Monday, July 27, 2009

VV5 - The Invasion 5

Doctor Who takes some tenuous steps into addressing the rising feminism attitudes of the late 1960s in this episode, with disastrous results. Isobel wants to sneak down into the sewers to take some pictures of the Cybermen for the Brigadier to use as proof when he tries to lobby for assistance at UNIT Headquarters in Geneva. But the Brigadier turns her down flat on account that she is "a young woman. This is a job for (his) men.". Isobel reacts to this as a chauvinistic attack upon her gender, and is backed up by Zoe after Jamie passes his own, equally misogynistic, judgement on the situation.

Thus, without telling anyone, the two girls, with a worried Jamie, tag along, sneak down into the sewers (illegally), where a kind, innocent policeman sees them. The policeman follows them down into the sewer, where he's murdered by a pair of marauding Cybermen. The episode ends with the three crazy kids (as the Brigadier calls them) in dire trouble, being advanced on by Cybermen from both sides.

Now, the Brigadier's comment to Isobel might have appeared sexist (and it possibly was), but really, his main intention in turning Isobel's idea down was to keep untrained amateurs like her and Zoe out of harm's way. The girls didn't listen, and now a policeman is dead, with more deaths to come, possibly, in the next episode. Nice one, Isobel.

As for the Cybermen, it quickly becomes apparent that these versions are much different than ones we've seen in previous stories, and I'm not talking about their appearance, either. These Invasion Cybermen seem to function almost as drones - hatched out of cocoons, obeying orders of humans, willingly accepting experimentation on them by Gregory, and so forth. They're not only playing second fiddle to the Cyber Director (Coordinator? I've heard both terms being used), but since the Cyber Director is already playing second fiddle to Tobias Vaughn, that knocks the Cybermen down the ranks in the orchestra that I'm not even sure what part they're playing anymore.


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