BLOT: (05 Sep 2010 - 12:49:29 PM)
Discussing canonicity in
I suppose I should put up a !!!SPOILER!!! just in case you are interested in reading the three part comic. It's not too many pages, by the way, and you can find it in a graphic novel of the same name (if you are British) or in IDW's
#6 Jamie's Death Scene: My first complain about the comic is how it resolves Jamie. Now old and wizened, treated as crazy and half-mocked, half-ostracized by his fellow Scots, he rushes forward to protect the Doctor, screaming he never wanted to die in his bed, and destroys a piece of equipment only to be killed. Except, well, by destroying the equipment he apparently helps it to function, and so his sacrifice is in vain (the only extra-canon death in any science fiction series I have found more annoyingly staged was Chewbacca's). While letting Jamie go down swinging is a nice touch, I cannot help but think that the lovable and loyal (and one of the longest running, no matter how you count it) companion deserved a bit more fanfare than "crazy old man...DEAD!" Had "The World Shapers" been a five or six part story, it might have worked, given him some time. As it is, feels cheap.
#5 Season 6b Issues and the Mind Trick: In
#4 Contradicts The Tenth Planet: "The World Shapers" contradicts the original serial involving the Cybermen,
#3 The wrong Cybermen: The Cybermen encountered at the end of "The World Shapers" are the model not seen until
#2 The wrong Time Lords: Even the Time Lords are wrong in this one, meddling deeper and waxing more philosophical about how awesome the Cybermen will be. They can arrogant busy-bodies, for sure, but they don't tweak the cosmos for effect; yet, "The World Shapers" has them colluded with helping the Cybermen along because of a potential "Golden Path" pay out some five million years in the future.
#1 Spare Parts was better: Finally, Big Finish's
So, that's my reasoning. I hinted above that there were some changes that could have been made to make me like it. That's true. The "Cybermen will eventually become forces of good and pure reasoning" plot point could have been kept, but that didn't take Marinus turning into Mondas. The Marinus being changed worked, too, and could have just became Planet 14. Jamie's end could have been tweaked. Him returning should have been an event, not just a clerical checkmark. As a whole, the story didn't have to be the "birth of Cybermen" storyline, it could have just been the ascension of Cybers story. Maybe the Cybermen find a planet and put down a battalion. They then activate the world shaper to speed evolution, bypassing thousands of years of research and development, making a new race? Or, more simply, if they had dropped "Mondas" from the picture, the Cybers from this, and later stories (chronologically) could have been a second race, only similar to the first by coincidence (the new series alt-Cybers suggest that their creation is inherent in the human race, not merely the output of a single event).
* Much like my statement about science fiction and literay merits, don't take my disparaging of Frobisher too seriously. I find him an intriguing character, but as of yet haven't read or heard a story with him in it that really shouts "DOCTOR WHO" to me.
** You can find Spare Parts as an about $10 download from Big Finish (or an about $20 CD). The story was at least part inspiration for the Tenth Doctor's "Rise of the Cybermen", up to and including a fee being paid out to Mark Platt for it. Russel T. Davies apparently felt it was one of the finest
TAGS: [Sixth] Doctor Who
Written by Doug Bolden
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