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Home / WorldTech / Doctor Who Recap – Cybermen return in "Haunting of Villa Diodati"

Doctor Who Recap – Cybermen return in "Haunting of Villa Diodati"

The Doctor and Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin see a bad vision.
Image : BBC

The last episodes of ] Doctor Who had slowly started to solve a persistent problem with this latest replay of the show: Too many people on the TARDIS console, resulting in narrative setups that took too long to get going or leave some of our heroes behind to really get there. Before the season finale, however, the show managed to find a way to really let this large crew work .

The answer to this in "The Haunting of Villa Diodati" included some things – first a classic threat and one good, old-fashioned creepiness. But it also worked mostly because Ryan, Yaz, Graham, and the doctor weren't spread across different storylines and isolated networks of supporting characters, but instead a pressure cooker made of drama was created by bringing them all together in a small room: Lord Gordon's title George Byron (Jacob Collins-Levy) on the alleged night that one of Byron's guests, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (Lili Miller), wrote the short story that Frankenstein was one of the earliest science fiction works in western canon of literature .

Even though, paradoxically, this room was large and volatile enough to keep the TARDIS team largely separated after it was quickly discovered that something was not quite right when a 19th century mansion kept unfolding together as if an Escher painting were brought to life. But this simple act – forcibly cutting off the doctor from her friends, not just to spread them all out on their own adventures – made "Haunting" an episode of escalating discomfort and horror that went hand in hand with its Gothic sensitivity to haunted houses. It wasn't so much about the doctor and her friends individually coming to their own conclusions about what the week's mysterious threat was (in this case, "Why the hell is this mansion folding in?") Before they came to a climax , as is the case with both "Praxeus" and "Can you hear me?" was the case. Instead, they all had to work together to solve the problem, although the pressure of their separation threatened to destroy the entire team.

The crazy, evil and dangerous to know Lord Byron and some of his friends.
Image : BBC

A sustained feeling of fear permeates the entirety of The Episode, an overarching inevitability of horror that feels very appropriate when the true and familiar threat to the episode is ultimately revealed (More on that in a moment), but it's not just the horror of a creepy house at night that causes this fear in "Haunting." One of the more fascinating subplots in this season of Doctor Who was in good and bad ways as the master's shocking revelations about the destruction of Gallifrey did the thirteenth doctor on a dark path, in which she has increasingly grown in contradiction to her “family” of companions. It is the discomfort of this relationship that smoldered in "Haunting" as well as the creepy goings-on in Diodati.

From the moment they arrived at the Vill, Graham jokingly (but sparingly) warned the doctor to let you run through the storm to the property, to the parallels between Byron, Shelly, and her stepsister Claire (Nadia Parkes), who was behind the Exchange mask of pleasant, courtly dance with each other with their new guests. It is an episode that feels widespread with boiling tensions. Tensions that inevitably resolve when the Doctor, Ryan, Yaz and Graham are at fault, through no fault of their own, with the residents of Diodati about a building in which the hallways return to themselves and the walls do not look exactly as they do seem to be. Admittedly, they mostly dissolve at the end of the doctorate – because she's not only annoyed by the bad mood she feels in Diodati's false walls, but also by her friends' request to stay there and do what they were told ignore again and again and only get yourself It gets more and more lost in the changing landscape of the villa.

A ghost in the machine.
Image : BBC

This pressure cooker of frustration finally explodes violently when the catalyst of Diodati's curvy structure is revealed. The house folds up as a defense mechanism because a Cyberman – the last Cyberman, as announced by Captain Jack earlier in the season – is trying to search for a strategic supercomputer that hid in Villa Diodati to prevent a bad future on the Internet. It's a moment that scares the doctor away, not only because she suddenly has to face up to this prophecy that has put the entire future of humanity at risk when all she wanted was a fun time to see how Frankenstein was written. But because in one of the smartest recalls to Doctor Who this season – one that was almost alarmingly loaded with them – Cybermen is again digging out trauma before their regeneration: the death of Bill Potts and their own transformation into a Cyberman.

It's a deeply heartbreaking scene that Jodie Whittaker delivers brilliantly. The doctor's frustration with her friends' willingness to face upside down meets the sudden spark of sadness that comes from confronting a damaged, partially converted Cyberman. Her fear and sadness when she declares that she will never lose anyone to Cybermen is palpable, but there is also a darkness that recalls this incarnation of the doctor's new preference for superiority. It's not just that the doctor doesn't want her friends to die, she reminds them that the only way to do that is to do what they were told damn well once.

Yaz, Mary and Byron uncover Percey Shelley's crazy doodles.
Image : BBC

It is an anger that comes to the fore when inevitably does not happen when the doctor discovers the location of the Cyberium supercomputer The Cyberman wants – actually biologically embedded in a captive and apparently dying Percy Bysshe Shelley, who used his skills to apply perceptual filters and protective measures in the villa as a defense measure. Since the doctor has a nightmare scenario in which he lets Shelley die before his time while the Cyberium infection is slowly killing him, or gives the Cyberman what he wants, and brings Jack's sign to life, it is Ryan who Makes mistakes to question them. What is the life of a single romantic poet against possibly all of humanity? It is not even the "needs of the many" arguments that Ryan tries to make clumsy that trigger the doctor – even though she insults Shelley's place as a poet rather than him A great scientist or political leader who influences his work on the world and not diminishing the generations beyond him is a great addition to Doctor Who who campaigns for the power of stories.

It is that at a moment when she herself increasingly recognizes the inevitability of defeat – regardless of what will happen, she will not be able to save everyone – someone, one of her closest friends, would become her authority again question. And again like in "Orphan 55" the mask falls and the doctor makes it very clear : Team TARDIS may be a team, but the doctor is on this team and she can decide who lives and who dies because she is smarter, more powerful, and more experienced than anyone else around her. And even her closest friends have to be reminded of this alien anger from time to time. This is not the twelfth doctor who angrily declares and passionately explains why he fights in "The Doctor Falls" or even the eleventh doctor proudly brags against his enemies in "The Pandorica Opens". It is the specter of Time Lord Victorious of arrogance that lingers deep beneath the surface of every incarnation of the doctor, whether they like it or not.

<img src = "data: image / gif; base64, R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw ==" data-chomp-id = "t7cxo75fz5rbtnnr96bj" data-format = "png" data-height-transform = " UncroppedWideExtraLarge "data-width =" 800 "data-relative =" false "data-show-background =" true "data-alt =" The doctor keeps walking along her dark path.

<img src = "data: image / gif; base64, R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw == "data-chomp-id =" t7cxo75fz5rbtnnr96bj "data-format =" png "data-height =" 450 "data-default-transform =" UnCropped "data-width -relative = "false" data-show-background = "true" data-alt = "19659002] The doctor keeps walking on her dark path.
Image : BBC

It is the cathartic publication of what was a fascinating arch for the thirteenth doctor this season. They were really unsettled by the Master's claims, events that were only exacerbated by being confronted with a mysterious, unknown version of themselves that appears to be so different from anything else the doctor intended for stands. And yet she is here and becomes very similar to this doctor while making her choice – except Shelley – and engaging with the Cybermen in the future – regardless of what others dare to tell her. And at least the moment she scolds her friends, she doesn't care.

Really, it's the perfect set for this season's finale. The doctor has made her choice and now has to deal with the dire consequences. Not only because failure could mean the rise of cybermen and the end of humanity, but also because otherwise breaks in their relationship with those closest to them could be exposed: breaks that could tear them all apart once and for all.

That is, when the Cybermen don't reach everyone first. Bring it on, Doctor Who !

"The eternal universe of things / Flows through the mind and rolls its fast waves / Now dark – now glittering – now reflective – / Gives shine where secret sources come from / The source of human thought that takes its toll / of water – with a sound that is only half as unique. " Mount Blanc by Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Image : BBC

Various Considerations

  • The poem that Byron reads at the end of the episode is called . Darkness and no, despite the parallels in this last stanza, he doesn't write about a character like The Doctor. Instead, is he writing about the Apocalypse? As mentioned below, the summer of 1816 in Europe was marked by a series of climatic events which led to it being called the “year without a summer”, in which the outbreak of the – at the time unknown – outbreak was ashen the occurrence of Mount Tambora in Indonesia the year before triggered a volcanic winter. The Tambora outbreak caused severe food shortages and periods of extreme weather throughout Europe, such as the stormy night in which Byron and the Shelleys played the fateful game that led to Frankenstein . The period of unsettled climate activity also triggered cases of mass hysteria triggered by several alleged predictions that the sun would go out soon, and Byron writes about this in Darkness . Written after the end time date predicted by the Italian astrologer, July 18, Darkness imagines a terrible abandonment of the universe in which the remains of humanity will eventually attack each other when food runs out and the eponymous darkness in them penetrates until it reaches the entirety in the line "She was the universe". It is an interesting read – you can do this here – that gives the historical context and its climate-related perspective, especially in our modern times, but also, as Byron, as the romantics were used to, evokes both and undermines biblical images of the Apocalypse to represent a far darker ending – where no religious zeal, class, or individual piety could save humanity. Pleasant stuff and impressive here given the threat posed by the Cybermen.
  • So what should happen on the night on which Frankenstein was born? Well, it wasn't really a single night. The Shelleys – not actually the Shelleys at the time when they were not yet married – and Mary's stepsister Claire Claremont had visited Byron's estate in Geneva after escaping from Mary's parents' disapproval of their romance with Shelley , since he was married (they married in December 1816 after Shelley's then wife committed suicide). After Byron proposed a ghost story writing contest to distract his visitors from the gloomy weather, Mary spent a few days trying to think of an idea in the villa until talks between Shelley and Byron about the nature of death and occultism – especially of The idea to bring a body back to life triggered the first seeds of Frankenstein (sorry, there are no Cybermen to be found here). Shelley encouraged Mary to expand the idea of ​​a full-length novel in which Mary used her personal tragedies Frankenstein was written after the suicide of her half-sister and her The First Child Was died young. William, the baby Mary saw in this episode, would not survive until Frankenstein was first published anonymously in 1818.
  • Okay, well, let's stop talking about the historical context of English literature and talking about the Cybermen. Sigh . But also yay, because how good and creepy and just incredibly tragic was Ashad's design? It was not only the broke, battered nature of Last Cyberman that made him such a compelling figure, but also his emotionality . Not only was it reminiscent of the great Cybermen voices of the 80s, it also produced an interesting and convincing feature when I thought I would like to see Doctor Who in its finale: if part of what makes The Cybermen who are so creepy that they are us without what defines us as human beings – our ability to feel emotions – what a Cyberman can feel and almost who Hatred of it wallows Was it just Ashad himself, only partially converted? Are these new Cybermen just built without emotional inhibitors and angry with the process? Bring the next two weeks with us so we can find out!

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