Tuesday, March 26, 2013
The beginning of Part Two perks up with the first appearance in three years of the Cybermen, now shinier and, perhaps in a tribute to the Fifth Doctor's affinity with cricket, equipped with cricket gloves painted silver. (As an aside, I made a Cyberman costume as a teenager and felt justified in taping up my hockey gloves - that's ice hockey for you outside of North America - with aluminum foil based on what was done to create the new Cybermen costumes here.) A Nazi soldier opens fire on the Cybermen, which has no effect, after which the Cyberleader (played again by David Banks, who is always awesome) shouts what was possibly intended to be their new catchphrase "Eradicate them!". Great! Now this story is starting to pick up steam after a shaky start!
Ah, wait. A weak smoke effect emits out of a Cyberman's gun, and a somewhat limp and ineffective gun battle ensues. I remember watching The Making of Silver Nemesis, which heavily featured this scene, and director Chris Clough promised that the new Cyberguns would be a "flying photon pulse" akin to the new Dalek weaponry seen earlier in the season. Video effects wizard Dave Chapman is even seen on set to validate these claims! But no. A puff of smoke is now the new Cybergun effect. A puff of smoke.
But remember when the Nazis' guns failed to even dent the Cybermen's chest units? Well, they should have tried gold tipped arrows fired from a long distance, because that is precisely what wipes out at least two Cybermen in this battle when Lady Peinforte manages to destroy a Cyberman with a bow and arrow at 50 paces when she couldn't hit a dormant pigeon at 20 paces in the previous episode. As Harry Sullivan said in Revenge of the Cybermen, gold is a particularly soft metal. So why would anyone make arrowheads out of it??? It's just another of the staggering coincidences that propel this story along, like the enormous amount of trust the Nazis place in the fact that the Nemesis bow they're all protecting is probably still in its case so there isn't any reason to check it if it's there until the very end of the episode.
And then there are the skinheads, who serve precisely zero purpose whatsoever to the story, and are only slightly less superfluous than the Cyber-controlled Walkmen (yes, they're called the Walkmen, because these particular men walk, apparently), who appear and disappear with no regularity through the course of the story.
And the story gets even worse from here on in.
Posted by Steven at 10:52 AM