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Posts Tagged ‘Torchwood’

31 Monstrous Failures #10: Cyberwoman

October 10th, 2011 No comments

Today I’m in Cardiff, Wales, the former site of the Torchwood Hub. So, what better time to bring up the seamier side of the Doctor Who franchise?

Torchwood was conceived as a sort of Doctor Who After Dark, with a team of  specialists investigating alien activity on Earth while cussing and copulating. Yet it somehow managed to be far more immature in addressing matters of sexuality than its kid-friendly parent series.

For me, there’s no better example of Torchwood‘s sniggering salaciousness than the…

Cyberwoman!

Doctor Who‘s Cybermen are humanoid beings who have replaced most of their parts with plastic and metal. Ruthless and emotionless, they seek to increase their ranks by forcibly converting others into Cyber-creatures.

In their most recent incarnation, they look like this:

Never mind that it’s well-established that there is no cosmetic difference between formerly male and female Cybermen, and never mind that the modern-day variety are pretty much a disembodied brain in a metal shell.¬†When Ianto’s girlfriend Lisa became a half-converted Cyber-person she was costumed in techno fetish gear. With heels. And underwire support. Because Torchwood.

Crisis on Infinite Whos

June 22nd, 2008 No comments

The fourth series of the revitalized Doctor Who has been arguably the best yet. With the sole exception of one stinker (“The Doctor’s Daughter”), this has been a truly enjoyable run of stories. And while one expects brilliance from writer Steven Moffat’s annual entry (this time he brought us a sentient library and darkness that eats people alive), this year he was topped by show runner Russell T. Davies, who demonstrated why he just received a knighthood by knocking out back-to-back homers.

Spoilers!

First was “Midnight,” in which Doctor Who did The Twilight Zone by stranding the Doctor in a truly helpless situation: aboard a passenger bus on an alien world whose solar radiation is instantly lethal. With windows sealed for protection, the vacationers had no idea what was outside when the vehicle broke down and something began hammering on the outside, desperate to get in. It was a truly terrifying piece of psychological horror as the once-friendly passengers gradually turned into a frightened, murderous mob. The best thing was that it offered few explanations and no easy answers. We knew little more about the malicious alien presence by episode’s end than we did at the start. Prior to “Midnight,” the last time Doctor Who had me wanting to assume the traditional viewing position “behind the sofa” was sometime back in the mid-’70s.

More spoilers!

That was followed by this weekend’s entry, “Turn Left,” in which current companion Donna Noble (who is rapidly becoming a favorite of mine) tasted an alternate reality in which she literally chose a different path and never met the Doctor. In turn, the Doctor was killed, kicking off a horrible It’s a Wonderful Life-style chain of events in which the last two seasons of the show played out with disastrous consequences, including the destruction of London, the deaths of several of the Doctor’s friends, and ultimately (for reasons we don’t yet understand) the end of not only the entire universe but all parallel realities.

Massive, massive spoilers!

All of that leads us to next week’s episode, the first of a two-parter in which Russell T. Davies begins to hand off the reins of the show to a new executive producer, the aforementioned Steven Moffat. And it’s obvious that Davies plans a real blowout.

Two years ago, Davies pulled off what seemed the ultimate fanwank by bringing together armies of the Doctor’s two most implacable foes, the Daleks and the Cybermen, for their first-ever meeting, then making them fight. But that’s nothing compared to what’s in store this time.

Former companions Rose and Martha are coming back, along with the soldiers of U.N.I.T. and the casts of spin-off series Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. Even Harriet freakin’ Jones (M.P., Flydale North) is returning. Throw in the rhinoceros-like Judoon aliens (another favorite of mine), a staggering fleet of Dalek ships, and the first appearance of the Daleks’ creator Davros since 1988!

I don’t know how it’ll all wind up, but suffice to say that I. CANNOT. WAIT.

See for yourself!