Saturday, June 13, 2009

DD2 - The Tenth Planet 2

The Cybermen are revealed in their full glory in this episode. They dazzle everyone with their ventriloquism techniques, wipe out a couple of guards with some of the largest and strangest weapons ever seen in Doctor Who, and then prove themselves to be quite the chatty Cathies by rattling off their entire culture's history and that of their home planet in three minutes flat. If only other Doctor Who monsters could be so accommodating.

There's something distinctly creepy about the Cybermen in their first appearance. I can't decide if it's their weird voices or blank faces that spook me more. The voices are certainly some of the more distinctive ones heard during the history of the series. It also helps, thought, that their debut sets a standard for Cybermen to be tall. It would have been much less imposing if they had been the same height as a Dalek. And the giant headlamps that add about 8 inches to their height doesn't hurt, either.

I was fascinated by a quick little scene that occurred early on in the episode, just before the Cybermen announce their presence in the Snowcap base. When they first enter the control room, they're covered up by the thick coats taken from the guards who tried to stop their ingress earlier. Only The Doctor catches a glimpse of the fact that they are not human. But instead of trying to raise the alarm to the whole room, he quietly and intensely tries to get the attention of, first, General Cutler, and then when Cutler brushes him off, Barclay. Why did he not simply shout out to the whole room to get back from the disguised Cybermen, thus forcing the giants out into the open sooner than they wanted to, perhaps giving the Earth soldiers a chance to strike first against them? It's almost as if The Doctor wanted to warn Cutler and Barclay so that they could react for themselves, as opposed to The Doctor taking the lead and having mankind follow him in one of their first meetings with an alien race. Is this a further instance of The Doctor manipulating events to not necessarily serve his own purposes, but to ensure that everything follows its proper course?

The Doctor knew that Mondas would return before it happened. Did he know how it would be dealt with, too? If so, what else about the future, including his own personal near future, can The Doctor predict?


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