Doctor Who Season 12 Has Some Big Cybermen Plot Holes

Doctor Who Cybermen

Doctor Who season 12 reached its penultimate episode this past weekend with “Ascension of the Cybermen,” the first half in a thrilling two-part finale storyline. With this week’s climactic installment focusing on the Master, Gallifrey and the mystery of the Timeless Child, “Ascension” saw the Doctor and her friends in the far future, where both humanity and the Cybermen have been almost wiped out in the Great Cyber-War. It was a big, fan-pleasing episode, but it has to be said there were some sizeable plotholes that limit your enjoyment once you notice them.

Some of these partly arise from comparison to 2013’s “Nightmare in Silver.” In that episode, the Cybermen had evolved themselves to the point where they were no longer susceptible to gold and could upgrade a Time Lord. In “Ascension,” however, the Doctor attempts to stop the cyborgs with gold glitter bombs and sends her human friends away from the frontline, fearing that they could be converted but that her alien nature means she’s safe. This episode is surely set later in history than “Nightmare,” so the Doctor’s info seems curiously outdated.

Much more noticeable, though, is how “Ascension” doesn’t even line up with the episode that aired immediately before it. “The Haunting of Villa Diodati” introduced Ashad, the Lone Cyberman. That story revolved around the importance of the Cyberium, an A.I. containing the history of the Cybermen which in his hands, we’re told, could mean the loss of billions more lives. In this episode, however, we learn that in Ashad’s time there are very few humans and Cybers left. So, how could billions of more lives be lost?

Lastly, the Cybermen’s tactics in “Ascension” are bizarrely self-destructive. Remember, the Cybermen swell their ranks by upgrading captured humans. Yet when they find a rare human settlement at the beginning of the episode, they shoot to kill. Why would they waste precious raw materials in this way?

It’s possible some of these, perhaps the questions surrounding the Cyberium, could be better explained in the finale, “The Timeless Children,” though that probably has enough of its own plot to get through. In any case, don’t miss the conclusion of Doctor Who season 12 on BBC One/America this Sunday, March 1st.

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Christian Bone

Christian Bone is a Staff Writer/Editor at We Got This Covered and has been cluttering up the internet with his thoughts on movies and TV for a full decade, ever since graduating with a Creative Writing degree from the University of Winchester. He can usually be found writing about anything Marvel or DC. And yet, if you asked him, he'd probably say his favorite superhero film is 'The Incredibles'.