Written by Tom MacRae, this episode was adapted in part from Marc Platt's Big Finish Doctor Who
episode "Spare Parts"
When we left off, in "Rise Of The Cybermen
", Rose and the Doctor were unsuccessfully trying to surrender to Cybermen. The Doctor uses a trinket from the TARDIS to give the Cybermen a dose of Agony Beams
. Pete reveals himself to have been The Mole
for the good guys all along, and Ricky reveals himself to be much less of a badass than his friends thought he was (London's Most Wanted... for parking tickets) and promptly manages to get himself killed. The gang flees for now, but massive cyberconversion is already under way.
The Doctor decides that the best way to stop the invasion is to cancel the emotional inhibitors on the Cybermen, which would drive the humans inside insane
and kill them
. Rose and Pete infiltrate the factory by posing as brainwashed people, and encounter Jackie, who's already been turned into a Cyber(wo)man. Mickey and Jake (Ricky's boyfriend
) infiltrate the zeppelin that's parked right on top of the factory, and watch from a screen as the Doctor, Rose and Pete are all taken in for questioning. When the Doctor realises that Mickey can see and hear him, he and Pete surreptitiously give Mickey the code needed to hack the system. Mickey texts the solution to Rose's cell phone, the Doctor jams it into the control system and the Cybermen, regain their full consciousness and sanity. The ensuing Body Horror
causes them to overload, and they die in anguish.
Mickey stays in the alternate reality with his not-dead grandmother and helps the now-dead Ricky's friend destroy the rest of the Cyberfactories. Rose and the Doctor return home.
- And This Is for...: JACKIE TYLER!!! THIS IS FOR HER!!!!
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Ricky's group of freedom fighters. Despite claiming to be freedom fighters, stock-piling weapons and hacking into various organisations, Ricky's only most wanted... in London for parking violations. note
- Assimilation Plot: As Cybermen are known to do.
- Behind the Black: Parodied. "I've been captured, but don't worry, Rose and Pete are still out there, they'll save me — oh, well, never mind."
- Big Cyber-No: Cyber-Controller / Lumic, as he falls to his death.
- Badass Gay: Jake in a Straight Gay sort of way. He's a freedom fighter in love with his leader, who happens to be the same gender as him.
- Bittersweet Ending: Lumic's dead, but the Cybermen are still upgrading, Pete (unlike his main universe counterpart) desperately wants to get away from the fact he's been followed around by his alternate-universe daughter, the Preachers are down to one, and Mickey decides to stay to replace Ricky.
- Catch Phrase: The Doctor begins using "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry" in earnest.
- Chain Link Fence: When Mickey and Ricky are running away from a squad of Cybermen, they have to climb a chain-link fence to escape. Mickey makes it. Ricky doesn't.
- Continuity Nod: Rose recognises the Cybermen from the museum piece she saw back in "Dalek", while Mickey is fed up with being "the tin dog", and later mentions how he once saved the universe with a big yellow truck. Then there's Lumic's "EXCELLENT!" Also, the "above, between, below" nod all the way back to "The Five Doctors".
- Deadly Dodging: Mickey takes out a Cyberman this way.
- Disney Villain Death: John Lumic falls from the rope-ladder he was climbing into a burning building and to his death when Pete Tyler cut it.
- Expolabel: The transmitter controls, to Jake's surprise.
- Face Palm: Doctor does this during the conversation with Cyber-Controller.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: The army of Cybermen once their emotional inhibitors are switched off.
- Heel-Face Turn/Even Evil Has Standards: Crane, who watched over most of the Cybermen upgrades and made the mind-controlling ear pods, attempts to kill Lumic after seeing what the Cybermen are doing. Unfortunately, this only results in Crane getting killed and Lumic becoming Cyber-Controller.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Lumic's use of Plug 'n' Play Technology is what allows Mickey and the Doctor to broadcast the code deactivating the Cyber-army's emotional inhibitors.
- I Choose to Stay: Mickey, because it's a world where his grandmother's still alive and he wants to honour the memory of the fallen Ricky, and one where he doesn't feel useless - taking up his alternate universe counterpart's mantle to fight the Cybermen.
- If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Mickey tells Jake that killing a guard would make them no better than the Cybermen.
- I Know Mortal Kombat: Mickey sarcastically responds to his acquired Zeppelin skills with: "PlayStation".
- I'm Cold... So Cold...: Poor Sally Phelan. "Why am I so cold?"
- Indy Ploy: Mickey calls the Doctor on it.
"You're just making this up as you go along!"
"Yeeep! But I do it brilliantly."
- I Say What I Say: Mickey and Ricky.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Complete with an oblique Shout-Out to Casablanca (see the page quote).
- Lampshade Hanging: The 'transmitter controls' exchange.
- One Scene, Two Monologues: Mickey and Ricky while fleeing the Cybermen.
- Parental Abandonment: An odd variant. Instead of having a tender moment like his main universe counterpart did, Pete Tyler quickly makes an excuse and runs off when Rose reveals she's his daughter from another universe. Granted, it's understandable, given that Pete has never had a daughter (save for Jackie's yorkie). This changes some episodes later.
- Poke the Poodle: Ricky is most wanted in London... for parking tickets.
- Put on a Bus: Mickey, though he was dodging that inevitability since his first appearance anyway.
- Slow Motion Fall: The Cyber-Controller's Disney Villain Death.
- Stealth Pun: Lumic's conversion of Battersea Power Station into the Cyber-Factory just has to be a reference to the Pink Floyd song "Sheep" from Animals.
Meek and obedient, you follow the leader/Down well-trodden corridors/Into the valley of steel.
- Stock Sound Effect: That "ZORP!" sound Cyber-Controller!Lumic made as he fell to his death? Yeah, that was in The Little Mermaid, guess where!
- Stuff Blowing Up: When the Doctor deactivates the emotional inhibitors, the Cybermen panicking leads to the entire factory exploding.
- Stuffed In The Fridge: Cybus!Jackie is to pile emotional distress on her husband and Alt daughter.
- Tempting Fate:
- Title Drop: "This is the Age of Steel, and I am its creator."
- Unwilling Roboticisation: "Upgrading" is mandatory. If you disagree, then you will herded like sheep into the factory anyway.
- Verb This!: "Upgrade this!"
- Weak-Willed: Humans, according to The Doctor.
- The X of Y: The Age of Steel.
- Yaoi Guys: Ricky and Jake were boyfriends, though the scene explicitly stating this was cut for unspecified reasons.
- You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Pete's reaction to Mickey dropping the rope ladder.
- Your Head Asplode: One of the Cybermen.