Rise of the Cybermen / The Age of Steel
Talia Franks: Hello and welcome to the Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey podcast!
Lucia Kelly: I’m Lucia Kelly, expert at applied to analysis, and you can trust me on this.
Talia Franks: And I’m Talia Franks, media critic, fanfic enthusiast, and bad penny.
Lucia Kelly: And we’re here today to talk about Rise of the Cybermen and Age of Steel, the fifth and sixth episodes of Series Two of Doctor Who.
Talia Franks: Rise of the Cybermen and Age of Steel aired on October 27th, 2006 and November 3rd, 2006, respectively. They’re both written by Tom MacRae and directed by Graeme Harper.
Lucia Kelly: Reminder that time isn’t a straight line. It can twist it to any shape and as such, this is a fully spoiled podcast. We might bring things in from later in the show, the comics, the books, the audio dramas, or even the fan theories and articles.
Talia Franks: With that out of the way, it’s Jackie’s 39th birthday. So let’s get in the TARDIS!
Talia Franks: In Rise of the Cybermen, the TARDIS crash lands in London on a parallel world where Rose’s dad is still alive, people are disappearing off the streets, and one of the Doctor’s deadliest enemies is about to be reborn.
Lucia Kelly: And then in Age of Steel, the Cybermen take control of London as the population is enslaved and the Doctor and his friends become fugitives.
Talia Franks: These episodes are the ones where Rose fucks around and finds out.
Lucia Kelly: Oh, you mean the ones where Mickey finally gets a real personality only for us to have to say goodbye forever?
Talia Franks: Sounds like!
Lucia Kelly: Also! Very exciting! We have a guest with us today! Niq, would you like to introduce yourself?
Nicole Hill: Heyo! I’m Nicole aka Niq. I am a Doctor Who fan – I don’t even know what it is anymore – But yeah, we talk about Doctor Who a lot, and so this is going to be fun cause I just watched these episodes and, uh, I have thoughts.
Lucia Kelly: I bet you do. Can you tell us a little about your Doctor Who journey? Like where did it start? Where are you now?
Nicole Hill: Yeah! So, I started watching the show – I’m gonna say it’s 2012 or it’s 2013, I completely always forget – but like I watched the first I think it was six fully completed seasons? And so when I jumped in with the live show, the beginning of season seven or in that little gap?
Nicole Hill: I watched the whole seventh season because I remember being like, “Why are y’all like this?” (Talia and Niq laugh) So yeah, it was like a really quick thing, like I watched it and then I was like, watching it live, and then I was on Tumblr and just like looking for all of the Doctor Who fans.
Nicole Hill: That’s kind of what got – got Who on my radar. There was so much fan art and the gif sets and all that, and I was like, “Ooh, this looks like a fun show.” And it was so funny because all of those gif sets – like a lot of them were Martha, (Talia giggles) so when I first watched the show, I was like, “Who is the man?” first of all, and then “ho is this girl?” secondly, because they’re not none of the people I’ve seen. I didn’t know what the premise was. So like, when I watched the show, I just went in watching Netflix and watched it, like press play. And I’m like, I don’t know who these people are. But it says Doctor Who, so I think this is the right show, I just kinda jumped in.
Nicole Hill: But after I binged the whole show, I was like, okay, now it’s time to engage and see what people are saying about the show. I would look for Martha specifically, that’s who I, you know, fell in love with, only to find that like people liked her aesthetically, and they liked to make fan art, but when it came to the actual discussions about the character, it was a lot of negativity, and a lot of hatred, and a lot of uh, like very questionable conversations. So I was just like, okay, that’s a very weird kind of dichotomy because so much of what I saw was Martha, but then once you actually talk about like, how people feel about the character, it was negative? So that’s kind of the birth of Black TARDIS as a concept really, was just like finding fans who like the show, we love the show, we enjoy the show, but also wanted to be able to celebrate Martha, or like Mickey, at the time that was like, it.
Nicole Hill: So like it’s only two people that really I identify with in any kind of substantial way, and those are the characters that get the most hell in like fandom and like in the conversation. And yeah, pretty much ever since then, it’s like, Hey, I’m here to always stand for Martha and I always make sure I like you know, “Keep her name out cha mouth.” (Talia giggles)
Nicole Hill: But also just in general, wanting the show to be better about how it treats characters of color, but also having the fandom really think about, why y’all are so critical of those characters
Lucia Kelly: I think that speaks a lot to how fandom spaces operate in general.
Lucia Kelly: There’s a lot of lip service and surface level representation and like, “Look at what we’re doing!” But there’s no sort of examination or unpacking of the built-in underlying racism that is just woven throughout all of it, both in the actual show and within fandom spaces, like people are not willing to unpack their own internalized racism or racist views beyond that surface level and then get defensive when people put it out.
Lucia Kelly: So, having had that discussion, let’s get into Rise of The Cybermen and Age of Steel.
Talia Franks: Yeah, I gotta admit, I was not looking forward to this. My first note in my notes is “Sigh. I’m not looking forward to this. At least I have popcorn.”
Talia Franks: Nic, I don’t know if you know this about me, but I hate season two.
Nicole Hill: Yeah, I think I – I think I recall, I think I do recall us talking about it, which like, going back to season two, I’m like, “Oo-ooh, this is tricky.” (Niq and Talia laugh) Like my initial thought of it was positive, but when I revisit it now, I’m like, “Ooh, maybe I have to rethink my thoughts on this,” because it is not the same when you like, rewatch, especially the further removed you are from it, it doesn’t hold up as much.
Talia Franks: I do gotta say though that this episode had some unintentionally comedic moments that, maybe I’m bad for thinking of it as comedic, but the first moment when he entered, when he’s in the dark, and then he like, enters into the light, I couldn’t help but laugh, cause I’m like, “Why are you in the dark, my mans?” like, why were you just lurking? (Niq laughs)
Talia Franks: Cause like, you’re all in this conversation together. Like, why does it have to be in the dark, aside from the dramatic effect? Why were you working in the dark like that?
Lucia Kelly: I think that’s it, precisely, (Talia laughs) Lumic is a dramatic arse ho like that’s his whole thing.
Talia Franks: And then when the other guy was like, “But we had to get approval for this.” and Lumic’s like, “They will refuse me.” and then he’s like, “I’m sorry, sir. It’s my duty. I’ll have to inform them.” And he’s like, “How will you do that from beyond the grave?” And then the other guy’s like, “I don’t understand.” What do you not understand, my man? (Lucia laughs) You’re gonna be dead! Like, your life is gonna cease!
Nicole Hill: (crosstalk) It took him so long for him to realize … like …
Lucia Kelly: You know, Lumic had it planned, like “Kill head scientist on Tuesday.” That whole scene was contrived specifically so he could kill him in the most dramatic way possible. He had that monologue memorized.
Talia Franks: Oh yeah. But I also love – What’s his name? Crane? (Niq: Mhmm) The guy who’s like “I know you so well. So I know exactly what to do. It’s over for me, but I’m going to make sure it’s also over for you. You’re going down with me, bitch.”
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, and isn’t it just so telling that even though Lumic is pushing this whole thing, this whole “Cybermen of the future. Cybermen are what I want.” He didn’t want it for himself until the very, very last moment, because he knew exactly what he was doing. (Talia mhmms in agreement)
Lucia Kelly: I do love how the Cybermen are revealed. Like, all of the first episode they’re in the dark, they’re blurred out, there’s no focus on them. It’s always just outside of the camera. We don’t even have full body shots until basically the last three minutes of the first episode.
Lucia Kelly: And even then the very first in focus shot we see are the feet marching forward. Especially for such an iconic villain, to do it this way was just (Lucia makes a chef’s kiss noise) beautiful.
Nicole Hill: Yeah. I really liked that. For me, the first time I watched it, I had no context for any of the classic villains, and I had vaguely remembered the Cybermen, because I don’t think they had appeared yet, like in the story, at that point, if I’m not mistaken?
Lucia Kelly: We had one head of the Mondasian Cybermen, the traditional Cybermen, in the Van Staten museum, which Rose references in the second episode, but we had not seen them in person.
Nicole Hill: Yeah. The way that they were framed was really cool, cause something told me this is clearly a thing. Like I knew that it was something like, this is something that was important. (Niq laughs) I didn’t really have context the first time I saw it, cause I really went in blind the first time I watched. And it’s been a while since I really sat here and watched it like really paid attention to it, I was like, “Oh, they really did a good job with making that such an ominous, kind of creepy – like, wow, y’all really selling this!” They really sold it as something that real major. And I guess it is, because that was the first time they appeared in NuWho, but it was just like, even if you don’t know like you made them really feel threatening. That threatening aura was so real. I had never noticed it before, maybe cause I always watched as a binge, like it’s always been a part of a watch, and by themselves they work so much better, and now that’s probably the only way I’m going to watch it.
Talia Franks: Yeah. Like I said, I was not looking forward to watching these episodes, but I was thinking, in isolation, they feel so solid as episodes. They exceeded my expectations. I don’t usually like these episodes mostly because these episodes, they frustrate me. (Talia sighs) So mostly I’m frustrated by – I’m eternally frustrated by Mickey’s treatment. So that’s just like a standing issue.
Talia Franks: But I’m also frustrated – I’m distressed by Jackie in this episode because it upsets me that it feels like this universe’s Jackie was killed just to make room for Pete to get together with main universe Jackie.
Lucia Kelly: You can’t see it listeners but I’m nodding. You – you know by now I’ve got thoughts about Jackie.
Nicole Hill: I thought, watching these, I was really deeply bothered by Jackie in like, multiple small ways.
Nicole Hill: And then, that treatment of Mickey, which again was one of those things I’ve always been very critical of, this episode, like starts off with a a mistreatment of Mickey, like right off the bat. It’s like,
Talia Franks: One, of my very first notes is “why you gotta do Mickey like that?”
Lucia Kelly: He really oscillates between, like I was noticing particularly, it’s also fascinating watching this after everything about Noel Clarke came out. I watched this episode in a very different light. I can’t just see Mickey anymore. I see Noel Clarke.
Lucia Kelly: And, and it’s very interesting. He uses this very sort of high pitched intonation while playing Mickey. And you really see it as opposed to like Mickey, Mickey, us, the high pitch intonation, and Ricky has the like constant frown. And that’s how you tell the difference between the two. But I dunno something about the way the, this is definitely the episode where he’s given the most range to actually work.
Lucia Kelly: And we actually, give him a personality and give him, real story beats to work with. And it’s so unfortunate that it’s a very common story trope that you see all the time in order to up emotional engagement and our emotional connection to characters, we will give their moment just before they leave.
Lucia Kelly: So you will be at the height of your connection to someone, and then they either, die or they have to move, or there’s this big emotional scene. Like we will no longer be seeing him. Like, that’s why we have the, that’s why we have the moment with Mrs. Moore in the tunnels. That’s why we have the little moment between Mickey and Ricky in the alleyway just before he dies.
Lucia Kelly: It’s at its very base about manipulating the audience into caring when the character dies. And that’s this episode all over for Mickey and it’s just really unfortunate that it’s only when he’s leaving that the showrunners give a crap about it.
Talia Franks: Yeah. I was also noticing that this was the first time, that Rose actually like, you know, she says “I suppose we always just took Mickey” for granted and like.
Talia Franks: And like Mickey even says like, “you don’t care about me, you care about Rose. You can only chase after one of us.” And it’s like you said, it is interesting how we observe the differences between Mickey and Ricky. I have a head canon, that Jake and Ricky were in love.
Lucia Kelly: Oh no, that is actually there is a deleted scene.
Talia Franks: Oh there is a deleted scene?
Lucia Kelly: There is a deleted scene where Jake my beloved mid-2000s punk. Oh my God. The gelled hair, I’m just (Lucia makes chef’s kiss noise) perfect. Just beautiful.
Talia Franks: So it’s not, it’s not just my head canon, like this is actual text? Because it was, so it was so obvious.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. So In the van, that final scene in the van, there’s a deleted line where basically when Mickey’s like, “I know it’s hard with my face looking exactly like Ricky’s, but I’m a new man. I’m not replacing him and Jake’s line after that was, “Yeah. I’ll never have another boyfriend like him” and then Mickey responds. “Oh, well then yeah. I’m definitely not replacing him.” (Lucia laughs) And then they just move on as like buddies. But yeah, no, that is canon they just cut it because censorship. But no,
Talia Franks: Where is that? I’ve literally never seen that. And I do a lot of Doctor Who.
Lucia Kelly: It’s in the deleted scenes on the DVDs.
Talia Franks: How did I not, wait a minute? My DVDs don’t have deleted scenes.
Lucia Kelly: I have the box set.
Talia Franks: No, my box set doesn’t have deleted scenes. Your Australian box sets, are they just better?
Lucia Kelly: I think they might be. Yeah, (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: I’m outraged.
Lucia Kelly: I’ve got this box set and it’s got a bunch of different features on it (Talia: Ohhhh) We’ll have to have a watch party at some time.
Talia Franks: Oh yeah. No, I don’t have that box set I have a box set literally has all of nine and all of Ten but you have a box set that’s just season two.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. So in Australia the BBC and the ABC have, so our ABC Australian Broadcast Network.
Lucia Kelly: Oh, yeah, no, Australian Broadcast Company. They have a collaboration with the BBC, so we get a lot of BBC stuff and and as part of that, they like sell all of the Doctor who stuff at the ABC stores and they sell it by season, so,
Talia Franks: Wait, you have ABC stores?
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. So they’ll be selling like DVDs.
Talia Franks: Like physical, like brick and mortar stores?
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. It sells a bunch of basically it’s just like a video shop, but for ABC content specifically, and they’ll have like CDs and like the ABC broadcasting company. Wow. I can not say that. Normally the ABC Australian Broadcasting Company have like a bunch of different kinds of tiers. So they have a TV channel, they have a radio, they have just a whole bunch of stuff. So all of the content gets so like they have a classic, like classical music, radio channel, they have contemporary pop, they have a whole documentary thing. So the shops sell the DVDs, the CDs, the like toys and things for all of that kid content.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: Australia really is a whole different country.
Talia Franks: I think we’ve gotten off track.
Lucia Kelly: We have a bit. Yeah. But yeah, no. I’ll show you!
Talia Franks: Anyway, I’m glad to know that Ricky and Jake were a couple, although I’m really extra sad to know that they did kill the gays now.
Lucia Kelly: I know,
Talia Franks: that’s so tragic.
Lucia Kelly: But honestly one, one look at Jake, you know that boy it’s quick he’s so precious to me.
Talia Franks: He is so precious.
Lucia Kelly: And Mrs. Moore, what a goddess. I love Mrs. Moss so much. She’s so competent and cool. And just on top of everything.
Talia Franks: She didn’t, It makes me so mad that they didn’t acknowledge she was dead?
Lucia Kelly: And they kill her for literally no reason as well. Like it’s literally just like
Talia Franks: They kill her for no reason. And then they don’t acknowledge that she’s dead until at the end.
Lucia Kelly: We focus on the Doctor’s face as he’s you didn’t have to kill her. And then he’s I’m remembering you, Mrs. Moore. I’m sad. And then literally never again.
Talia Franks: And then literally doesn’t,
Lucia Kelly: it’s not even acknowledged that she died. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: it’s not even acknowledged that she died. Like he shows up and and the Doctor like makes us snarky remark about Pete and Rose not being able to rescue him. And neither of them mention that Mrs. Moore isn’t there.
Talia Franks: Then like Mickey notes “oh my goodness. Rose and the Doctor are still alive.” No mention that Mrs. Moore isn’t there. Jake doesn’t even mention that Mrs. Moore isn’t there. No one mentions anything about Mrs. Moore until right at the end, the Doctor’s like all seriously saying that her name was actually Angela Price.
Lucia Kelly: And it, and I think honestly it ties into, there is an issue sort of TV wide, but particularly in this kind of, family, evening, show kind of vibe of the erasure and mistreatment of like middle-aged women. Middle-aged women are not respected (Lucia laughs) at all. You’re either young, beautiful and sexy, or you’re a middle-aged woman and not respected, or you’re an old lady and you’re stereotyped.
Lucia Kelly: Like those are the three tiers of women allowed on family television. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: Yeah. And also like Mickey’s Nan is not like he doesn’t go back and tell her? Like he was supposed to go up for the cup of tea. And then he rides off to Paris with Jake instead of going back to reassure her that he’s not dead or kidnapped or anything, or to fix her stairs!
Lucia Kelly: We only see them riding off into the sunset. They might have a stopover at Ricky’s Nan’s place. They might be halfway across the channel and go, oh wait, got to go back. Hang on, got a loose end.
Lucia Kelly: I will say I’ll be interested. Both you and Niq, how did you, the representation of Ricky’s Nan as this kind of older fierce woman who like oscillates/ vacillates between being incredibly caring and generous and then like literally hitting him across the face. To me, it felt very stereotyped and very “oh, okay, we’re doing this,” but what was it for you?
Lucia Kelly: I’m very interested to hear what all of your thoughts on Mickey and Ricky and all of it.
Talia Franks: Niq, do you want to go first?
Nicole Hill: To the the question about Ricky’s Nan, I felt like it’s one of those things where the reason why stereotyping is what it is because there is truth to it.
Nicole Hill: And therefore, like it’s not necessarily a wrong representation, it’s just a stereotypical representation, which means it was like, this is a valid way, or there’s nothing necessarily wrong with it, but you could have not done it. But also I feel like I know that person in my life, like I just know the person that’s like super loving and super like volatile.
Nicole Hill: Like “Boy get yourself in here and stop running these streets!”
Nicole Hill: Like, that is actually a type of person that like we have in our, you know what I mean? Like like your friend’s nan or auntie or something. So it does feel realistic in that sense. Now, was it coming from that place from those writers? Who can say, but I definitely do feel like that wasn’t I don’t think it was necessarily like a harmful representation or like that it was no, I got, I didn’t really have an issue with it.
Nicole Hill: I think more I don’t know. I found Ricky specifically to be funnily subversive only because like he’s running around and he’s playing the role of like the hard, But he’s like, y’all most wanted, I’m the most wanted, and it’s like, for parking tickets. It’s like in a way, like it plays against what you’re assuming is oh, it’s a Black me. He probably out here robbing people, like it’s like you play against the most harmful thing. And he’s yeah, he was one of her parking tickets. Like it’s benign in a way.
Nicole Hill: Like it’s to me, I didn’t, again, I don’t think they’re coming from that place or thinking about it that way. But to me it was funny cause of if you leave it up to the imagination, when somebody at the most wanted for anything, like your immediate thought is oh, they must be out here wylin out, like they must be dangerous. And like, of course we know it was Mickey Like, we all like it’s Mickey, so it’s really not that deep. But like subconsciously, we were like, Mickey is not out here doing all that. I think it’s a funny kind of way. Like they currently under play a little bit the way he, yeah. He’s not actually that hard.
Nicole Hill: He’s not, he’s still Mickey, like he’s Mickey with a scowl, right? Like he’s the same character in a way. So I think I was surprised at how much, I didn’t find wrong with Mickey and Ricky in this? Like other than the obvious ways that they always play in Mickey’s face. Like they always making Mickey seem dumb as hell when he is always the one to do, like he’s hacking in and stuff.
Nicole Hill: I’m like, you can’t be dumb and hacking into Torchwood or, like even the Doctor when he was giving him the hint in the little, he’s if somebody, even somebody who like a, nobody could do this and I’m like, that’s also like a read, like you’re also clowning Mickey at the same time as saying he can giving him the like tools to, cut off transmission or whatever, but it’s you didn’t have to do all that extra stuff, (Nicole laughs) like, that’s what I don’t, I don’t like how adamant the show is. And I even in this episode of showing Mickey as like, acting like, he doesn’t know what the hell are he’s doing, or acting like he’s just dumb. That’s the thing I don’t. And that just carries over though. That’s not just this episode, but it’s in this episode as well.
Nicole Hill: And they just like, they doubled down because they had the characters from that universe also talking to Mickey like he’s dumb and I’m like, Ricky, just said like, “We are exactly alike. We are the same person.” So in a way it’s like you acknowledge that this person is the same person, but still treat them like a lesser version of that person, I don’t know.
Nicole Hill: It’s like, they seemed intent on making sure that we never see Mickey as a fully realized like heroic, smart per- like, you know what I mean? Like It feels like intentional in a way that I can’t put my finger on, but it’s it’s definitely like a choice. (Talia mhmms) Versus just being like, “oh, we’re not (Inaudible) Mickey like that.” It feels very much like we, our goal is to make Mickey look this way.
Nicole Hill: And it’s (Talia mhmms) it really, to me is highlighted in this episode, even though he does eventually, obviously, we like, we get to see him be heroic, but it still, I think at the expense of being consistently talked down to, in this episode, like just consistently called, like called dumb, talked down to, (Talia mhmms) and then like, “oh, he’s a hero.”
Nicole Hill: Despite all the things you said, to like undermine him or make him feel low, he still managed to do what needed to be done. And I just (Talia mhmms) find it so interesting. Because so many choices were made to get to that point, but it’s like at every point where Mickey could have been like praised or like, “you can do it.” It was like the exact opposite. (Nicole laughs)
Nicole Hill: So like the fact that y’all did not die or get left, it’s surprising. Cause if I was Mickey, and y’all were constantly calling me out, my name, I might have had to leave you in the blowing up building. You might’ve got left. I’d have took my little Zeppelin and I would’ve rolled out. They’ll figure it out. They got the Doctor up in here.
Nicole Hill: They got it.
Talia Franks: Exactly. And the whole thing is like they would have been so messed up without Mickey. Like the whole thing when Doctor was given everyone thinks to do, he just forgot about Mickey! Like he just keeps forgetting about Mickey. Like when he let Mickey like, press the thing for half an hour.
Talia Franks: And and then that was like implied to be what made them fall out of the crack of the universe. And also just the whole thing of like how Mickey was the one who insisted that they like go back for everyone with the Zeplin and like and, and, also like the whole fact that. Mickey’s nickname is Mickey the Idiot! And even built into the fiber of the episode, the fact that his alternate universe self is called Ricky, when that is what the Ninth Doctor kept saying, that was what his name was; like, that was a joke that the Ninth Doctor couldn’t remember his name and so called him Ricky instead of Mickey. And so then this episode wrote that his alternate universe self was called Ricky.
Talia Franks: Like it’s a meta joke at Mickey’s expense.
Nicole Hill: So that’s the thing, it’s at Mickey’s expense, the problem isn’t the joke itself, the problem is that like, so much of it is intended to diminish and to degrade him and I’m like, why does he have to be the butt of the joke at every turn? like for that whole, really the season. But like for this episode, considering how much, how pivotal he is to like the success of the episode, it has him also constantly being like clowned. It’s like, y’all have a problem.
Talia Franks: Every joke. It feels like punches down on him.
Nicole Hill: Right.
Talia Franks: And it’s just so unfortunate.
Lucia Kelly: The only shift in this episode or these two episodes is that while every joke at Mickey’s expense has been punching down him since the, since episode, one of the entire show, since Rose, (Nicole mhmms) every joke has been at his expense, these two episodes of the first that actually acknowledge how wrong that is, right? (Talia mhmms and Nicole says “Yep”) That hold Rose and the Doctor accountable for how they treat Mickey. Which is great that we’re finally getting that narrative, that the narrative is holding Rose and the Doctor accountable, but like on the last two episodes? Like where was this the whole way through of,
Nicole Hill: But yeah
Lucia Kelly: and also the fact that they are now being held accountable means that you knew it was wrong the whole time.
Nicole Hill: that’s my point. Yes.
Lucia Kelly: Right?
Nicole Hill: It only needs to be addressed because you realize, or you are aware of the fact that you’ve been doing it this whole time. And then you like we got to finally like call it what it is. And it’s but again, they did it at the, kinda like what they did with Ms. Moore is, like we going to throw this at the end of the episode, “damn, we really shouldn’t have did Mickey like that.”
Nicole Hill: Like that was kind of how I read it like, “dang cold world. We shouldn’t have did that.” And then he’s gone.
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Nicole Hill: So it doesn’t really, you don’t have to necessarily deal with even like the acknowledgement. There was no changed behavior because he’s gone now. You don’t have to deal with this new realization. Like you don’t have to ask for treatment to get better cause he’s not there. And that’s what I think struck me the most about it. Like we joke on him, be clown on him. We finally acknowledged like, oh, that was not a good thing to do. But then there was no actual
Talia Franks: With no pay-off.
Nicole Hill: time being spent like reevaluate- yeah. Cause it was like, okay, now he’s in a other universe. We don’t actually have to deal with the repercussions of or like even changing our behavior, change the way we the way we deal with him because he’s not here.
Nicole Hill: So it was like, they don’t really, like they say it, but there is no action taken based on them, acknowledging that mistreatment.
Talia Franks: Yeah and it’s—
Lucia Kelly: And the fact that they tease the fact that the Doctor has like that the Doctor and Mickey now have this mutual respect. And like you can see the sort of budding of this new aspect of their relationship. (Nicole mhmms)
Lucia Kelly: And we never get to see that (Talia: Yeah) we only have these wry smiles and like intent looks.
Talia Franks: The thing that makes me the most upset is how they tease the depth of Rose and Mickey’s relationship too. There’s the moment where, Rose and the Doctor are talking and the Doctor’s like, “I never knew.”
Talia Franks: And Rose’s like, “you never asked” and like Rose’s talking about the depth of the history that she and Mickey have and talking about Mickey’s story and one, I wish that Mickey had actually gotten to talk about his own story, but two, it shows that Rose actually does know and care about Mickey.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Nicole Hill: Because it’s also, it’s it’s telling the audience like, oh, Rose does care about me, but it’s also a situation where If I, and maybe this is just me, but like my friends, if they’re meeting each other and they’re like, I’m spending a lot of time with them, it would be a part of our like, bonding that I would tell them about each other.
Nicole Hill: It’s you never asked, you didn’t offer it at all either like (Talia mhmms) especially with okay, what her whole history were her dad and maybe it’s the whole like going to, Father’s Day. And that would be something that you would be like “he lost his gran” I don’t know. It just feels like something that if you ever talked about him (Talia mhmms) in any kind of real way, the Doctor would know about him just by, in conversation with you, because I know a lot of things about people that I don’t have a relationship with because they are a part of people I do have a relationship with’s life.
Nicole Hill: Like (Talia mhmms) I know things that I just like, oh yeah. Oh yeah, your aunt that worked at the Boopdidiboop. Why do I know that? I don’t know your aunt, but because I listened to you talk about your aunt or something that you’ve mentioned. I know it. It’s like, yeah, Rose cares but Rose doesn’t care enough to ever bring up Mickey, unless like the Doctor brings up Mickey or like Mickey, just like barges into the conversation as like, yeah. I know these things, but you know them, but you don’t really think about Mickey outside of Mickey being immediately present. And I feel like in a way, worse? (Talia mhmms) By Mickey always having to remind them that he is there. And like, and that’s been since the very first season, it’s like,
Nicole Hill: “Hello, I am here. I am also in danger. I am also whatever the situation is.”
Nicole Hill: I don’t know. It’s one of those things where like, it plays kind of cute, like, oh yeah “You never asked” and it’s kinda like puts the onus on the Doctor to like want to know more about Mickey, but like he is here because of you girl. Like, (Nicole laughs and Talia mhmms) we all know that we, so like the Doctor can’t be, you can’t be in, oh, you don’t know anything about Mickey. Like ma’am I know you and I barely know. I only know what I know, what you telling me, I don’t know. It’s one of the things where I’m like, this is my reevaluation of Rose situation as well, where like revisiting her episodes, especially outside of a context of a whole season.
Nicole Hill: There are like things I pick up so much more on, and that is definitely one of them. There so much like she does not think about Mickey unless Mickey is in her face because then she’ll be like, “Oh there’s Mickey.” She doesn’t even think about her mom sometimes until something reminds her to think about her mom.
Talia Franks: I think Rose has an issue with object permanence as it pertains to people… (Talia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: I was about to say… (Lucia laughs)
Nicole Hill: but my thing is again, then you pass on like, just like why wouldn’t you know, why wouldn’t, you know that? Like what, I mean, “you never asked” so I’m like, “you never told” him, I don’t know. That’s one of the things her mom’s like, she really does not like care about the people she cares about. Not in the way that I think of caring about people outwardly. It’s very hard to tell until something happens and she’s oh, I’m sad, I’m gonna miss them. But it’s like, when it’s in the moment, you’re like, do you care? Or are you sure ma’am?
Talia Franks: Yeah, but that moment where she does say goodbye to Mickey did feel very emotional to me. It did get me to shed a tear and I was like, I was prepared to hate these episodes.
Talia Franks: So I was very upset that they made me cry.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, no, that final scene between the two of them is gorgeous. You really get to see the, and again, as we’ve been saying it would have been great to see that throughout all of their relationship, but that notion of these two have grown up together.
Lucia Kelly: They were, like, you really get the idea of these two little kids off the estate, all each other have, and, growing up with this intense bond and only to have to say goodbye, and it’s such a missed opportunity that’s never really acknowledged apart from when we need to pull on the audience’s heartstrings.
Lucia Kelly: There was such a beautiful opportunity for there to be I don’t know, more commentary on the fact that these two kids came from, like I find it really interesting how. This might be a good transition point to talk about Rose’s storyline and the whole idea of her seeing her parents in these very different circumstances, right?
Lucia Kelly: Like Rose has never been any kind of wealthy. And now she’s seeing all of the success and all of this opulence and how that has fundamentally changed her parents and what they have the capacity to do.
Talia Franks: Changed her mother; her father was dead in the other universe.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Yeah, people who’ve listened to the, Into the Archives episode that I’m on will know that I am a huge fan of parallel universes and alternative universes and taking characters and putting them in different circumstances.
Lucia Kelly: And, seeing what sticks, seeing what changes different writers’ perspectives on what are the core elements of a character. And I hate the fact that where Tom MacCrae comes down on Jackie, is that the fundamental thing about Jackie that’s universal across at least these two universes, if not all universes is her cattiness like of that very particular sort of characterization of an older woman of like the whole bit about her being 39 and not 40, the terrible way she treats Rose when she thinks she’s staff, the whole tiny dog thing, like all of it is to make this version of Jackie the worst version that could possibly exist. And it’s, I hate it.
Nicole Hill: So I find that interesting because I honestly don’t, just I, I like Jackie, but I don’t like Jackie. I like her as a character and hate her as a person. And I always say it, if I knew her in real life we would not get along. Like, I don’t like this character and I’m talking about like primary universe, Jackie. So for me, I felt like these are all things she would be like if she had money and did not have to like,
Nicole Hill: Like there is a certain level of I can’t act how I want to act because I, I don’t have the privilege of acting that way. And I honestly felt like to me now, I think they’re obviously leaning into certain stereotypes, like with a tiny dog named Rose or whatever. But I honestly feel like for me it felt like a natural logical version of that character.
Nicole Hill: And like I said, I think it’s primarily because I see all of those things in prime main universe, Jackie she is very, she like, even when even in father’s day, like the way she talks or like how she thinks about Rose before she, she never knows who Rose is really, but she’s very like the same like,
Nicole Hill: who, what are you who, why are you on my business? Like, girl what’s going on? I don’t know. Just something about like that, to me felt like the same character. It didn’t feel like they went really far away from her core characterization to make her this way. And I also felt like it’s ’cause she felt insecure.
Nicole Hill: It feels insecure to me. Like she’s like, “what do you know? You’re just staff. I’m the one with the money.” Right? Like, it didn’t feel to me. I mean, she, it was still bad. She’s like “you’re not getting paid.” That’s not how that works. Like I still did my hours. I’m definitely getting paid.
Nicole Hill: But like outside of that, I just felt like she always, I think the reason that character, so, especially, I don’t know, grating is because she can like she knows that version of the real, not the real, but the main universe version of Jackie, I feel like that’s the person she does not want to return to, if that makes sense?
Nicole Hill: And so, like, I dunno like to me, I think it’s perfect, not perfect, but I think it’s a, it works with the character that we know, like the Jackie we know, to me, it feels like exactly what she would be like if she had gotten rich. So not necessarily. So the main universe, I don’t actually know if they ever say what the timeline is or how long.
Nicole Hill: Like, I just assume it’s the same trajectory except Pete doesn’t die. So they are (Lucia hmmms) still struggling for like the first couple of years, and then he hit the big, whatever happens. So I feel like she’s still up until they get money, the same Jackie we know. And then now she has money. It’s now this is a, it’s like a cocoon in a way.
Nicole Hill: So I don’t know, for me, I felt like it was a really, I feel like it was accurate to me, it feels like the same character. But I also feel like the way Pete talk about her. Like he remembered the version of Jackie, that we know or that he knew. Like it’s, I don’t know.
Nicole Hill: I liked, again, I like her, but I don’t like her. I don’t like her as a person, but I like her as a character, but I liked that they showed her being like a little bit out there, like a little, like the way she treated Rose to me, did like something Jackie would do with that kind of power, but it’s not necessarily coming from a place of being bad or not caring about people, but just like reminding people, like I am who I am.
Nicole Hill: I have this, I have power. I have money, especially in terms of the girl clearly knows that like me and Pete are not working out. So there’s that threat level oh, maybe she knows maybe she, like maybe she sees me as like somebody who’s not going to have it all anymore.
Nicole Hill: I don’t know. I read it like I did not like it, but I read it very much, like it is exactly how Jackie that we know would act. And it just, I don’t know for me, I like, like it because it’s so
Nicole Hill: I don’t know. I think you are right though. There is a thing where a lot of characters of a certain age, like women, characters of a certain age are treated unfairly pretty much across all media, but yeah.
Nicole Hill: Even in this show, like the Harriet Jones situation. But I think with Jackie in this universe is I don’t know, like I liked how they lean into that. Cause I do think, I don’t know, like I do think having that kind of money and having that kind of like power and position would make you, I don’t know, like the way she acted, it felt natural to me.
Talia Franks: I, I also agree, and I think the thing that you bring up about Father’s Day is important because I think we see Jackie at that point in what is it, 1987 or whatever year it is. And I think the projection of that Jackie to this Jackie is actually a very natural progression. I think that the primary changing point isn’t whether or not Jackie has money and isn’t whether or not Jackie has Pete it’s actually, whether or not Jackie has Rose.
Talia Franks: I think that becoming a parent and, having a child and someone to someone who looks up to you and someone who you’re responsible for is actually a thing that majorly shifts your personality and something that majorly shifts the way that one thinks about the world and the way that one cares for other people.
Talia Franks: And I think that’s not necessarily true for everyone. But I think that if we’re thinking about how. It would affect one person in one parallel universe versus the other. I think that’s the, I think that’s the point of shift for Jackie. I don’t think that the shifting point for Jackie in main universe, Jackie versus parallel universe, Jackie, it’s not whether or not she has money it’s whether or not she has rose. That’s the actual change.
Lucia Kelly: That’s. I love that. I love that take.
Nicole Hill: I didn’t think about it like that. The reason I said it or thought really was about like Pete still being around was because in Father’s Day, Rose does exist (Niq laughs)
Nicole Hill: and Jackie and very much Jackie,
Talia Franks: Yeah, but also rose is a baby at that point and babies don’t do much,
Nicole Hill: so that just hadn’t happened yet. But it does take time. Like you don’t need to change,
Talia Franks: I’m saying like, but at that point,
Nicole Hill: What I was saying, I was just like, oh if you had a child and then she would feel very much the same type of person, like the thing she has a of. So I didn’t think about it, but I yeah, that is a, that could be the divergence.
Talia Franks: Yeah. Once, once kids grow up and start to have personalities and you start that’s when you start being shaped by them, in my opinion. (Talia laughs) Cause even when they’re not your kid, but just being around someone and being, having to like, be a role model for someone, even if they’re not your child just having to be responsible for another person and having another person look up to you, like changes who you are fundamentally, like being like having other people in your life changes you. And especially if you’re responsible for that person, like as they grow, that will change you. And I think, I think the show itself even says that textually where it talks about how the whole reason that the Doctor leaves and I’m con I’ve got complicated feelings about this, but the show does say this, that the reason that the Doctor leaves Ten Two with Rose is because he says that Rose changed him for the better.
Lucia Kelly: Oh I cannot wait to talk about Doomsday. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: We’re going to talk about Doomsday but I’m saying the show says this textually, so the show believes this, (Lucia hmmms) that people can change each other and people can change the way that people act. And the show even says fundamentally that Ten Prime and Ten Two are different because Ten Two hasn’t been shaped by Rose.
Lucia Kelly: And I also think in terms of Jackie just on that sort of final note, the other really important context for sort of Prime Jackie, is that not only does she have Rose, but she raised Rose as a single mother. And that also fundamentally I think there would be quite a difference in like sort of Prime Jackie, who lost her husband and had to raise a baby from a very young age by herself. This parallel, Jackie, who has never had to deal with any of that and takes Pete for granted a lot of the time. And then another sort of hypothetical Jackie, who has all of the profit of being with a successful Pete and gets to raise Rose in that kind of environment.
Lucia Kelly: I think those, all those three different hypothetical Jackie’s would be very different.
Talia Franks: Yeah. And I think also another thing to just contextualize about Jackie is turning 39 slash 40 which means, and Rose is nebulously 19 or 20. Which means Jackie was about 20, 19 or 20 when she had Rose. (Lucia hmmms)
Talia Franks: So she did have Rose when she was fairly young. Fun fact, actually, Billie Piper is 39 now. So she,
Lucia Kelly: Like
Talia Franks: Billie Piper. The actress is 39,
Lucia Kelly: Like right now, as we’re
Talia Franks: like right now at this moment. So she’s the same age that Camille Coduri was when she,
Talia Franks: she was 39 when Doctor Who started,
Lucia Kelly: was she? Okay.
Talia Franks: I know because I saw it in a tweet, like I saw on a tweet that was saying like that Billie Piper is now the same age that Camille Coduri was
Lucia Kelly: Okay cool
Talia Franks: when she started Doctor Who
Lucia Kelly: I feel like, yeah, I always get a bit sort of, um, Whenever a show, textually acknowledges something physical or that cannot be split from, or removed from the actual act actor themselves, like something that is inherent to the actor rather than inherent to the character. I always get a bit cautious because it’s like I always imagine, what was, what is it like reading that? Being like, oh, this is how someone perceives me (Lucia laughs and Talia hmmms) rather than the character.
Lucia Kelly: And it’s like “oh”
Talia Franks: Well, what if I’m comfortable being 40?
Lucia Kelly: Exactly. And all that kind of stuff where it’s, and also all of the kind of, ugh, I hated it. There are all these kind of, snide comments about Jackie and her age, like just background chatter at the party. And it’s just, and it, again, it feeds into this just awful idea of; the two I’m remembering in particular is one as Pete is coming down the stairs and, acknowledging the guests.
Lucia Kelly: There’s this sort of, shout from one of the audience members of “I thought you liked them young” and I’m like, “ugh!” And there was like another one while she’s just this all this snideness in this again, just inbuilt. Degrading of any woman who has the audacity to grow past 25.
Talia Franks: Also speaking of women, I just, I remembered another thing that bothered me in the show in this episode, which this is actually is nothing to do with what you said.
Talia Franks: It’s a tangent, but it has to do with my annoyance with Rose. She gets jealous and annoyed at the Doctor for talking
Talia Franks: to Lucy,
Lucia Kelly: Right? Like what the— Rose,
Talia Franks: She’s just a random waitress! Like,
Lucia Kelly: Ugh!
Talia Franks: She’s just a random person that we never hear from again.
Lucia Kelly: We literally get one, one pass by shot of her. That’s all we acknowledge of Lucy as a person, Lucy is allowed to talk to the Doctor and tell them about the president. And like the little side comment of maybe Lucy’s a little bit thick. Maybe you’re a little bit jealous and you need to acknowledge that. Like you don’t own the person you’re traveling with, and also you’ve never defined your relationship in the first place. So back off. (Lucia groans)
Nicole Hill: Yeah, that was so, It’s one of those scenes that again is like, when I think back on Rose it’s those scenes that now stand out way more than they did initially.
Nicole Hill: And I’m just like, why are you this way? Like, it’s so like he’s literally, a part of your quote, unquote job, or what y’all do every single day is literally like meet people, get information, right?
Nicole Hill: That’s what y’all do everywhere, but all of a sudden. You’re not there to witness the conversation, and so now, the fact that “oh you’re talking to another woman?” Like yeah, I literally talked to people all the time, like of all gender expressions, like the fact that you are going on about this right now it’s like a weird thing. And I also hate the way she like, cause we already here, like her, it’s like a weird, I don’t know how to explain it. Like she very not even classist because she is not upper class, like she’s not rich, but she has a mentality of like things being beneath her that is, like upsets me. Cause she’s from a working class family, like before, like this version of him, she never had this version of life.
Nicole Hill: Like as well. So I don’t understand what her attitude is about. Like I could do this at home, yeah. And like
Lucia Kelly: I mean Rose’s working class, but she definitely has, airs. She’s always had airs. Like, (Lucia laughs)
Nicole Hill: It’s so irritating. Like I get that you don’t want to be that forever. Like I don’t want to work in a shop forever. I don’t want to be a waitress or, you know, a server forever, but like you are literally like, maybe 20 years old. I don’t even know. Like you said nebulous, but like You are very young. (Lucia hmmms) You are still like, like she act like, I don’t know.
Nicole Hill: It’s like one of the things like she really acts like a person who is like, so, that’s what it is though. Cause she is with the Doctor, she feels very worldly. Like, yes, I traveled the galaxy, but like, that’s not like that does not translate to something you can put it on a resume. Like you still have to work in these normal environments to even get to, like I don’t know it’s one of those things, like she’s always been that way, but it’s so highlighted in this alternate universe maybe because it’s like juxtaposed against. I got to work this out forever. I don’t want to be, oh, waitress or, a server forever, but like you are normally like, maybe it’s on here though. I don’t even know. Like you said nebulous, but like you are very young. You are still like, like she act I don’t know.
Nicole Hill: It’s like one of the things like she really acts like a person who is like, so that’s what it is though. Cause she is with the Doctor she feels very worldly. Yes, I traveled the galaxy, but that’s not like that does not translate to something. You can put it on a resume. Like you still have to work in these normal environments to even get to, like I don’t know.
Nicole Hill: It’s one of those things. Like she’s always been that way, but it’s so highlighted in this alternate universe maybe because it’s juxtaposed against her family or, like not her family, but obviously her alternate family. And they’re wealth and like now you like really see okay, maybe this is where you should be. Maybe this is the universe for you. I don’t know. It’s weird. Like it’s irked me so, I’m like girl, calm down. Everybody know that the people who get all the tea are the people who work the functions like the guests don’t get no information. (Talia mhmms) The person who work in the kitchen, the person who taken the coat. Them people getting all the tea, they hearing all the conversations. (Talia mhmms) They are, they are hearing arguments on the phone, in another room. Like everybody knows this, it’s like it is known, like, it is known. It was just weird.
Talia Franks: Yeah. I feel like at least once an episode, I look at Rose and I’m like, “why are you the way that you are?”
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, I know, but that’s existed literally from again, episode one, Rose (Niq mhmms) where she, the Doctor blows up her job and she’s looking for a new work and Jackie suggests the Butcher’s She’s like, “Hey, this job’s going there like, you can get a job.” And Rose is like, “oh great. The butcher’s” and Jackie actually calls her out and is like “that shop’s giving you airs and graces” there’s nothing like you need a job. You don’t need a good job. You just need a job right now. And I’m offering you one. You can move on once. You’ve got steady income.
Lucia Kelly: Any other things that either of you want bring up?
Nicole Hill: More about Rose? (Niq laughs)
Talia Franks: I feel like we drag Rose through the mud at least every other episode. Oh, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I have one more note. I just saw it. Why is London so white?
Nicole Hill: That is a question.
Nicole Hill: Yeah. That might be why Mickey and Ricky is number one most wanted, (Talia laughs) the real secret.
Talia Franks: No. Okay. So Lucia and I were talking about in, this will have gone up a while ago now because we’re in season two and we’ve recorded it like an hour ago, but this is going to go out several months apart when we were talking about in our Russell T Davies reaction about how Sci-Fi is about imagining different worlds and like how the world could be like out of the old world, like imagining new worlds out of the old world.
Talia Franks: And so it’s just very telling that in this Sci-Fi show, there’s just a lot of white people. And there’s just, I just struggled with the fact that there’s, there was a Black President which was cool. He died, which was not.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Well Also that the lower classes have a curfew that’s been enforced by militant uh, military forces.
Nicole Hill: Yeah that was a thought I had too about there is a clear story that is like a story underneath the story being told here. And I would like, in some ways would like to know more, but also we know we get it because we all already read dystopias and it’s like the people in the Zeppelins, they livin it up.
Nicole Hill: They probably got all the finest things like it. I had the thought about he is like rich, but they live on the surface. (Niq laughs) So it like makes me wonder what are the levels? Like, what are the, what is the class difference there? There is clearly a difference if somebody right, you live up there with the, in a, and I’m like, wait, but then Pete, he rich as hell, but he lives on the street, so like, he lives, you know,
Talia Franks: Yeah but he also lives
Nicole Hill: thought I had though was like, they’re clearly a whole different caste and or class system going on that may not be and that of course could be like wishful thinking, like it may not be a racial thing, like all the Black people might be in them Zeppelins, we don’t know, but because there is no clarity there, we can then just presume, that all the Black people are living lavishly in their Zeppelins, and that’s why there’s none on the streets. (Crosstalk and laughter) Yes, there we go.
Talia Franks: OK there we go.
Nicole Hill: We got it.
Lucia Kelly: We got it. Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: Well, it could be, cause we find out that Pete’s a double agent. It could be because the other thing that’s throughout this whole two episodes is, this idea of the seductiveness of technology and how the people, are susceptible to like sort of quote unquote, the latest upgrade,
Talia Franks: AirPods
Lucia Kelly: AirPods and like, oh, Cybus by any other name?
Lucia Kelly: The bastard child of Amazon and Apple. (Everyone laughs)
Talia Franks: Was Amazon and Apple that… was Amazon, even a thing in 2006?
Lucia Kelly: I…
Nicole Hill: It was a thing, but it was at it wasn’t like a technological juggernaut. It was a bookstore. Like it was still a storefront, I believe. (Lucia hmmms) Like it wouldn’t have been, I don’t know what the, I guess at the time, maybe Microsoft? But I don’t know who the biggest tech company would have been to like use as the reference point for this.
Nicole Hill: But yeah, current day is definitely like Amazon, and Apple, like is given all of that technologically.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, but it could be that Pete, who’s doing all of this investigation and knows all about what’s really going on, might not want to put his family in danger by putting himself in a Cybus-run Zeppelin. Like
Talia Franks: That was my thinking. Also, Amazon was, Amazon is older than I am. It was founded in 1994.
Nicole Hill: Yep. It was like a, literally a bookstore up until a point. Then he started selling more stuff. And then in our, our overlord so very is giving a lot of this act. Did they watch this episode? Where are they? This is where we tryin to go. No that I think that it’s probably true for Pete because he is actually to, been consistently as far as we know, like the inside man.
Nicole Hill: Even though he thought he was talking to like actual military or guerilla, like people who had skill and he was wrong but I mean, he created that.
Lucia Kelly: I also do find it funny that he fed them a false account of himself? Like the version of Pete that The Preachers know (Talia laughs) is the version that Gemini gave them. (Talia laughs even harder) So he very particularly was like, no, Pete Tyler is awful. (Lucia laughs)
Nicole Hill: Yeah, that makes sense though. Cause it’s like the burn book in Mean Girls, like you are like, she’s a fugly slut! You know what I mean? Like it’s that makes sense to me even though my mind would be like, no, that definitely that person wrote down about theyself. But no, it’s like nobody’s gonna suspect it because you just said mean things, you can’t possibly be the person speaking so ill of yourself.
Lucia Kelly: I’m just thinking of what if that had backfired? What if The Preachers were like, “oh no, we’ve got to take Pete Tyler out.” (Lucia laughs) Like “He’s too dangerous.”
Nicole Hill: Oh, it was definitely, if they were actually like the people he thought he was talking to like really like killers. Like real, about it, that would’ve happened. They were just not that.
Nicole Hill: So I guess it worked out that he had a ragtag band
Talia Franks: Scooby-Doo
Nicole Hill: instead of a real solid unit.
Lucia Kelly: Scooby-Doo in the van!
Talia Franks: Also they have, they have Scooby doo in this alternate universe?
Lucia Kelly: Apparently. It’s only ones, it’s only one step to the left.
Talia Franks: One step to the left with Zeppelins.
Talia Franks: The only other thing I have to say is splitting up is always
Nicole Hill: a bad idea.
Lucia Kelly: Always, always.
Nicole Hill: I’m like, come on, I know y’all got horror movies in his universe, why?
Lucia Kelly: Don’t split the party! (Lucia claps for emphasis) It’s rule one!
Nicole Hill: Definitely. Rule. One. Okay. I do actually have a question for you guys. (Talia mhmms) Cause I initially was like “this makes sense to me,” the Doctor’s plan is low-key cruel as shit?
Nicole Hill: And I was like, was there literally no other way? Because of what he basically did, is make it so that they can basically die from being like he took off the inhibitors which yeah, they’re not robots anymore, but now they are like actively aware of their pain. And this was not five people. It’s not like ten people.
Nicole Hill: These are hundreds, thousands maybe I don’t even know. People that you are literally I don’t know that to me is
Talia Franks: Yeah, his pain, his, his, his pain, (Talia sounds sarcastic) his plan was cruel as all hell.
Lucia Kelly: It was brutal. Yeah.
Nicole Hill: That to me was, it was not interrogated enough. Like of course, another person who hasn’t necessarily experienced what cybermen are like, she was like, yeah, you just do it. She doesn’t really have context that he would have for how that feels for a human or how he has experienced different variations of the cybermen and like known, what that’s, even by proxy. So the fact that he was just like, “we just gone put they feelings it back on so they can suffer and die from suffering.”
Nicole Hill: That’s what he thinks like that I’m like, that is not acceptable? Like that’s kind of, That’s Master level planning, quite frankly. That’s something that the Master would do. Y’all get, let them feel it.
Nicole Hill: I don’t know, it was wild.
Talia Franks: That’s just,
Lucia Kelly: Yeah
Talia Franks: it’s fucked up.
Lucia Kelly: The cruelty and the sort of cold mindedness of the Doctor is something that is very rarely examined by the narrative, which is something that we have brought up multiple times. (Lucia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: But yeah, no, and I think that’s why the show makes such a point. Like really pushing it on the audience that like, yes, the Cybermen like, and depending on how you actually view it as an audience member, but the show is definitely pushing that, the idea of once you are a cyberman you are dead even though, as we see they absolutely are not right?
Lucia Kelly: So the, so then the sort of moral weight of killing the Cybermen still falls on Lumic even though the Doctor is the one, the Doctor and Mickey are the ones who actually, make their heads explode. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: Okay. Just one more, one more thing. How is the cell phone compatible?
Lucia Kelly: It’s from a parallel universe. It should not be compatible! (Talia and Lucia laugh)
Nicole Hill: They use the same technology. So I guess as soon as they landed it connected to the nearest tower, and it downloaded –
Talia Franks: No but! But like – Just that particular phone fit, that particular plug – and the text message was,
Lucia Kelly: Mhmmm.
Talia Franks: with the code
Talia Franks: Also Mickey texted the code. So it should be on his phone too!
Lucia Kelly: Also! Did you catch that the Doctor very casually is like, “Oh, take a Rose’s phone,” at the end, like, excuse me, that’s Rose’s phone! You can’t write down the code on like, a piece of paper?
Nicole Hill: The phone has the data he needs to take the phone! Granted, now he done gave away her phone, but it’s fine, she can get a new phone.
Talia Franks: Mickey texted it to her. So his phone also has the code on it.
Lucia Kelly: There’s literally no reason.
Nicole Hill: Does he still have his phone?
Talia Franks: Yeah, he still has his phone! Where would his phone have gone?
Nicole Hill: I don’t know. I just assumed it was so they had all of the like data, but maybe also, because he does stuff to her phone. Like it has been
Talia Franks: Yeah, but presumably he did the same stuff to Mickey’s phone or else how could Mickey’s phone have texted Rose’s phone on a parallel universe?
Nicole Hill: I bet you, he has never adjusted Mickey’s phone because he doesn’t think about Mickey at all unless Mickey asks and Mickey probably doesn’t have the good sense to be like
Nicole Hill: “Hey, do the thing with my phone.”
Nicole Hill: Cause he doesn’t, like, he wouldn’t think to ask.
Talia Franks: So how did Mickey text Rose in an alternate universe?
Nicole Hill: Cause they both, her, it still works! Her phone and his phone work together because they from the same universe, but Rose phone got the extra stank on it because the Doctor gave it the whooshy whooshy. I’m telling you, that’s how it works. (Lucia and Talia laugh)
Talia Franks: Okay, I’ll let you have that one.
Talia Franks: How does Mickey know how to fly Zeppelin because PlayStation? (Talia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: There’s probably a Zeppelin playing game. That was a pretty cheap joke. Like the idea that one little PlayStation controller is in any way akin to flag a whole Zeppelin, which is by the way, apparently piloted by turning a boat steering wheel?
Nicole Hill: I can say as a gamer that controls, they do, it depends on the game obviously, they do actually have, like, if you can learn the controls because you do have a basic understanding of how an actual like aircraft works, because it was like the down, up, left, right, whatever. I’d think that wouldn’t account for, like wind and fuel and all these things, you would have to calculate to know how to do things, but you want to be able to probably not crash like, having played games, I feel like if I was in a situation where I had to try, I would probably be better at trying who had never played the game. But no, you wouldn’t know. But also Zeppelins do tend to have boat wheels for some reason, I feel like I’ve seen this in other stuff. And I’m always like, this does not seem feasible to me, um, considering, but I don’t know anything about Aero—
Talia Franks: Also the Sonic can destroy ropes now? The Sonic is a magic wand!
Lucia Kelly: I’ve given up, I’ve given up, it’s a magic wand.
Talia Franks: Yeah, Lucia needs to give up because the Sonic is a magic wand.
Lucia Kelly: I can possibly conceive of the Sonic did a specialized Sonic wave that vibrated the ropes at his frequency, that made it (Crosstalk with Niq: that’s what I was—) friction and break. But honestly,
Talia Franks: (Talia starts singing) The Sonic is a magic wand! Magic! Magic! Magic!
Nicole Hill: Like the Sonic, the good thing about that is that it can theoretically do anything because Sonic wave or vibrates, everything can be vibrated. You know what I mean? Like it makes sense.
Talia Franks: (Singing again) Vibrations
Nicole Hill: But yeah the thing is you cannot just be doing stuff on the fly like that. Like I felt like you would have programming things that happened the way you need them to happen and not be like, oh, all of a sudden I can do that. Like you never did it before then, the Sonic can think for itself, like how does that work?
Talia Franks: ‘Cause the Sonic is magic! (Talia starts singing yet again) I got the magic in me!
Lucia Kelly: All right.
Lucia Kelly: So how about everyone go through their favorite moments?
Talia Franks: My favorite moment is when Mr. Crane is a smart traitor, and pulls apart Lumic’s chair, and he’s like, “Bitch, I’m going to take you down with me!”
Nicole Hill: I think my favorite part, honestly I just like Mickey talking to his gran. I think it’s one of the things that you remember, like Mickey is a person. (Niq laughs) Which is like unfortunate, but it’s like, he has a life that exists outside of Rose and being reminded that he, that exists and then he has that or had that, do you know what I mean? Like I just liked that, like knowing that somebody cares about him that’s not Rose. He feels otherwise very insular and very much like Rose’s person. And that kind of reminds you (Talia mhmms) like, no, there are people in these universes that care about him outside of Rose we just don’t necessarily get to meet them or see their perspective. But I like that.
Lucia Kelly: I would say probably my favorite moment. (Lucia lets out a soft barely audible laugh)
Talia Franks: Oh no, that little laugh. It’s never a good thing.
Lucia Kelly: I’m going to go with the goodbye scene. I really like it. I really liked that it acknowledges how Mickey’s grown (Talia mhmms) and the growing he has yet to do. You really walk away from that same knowing that Mickey’s finally found his place in life and knows what he’s doing (Niq: Yeah) and actually has something going forward. And even with all of our problems with how the character and how he’s been represented and how he’s been treated. I do like his sendoff.
Nicole Hill: Yeah, I agree. I think it’s the same thing to me, of being able to see Mickey as a fully realized person own his own. I think we both gravitated to those elements. Yeah,
Talia Franks: I love how you both gravitated towards the sensitive moving like core heart of the episode.
Talia Franks: And then I’m like, no, I just like Crane being a petty bitch. (Lucia and Talia laugh)
Lucia Kelly: It is good.
Lucia Kelly: I was waiting for it must be in one of the futures cybermen episodes, but when they pull the ear pods out and the brain comes with it through the ear? I have that image in my head and (Crosstalk with Talia: I don’t remember that) I was like waiting for the moment and it never happened.
Nicole Hill: Yeah, I think it’s gonna be, I think it’s in the uh, with the ghosts. With not Martha.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, the one where,
Talia Franks: Oh yes. I remember that.
Lucia Kelly: The one where Martha,
Talia Franks: Martha’s cousin, Adeola
Lucia Kelly: Martha’s cousin.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Nicole Hill: Yeah!
Lucia Kelly: Um. (Everyone laughs)
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Least favorite moments?
Talia Franks: You go first. We’ll do it in reverse order.
Lucia Kelly: Oh okay. My least favorite moment is (Lucia sighs) my least favorite moment is killing Mrs. Moore. That was so unnecessary. It was so uncalled for, and I hate it. And also the fact that it doesn’t get acknowledged past that scene. Is also rubs me the wrong way.
Nicole Hill: I think my least favorite moment is I mean, I’m gonna imma say realistically, it’s just when Jackie talking to Rose I like viscerally get upset. Like girl I just I get upset about it. I don’t know. (Talia mhmms) It just triggered something in me. I’m like, I hate her so much in his moment, which I don’t want to do (Talia mhmms again) cause like, in that, like, I have to have empathy for you, like when you become a cyberman but it’s like hard when you just did this. So yeah, I think it’s that just because it was like, from that point on, I’m like
Nicole Hill: Oooo, do I care? Iffy on whether I, if I am emotional about your cyber transformation which is messed up on my part, but yep. That’s it.
Talia Franks: Yeah. I was going to say, I don’t like Jackie’s interaction with Rose at all. That’s probably my least favorite moment, secondarily. I don’t really like a lot of Rose’s interactions with Pete and I just it, I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose a parent.
Talia Franks: So I don’t like, I don’t know I can’t imagine what Rose’s going through. Seeing her father come back to life, but what makes me uncomfortable about it, isn’t so much Rose’s reaction, but like Pete’s weird intuition about her?
Lucia Kelly: Yeah
Talia Franks: is just, and it bothered me in Father’s Day too. (Lucia: Yeah) I don’t know if I talked about it as much when we covered that episode, but it’s just comes across as creepy and weird because like, why would he at all know that she was his kid?
Talia Franks: Cause there are plenty. I feel like there are plenty of dads who walk past their children all the time and have no idea that they’re related.
Nicole Hill: As a person with an absentee father, I definitely don’t think everybody like has an instinct or a, but I do think that’s not weird to me only because I’m a person who has a lot of instinct about things and not necessarily oh, are you my long-lost cousin?
Nicole Hill: I wouldn’t think that, I would assume they’ could be. But no, I don’t. That doesn’t bother me as much because I, I have experience where you just like, have a vague feeling, know somebody, and then you like find out a family reunion, like y’all are related or like I don’t know. (Lucia mhmms) I have these kinds of intuitions. So that doesn’t bother me that much.
Nicole Hill: But I think I have to in the reverse, I can like how Pete reacts to her. ‘Cause even though he has that intuition, he’s also like, “but you are not my child.” It’s something about (Lucia hmms) that boundary he sets, I mean, granted, he’s gonna eventually like, throw that out the window. Oh no, like, I’m gonna save you.
Nicole Hill: But in this moment, he’s very much like “I have a feeling about you.” But then like when she, when he knows or is more aware of what is happening is like, I kind of appreciate that they don’t immediately make him lose his senses and he’s like “this is my daughter now” they keep him standoffish in this episode, at least, to where it’s like, he doesn’t just like immediately fall in love, like, because he knows there’s a connection there. Because then I mean, it makes it when he pop up later, like, “aww shit.” But not, we don’t get she doesn’t get that satisfaction of “oh, I got my dad back” and I kinda liked that they make them work for that in a way? Like not, he could have been more, but I think I’m glad that they didn’t make her kind of easy.
Nicole Hill: “This is my dad. I have my dad back” in that moment. They definitely eventually get there, but I like that in this episode they pull back on it.
Lucia Kelly: I definitely got, there were vibes of almost trying to recreate that Father’s Day relationship, I think definitely on Rose’s end.
Lucia Kelly: And it plays with this idea of, again, this idea of universal constants, of what will always be true and
Nicole Hill: Right, like a theme
Lucia Kelly: Pete’s characterization, I find fascinating as this kind of, and I love the fact that across universes he’s smart and intuitive and like he gets things really quickly. So like you see (Talia: Yeah) that with like that little conversation here in the President have outside the Zeppelin where the President’s gauging him and Pete’s like, “Ooh, I don’t like being seen.” (Talia mhmms)
Lucia Kelly: And all that kind of stuff. And then you find out he’s a double agent and everything. And I liked the fact that in this universe he rejects that connection with Rose. And as you say, Niq, sets that boundary like, “Nope, separate universes. We are not related. That is not your family. That is not your mom. That is not your dad.”
Talia Franks: I really do appreciate that Pete sets that boundary, and I’m not knocking intuition. I’ve definitely felt intuition about people before.
Talia Franks: I’m someone who lives very deeply in vibes.
Talia Franks: But the thing that I’m trying to articulate what it is that bothered me exactly. I think what bothered me wasn’t so much Pete’s reaction, but Rose’s leaning into it so heavily that I found disturbing. Or not disturbing but distressing. Because I find so much about Rose distressing. I also, Father’s Day always makes me cry. So, And I think also in that episode, the reason the intuition bothered me so much was because everyone was reading it as being sexual. (Lucia hmmms) That was what made me un, uncomfortable about it in that episode.
Talia Franks: And then what made me uncomfortable about it in this episode was more Rose leaning into it so heavily in trying to recreate her family in this new universe.
Talia Franks: And again, also just her whole interaction with Jackie, just made me so uncomfortable, especially because like you can tell from the whole interaction, Jackie doesn’t want to be having that conversation, like from get. Rose assumes a familiarity that was never there.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. If someone, if I had left a party, very clearly, Jackie’s off having her own private little moment of I just need some time to myself.
Lucia Kelly: If one of the caterers came up to me and started talking like that? I would’ve been pretty brutal too. I’m going to be honest. That’s maybe not to that degree. Maybe not to that degree. I wouldn’t have—
Talia Franks: I wouldn’t have said, I wouldn’t have told them that they weren’t getting paid. I wouldn’t have insulted someone and said that and called them staff and said they weren’t getting paid. But I would’ve said I need a moment to myself right now.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. I probably would have been like, sorry, I just need a moment to myself right now. (Lucia laughs)
Nicole Hill: Yeah, I would have been like This is not your job. Like, why are you, what are you doing here?”
Talia Franks: I would just be like, “you’re not my therapist. Get out.”
Lucia Kelly: “I don’t know you.”
Nicole Hill: It was very like, it was treated like a slur like “you are staff” Ooh that’s technically correct, but you ain’t have to say it like that. It was like, You cannot come at me with this energy. But yeah, also I wouldn’t have felt the way A, ’cause A now you like, okay first off you don’t know me, I don’t know why you talking to me, but also like, B, Pete’s telling you our business! I think that what the, what really triggered it. (Talia mhmms) Be like, wait, “how would you even know that me and him are separated when that’s private?” And so I just for Jackie, I know she probably like, Hey, I’m have to go beat him up because he just be telling this girl… So there’s levels to it so like again I understand it. I just hated the, how it came out and that’s why I do it makes sense to me for that version of Jackie. Because of how she just, when she gets triggered, she wyles out and that’s just been consistent (Talia mhmms) because she has gone off on the Doctor, called him out on his name. She done gone off on Mickey.
Nicole Hill: So it doesn’t, it didn’t surprise me, but I was just like, wow, you are like, woo it’s a lot. So it’s one of those, like I do get it. Cause I would been also trying to figure out why you in my business and also how you know my business? There’s levels to this, I gotta talk to this man, but also it’s you went, it was like, you went too far.
Nicole Hill: It was like too pointed to threaten to not pay. That’s just unnecessary. Like any, if anything you rich, when you like ballin, you just be like, I’m I’m gonna pay you for the rest of night when you go home. Bye. Like get out my business. It was very like,
Talia Franks: Like you can take the money and go. Leave.
Nicole Hill: Right? Yeah. Like take your money, (Talia: Buh-bye) out of here, bye.
Lucia Kelly: And make sure I better not say anything in the press tomorrow. Like you keep you go right home.
Talia Franks: Yeah, do not do not pass go do not collect $200.
Lucia Kelly: I’m giving you the 200 now, so you can leave. (Talia cackles)
Nicole Hill: Right, like I’ll give you this now, matter of fact here’s a bonus for shutting the hell up and you can go, (Talia continues to cackle) but don’t come back and don’t say nothing to nobody.
Nicole Hill: But like I’m glad we’re on the same page because I was like, I definitely also would’ve probably went off, but in not coming for people’s pockets.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Beautiful.
Lucia Kelly: All right. Now the grading now, Nicole, you have not been party to this before, but at the end of each episode, we grade it on a, we go through a rubric
Talia Franks: We grade on production, writing, acting, science! And rewatchability.
Nicole Hill: Not science! (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: It’s a science fiction show, we gotta grade on science!
Talia Franks: The science consistently drags it down.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. It encourages that nice little bell curve. We can’t have everything at a hundred percent. (Lucia and Talia laugh)
Lucia Kelly: So it’s basically, it’s a mark between zero and five of, zero is abysmal and five is perfect. On production, I’m leaning towards a five. It was,
Talia Franks: I’m also leaning towards a five.
Lucia Kelly: I really liked it. The shots the very clearly CGI shots of the Cybermen machine (Talia giggles) was always delightful. I love it when,
Talia Franks: I thought the choice of the, in the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight was an interesting one. (Lucia laughs)
Nicole Hill: Do you know if that was in the original, cause you know how they changed some of them when they did them for streaming or like re-released them (Lucia hmmms) was that always the song?
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, that was always the song, but I do find it, I’m glad you brought this up, Niq, the cause very clearly in this, in the script, what the text is track 19, and that just leaves it beautifully open for that kind of changing depending on how and when you’re streaming it of you can switch that out with anything now, so. Very deliberate choice of words though.
Talia Franks: And then the, yeah, but then also Lumic, Lumic being a dramatic son of a bitch just coming out of the darkness. (Talia trails off into giggles)
Lucia Kelly: I know!
Talia Franks: I know I was criticizing it, but it’s also hilarious and great. Um, Anyway, writing?
Lucia Kelly: Also a five? Maybe a four,
Talia Franks: A four?
Nicole Hill: Yeah I think like a four, I think there’s like, and then one of the things in hindsight, like there are things that you like, feel like could be done better, but I also think I see a really solid, both episodes, so they’re really solid pair of episodes (Talia mhmms) and they work really well standalone, which again, I think I encourage people to maybe watch them outside of the rest of the season, because I felt like I liked him a lot more than I’ve always liked those episodes, but I feel like I liked them a lot more by themselves.
Nicole Hill: Like I feel like I pay more attention to things, that were not necessarily as evident to me. So yeah, I just again, the things we talked about even with like how Pete and Rose, the way those interactions were written, I feel were really interesting and I was like really into it, so yeah, but not about it though cause there are, there are some things that I’m like, Hmm.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. I will say I was astonished by how much I liked these two episodes. Like they are so solid and I’d forgotten how much.
Talia Franks: Yeah. I would say we should give rewatchability a five right now.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, just jump ahead and give it a five. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: Acting five as always.
Lucia Kelly: Mhmm
Talia Franks: Science?
Lucia Kelly: The science is good this episode.
Talia Franks: The science was really good.
Lucia Kelly: There is that little bit of the phone compatibility is a bit questionable.
Talia Franks: The phone compatibility is a bit questionable,
Nicole Hill: But they don’t try to explain it. So I feel like it works because they don’t give a reason.
Talia Franks: But they don’t explain it. So it works. I feel if they don’t explain it, then it works.
Nicole Hill: Yeah. I think if they would have tried to make it a point, it would maybe not work, but because they don’t really address it, we just like “It works.”
Talia Franks: So do we want to give it a five on science? I want to be generous.
Lucia Kelly: It feels almost blasphemous. (Lucia laughs)
Nicole Hill: Well, remember the Zeppelin is piloted by a ship wheel, so I don’t know how you feel about that personally.
Talia Franks: I’ll I’ll let it, I’ll let it slide
Nicole Hill: Especially because we are like in the future in relation to the show,
Talia Franks: I feel like this. I feel like also this parallel universe is intentionally supposed to be like ahead of like our main universe in terms of science.
Nicole Hill: No, it is. It is canonically faster than our universe.
Talia Franks: This math is really easy. It’s just a 96. That’s an A, that’s an A+.
Lucia Kelly: Whoa.
Talia Franks: Oh,
Lucia Kelly: beautiful.
Talia Franks: Oh, interesting. (Niq laughs) This episode did so well, and I had such low expectations for it.
Lucia Kelly: It’s almost like season two. Isn’t as bad as you remember it being, huh?
Lucia Kelly: It’s almost like,
Nicole Hill: No, like, (Niq laughs) you have to take it like episode at a time to really appreciate it. But I have a single thought (Talia groans) I do understand the inclination toward hate, (Talia sniffs) but at separate episodes within the season, it does have a different kind of energy.
Lucia Kelly: No, I’m going to attend Talia around on this. That’s my goal for this season. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: Yeah. Except for the fact that the next episode is The Idiot’s Lantern. And we still have Love and Monsters to go.
Lucia Kelly: I’m gonna, no comment.
Nicole Hill: I hope. I hope. I hope that you somebody I hope you get somebody who, ’cause I, like I’ve heard the argument and they have played me to an extent on that episode. I’m like, oh, you almost got me. I’m almost there, not quite. (Everyone laughs) but I’m closer.
Lucia Kelly: I’m also an adamant Love and Monsters apologist. I think it gets given far too hard a rap than it should, but that is in our future. That is yet to be confirmed.
Lucia Kelly: Well, Thank you so much, Niq, for joining us. It was a pleasure having you on we’d love to have you again. But yes, that is the end. Age of Steel and Rise of the Cybermen, A+. Who would have thunk it?
Talia Franks: Not me. (Niq laughs and Talia groans)
Lucia Kelly: All right. Buh-bye!
Talia Franks: Toodle-oo
Lucia Kelly: This has been the Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Podcast.
Talia Franks: We hope you enjoyed this adventure with us through space and time.
Lucia Kelly: If you’d like to get in touch, you can send us an email at email@example.com.
Talia Franks: Please rate and review us on apple podcasts and other platforms as it helps other people find us and our content.
Lucia Kelly: Special thanks to our editor, Dee, who has been a vital member of the Wibbly Wobbly team.
Talia Franks: That’s all for now. Catch you in the time vortex!
Nicole is an escapist, and lover of fiction in all its mediums. They are often engrossed in stories, some they create themselves. They write commentary and critique about film, television, and popular culture and have been published on Black Girls Create, Den of Geek, and Nerdist. They can be found on Twitter, opining about their current binges, exploring Doctor Who from a Black AF perspective at Black TARDIS, and blogging at Delete This When I’m Dead. Learn more about them, and find their work at niqfury.com.