Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

It’s hard to talk about the first part of a two-parter when it doesn’t really wrap up anything! Join Deb, Katrina, and Lynne as they discuss Brendan and the Doctor and her relationship with her companions and their feelings about her and a proper-scary Cyberman and the Master and ALL OF IT.

What did you think of “Ascension of the Cybermen”? Drop us a tweet or let us know in the comments!

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Download or listen now (runtime 1:09:31) 

Comments on: "Episode 220 – Ascension of the Cybermen Don’t Leave" (14)

  1. Old Fan Girl said:

    I haven’t finished listening yet however I want to comment before the next show comes out.

    I think Brendan is the Cyberiam AI as it sees itself. It came to life as a living program and lived in Shelley, the Doctor and Ashad. Shelley gave it the child in a 1810s baby basket and then family, the Doctor provided the protective job and the police world, the transfer to Ashad was falling off a cliff.

    Is it important that Ashad is an anagram of Shada?

    My predictions
    the cyberiam cyber I am) and similar living AIs are made into Tardis controlling programs by force.
    The timelords ensured the creation of the cybermen to fight the daleks.
    Ashad is not a cyberman but a cyber cosplayer
    The human spaceship looked like Nerva Beacon (Ark in Space) and the survivors had similar skills. This story will like into Ark In Space and Revenge of the Cybermen. Expect the planet of gold to appear.

    Ruth Dr fits after Colin Baker and before Sylvester McCoy and will fix the end of Trial of a Timelord.

  2. Steven said:

    Various (mostly unrelated) guesses at what might happen:

    1. There will be some mention of / explanation for Jack’s 2 years of stolen memories that he was looking for back in the Empty Child (that were never mentioned again).

    2. The Master misquoting P. B. Shelley in the ‘next time’ trailer at the end of Ascension will turn out to have some significance.

    3. Whoever Brendan is or was, what is happening in that storyline is that the Time Lords are harvesting memories / an identity for future use with the chameleon arch.

    • Squibby said:

      My guess is Brendan is the Cyberiam AI trying to process its existence.

      Everyone seems to have forgotten that the Cyberiam links Jack, Shelley, the Doctor and Ashad.

      Jack was the character to return as Mr Chibnal won’t use River or anything from the Moffat era

      • Steven said:

        That reminds me of:

        4. When the Doctor briefly took the cyberium on board, before surrendering it to Asshat, she managed to to change or influence it in a way that will prove crucial to defeating the cybermen.

  3. Icon_UK said:

    One part of your insightful (as always) discussion confused me. Given that retirement-age Brendan was played by the same actor as Ko Sharmus, is there any reason to think they’re not (somehow) the same person?

  4. markalanix said:

    I think the Master, as usual, is using other villains to achieve own ends, and that will bite him in the backside.
    Remember, the Doctor has had the Cyberium in her, and she knows what the Lone Cyberman is about. I think she has a plan, ans she’s shutting her fam out for fear of leaks.
    I think Brendan is part of a failed Time Lord experiment, and somehow the Master is upset with it.
    Chibnall has said that nothing is random, so I’ve been every episode this year at least 10 times for clues. He helmed Broadchurch after all. This year has been a great ride. So many theories, and, when the answers come, most will go back over past episodes and say, “of course!” Such fun 🙂

  5. Voord 99 said:

    Added to Icon_UK’s point (hello, Icon_UK!):

    Ian McElhinney is also a well-known (Northern) Irish actor, so it makes sense that you would cast him to play the thousands-of-years later version of an Irish character.

    One thing that has interested me is that this episode did not take account of North American viewers: I imagine that British audiences will have picked up immediately that the Brendan strand is a period piece set in post-independence Ireland. (At least ostensibly – at the end it looks like it wasn’t what it seemed.). I’ve noticed in North American commentary that this was not obvious to that audience, with some people thinking that this was a science-fiction future (presumably because the police were called “guards”), and others, like our hosts, assuming that this was Britain.

    Personally, it’s been decades, and finally I get Ireland in Doctor Who! Even if it might not actually be Ireland.

    • Icon_UK said:

      And hello there Voord 99! (I should not be surprised to see you hear with a username like that, of course!)

      I hadn’t considered the Irish past might not be immediately relevant, but that makes sense for non-UK viewers.

      • I picked up on it as Ireland because of the accents! But I didn’t know Ian McElhinney was Irish.

        He only played Ko Sharmus though. The actor playing Brendan was someone else.

      • Voord 99 said:

        Well, McElhinney’s one of those long-established actors who can probably do any accent in the British Isles that you ask him to. (”Manx? Not a problem.”) But he’s from the North and lives in Belfast. I understand that he’s Protestant (as his name would suggest), so he may well identify as British more than Irish, except where rugby is concerned. They are a complicated people.

        He did not noticeably alter his (not very pronounced, but I’m not one to talk) Northern Irish accent in favor of sounding like someone from the South, and that’s a strike against him being Brendan, admittedly.

        I’m terrible with accents, so I won’t risk saying where in the South Brendan and the other characters in his strand, for fear of someone sneering at me that I can’t recognize Co. Waterford or whatever when I hear it, but it was definitely the country.

        Anyway, I’m from Dublin. It’s all basically the country, right? They have, umm, cows there. Cows and … fields. I’m told there are people who think of Cork as a city, but I have my doubts.

      • Icon_UK said:

        And don’t I feel a proper twit for not realising aged Brendan and Ko Sharmus were two different actors!

  6. Valerie said:

    There’s probably some canon reason this won’t work – but could Brendan be the Master?

  7. Asher said:

    Just a poorly written script. Trying to cram too many new elements into the story.
    Also, I’m tired of The Master being portrayed as a comic book psychopath villian.
    I love the new Doctor, when she is not constantly running and acting like she has ADHD. Let her be intelligent. Do things other than constantly running. Slow down. Be YOUR doctor.

  8. emilyctopham said:

    This series strikes me as very similar to Series 3–similar foot-glued-to-the-accelerator semi-three-parter ending with a Chameleon Arch and the Master.

    The Brendan parts had me absolutely glued to my screen–waiting and waiting for the threads to come together, and absolutely gobsmacked with the cliffhanger! (Which is still unresolved for me, moving has made it hard to carve out an hour to watch)

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