RISE OF THE CYBERMEN
Chase - Posted on 11 September 2009
You know if you asked me what I would have given this story a year ago or even two weeks ago, it would have been 10/10 or 5/5 but now it's just a kinda 3/5 or a 7/10 or even a 6/10. I'm not sure why but now it seems more forced. Perhaps at the time I was excited because to be honest, I thought and still think the Cybermen look best here and like these CM best. They just look like something that someone has done to themselves...they look like what they should be. While TENTH PLANET CM are creepy at best and very alien and strange and somewhat gay...and the rest are ...well the second favorite would be the INVASION/REVENGE OF THE CYBERMEN Cybermen and I also like them in WHEEL IN SPACE and TOMB OF THE CM. I think the EARTHSHOCK CM are okay...just. The whole jaw thing...I understand it's supposed to be a human jaw but honestly...if you were giving yourself a makeover body for replacing it with parts, would you give yourself that open jaw thing? That fake looking glass plate that was used froM EARTHSHOCK to SILVER NEMESIS? It cannot be sanitary for one thing and for another, it looks so fake as if it is just a man in a monster suit. These new CM are scary and the CM haven't been this scary since the MOONBASE scenes in the sickbay or the scenes in the underground in INVASION.
But other stuff seems stiff. Rose leaving and Mickey going another way is somewhat fake. Mickey is always up Rose's butt and now he's going another way to find his grandma. Wouldn't these two have teamed up to try to help each other rather than being selfish? Rose I can understand, she's been a selfish unlistening biatch from day one. But Mickey? In some ways Mickey wants the love the Doctor gives Rose for him and that I found interesting but again, nothing gay is ever going to be developed in this series and in a deleted scene Mickey tells Jake that he's not just like Rickey when Jake reveals that he and Rickey were boyfriends. So again we have...and certainly at times, Mickey does seem gay here, sticking iwth the Doctor, wanting the Doctor to chase him instead of Rose (and THIS Doctor is decidely somewhat anti gay IMO, probably thanks to Tennant's interpretation or maybe I"m just reading too much into that and that non kiss for Jack later on).
Did they really have to make Mickey responsible for his grandmother's death? That makes things...really sour for him and for me liking him somewhat. In all, the whole Doctor chases Rose instead of Mickey ("...unless I find something better") very human. But it also makes life seem as if we have to hunt down something. And thanks to Rose, she and the Doc are put in danger.
Mickey's abduction scene seems forced. GLAD to see Mickey shirtless btw. Very glad. He looks great. And glad to see Noel in a double role and he does a great job of making me believe there are two different people actually playing this (I felt the same about about Stephen Pacey in a THIRD season BLAKES'S 7 ep where he plays a twin brother or something). Alot of the dialog feels forced and alot of the stuff seems...not as grand as it once did.
I really did'nt believe in the Pete Tyler here although later it's shown that he's both brave, later trying to go back into the estate to save his estranged wife (and the Doctor either lies that everyone in the house is dead--a lie which saves Peter from going back in---OR the Doctor is just stupid thinking they are all already dead OR the Doc thinks ahead...they're going to be dead soon anyway or whatever. It saves Pete's life but we're not sure what the Doc is thinking...is he dumb, or manipulative in order to save Pete from returning inside?); and smarter as he's shown to be spy against Lumic.
Lumic: far too over the top in many scenes. The kidnapping scenes of the men are boring to be honest except for the very hot Jake being at the forefront. The President of the UK facing Lumic is also boring but a needed sequence. Not sure why the CM would just kill him and not just force him to be converted. Ditto why they were going to kill the Doc in the cliffhanger and his company. Nice cliffhanger but did it make sense?
The CM take a long time to come into this but when they do...marching at night in dozens of groups, taking over the estate, it's all very atmospheric and well filmed and directed.
Rose is back to being a jealous wench ("Maybe Lucy's just a bit thick") again. The Doctor is either stupid and doesn't see how he's effecting Rose or he's just making her jealous on purpose. What a thingy. I also didn't quite get the radio stoppage scene. Who would allow themselves to be stopped like that (did the people know what was what it looked like?) to get texts? And the joke sequence with all laughing at once. What was that supposed to show? A warning about getting media head delievered? Did this have anything to do with the story at all? Was that how the CM controlled people? But the people wore those of their own free will?
As a CM origin story it almost works but not quite. As a CM story it does work but the slow building up is just...kinda flat and silly in dialog and direction. The effects of the zepplins is good though. As a SLIDERS story it also pretty much fails as SLIDERS did it better. It was nice to see a different Jackie and Pete but at this point I didn't really like either of the alternate Jackie and Pete...and didn't get to know the alt Jackie at all before she's turned or captured and then turned...something that was shocking in and of itself.
All of this doesn't add up to a terrible episode. But it doesn't add up to a terribly good one either. It's just okay and again, if you asked me before this rewatch, I would rate it very highly. I supposed the pay off is in part two with all the action and the rescue scenes all of which I still just love! But this is a poor part one, it could have been so much better with a little tweaking. Oh and why did the rebels take Mickey, a supposed spy with them? All in all, maybe there were scenes cut that explained some of this, from either the script or the finished bits that were filmed but all in all, it just doesn't gell as much as it should have.