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Recap: Doctor Who TAG E02 "Blood of the Cybermen"
Written by Phil Ford

The second in the Adventure Games series. Released on the 26th of June, 2010, following broadcasting of "The Big Bang".

A lone man on a skidoo races across the arctic ice towards a cave, muttering about how he can never go back to his camp. Interspersed with the scene are flashbacks of him and the rest of his team finding something under the ice that must have been there for thousands of years - a Cyberarm. He reaches the cave, but falls into a chasm after a icequake hits. Cue opening titles.

Amy and the Doctor answer a distress call from the Arctic. It wasn't very strong so they're not at the source, but they conveniently end up next to the rider, who is unconscious. After the Doctor resuscitates him and helps him out of the chasm (with some mad platforming skills), he asks him where his base camp is. But the rider (Chisholm) panics again, accidentally slips, and goes unconscious upon hitting his head.

The Doctor gets a lock on the signal and moves the TARDIS to the base camp. Chisholm wakes up and tells them that the rest of his team found something under the ice which started turning them into slaves...Cyberslaves. And then he gets bitten by a Cybermat, forcing him to lock himself in a lighthouse because they inject a nanovirus that turns it's victims into Cyberslaves. They're like...robot zombies.

The Doctor and Amy promise to find him a cure, and then go looking for his supervisor, Elizabeth Meadows. After avoiding the Cyberslaves in the same manner as the Daleks last time, you find her barricaded in a lab and trying to synthesize a cure for the virus. It won't work without a sample of the pure virus from a Cybermat, so off to another fetch quest! They drop a distress beacon tuned to the sonic screwdriver's frequency into the Cybermat nest, stunning them in order to obtain a sample. Amy then has to fix the radio and stop an incoming supply plane from Fort Cecil from landing and allowing the virus to spread further. How? She tells them that the entire team has contracted Polar Flu. Very bad case.

Meanwhile, the Doctor returns to the lab and finds Mrs. Meadows missing. Still, he synthesizes a cure for Chisholm, who has progressed quite far into becoming a Cyberslave. But he's still sane and downs the cure, then helps the two activate a lift to the excavation site. He has to stay back, though, because the cure is taking hold and will take a lot of energy.

After dodging security some more, Amy and the Doctor find a Cybership that had crashed just before the latest ice age. They try to make it to the control room, but Amy is taken prisoner along the way. Still, the Doctor manages to get to the control room in the hopes of saving her, and hello Mrs. Meadows! We were afraid the Cybermats had gotten - ah. I see they did.

She was a Cyberslave all along actually, and had been luring the Doctor to the control room so he could help free the Cybermen, since the ships systems were damaged in the crash and can't do the job. But the Doctor can, with all his Time Lords brains. And if he doesn't, then Amy will be the first to be converted in a new generation of Cybermen. The Doctor complies, and the entire army is reactivated. And since Meadows is no longer needed, she will be deleted. The Doctor manages to distract them and get away, making his way to the conversion chamber and freeing Amy. They then return to the control room, since it's the only place they can shut down the Cybermen.

Unfortunately, the two are ambushed by the leader and remaining soldiers, and threatened with conversion. And then the Cybermen get ambushed by Chisholm, who kills them with the Cyberarm from earlier. Now that that's settled, the Doctor returns the Cyberarmy to cryo-sleep and rigs the ship to self destruct, the group high-tailing it out of there. With the ship destroyed, the virus will subside and the men will return to normal. As the plane from Fort Cecil flies overhead, Chisholm states that there will be a lot of questions asked. Probably by UNIT, the Doctor mentions, but they should be fine if they mention his (the Doctor's) name.

The episode ends with a shot of the Cyberarmy standing frozen in the arctic wastes, completely deactivated. Except for some sinister static.


Tropes

  • Action Survivor: Mrs. Meadows. Or so we think.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Chisholm killing the Cybermen that sneak on the Doctor. With a Cyberarm.
  • Body Horror: The half-converted cyber slaves are pretty terrifying.
  • Camera Screw: Stealth-Based Mission. Narrow corridors. Rigid camera. Not a good mix.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Cyberarm
  • Collapsing Lair: The Doctor tries to avert this by setting a half-hour countdown on the Cybership's self-destruct mechanism. Unfortunately he screws up and sets a two-minute countdown, which leaves the player having to get the hell out of there, fast.
  • Composite Character: The Cybermen here resemble Cybus Cybermen and are said to have brains contained inside of them, but they recognize the Doctor, have spacefaring capabilities, and use Cybermats, much like the Mondas Cybermen.
  • Corridor Cubbyhole Run: The excavation tunnels under the base are crawling with Cyberslaves. Dodging them involves a lot of ducking in and out of alcoves.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Amy, wearing a mini-skirt, bare-legged, in the Arctic. Her lack of discomfort is Hand Waved by saying the TARDIS is keeping her warm.
  • Foreshadowing: When we first see her, Meadows has a sling covering her right arm. According to Chisholm, the right arm is where the first symptoms of Cyberslave conversion become noticeable.
    • While the canonicity is debatable, this game introduces the idea that the Cybermen use nanomachines to turn humans into expendable, lower level Cyberslaves. Nightmare In Silver reveals that the use of Nanomachines ended up becoming a major part of the process of Cyberconversion, and there seems to be no difference between Cybermen and Cyberslaves anymore.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: When observing a Cyberslave body, you can see factoids regarding Cybermen technology that ends with:
    "Early forms of the Cybermen created by John Lumic were able to deliver deadly electrical charges through their hands. It was an ability they employed to shocking effect."
  • Indy Ploy: Lampshaded.
    Amy: Do you even know what a plan is?
  • Lampshade Hanging: Amy asks the Doctor if he's ever seen The Thing (1982), a film to which the game shares a few similarities.
  • Nano Machines: The Cybermats use these to transmit the Body Horror.
  • Sci-Fi Name Buzzwords: In addition to the Nano Machines, just about everything is prefixed by "cyber".
  • Shout-Out:
    The Doctor: Does it look like I'm wearing a Bruce Willis vest?
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Because honestly, what kind of Doctor Who installment would it be if you weren't sneaking around and running from things?
  • Violation of Common Sense: Amy wearing a skirt in the Arctic! Its Handwaved by the doctor saying the TARDIS will keep her warm (Really?) but it's basically just an excuse for the programmers who were too lazy to give Amy a new costume.
  • The Virus: The Nanomachines that turn people into Cyberslaves.
  • Was Once a Man: The Cyberslaves.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The reawakened Cyberleader to Mrs Meadows.
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