Continuing New Who’s penchant for irritating sentimentality, the Doctor, having ditched the Ponds last episode, paid a farewell visit to James Corden, whom he saw last season (I missed that episode). Corden, whose character is named Craig, realises the Doctor’s recognised some strange occurrences and nags his way into helping out (despite having to look after his very young son Alfie/Stormageddon).
It soon transpires that someone has spotted a silver rat with glowing red eyes. In a welcome nod to the… Troughton era, I think, it turns out to be a cybermat (think a computer mouse, but silvery, with a tail and equipped with snapping jaws). The cybermat has been gnawing on electrical cables, causing power cuts and feeding the energy to a group of cybermen (still New Who rather than the Mondas originals).
Oddly, the Doctor stumbles across a cyberman and merely gets knocked out rather than killed, but discovers that they’re a bit old and knackered and using spare parts. He finds out that a changing room leads to their ship, which landed centuries ago, is buried underground and was powerless until the council put a load of electrical cables right next to it. The cybermat reactivated and began feeding power to the ship. Only six cybermen have been created, but when Craig follows the Doctor they begin to convert him.
However (and it’s a strain not to break into four letter words) Craig hears his son crying, and magically resists the conversion. The cybermen, who are apparently all psychic, then suffer a ‘feedback loop’ from this emotion and their heads start exploding. Deus ex machina indeed. Only, this always bloody happens with the New Who cybermen. When they were first created the Doctor made some remember emotion and they killed themselves (I think), and when Dervla Kirwan got made into the cyberleader she ‘resisted’ and defeated them.
It’s not exactly a great villain anymore if the ending can be predicted the moment their identity’s known.
End rant [until they appear next time].
Anyway, the last five minutes was much more interesting. It showed River Song just after she received her doctorate. Evil Eye-patch Woman and two of the Silence creatures accosted her, and she was brainwashed and placed in an astronaut outfit.
It’s pretty unlikely the Doctor will properly die next episode, not least because the next two series have been confirmed. So, how will he escape it? The Flesh is the most obvious answer, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Anyway, the episode was average, I liked the cybermat, but the cybermen are becoming pretty bloody pointless. They’re a step away from being hugged to death, or slain with snuggles.