Ascension of the Cybermen
23 February 2020
Julie Graham (Ravio), Orla O’Rourke (Meg), Rhiannon Clements (Bescot), Patrick O’Kane (Ashad), Steve Toussaint (Feekat), Alex Austin (Yedlarmi), Caolan Byrne (Sergeant), Patrick Branwell (Donaghey), Matt Carver (Ethan), Ian McElhinney (Ko Sharmus), Sacha Dhawan (The Master), Nicholas Briggs (voice of the Cybermen), Evan McCabe (Brendan), Jack Osborn (Fuskle), Matthew Rohman, Simon Carew, Jon Davey, Richard Highgate, Richard Price, Mickey Lewis, Matthew Doman, Paul Bailey (Cybermen)
|Written by||Chris Chibnall|
|Directed by||Jamie Magnus Stone|
|Produced by||Nikki Wilson, Adam Friedlander & Alex Mercer|
The aftermath of the Great CyberWar. The Doctor arrives in the far future, intent on protecting the last of the human race from the deadly Cybermen. But in the face of such a relentless enemy, has she put her best friends at risk? What terrors lie hiding in the depths of space, and what is Ko Sharmus?
In “Ireland”, a man finds a baby in a basket abandoned in the middle of the road. He brings it home to his wife. They call the Garda, but the baby is not claimed. They adopt him and name him Brendan.
Brendan grows up and joins the Garda. While chasing a thief, he is shot and falls off a cliff hundreds of feet high. He wakes up and is apparently unharmed even though the bullet holes passed through the chest of his uniform.
Many years later, old Brendan retires, but as he is leaving the police station after his retirement ceremony, his father and the sergeant (who haven’t aged) appear and half-drag him back in. They strap him to a chair and attach some electronic equipment to his hands and head. When they turn it on, energy arcs around it and Brendan screams as his memory is wiped.
The Doctor brings Ryan, Graham, and Yasmin to a planet where she says the last few remaining humans are hiding, the rest having been wiped out by the Cybermen. The refugees have little useful weaponry and one ship, which is still being repaired. They panic as two Cybermen ships fly over the ruined village.
The team bring several pieces of the Doctor’s equipment which are supposed to slow down the Cybermen. However, a swarm of flying Cyber-drone heads appears, destroys the equipment, and kills two of the refugees. The Cybermen disembark, revealing that they are led by Ashad.
The advancing Cybermen have cut them off from the TARDIS. The Doctor tells the refugees to go to their ship and take off as quickly as they can, and tells the Team to go with them as well while she holds off the Cybermen. Since the team are human, if caught they would be converted into Cybermen. However, two of the refugees and Ryan don’t make it, while Ravio launches the ship as it can’t withstand any more damage from the Cybermen. Feekat (the older man) is killed. Ethan is confronted by Ashad, but is rescued by The Doctor. Ryan, The Doctor, and Ethan steal one of the Cyber-shuttles and head for Ko Sharmus.
The remaining refugees Ravio, Yedlarmi, and Bescot, with Yaz and Graham, are also heading toward Ko Sharmus. Ravio explains that there is a phenomenon called “the Boundary” there which teleports the travellers to random locations in the universe. They can’t control where it goes, but at least they would be safe from the Cybermen. However, the ship’s ailing engine explodes. They end up on a giant structure that turns out to be a Cybermen troop carrier, containing thousands of dormant Cybermen.
The Cyber-shuttle reaches what they think is the planet of Ko Sharmus. However, Ko Sharmus turns out to be one lone human, who stayed behind in case any more refugees were seeking the Boundary.
Ashad and his crew find the troop carrier with the other refugees. They decide to steer the ship to Ko Sharmus as it is their only chance of escape before they are taken by Ashad and the now-awake thousands of Cybermen.
Ko Sharmus shows The Doctor, Ryan, and Ethan the Boundary, which appears as a rippling sheet of energy. It unexpectedly clears, and The Doctor sees the capital city of Gallifrey on the other side. The Master leaps through the Boundary and informs The Doctor that “everything is about to change forever”.
The Doctor has given Graham a neural inhibitor system, which ought to act against a Cyberman’s emotional inhibitor.
The Doctor has given Yaz a particle projector, which should project gold particles into the air, as an affront to the Cybermen.
The Doctor has given Ryan a rudimentary force field device, to shield the area when the Cybermen arrive.
Team TARDIS and the refugee group are attacked by Cyberdrones at their place of encampment.
The Doctor, Ryan and Ethan steal a Cyberfighter; another is taken by the Lone Cyberman.
A Cyberfighter is a class of Cyber-shuttle, which is itself a type of small Cybership. They run on warp drives.
Graham, Yaz and company escape on the humans’ Gravraft, which they later manage to land on a Cyber-Army war carrier ship.
The Doctor says that she used to hot-wire warp drives as a teenager on weekends, though she quickly points out that in her early life on Gallifrey, there were no teenagers, or weekends.
Food and beverages
The Doctor offers Ryan a humbug out of a paper bag. She says she’s added ginger.
This episode had a “cold opening”.
The episode had a smooth transition from the “cold opening” into the title sequence, with the scene going through the eye of a Cyber-helmet.
This is the second episode of the Thirteenth Doctor’s era to feature the “middle eight” section of the Doctor Who theme during the closing credits, following The Woman Who Fell to Earth.
According to the subtitles on iPlayer, the two 2005-2012 design Cybermen with Ashad are “Cyberguards”.
This is one of eleven television stories in which the TARDIS does not appear at all. The others are: Mission to the Unknown, Doctor Who and the Silurians, The Mind of Evil, The Dæmons, The Sea Devils, The Sontaran Experiment, Genesis of the Daleks, Midnight, The Lie of the Land and The Woman Who Fell to Earth.