Reviewed By: Drew Vogel
Review Date: 11/22/17 7:11 pm
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There are basically two stories to contend with here. The first is the resolution to everything that was set-up in Part One. Basically, I mean the Cyberman story. Thanks to the Doctor's reckless interference, the Cybermen have taken control of the situation, and now they must be defeated.
But it all gets muddled up with the other story, the long-awaited explanation for why Lucie Miller was placed with the Doctor in the first place. Unfortunately, this part of the story just doesn't work. It's extremely convoluted, fairly unsatisfying, and not even terribly important. That's hardly the worst thing in the world. It's just a shame that so much of this episode is taken up with it. A more straightforward resolution of the story elements from the previous episode would have worked a lot better, I think.
I don't have any special knowledge or insight, but I suspect that there wasn't much more than a vague plan of what to do with Lucie when the first scripts for this series were written. That left this story having to explain why the Headhunter was after her, and why the Time Lords had taken her. Ideally, this could have been all neatly integrated into one story... the same story introduced in Part One. But it seems it just wasn't possible to do that. Lucie Miller was a low-level, unskilled employee in Hulbert's operation. There's no reason given why Hulbert wanted to hire her in the first place, let alone why he would go to such lengths to track her down. The scripts points this out, but says that Hulbert did it anyway as basically a point of principle,. This is a perfectly believable and realistic explanation for Hulbert's irrational behavior, but it's dramatically unsatisfactory.
And then there's the whole Lucie/Karen mix-up. Again, this is logically plausible, but to lay this big, heavy revelation on Lucie only to take it back minutes later is dramatically awkward. It means that Lucie's grand arc basically comes down to nothing more than a silly misunderstanding. This is simply not a satisfactory resolution to Lucie's story.
But honestly, I think it's for the best. Viewed as a series of standalone adventures, this series has been tremendously successful. The Doctor and Lucie are a great team, the stories have been great, etc. The only thing that doesn't work is this intrigue about Lucie and the Time Lords, so just drop it. And that's basically what this episode does, albeit somewhat inelegantly, and in a manner that sadly gets in the way of the otherwise decent Cyberman story that should have been the main focus.