long they can run a 50-man station with three men, but the other officer, Lester, thinks they can continue to manage. Nerva is on a 30-year assignment to warn ships away from Voga, the new asteroid it is orbiting, until its presence is updated on all the starcharts of inbound ships.
The time travellers find a sealed door leading to Section Q. The Doctor surmises that this is the same station they left, but thousands of years in the past, before the solar flares that devastated Earth. As the Doctor tries to get through the door, the trio fail to see a silver, snake-like creature — a cybermat — crawling around the bodies behind them.
Somewhere else, an alien tries to contact Nerva, and barely gets through to Warner before he is shot by two more of his own kind. The only place the signal could have come from is Voga, but Kellman tells Warner that he set up the transmat station there and spent six months cataloguing its rocks. Voga had drifted into the solar system 50 years before and had been captured by Jupiter's gravity. An asteroid of that size drifting between star systems could not support life and he warns against going down to Voga and spreading the plague. Warner logs the call anyway. The Doctor manages to open the sealed door, which activates an alarm.
On Voga, Vorus, leader of the Guardians of the mines, orders his men to bury the dead Vogan that was shot earlier. Magrik, his aide, tells him that the dead Vogan was frightened of Vorus's plan. Vorus tells him that they can trust their agent on Nerva. Gold buys humans, and they have more gold on Voga than in the rest of the galaxy. The reason the agent had not contacted them is probably because the Cybermen are monitoring transmissions.
In the communications room, the Cybermat attacks Warner, biting him before it is thrown off. Warner collapses, glowing veins appearing on his face while Kellman enters and pulls the magnetic log tape from the console. Meanwhile, the Doctor, Harry and Sarah have reached the forward control room, mere seconds before Lester and Stevenson enter levelling their weapons at them. The door behind them slides open to reveal the communications room, and Kellman brings Stevenson to Warner's fallen form.
When Stevenson sees that his crewman has the plague, he prepares to shoot Warner to stop the infection's spread, but the Doctor stops him. The Doctor lies, saying that they are a medical team sent from Earth, and convince Stevenson to let Harry examine Warner. They take Warner to the crew quarters as Kellman returns to his own room and spies on the Doctor and Stevenson in the communications room using an assembled device. Stevenson tells the Doctor about the asteroid, formerly named Neo Phobos, but renamed Voga by Kellman. The Doctor recognises the name: Voga, the Planet of Gold, and realises that Cybermen are involved. Stevenson says the Cybermen died out centuries before, but the Doctor points out they merely vanished after attacking Voga at the end of the last Cyber-War. Hearing all this, Kellman contacts a Cybership nearby, its crew commanded by a Cyber Leader with a black helmet. The ship moves towards Nerva.
Warner is dead. When the Doctor examines the body he finds two puncture wounds, indicating that Warner was injected with poison and confirming the Doctor's suspicion that there is no plague. The Doctor says that if he had seen Warner earlier he might have been able to use Nerva's transmat to filter out the poison from his system. The Doctor has another suspicion; investigating Kellman's quarters, he finds the communications device as well as some gold. The Doctor hides when Kellman returns, but Kellman realises that someone has been inside the room. He sabotages the room, electrifying the floor and sending gas pouring up from it. Keeping off the floor, the Doctor reaches the door to open it with his sonic screwdriver. Meanwhile, Sarah is attacked by the cybermat.
 Part Two
The Doctor escapes Kellman's room and hears Sarah scream. He throws the Cybermat to the floor and kills it with some gold dust, but Sarah has already been bitten. The Doctor carries her to the transmat chamber, handing her to Harry, and prepares to beam them down to Voga and back. However, Kellman has taken the transmat's pentalium drive. The Doctor reconfigures the transmat to bypass the sabotaged system while Stevenson and Lester go and confront Kellman. On Voga, Vorus observes a giant rocket, the Sky Striker. He tells Magrik that his agent has informed them that the Cybermen are heading for the beacon. Vorus wants the Sky Striker fitted with its bomb head in four hours.
The Doctor jury rigs the transmat, and Harry and Sarah beam down to Voga. With the poison filtered out, Sarah instantly recovers. As Harry notices that the cavern floor is littered with gold, Vogans arrive and capture them. Harry and Sarah are brought before Vorus, who wants to know who is still alive on Nerva. However, the answers will have to wait. Harry and Sarah are taken away while Vorus answers a call from Councillor Tyrum, who arranges for them to meet.
Lester and Stevenson capture Kellman. The Doctor explains that the Cybermen fear Voga because gold, as a non-corrodible substance, plates their breathing apparatus and suffocates them. The Doctor cannot get Harry and Sarah back without the pentalium drive, but Kellman feigns ignorance, trying to buy time until the Cybermen arrive. The Doctor uses a control box he found in Kellman's room to activate a Cybermat, threatening Kellman with it until he reveals that the drive is around his neck.
Harry and Sarah are chained up in a cave, where Harry notes that the chains are solid gold, which is soft metal that perhaps they can file through. Meanwhile, Tyrum tells Vorus that he knows that aliens have come to Voga. He also knows that Vorus wants Voga to emerge as a trading power again and not hide from the Cybermen, who apparently disappeared centuries ago. Because of this, Tyrum no longer trusts Vorus or the Guardians, and will send his Militia to take over the mines. Vorus is furious, but Tyrum says his troops have orders to crush any resistance.
Fighting breaks out in the mines between the Guardians and the Militia. Vorus tells Magrik to keep Tyrum from finding out about the Sky Striker, and to kill the two humans immediately. Harry and Sarah have managed to free themselves, however, and get away before the execution team arrives. They are pursued by more Guardians, who fire at them. Harry and Sarah are cornered and about to be shot when Militia troops appear, forcing the Guardians to stand down.
The Doctor has repaired the transmat, but is unable to lock on to Harry and Sarah as they have left the receptor circle. At that point, Lester detects an incoming ship, but it does not respond to their signals. As the Cybership docks, the Doctor recognises it for what it is, but is unable to lock the hatch. The Cybermen come through, impervious to gunfire, and shoot all three men down.
 Part Three
The Cyber Leader tells Kellman that the three men are not dead, merely neutralised, as they are necessary to their plan. Kellman set the transmat receptors mere yards from a shaft that leads into the core of Voga. As the environment is hostile to Cybermen, the three men will carry explosives down to Voga and destroy the asteroid. Kellman insists on going down to Voga first to check that the transmat is functioning properly and the Cyber Leader beams him down. There, he runs into some Militia. Not realising the distinction between them and the Guardians, he demands to see Vorus and is taken away while trying to warn them that they are all in danger. Meanwhile, Harry and Sarah are brought before Tyrum and tell their story. When Harry mentions the cybermats, Tyrum asks Harry and Sarah to accompany him to confront Vorus.
The Doctor wonders what Kellman's reward is, if it is not Voga's gold. He taunts the Cyber Leader, saying that the Cybermen were finished once humans discovered their weakness to gold and ended the Cyber-Wars. Cyber Leader tells the Doctor that is the reason why Voga must be destroyed before the Cybermen begin their campaign again. The Cyber Leader says that Kellman was promised the rule of the solar system after the Cybermen had conquered it.
With Cyberbombs strapped to their backs, the Doctor, Lester and Stevenson are briefed. They are to plant the bombs in the core of the planet, after which they have 14 minutes to return and escape via transmat. If they try to remove their harnesses before they reach the target zone, a secondary explosion will kill them. Their progress will be followed by radar. The three beam down, accompanied by two Cybermen. Militia arrive and start to fire on the Cybermen, who make short work of the Vogans. None of the three men believe that the Cyber Leader will keep his word about letting them escape, but they have to keep moving towards the target zone as they are being monitored. On Nerva, the Cyber Leader declares that Kellman is of no further use to them.
Tyrum questions Kellman, who tells him that he and Vorus were working to lure the Cybermen to the beacon, which Vorus has targeted with a rocket. At that moment, a Militia man arrives to tell Tyrum about the arrival of the Cybermen, and how their weapons are useless. Kellman urges them to use the rocket. Tyrum orders his men to use every weapon they can while he speaks to Vorus. Harry tells Sarah to get back to Nerva and warn the Doctor while he tries to stop the rocket from being fired.
When Tyrum tells Vorus about the Cybermen on Voga, he shows Tyrum the Sky Striker, which he has been working on for two years. However, with the Cybermen already on Voga, they have no time to get it ready. Vorus claims his plans were to just free his people from the fear of the Cybermen and bring them back into the light. Tyrum scoffs, seeing as Vorus has allied himself with Kellman, a double agent and murderer, motivated only by the promise of gold. Harry suggests finding another way into the core to stop the bombs.
The Cybermen continue their slaughter of the Vogans as the bomb timer ticks down even further. Sarah transmats back to Nerva, where she overhears the Cybermen monitoring the three men's progress. However, the deeper the three men go, the heavier the concentration of gold interferes with the radar. The men continue onward, however to the centre of the asteroid.
Harry and Kellman, meanwhile, are crawling down a cross shaft towards the same location. With the exit blocked, Harry pushes against the rocks, causing a rock slide. Kellman pushes Harry out of the way, but is crushed to death by a boulder, while on the other side, rocks rain down on the Doctor. Harry exits the shaft and finds the Doctor unconscious. Not realising the danger, Harry tries to unbuckle the Doctor's harness.
 Part Four
Fortunately, Harry is stopped by Lester. The Doctor awakens and conceives a plan. Stevenson will continue on and create a radar trail, while the rest use the cross shaft to surprise and attack the Cybermen with gold. The Doctor and Harry jump the two Cybermen, trying to push gold dust into their chest plates. However, the Cybermen are too strong, and Harry and the Doctor are forced to retreat. Lester leaps onto the Cybermen and undoes his harness, the explosion killing both himself and the Cybermen.
With the loss of contact, the Cyber Leader orders immediate detonation. Sarah tries to stop them but is thrown to the floor. However, when the button is pressed, no explosion follows. The Doctor has managed to disarm the countdown device, which allows him to release his harness safely. With Sarah tied up, the Cyber Leader now plans to send Nerva, loaded with more Cyberbombs, into Voga's centre to destroy it.
Magrik tells Vorus that the Sky Striker is now ready, but before he can launch it, the Doctor asks them to give him 15 minutes to transmat to Nerva and deal with the Cybermen himself, armed with a bag of gold dust. If he does not contact them by that time, then they can launch the rocket.
The Doctor reaches Nerva and frees Sarah while the Cybermen are loading the bombs. He takes the Cybermat and its control box, filling the Cybermat with gold dust. The Doctor sends the Cybermat to attack a Cyberman, injecting him with the dust and killing him. As Nerva begins to move towards Voga, Vorus sees this and attempts to fire the rocket. Tyrum shoots Vorus, but as the Guardian dies, he triggers the launch.
The Doctor and Sarah's attack on the remaining Cybermen fails; The Doctor is forced by the Cyberleader to tie himself and Sarah up and they are left to perish in the crash. However, the Sky Striker is approaching just as fast. The Doctor manages to untie them both with a trick learned from Harry Houdini, and contacts Voga, instructing them to steer the rocket towards the Cybership that is just leaving. The Sky Striker veers away from Nerva and destroys the Cybership instead. However, the beacon is still on a collision course. The Doctor manages to unlock the gyro controls, skimming Nerva just above Voga's surface until they reach the other side of the asteroid and open space.
The TARDIS materialises in the control room just as Harry arrives via transmat. The Doctor tells his companions to hurry up; he's received a message from Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart through the space-time telegraph the Doctor left him, which means it, is a grave emergency. Although Harry asks if they should say good-bye to the Commander, Sarah tells him not to argue. The three rush into the TARDIS and it dematerialises.
edit Story notes
to be added
 Filming locations
 Production errors
edit Home video and audio releases
 DVD releases
 VHS and Betamax releases
Revenge of the Cybemen will be released on DVD in the UK on 9th August 2010, along with Silver Nemesis. Released on VHS and Betamax as Doctor Who: Revenge of the Cybermen. This story was the first Doctor Who story to be released to the home video market.
Tue, 6 July 2010
Thu, 1 July 2010
The Doctor and Amy Pond travel to the oldest planet in the universe where a legendary message turns out to be another "calling card" of River Song. Following the coordinates from the message, they arrive at Roman Britain in 102 AD and find River posing as Cleopatra. River explains that she has received warning of the destruction of the TARDIS from a painting by Vincent van Gogh ("Vincent and the Doctor") that in 1941 reached Winston Churchill and Professor Bracewell ("Victory of the Daleks"). Churchill had attempted to warn the Doctor himself, but the TARDIS instead connected his call to River; she subsequently escaped from prison and encountered Liz 10 ("The Beast Below"), who had Van Gogh's painting in her collection, and then used a vortex manipulator to transport herself to the oldest planet then to the coordinates in the painting. The Doctor realises the painting and destruction of the TARDIS may be connected to the "Pandorica", a fabled prison for the universe's deadliest being, and rationalises that it must be stored in a memorable location, the site of Stonehenge.
At Stonehenge, the Doctor, Amy, and River find a passage to an underground area, which the Doctor terms "the Underhenge". Inside, they find the Pandorica, a room-sized metal box outfitted with every type of lock imaginable. The Doctor and River become concerned when they discover that the Pandorica is opening from inside and transmitting a message across time and space, drawing many of the Doctor's foes to Earth. River warns that "everything that ever hated [the Doctor] is coming tonight". The Doctor refuses to flee and instead asks River to seek help from the nearby Roman legion while he remains with the Pandorica. She finds the legion's commander reluctant, though one mysterious centurion and fifty others do volunteer.
Back underground, while Amy questions the Doctor about the engagement ring she has found, the pair are attacked by the debris of a Cyberman's suit trying to find a new host. The Doctor is stunned and Amy sedated with a flechette. She runs away and is rescued by the mysterious centurion, who turns out to be Rory Williams. The revived Doctor is baffled to find Rory alive, since he is supposed to have been erased from history by a crack in the universe ("Cold Blood"). Rory is even more confused and says he simply remembers dying one second and being a Roman soldier the next.
As more enemies gather in orbit, the Doctor temporarily delays the aliens and instructs River to bring the TARDIS to Stonehenge. Although shown to be an expert TARDIS pilot ("The Time of Angels"), River now finds the machine impossible to control and gets locked on course for Amy's house on 26 June 2010 - the very date of the time energy explosion that caused the cracks in the universe ("Flesh and Stone"). Whilst she ventures outside, the scanner screen suddenly cracks into the same shape as the other cracks in the universe, while an ominous voice declares "silence will fall". River finds large burn-marks on the lawn, and then begins to explore Amy's bedroom, still full of representations of the Doctor and the TARDIS. She also finds elements such as Pandora's box and the Roman soldiers within Amy's drawings and books. She relays this to the Doctor, who starts to worry they might all be imaginary constructs taken from Amy's mind to entrap him, and believing their own cover story until they are activated.
Rory meanwhile has an emotional conversation with Amy as he tries to connect with her using the engagement ring that he had left aboard the TARDIS, but she is still unable to remember him. The TARDIS begins to malfunction dangerously. Upon discovery of the date to which River has been taken, the Doctor orders her to get out of that timezone, but the TARDIS is now controlled remotely. He urges her to get out, as the TARDIS engines are supposed to shut down automatically when no one is on board, but she finds herself locked in.
Suddenly, Rory and the 'legionaries' with the Doctor are activated: they are Autons. The Rory Auton remains with Amy, struggling to retain his human consciousness and stop himself from killing her. Shortly after she remembers who he is, he loses control and shoots her. Meanwhile, the other Autons capture the Doctor and take him to the now-open Pandorica, which proves to be empty. Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans, and other enemies arrive and reveal that they have formed an alliance and built the Pandorica as a prison for the Doctor, as they believe he is about to destroy the universe. The Doctor pleads that they have made a mistake and the TARDIS, not him, is about to destroy the universe but the aliens refuse to believe that anyone else can pilot the TARDIS.
River frantically manages to hot-wire the TARDIS door, but finds her way blocked by a stone surface. She declares, "I'm sorry, my love," as the TARDIS goes critical and explodes. Rory is still cradling the lifeless Amy. The Pandorica closes on the Doctor, and a dramatic reveal shows explosions surrounding the Earth, which slowly fades to black as silence falls.
Following from the cliffhanger of the previous episode, the Doctor is sealed in the Pandorica, a prison designed for him by his greatest foes and baited by elements of Amy's childhood imagination, while River Song is trapped in the TARDIS as it explodes, triggering the end of the universe. As the episode begins, the Earth, Moon, and what appears to be the Sun are all that remain in a starless black void. In 102 AD, the Auton replica of Rory, having shot Amy, is still holding her lifeless body when a future version of the Doctor, using a Vortex Manipulator, briefly appears and gives Rory his sonic screwdriver, with instructions to open the Pandorica. Rory releases the imprisoned Doctor, who places Amy inside the Pandorica where she will be revived and held in stasis. Rory, ageless due to his Auton nature, stays with the Pandorica, guarding it through nearly two millennia and creating a mythology around the box that survives to the present day.
The Doctor jumps forward in time to 1996, and provides hints to the young Amelia Pond—who has dreams of a star-filled sky—that lead her to the British Museum, where the Pandorica is on display. Amelia's touch opens the Pandorica, releasing her older self. Rory, now a security guard at the museum, arrives just in time to save the Doctor, Amy and Amelia from a fossilized Dalek. After an emotional reunion, the Doctor uses the Vortex Manipulator to pass his screwdriver to Rory in the past and rescue River from the TARDIS. The group flees through the museum, purused by the Dalek, which the Doctor surmises has been re-activated by the light of the Pandorica. They meet a mortally wounded version of the Doctor from twelve minutes in the future, who whispers something to his past self and dies. The Doctor explains that a fragment of the original, star-filled universe is inside the Pandorica, and if they can transfer it to every point of the collapsing universe simultaneously, they may be able to "reboot" reality. He is then shot by the Dalek, and jumps twelve minutes into the past. Rory and Amy escape, while River confronts the Dalek- which uncharacteristically begs for mercy when told her name.
After jumping back twelve minutes, the Doctor did not die, but instead directed his earlier self to create a diversion, giving the wounded Doctor the opportunity to program the Pandorica to fly into the Sun-like source of light: the TARDIS, exploding simultaneously at every point in space and time. When his companions return, the Doctor explains that once the universe is rebooted, Amy—having lived near the cracks in the universe all her life—will be able to use her memories to restore people who have been erased, and that he himself will be trapped in the void between universes once the cracks close. The Doctor then pilots the Pandorica into the TARDIS explosion, creating a second Big Bang and returning the universe to normal.
The Doctor then finds himself rewinding through his life as an observer. Amy can hear but not see him, and as he passes through the events of "Flesh and Stone", he takes advantage of her closed eyes to tell her to remember what he told her when she was seven years old. Arriving on the day he met Amelia Pond ("The Eleventh Hour"), he finds the young girl asleep outside, waiting for her "raggedy Doctor" to return. The Doctor carries her to bed, and tells her a story about a daft old man who stole—"well, borrowed"—a magic box that was "big and little at the same time. Brand new and ancient. And the bluest blue ever." He then steps into the crack in Amelia's bedroom wall, sealing it completely.
Amy wakes up on 26 June 2010, the day of her wedding, to find she has remembered her mother, father and the human Rory back into existence. During the wedding reception, however, she feels as if she is forgetting something. When she sees River Song's diary, its cover fashioned after the TARDIS, she tearfully recalls the Doctor's story of "something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue", causing the Doctor and the TARDIS to be restored. The Doctor joins in the wedding celebration.
After the wedding, the Doctor gives River the Vortex Manipulator to return to her time. River sadly warns him he will soon learn who she truly is, and that it will change everything. Aboard the TARDIS, the Doctor explains to Amy and Rory that unanswered questions remain about the destruction of the TARDIS and the nature of "the Silence" that will fall, but before they can contemplate that, the Doctor receives a telephone call alerting him to the presence of an escaped Egyptian goddess on the Orient Express in space. Rory and Amy decide to join him, and the three leave on their next adventure.
The episode revisits several scenes from earlier in the series. The first scene in the episode mirrors the start of "The Eleventh Hour", except this time the Doctor does not crash into Amelia's garden, instead appearing later to direct her to the museum. Upon the TARDIS's restoration Rory tells Amy's parents that "I was plastic" and that the Doctor was "the stripper at my stag do", the latter event having been seen in "The Vampires of Venice".
As the Doctor rewinds through his life, he sees events which relate to "The Lodger", but which were not shown in that episode. His conversation with Amy during the events of "Flesh and Stone" appeared in that episode, though it was not clear that this was a Doctor from a different timeline. Finally, he arrives in seven-year-old Amelia's house the night she waited for him in "The Eleventh Hour".
Early in the episode, Amy's aunt states that she does not trust Richard Dawkins (who appeared as himself in "The Stolen Earth") due to his support for the existence of stars. When the sonic screwdriver given to Rory and that in the pocket of the Doctor in the Pandorica touch they cause sparks, in a revived-series reference to the Blinovitch Limitation Effect.