I would rather be exterminated than deleted. This is why I love the Daleks. In a sense, they are the more humane monsters because they are more merciful to their victims. Cybermen prolong the suffering of their victims, and appropriate their brains and consciousnesses for their own purposes. As a stubborn and artistic person, I would rather die than give up my free will in such a horrific manner. It would be terrible to be simply a brain — although bodies are simply the vessels of our souls, we still take care of them because to a certain extent, they represent us: our race, nationality, personal style, and the like.

No wonder the cybermen go mad and self-implode when they, as the Doctor said, ‘realize themselves’ inside their metallic hulls. If the Daleks have a more traditional conquering-monster/Godzilla-esque effect, then the Cybermen are more reminiscent of movies like SAW and the Human Centipede, where sinister experiments occur.

I think the episode was great in its treatment of the cybermen and showing everyone else’s reaction to it. However, I think they could have notched up the horror, by showing more of individual reactions to self-realization rather than just showing a mass of cybermen exploding. A first-person shot from within the cyber shell would have been fantastic. The only time the characters got to directly interact with a un-suppressed cyberman involved a very calm one. I suppose really dragging the viewers into someone’s suffering and sadness would have been too much for child viewers, however. Also, the viewers could probably relate anyway to what the un-suppressed cybermen were feeling.

The ending was a bit anti-climactic, especially after the fire-branded escape from the factory. One thing that bothered me is that Rose did not seem so sad at the death of parallel Jackie. It is probably because she still had her own mother at home, so she did not see parallel Jackie as her real mother. In fact, she kind of used the death of parallel Jackie to try to convince Peter to go back with her to her own universe. Although Rose did not view parallel Jackie as her real mother, she viewed Peter as potentially her real father. This speaks about the yearning she had to have a father figure in her life. I think Freud would have had a lot to say at that scene!

I think it was not too difficult for Rose to accept parallel Peter, because in this universe, he was richer and more faithful to Jackie. However, Peter rejected her, which should have been a sign for Rose to give up on living in the shadow of her father’s death and to move on.

Rose was also ‘rejected’ by Mickey, who decided to stay. I think Mickey was able to successfully appropriate the role and responsibilities of Rickey for himself. Sure, it helped that they looked quite alike, but at the same time, he also ‘manned up’. It was a brave decision to stay behind and leave all he knew in his own universe.

The two-part episode tied up a lot of loose ends and also had a cool way of introducing the cybermen. I’d give it 8 stars out of 10.

 

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