Mickey: Leaves me what?
Jake: The number one. Top of the list! London's most wanted!
Mickey: Hah hah, OK, cool. [beat] Say that again?
Huh? What do you mean, "wrong universe"?
Oh... oopsie! That's right... We're visiting a different parallel universe in this one. Although... the Doctor Who crew was hopeful at arranging a Harry Potter Crossover with the Tenth Doctor at one point.
Past, future... where HAVEN'T we been yet, in the new series? How about... ANOTHER UNIVERSE!
The TARDIS falls into a parallel universe where Rose's dad isn't dead, Rose was never born* , Mickey's grandmother never died, everybody wears earpods and there are, for some undetermined reason, zeppelins everywhere.
And they have a power problem. The TARDIS will only run off power from its home universe, which they are not in. So it's a good thing the Doctor finds a little power crystal that can recharge itself with the right kind of energy (don't ask); now all they have to do is relax for 24 hours while it does its thing. Surely they can stay out of trouble for one day, right?
If you thought they would for even the slightest moment, you are reading the wrong recap.
Right on cue, despite the Doctor warning about not interfering with anything, Mickey and Rose run off to find out what's different about where they are, besides the earpods and the zeppelins and the President of Britain and everything.
Rose and the Doctor crash Rose's mum's birthday party. Mickey runs into Ricky, his parallel self, and Ricky is not very happy about it. And just to drive it home, if the title hadn't tipped you off, we get the first new series appearance of everyone's favourite army of steel soldiers, as newly-created Cybermen show up at the party and kill several people before surrounding the Doctor and Rose. The Doctor tries to surrender, but the Cybermen will not back down. Cliffhanger ending.
- Above Good and Evil: John Lumic justifies his illegal creation of Cybermen with "I am governed by greater laws, old friend: the right of a man to survive!"
- Actually Pretty Funny: The Doctor can't help but laugh when he learns "Rose" in the alternate reality is the name of Jackie's pet Yorkshire Terrier. He promptly shuts up at the look Rose gives him.
- Agony of the Feet: The Doctor kicks his precious TARDIS. He promptly sits down in the command chair to massage his foot.
- Alternate Universe: Somehow the TARDIS falls through a crack in the universe and ends up in another universe.
- Arc Words: The news Rose gets on her phone mentions the Torchwood Institute, and later, at the party, Pete asks a guest how things are going at Torchwood.
- Big Entrance: The new Cybermen make a memorable entrance. John Lumic lampshades it.John Lumic: I suppose a remark about "crashing the party" would be appropriate at this point, sir!
- Black Comedy: Crane's choice of music ("The Lion Sleeps Tonight") doesn't quite cover up the screams of the converted.
- Black-Tie Infiltration: The Doctor and Rose discuss performing this trope to get into a party at the Alternate Universe version of the Tyler residence, but instead infiltrate as catering staff. Rose wishes they had used the titles Queen Victoria bestowed on them in "Tooth and Claw", though the Doctor maintains that they'll learn more information from the kitchen end of things.
- Blatant Lies: Jackie insists she's not forty years old (since that's what her official biography says), and insists her party's decorations reflect this. Pete's opening speech, and the guest's reactions, suggest everyone present knows this is bull.
- Call-Back: During the first half of the episode, the Doctor wants nothing more than to escape from the alternate universe. The last time he was in a parallel universe, it did not end well at all.
- Cast from Lifespan: The TARDIS needs energy from its home universe to start working again. The Doctor finds a component with some remaining power and breathes on it. "I just gave away ten years of my life. Worth every second!"
- Casting Gag: Roger Lloyd-Pack as John Lumic provides an interesting example. He played Barty Crouch Sr. in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and David Tennant played Barty Crouch Jr. in the same film.
- "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." makes its second appearance, albeit from the president, this time.
- Pete has "trust me on this".
- Chewing the Scenery: John Lumic steals his scenes with his grandiose lines.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Rose's reaction when the Doctor casually mentions he's been talking to another waitress by the name of Lucy. Naturally, he doesn't notice.
- Conducting the Carnage: Crane has "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" played loudly throughout his facility as mind-controlled humans march helplessly into booths where they are gruesomely converted into Cybermen.
- Continuity Nod: To gather up "recruits", Cybus Industries uses a dummy company called International Electromatics.
- Contrived Coincidence: Even though Lumic knows nothing about an alternate universe with its own Cybermen, the cyborgs he creates end up looking almost identical to them.
- Crapsack World: What little we know for sure about Pete's World paints a dark image. A curfew imposed by armed soldiers, a Mega-Corp that beams its approved version of the news directly into peoples' heads, New Germany...
- Creepy Monotone: "Delete."
- Deadly Euphemism: "Very well, sir. I shall go on a recruitment drive."
- Digging Yourself Deeper: How long has it been since Mickey could've let go of that button, Doctor?note
- Disposable Vagrant: They're lured in with promises of free food and instead they are roboticized.
- The Dreaded: The minute the Doctor figures out what's happening, he's scared. Actual, proper scared. He doesn't even try to fight the Cybermen, he just tries surrendering.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Mr. Crane, Lumic's head of human resources doesn't exactly look happy going on a "recruitment drive".
- Evil Brit: John Lumic is identified in a newscast as British.
- Evil Counterpart:
- Evil Cripple: John Lumic, who gives off a whole bunch of Davros vibes.
- Evil Is Hammy: John Lumic starts hamming it up the very minute he wheels on screen.
- Fascists' Bed Time: There's a curfew. In London. Enforced by the military.
- Foreshadowing: The Doctor tells Mickey they'll meet up again in 24 hours. "If I haven't found something better," replies Mickey.
- French Maid Outfit: Rose poses as a waitress at Pete Tyler's party.
- Genre Savvy: Mickey has no trouble with the concept of parallel worlds because he's seen them in films and comics.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Mrs. Moore's suggestion for why Mickey and Ricky look the same is that either they're clones, or Ricky's father had a bike.
- Gilligan Cut: When the Doctor and Rose are trying to find a way into parallel universe Jackie's birthday party:Rose: February the 1st. Mum's birthday. Even in a parallel universe, she still loves a party.
The Doctor: Well, given Pete Tyler's guest list, I wouldn't mind a look. And there is one guaranteed way of getting inside. [flips his psychic paper]
Rose: Psychic paper!
The Doctor: Who do you want to be?
[cut to the Doctor and Rose dressed as waiters, carrying trays out of the kitchen with the rest of the wait staff]
Rose: [annoyed] We could have been anyone.
The Doctor: [looking at her] It got us in, didn't it?
Rose: You're in charge of the psychic paper. We could have been guests, celebrities, Sir Doctor, Dame Rose. We end up serving. I had enough of this back home.
The Doctor: If you want to know what's going on, work in the kitchen.
- Gory Discretion Shot: We don't see the actual process of cyber-conversion, but we do see the array of spinning blades and cutting beams as they do their work.
- Immune to Bullets: The Doctor has to tell Jake and Ricky that bullets won't do squat to a Cyberman.
- In Spite of a Nail:
- The normal-universe Cybermen are alien, from a planet called Mondas. In this universe they're invented by a guy on Earth, somehow looking and being mostly the same.
- Pete Tyler and Jackie still met and married, even if they don't have a daughter.
- Interdimensional Travel Device: The TARDIS acts as one, and this worries the Doctor because this sort of thing doesn't happen anymore.
- It's a Wonderful Plot: A variant, the parallel universe shows what would've happened if Pete never died and if Rose was never born, her absence was replaced by a dog with the same name. Pete and Jackie did consider having a baby, but they put it off because Jackie was more concerned about her image, and the two secretly divorced a month prior to the events of the two episodes. Pete suggests that the discussion was a leading cause of the divorce.
- Janitor Impersonation Infiltration: The Doctor and Rose see cars pulling up to Pete Tyler's estate and Rose realizes it's Jackie's birthday. The Doctor then shows Rose his psychic paper and asks her what she wants to be. The scene cuts to them dressed as waiters carrying trays out of the kitchen with the rest of the wait staff, with Rose very annoyed that the Doctor couldn't have passed them off as invited socialites like "Sir Doctor and Dame Rose". The Doctor counters, "If you want to know what's going on, work in the kitchen."
- Join or Die:
- Be upgraded into a Cyberman, in a horrifically painful surgery that can't be undone and leaves you welded into a metal shell forever, or be "unnecessary". And upgrading is compulsory.
- The Cybermen decide that the Doctor, Rose, Mickey and everyone else don't get the "join" option, even when the Doctor tries to surrender.
- Just Testing You: The Preachers grab Mickey from his grandmother's doorstep, with Jake angrily reminding "Ricky" that he told them not to put their relatives in danger. A very confused Mickey ad-libs that he was just testing them.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch/Pay Evil unto Evil: The President denying Lumic the ability to use his technology to save his own life? Harsh. Being electrocuted to death by a Cyberman? Worse.
- Large Ham: John Lumic."And how will you do that from beyond the grave?!"
- Mega-Corp: The Doctor visits a parallel Earth where society is heavily influenced by Cybus Industries.
- Mood Whiplash: The TARDIS has crashed, completely dead and gone. The Doctor's saying they could've landed anywhere, somewhere outside all normal concepts... and Mickey pokes his head out of the door and asks if he means London.
- Never Be Hurt Again: John Lumic, who has some undisclosed and presumably painful terminal illness, decides to enforce Unwilling Roboticisation upon himself and humanity in order to eradicate death and emotion.
- Newspaper Dating: Mickey, when he thinks they've just landed back in London.
- No Indoor Voice: Lumic is a dying man in a wheelchair and some sort of breathing apparatus, yet he can't stop shouting half of his lines in a dramatic manner.
- Noodle Incident: At the beginning of the episode, the Doctor and Rose are reminiscing about an incident on an asteroid bazaar involving a fire-breathing alien woman.
- Oh, Crap!: At the cliffhanger, the Doctor gets a good one when he realises the Cybermen aren't going to let them surrender.
- Our Presidents Are Different: They're British, for one.
- Percussive Maintenance: The Doctor angrily kicks the dead TARDIS in a fit of rage.Mickey: Did that help?
The Doctor: [defensively] Yes!
Mickey: Did it hurt?
The Doctor: Yes... ow.
- Precision F-Strike: Alt!Jackie actually manages to get away with the phrase "cock it up".
- Pre-emptive Declaration:Dr. Kendrick: I'm sorry, sir, but it's my duty. I shall have to inform them.
John Lumic: And how will you do that from beyond the grave?
Dr. Kendrick: I don't quite understand...
John Lumic: [to Cyberman] Kill him. [the creature electrocutes and kills Dr. Kendrick]
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: John Lumic, to a scientist with ethical concerns.John Lumic: And how do you expect to do that from beyond the grave?
- Pun: "A remark about 'crashing the party' would be appropriate."
- Reasonable Authority Figure: The President of Great Britain, who calls the Cyber-conversion process "obscene" and refuses to allow Lumic to continue developing it in Britain, and by all appearances seems to trying to do good in the crapsack world he runs. So naturally Lumic has him killed first.
- La Résistance: The Preachers, run by Ricky, Mickey's alternate-universe self.
- Rich Bitch: Alt!Jackie Tyler chews out her husband for petty details, wears diamond-studded accesories, and withholds wages from well-meaning employees if they accidentally offend her. And since this is Jackie, she offends easily.
- Serious Business: Lumic snaps at Mr. Crane for messing about with the mind-controlled hobos.
- Shirtless Scene: When Mickey is captured by the Preachers once they figure out he isn't Ricky.
- Shout-Out: Jake mentions "The Child-Catcher", the intensely creepy villain from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Deliberate. Crane finds the agonised screams of the converted to be an unpleasant sound, so he orders "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" by Tight Fit played on the facility's speaker-system to cover it up.
- Snake Oil Salesman: What the president accuses Pete of being in a discussion before meeting Lumic, having tried some of the supposed energy tonic Pete advertises, only to find it's just pop.President: You made money by selling a health food drink to a sick world. Not quite the ordinary Joe you appear to be, are you?
- Spoiler Title/Trailers Always Spoil: For all that it makes an effort to avoid showing the Cybermen clearly up until The Reveal, the episode preview made it pretty clear who the villains are, and the title said it outright.
- Surrender Backfire: The Doctor, knowing full well that the Cybermen were Immune to Bullets, told everyone to submit to the Cybermen. Unfortunately, the Cybermen had already determined that the group were dangerous elements. Despite the Doctor's protests that they were willingly surrendering to become Cybermen, the Cybermen refused to listen, declaring they would be deleted.
- Tempting Fate: The Doctor knows exactly what he's doing. Cue Stuff Blowing Up. He does it again later. Twenty-four hours in a parallel world, what could go wrong?
- There Was a Door: The Cybermen smash their way into the Tylers' mansion through the windows.
- This Is Reality: Mickey mentions how characters can dimension-hop a lot more easily in comic books. The Doctor replies that isn't that simple in the real world, before remarking that it was easier before the Time War.
- Too Dumb to Live: The scientist in the cold opening. Oh, you've just committed a horrific experiment on a living person, which includes welding a brain to an exoskeleton, and it's only at that point you think to bring up ethical concerns to your boss?
- Visible Boom Mic: When Mickey visits his blind grandmother, the entire crew (including the man holding the boom mic) can be seen in the reflection of her sunglasses.
- Was Once a Man: The Cybermen, who are stripped of their humanity.
- We Named the Monkey "Jack": In this universe, "Rose" is the name of Jackie's Yorkshire terrier. The Doctor valiantly tries not to laugh.
- The X of Y: "Rise of the Cybermen".
- You Didn't Ask: Why the Doctor is only now learning about Mickey's family history. He points out that Rose never said, and she admits that they both tend to take him for granted.
- You Wouldn't Believe Me If I Told You:Pete: [fleeing the mansion] Who are you? How d'you know so much?
The Doctor: You wouldn't believe it in a million years!
- Zeppelins from Another World: The first clue that this isn't their London comes in the form of London's airspace swarming with airships.