Ascension Of The Cybermen

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    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    The Easter Rising was in 1916, but Brendan’s Garda mentor (do we ever find out his name?) is wearing a Garda uniform when he’s investigating the finding of Baby Brendan. Which means that has to be 1922 or later (unless we’re doing a Whoniverse thing of fudging the dates/uniforms because it’s not our universe).

    So when Brendan is seen retiring it would be 1982 or early eighties and he’s stayed in the Gardai for as long as he legally could. This is all if we’re seeing ‘real’ events, of course, and not some kind of simulation.

    Now, if he does arrive in 1922, that would mean that he’s probably 18 in 1940. So we have a very interesting vibe of a soldier aged Brendan making a deliberate choice to be a Guardian of the Peace when the world outside Ireland was in the middle of a deadly war. Remind you of anyone else who hated the very thought of being a soldier?

    So is this a simulation in which ‘Brendan’ is a cyberman who really wants to be a guardian of the peace, dreaming some kind of fluffy Irish fantasy? Or is it a hint that we’re seeing a hidden ‘guardian’? Or does it fit with Ko Sharmus, who’s chosen to guard the portal in the middle of a deadly war?

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    That’s really interesting. I am definitely intrigued now whether this is, as you say, some nostalgic twee Irish fantasy. (In which case, why not just imagine some quaint English bobby scenario?) Or is it going to tap into something more directly political? A pastoral idyll that’s actually riven by civil war — as an analogue for what we’re going to find with Gallifrey perhaps? There’s something actually quite daring and actually amusing too if Chibs is indeed going to run with that ‘Gallifrey? Isn’t that in Ireland?’ joke of all those years ago.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    That’s really interesting. Thanks for sharing. So, the 1950s then. So, it’s just a nostalgia trip then rather than something more politically charged (although t’interwebs tell me that the 1950s was a time of intense IRA activity with a sustained border attack campaign, so maybe it is going to play into it, after all. Otherwise, again I ask, why Ireland and not some other cliched rural idyll?

    And the point the writer makes about Celtic worlds not being considered suitable for SF/fantasy and being framed as ‘golden pasts’ is an interesting one but not strictly accurate from a Scottish perspective. There was apparently a strong tradition of science fiction written in Gaelic here throughout the 20th century. I’m wondering if the same might not be true for Ireland, if a little digging was done….

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    To be honest, when the robber pulled out his pistol my first thought was dissident Republicans, but I can see why an Irish reporter might not be too keen on saying that. We in the UK tend to see the troubles as Northern Ireland, but most Gardai deaths on duty (that aren’t accidents) result from a crime investigation that turns out to be investigating a crime committed by armed paramilitaries.

    You are absolutely right: do a little digging and loads of Irish SF turns up. Fortunately, I didn’t have to do the digging: Jack Fennell did his PhD on Irish SF. Worldcon 2019 (sadly, I couldn’t go) was held in Dublin, and Jack very kindly allowed them to publish a pdf copy of the book list in ‘A Short Guide to Irish SF’.

    I think he argues that the problem with Irish SF is simply that the Irish literary establishment doesn’t want to be Irish. Or rather, they wanted to create a new idea of ‘Irish’, where Ireland takes its rightful place among grown up, serious nations. Traditional Irish stories are fantastical; they didn’t want to go there, they wanted ‘serious, meaningful’ literature about the famine. Grown up stuff, not kiddie style SF. As well, the people who could have become Ireland’s scientific establishment (and wrote SF on the side) had mostly emigrated to where the research money was – put the two together, and you get ‘hidden’ SF, where everyone goes ‘Bob Shaw was an Irish SF writer?’

    Anyway, Jack Fennell’s Worldcon article is here.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    That’s really fascinating. (Though annoyingly you’ve now furnished me with a long list of books that I really want to read …) I’m also interested in the gap between 1880-odd and 1982. Was there really nothing SF-ey published in Ireland for a 100 years? Admittedly, it’s a 100 years in Ireland that are pretty packed with incident, but all the same.

    But the whole argument is really interesting. (I wonder if we can pin some blame on Yeats for shackling the ideas around Celtic mythology and therefore fantasy together with the fight for Irish independence? Did it mean that anything with a fantastical bent automatically had overtones of the political struggle?)

    Davros @davros

    This is the kind of ep I like. Mystery, WTF, action, pathos.

    I suppose you all have covered all the possibilities. The connection between Jack’s condition and Brendan’s is an obvious thought but I don’t think it is hereditary. Sadly we know that Jack’s descendants can be killed…

    Are Bren’s guardians Time Lords? Is the master stocking Gallifrey with refugees? Is Ko Sharmus Rassilon?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Yeats and the Irish Literary Revival helped make ‘fantastical’ political in Southern Ireland, but I think he might have been riffing off an older tradition. You don’t get much more political than Dean Swift, even if his most famous work is now seen as a children’s story.

    Yeah, I think the gap is because there just wasn’t much in the way of Irish publishing companies to publish with until the 1980’s. Not unless you were writing SF in the Irish language, anyway. The Irish diaspora meant that the population was falling right up to the 1960’s, so you’re looking at a market of about 4 million people in Southern Ireland versus a market of ten times that many if you sell your book to a London publisher…

    lisa @lisa


    Are ‘all’ of  Jacks kids human?   Couldn’t one have been Hybrid?  Maybe he had a fling  with

    another  Time lord?   Anything is possible in Doctor Who.  He always did have a thing for the

    Time Lords.

    Ko Sharma’s staff.    How many of the Time Lords besides Rassilon  carried one of those?


    I like these  mystery episodes that build on the Galifrey mythos too !



    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Latest idea about where all this is going. It is a re-working of RTD’s 3 linked episodes”Utopia”, “The Sound of Drums”, and “The Last of the Time Lords”. Remember back to when the Doctor sent a message to the Master back in “Spyfall part 2” which she stated was not Morse code but something personal that the Master would know…the sound of two hearts beating.

    More to follow…but in order to collect my thoughts it is time to delve into the Blenkinsop cellar.

    lisa @lisa

    Also wondering if  all these possible Time Lords running around on Earth

    (or at least in Brenden’s little village) are all using perception filters then

    maybe Ashad  the lone Cyberman might have been one of those filtered Time Lords

    and he  got captured? This is why he couldn’t be completely converted.

    Imagine if Ruth Doctor was captured by Cybermen while she’s still under the

    influence of the perception filter  then she couldn’t possibly get properly converted.

    Are the Kasaavins Ahshad’s ascended Cybermen?  His invincible army against

    the Time Lords?  His grudge doesn’t seem any less diminished from the Masters.




    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    After a very nice bottle of Shiraz from the cellar, I am not sure I am any closer to a more detailed explanation of why Chibnall is drawing on RTD, but the more I think about it the more I am convinced that Chibnall is using RTD as his template and completely ignoring the Moffat years. Everything I have said about pacing, for example, I think was an issue during the RTD period (parictularly early RTD). And there is something that is obvious (as opposed to nuanced) that seems to be in common. I just feel that the more I watch Chibnall, the more I am reminded of RTD.


    Davros @davros

    Maybe what we’re seeing through the gate is not the Citadel destroyed, but the Citadel being built.


    BTW do you know the name of the actor who plays old Brendan? Often when DW doesn’t include someone in the credits, it is significant.

    Old Brendan

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @davros I read somewhere – probably on the Other Place, and whether it was info or speculation I know not – that the same actor played Old Brendan and Ko Sharmus….

    Davros @davros

    “@davros I read somewhere – probably on the Other Place, and whether it was info or speculation I know not – that the same actor played Old Brendan and Ko Sharmus….”

    I don’t see how that’s possible. They look completely different.

    Rob @rob

    Late to post on this episode, blaming real life….

    Bonkerising theory No. 47.6

    The baby that the Lone Cyberman picked up and says “Don’t be afraid, little one. You will be like us.” (Quote courtesy of a great resource for Dr Who) could be Brendan,  who could be The Lone Cyberman, very much A Timeless Child.

    Literally split from on time and inserted into a another. Child of the creator of Frankenstein dies and resurrected 3 times William to Brendan, Brendan off the cliff, Brendan to Lone Cyberman


    Davros @davros

    I’ll tell you something else for free: when Brendan falls off the cliff, right after he opens his eyes there is a moment when he is covered in freckles. In every other shot he has clear skin.

    GalaxyMage @galaxymage

    This was an amazing episode! I’m looking forward to the finale, but then I won’t have anything new to post… 🙁

    Brendan’s name means King…could he be Rassilon? But he really doesn’t seem to be in control of things.

    He wants to make a difference, and he joins the Guardei, which seem to be police that are more involved with keeping the peace and keeping everything running. The Doctor also has an obsession with helping people, and travels around in a police box. Plus, he’s ginger. Maybe he could be The Doctor?

    Or perhaps he’s a dormant Cyberman? I think he’s more related to the Timeless Child plot than the Cybermen, but those already seem to be interconnected.

    One major thing is, I think, his father saying “He wants to serve.” Now, that seems just like slightly pushy dad who wants his kid to get the job…but coupled with the ending where he’s told “Thank you for your service” it develops a sinister feeling and the word serve is used twice. Now who do we know this season who has served and gotten recognition for it?

    Well, Lee/Ruth’s husband has a service metal, doesn’t he?

    Now I’m not saying that they’re the same person, but there’s certainly a connection. And a service metal from an alien war in the possession of Lee is not something that’s just going to be thrown aside.

    So, Brendan is connected to Lee, who is connected to Ruth. Definitely important in the Timeless Child mystery, whoever he is.

    Vervain @vervain


    There has been a reference to something like the Cyberium in “Who” before–in “Tomb of the Cybermen” with the Troughton Doctor. And the current crop of Cybermen have a similar look/design as the Cybermen from from “Tomb of the Cybermen

    The entirety of the 25th Anniversary story Silver Nemesis is about sentient metal – Validium. Which was being hunted for on earth by the Cybermen, the Nazis, Lady Peinforte (!6th century practitioner of magic) and the 7th Doctor

    It was created as the last line of defense for Galifrey by Omega & Rassilon.

    Ollie14 @ollie14


    Have you got a link for the video the first time we saw Jodie and the plinth?

    lisa @lisa

    Ok I’m just going to make my prediction that Brendon is inside a Matrix experiment.

    This is why  Dad and the other police guy aren’t aging (and of course why its in  Ireland).

    He keeps getting chameleon arched over and over to see how many times he can regenerate.

    This is why he might be that original timeless child? Brendon is just a host in a Time Lord experiment

    so that they can upgrade regenerative abilities.  I think the Time Lords gave to Brendon the same

    energy Rose gave Jack and were surprised when he fell from the cliff that this was working out!

    So possibly where this is all going has to do with how Galifreyans are just an upgraded species

    like the Cybermen with maybe even a bit of borrowed cyber tech as well? That might be the lie

    which is giving the Master heart burn.

    But I wont be too surprised if I have this all wrong.


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