Upon landing on an alternate version of the Earth, The Doctor, Rose and Mickey learn that Peter Tyler is apparently alive and well. Lurking in the shadows are creatures made to destroy - one of The Doctor's greatest fears have come true...the Cybermen are reborn.
The TARDIS falls through a gap in the time vortex which leads the crew to find themselves in a parallel version of London, England in the year 2006. It's a slightly more advanced era where Zeppelins fly overhead and the populace wear special ear pods where information can be downloaded via the Cybus corporation. A multi-million pound conglomerate owned by the crippled genius John Lumic. Lumic is involved in his own personal business project which involves an alternate version of Rose Tyler's father, Pete who has become a millionaire in this reality and who Rose is hell bent on meeting. Lumic wishes to convince the President of Great Britain that his new project which involves the human brain being transferred to a robotic body of pure steel would mean that people need never die. A fate that Lumic is facing as he is suffering from a critical illness. But a project that the President dismisses as unethical and immoral. All the while homeless people on the street's of London are being ... Written by
When Rusell T. Davies became head writer of the revived Doctor Who, he dictated that the stories be kept as simple as possible in order to avoid alienating new audiences. In particular, no space travel unless it involved humans settled on another planet. Rise of the Cybermen, which comes shortly after that continuity-embracing yarn that was School Reunion, dares to break that rule by taking our characters to a place never before explored, even in the original series.
Still "stuck" with Mickey, the Doctor and Rose witness the impossible - a TARDIS malfunction that causes them to end up in a parallel world. They're on Earth, all right, but it's a bit different: Rose was never born, her father Pete (Shaun Dingwall) is still alive, and Mickey's counterpart is called Ricky (a nice reference to Eccleston's name-calling in the first season). Most notably, though, there's been a significant evolution in the field of cybernetics, with one John Lumic (Roger Lloyd-Pack, last seen playing David Tennant's father in the fourth Harry Potter film) determined to use the new technology to create a new robotic body that will contain his brain once a terminal disease has disposed of him. Inevitably, the gang is drawn to Cybus Industries: Rose is eager to meet her long lost "father", while the Doctor suspects something evil is lurking in the shadows...
While the title pretty much gives away the plot (especially if you're an old school fan), this remains an entertaining and thrilling story that effortlessly blends old mythology and new story lines, using the classic "alt-world" gimmick (see Star Trek and Buffy) for great dramatic and comic effect. On the minus side, Mickey is more annoying than usual, and Lloyd-Pack is the show's most wooden villain so far. But hey, the cliffhanger is a surefire guarantee the conclusion will be worth watching.
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