In 1986, a teenaged Chris Chibnall appeared on BBC television to publicly criticize the 14 part serial The Trial of a Time Lord which made up the 23rd Season of Doctor Who. Now, in 2020, he is able to put his own vision of the show on screen. A vision which includes…

  • The Doctor in an incongruously colourful costume
  • The unexpected return of The Master
  • A heavy reliance on old enemies and PR-friendly guest stars
  • An alternative version of the Doctor whose provenance is uncertain, and who we don’t realize is the Doctor until later in the story
  • A desolate alien planet revealed as Earth in the far future
  • Evil capitalists who want to use human brains for their own purposes
  • An over-arching season-long storyline revolving around Gallifrey and the Time Lords, which makes it hard for casual viewers to understand or keep up.
  • Lengthy sections consisting of the Doctor watching Doctor Who via the Matrix instead of taking part in the story.
  • In the final bumper-length episode, the Doctor and the Master disappear into the Matrix, a world of illusion where it isn’t clear what’s real and what’s not (a bit like in The Deadly Assassin).

Make of that what you will.

As to the content of this episode – I mean it defies reviewing really, doesn’t it, being mainly gibberish. Not so much a sci-fi adventure story as a mad Whovian ranting his dreadful fan theories into your face for an hour. I may have some more detailed thoughts later, but for now I’m just profoundly disappointed and shocked at the vacuous inanity of it all.

And then there’s this.

So… yeah…

So… what did I think of Ascension of the Cybermen?
The Tiresome Children