‘Ascension of the Cybermen’/’The Timeless Children’ (TV)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

The Master and the Cybermen with the Thirteenth Doctor, Graham, Ryan and Yaz


So, after all the variety we’ve had in Series 12 and the mixed feelings I’ve had about each episode so far, it’s time for the two-part season finale – ‘Ascension of the Cybermen’/’The Timeless Children’. 🙂

This two-part story is of course by the showrunner Chris Chibnall. I was looking forward to this two-part finale, especially since the Cybermen appeared in it! I hoped my expectations would be met. 😀

I admit; I’m not sure why Chris Chibnall decided to go with the approach of giving each of the two episodes individual titles for this two-part finale. He didn’t do that for ‘Spyfall’ at the season’s start. 😐

I thought this was going to be a thing from here on in ‘Doctor Who’ where the two episodes of a two-parter were referred to as ‘Part One’ and ‘Part Two’. That’s not the case in this specific instance.

It makes things inconsistent in the Chris Chibnall/Jodie Whittaker era of ‘Doctor Who’, doesn’t it? Mind you, that’s a minor niggle I have. There are other important things to consider in a two-parter.

The most important thing of course is whether the story and the characters can hold up well. And from what it seems to be in the story’s first episode, that’s quite the case as things are really good. 🙂

At that point, I couldn’t judge the two-parter without seeing the second episode. But from watching the first episode, it did seem to be a pretty good appetiser for what’s to come in the second episode.

There were a lot of things to take in, but it was still a very good first episode. I hoped my expectations to be carried over into the second episode wouldn’t be met with disappointment here.

I believe what won the first episode over for me were the atmosphere and the mystery it created. This is especially when we have flashbacks to a certain character that I wasn’t sure what to make of.

It’s also when we go aboard a Cyber space carrier where millions of new Cyber Warriors were about to wake up. It’s pretty exciting and it did make me yearn and look forward to see more of the finale.

And yes! Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor has her first battle with Cybermen in this adventure. Okay granted, it began in ‘The Haunting of Villa Diodati’, but this is where it’s full-on for this two-part tale.

I was looking forward to Jodie’s first battle with Cybermen after her first fight with a Dalek in ‘Resolution’. It does fulfil Jodie’s journey to become the Doctor by meeting Daleks and Cybermen. 😀

Anyway, let’s talk about the story. The first episode of the two-parter takes place directly after the Doctor, Graham, Ryan and Yaz set out to stop the Cybermen in their invasion plans for the universe.

They travel to the future where they are at the end of the Cyber Wars. This has been a thing in ‘Doctor Who’ already. I like how the connections seem to be made here regarding the Cyber Wars. 🙂

The Cyber Wars was even featured in the Big Finish audio ‘Sword of Orion’. I admit; I did feel there were echoes of a similar atmosphere created from that when we got aboard the giant Cyber carrier.

This also applies to the dead Cybermen that were floating about in space. I wonder if Chris Chibnall was inspired by ‘Sword of Orion’ at all. Probably not, as there aren’t many connections to Big Finish.

Anyway, the Doctor, Graham, Ryan and Yaz help out the last of humanity who are hiding from the last of the Cybermen that have been hunting them almost to extinction. Things do seem pretty grim.

It’s interesting how the Doctor and her friends meet up with the survivors. The survivors themselves are stragglers who have crash-landed to Earth and they’re trying to escape Cybermen chasing them.

Very soon, the Doctor and her friends set up the means to protect the last of humanity from the attacking Cyber drones that come from a pair of Cyber shuttles. There’s a chance all might survive. 😐

The devices that the Doctor gives to her three companions are as follows. She gives Graham a neural inhibitor system to act against the Cybermen’s emotional inhibitors. That should be straight-forward.

She gives Ryan a rudimentary force-field device to shield the area and she gives Yaz a particle projector to project gold particles here. Oh no! Not the ‘gold’ thing again! That’s so annoying for me!

Hearing the ‘gold’ thing again makes me cringe. I really wish there wasn’t this weakness where the Cybermen were allergic to gold. I’d like one day to see an episode where there is a ‘gold’ Cyberman!

That would be fantastic to see in ‘Doctor Who’!!! The ‘gold’ things hampers stories like ‘Assimilation2 to enjoy. But it soon transpires the Cybermen can overcome the Doctor’s weapons. 😮

Yeah, unfortunately, the devices the Doctor gives to her companions fail and quite a few humans are killed. That was very sad and such a shame. I did hope the Doctor’s devices would protect humanity.

On the other hand, it’s interesting to see how Jodie’s Doctor can’t always be the saviour in this situation with the Cybermen being so powerful. It does make the Cybermen even more intimidating.

It also gives Jodie’s Doctor a chance to show off her anger, especially when her companions are pointing out the blinking obvious as to what’s going on with some people having been killed lately. 😐

Jodie’s Doctor orders her three companions to leave with the human survivors but they refuse to abandon her. I like how persistent she is in telling them to leave and not wishing to put them in danger.

Soon, Graham, Ryan and Yaz do as the Doctor says, but they’re soon chased down by Cyber drones and two Cybermen led by the Lone Cyberman. Graham and Yaz soon separate from Ryan in the tale.

Graham and Yaz join the remaining humans aboard their ship whilst Ryan reunites with the Doctor. They, with a young man named Ethan, hijack a Cyber shuttle. That was pretty lucky of them.

Let’s talk about the Cybermen for a bit. It was good to see the Lone Cyberman again – Patrick O’Kane as Ashad. I know I said he has elements of being Borg-like from ‘Star Trek’ and that’s a good thing. 🙂

He also comes across as being a damaged individual with a conflicted personality. He loathes himself as the Doctor describes it. 🙂 It’s intriguing to have a complex Cyberman character in this two-parter.

In terms of the Lone Cyberman’s design, as well as appearing half Cyberman-half human in face, there are also traces of him being a ‘Nightmare In Silver’ Cyberman. A really unusual detail indeed! 😐

He looks rusty but he does have the capacity to be dangerous. This is especially when he kills people and he can detect life-signs nearby. 😮 I’m not sure if that has been done quite effectively in this tale.

The Lone Cybermen has two escorts. They’re two Cybermen who look like the ‘Rise of the Cybermen’ ones albeit without the Cybus logo. It was also unusual to see them in this two-part story.

I like it that those types of Cybermen from ‘Rise of the Cybermen’ are in this ‘Doctor Who’ story as they’re my favourites. They do look a little rusty like the Lone Cybermen, but can still be very deadly.

Just to go off on a side note, there’s a cold opening sequence in the episode where narration gets given and we see this disembodied Cybus-like Cyberman’s head floating in space. Pretty creepy that!

This is before we cut to the episode’s opening titles through one of the dead Cyberman’s eyes. I’ve never seen a ‘Doctor Who’ title sequence through a Cyberman’s eyes and it’s quite effective to see.

Another thing to mention regarding the Cybus-like Cyberman is that the Cyber drones are heads that look like Cybus-like Cybermen heads shooting lasers out of their eyes. WOW!!! That’s pretty cool! 😀

Seeing Cyber drones as disembodied Cyber heads firing lasers out from their eyes and attacking people is cool, creepy and scary. 🙂 I’d like to think the Cybermen are scarier in this two-part TV story.

The highlight of the story of course is where we get to meet the new brand of Cybermen – better known as the Cyber Warriors. They’re a cross of the various Cybermen seen in ‘Doctor Who’ before.

This includes stories like ‘The Invasion’, ‘Earthshock’, ‘Rise of the Cybermen’ and ‘Nightmare In Silver’. I like those combinations as it fulfils the ‘Doctor Who’ fan within me regarding the Cybermen.

I also like the Cyber Warriors. They look quite impressive in terms of design, especially when they wake up and march out to attack our heroes on board the Cyber carrier they’re on. It’s so amazing! 🙂

I’m hoping we’ll get to see more of them in the ‘Doctor Who’ series. I was hoping to see them unleash their deadly menace once the Doctor confronted them in this two-part ‘Doctor Who’ tale. 🙂

Nicholas Briggs once again returns to provide the voices for the Cybermen in this ‘Doctor Who’ TV adventure. I don’t think he voices the Lone Cyberman, but I’m glad he does do the Cyber voices here. 😀

I was happy to hear the familiar robotic Cybermen voices from ‘Rise of the Cybermen’ for the Cybus-like ones. The Cyber Warriors don’t talk yet in the first episode. I did wondered what they’d sound like.

I’m not sure what happened when Ashad attacked those Cyber Warriors in their pods. It did seem strange and I didn’t know whether that was significant or not. I don’t think it’s properly explained. 😦

I had some speculations as I wondered whether the Cyber Warriors were Gallifreyans once. It would make sense in connection to the Master’s plan for the second episode, but how would Ashad know?

Maybe it had something to do with what the Lone Cyberman knows from the Cyberium inside his head. I’m not sure to be honest. Perhaps a Target novelization would explain that scene a bit better.

I don’t know if it’s me, but I feel there’s more emphasis of the Cybermen becoming a threat to humanity compared to the previous Cybermen TV stories we have seen from the Steven Moffat era.

That includes stories like ‘Dark Water’/’Death In Heaven’ and ‘World Enough and Time’/’The Doctor Falls’. I did hope the ‘scare’ factor would be employed in the second episode of this two-part TV tale.

As ever, Jodie Whittaker excels as the Doctor in this adventure. As well as for the anger moment she had with her companions, I liked that Jodie’s Doctor was one for ‘never giving up’ in her adventuring.

She is defiant against the Lone Cyberman, who’s pretty hell-bent on destroying humanity and for the Cyber race to rule forever. I like how Jodie’s Doctor challenges the Lone Cybermen on his objectives.

This is a ‘Doctor Who’ story where Jodie’s Doctor is more serious and not so go-lucky as she tends to be in previous adventures. She has her moments of being witty, which is what we want to see in this.

But she takes the whole business of stopping the Cybermen very seriously. Things do seem more serious for the Doctor in the final two-part instalment of Series 12, which feels pretty engaging for me.

Bradley Walsh is equally excellent as Graham O’Brien in this two-part adventure. I like how Yaz remarks on Graham having come a long way since he first began his TARDIS travels in ‘Doctor Who’.

Graham certainly has comes across as a braver man and he shows signs of leadership once he and Yaz are with the other humans. I do like how bold he can be when he sometimes has to take charge.

It was tense when Graham and Julie Graham (who was in ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’ story called ‘Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith’) as Ravio were exploring that Cyber space carrier in the first episode. 😐

They find the Cyber Warriors in many alcoves aboard. It was funny when Graham’s cockney slang gets lost on Ravio. 😀 I did wonder if Graham would survive this thrilling two-part story’s conclusion.

Tosin Cole is very good as Ryan in this adventure. He gets to spend more time with the Doctor when he gets split up from Graham and Yaz after being chased by Cybermen and Cyber drones on Earth. 😐

I don’t think Ryan gets plenty of standout scenes in the first episode, but it is good that he’s there to support the Doctor in this two-part story. I wish Ryan had more chatty scenes with the Doctor in this.

Mandip Gill is equally good as Yaz. Like Ryan, she doesn’t get many standout scenes and, if I’m honest, is once again underused as a ‘Doctor Who’ companion, even when interacting with Graham.

She did make contact with the Doctor at the first episode’s conclusion, which is a good thing. Like Graham, I wondered if Ryan and Yaz would survive the conclusion of this thrilling two-part TV tale. 🙂

As well as Julie Graham as Ravio, the cast also includes Ian McElhinney as Ko Sharmus. He seems to be a gatekeeper or a ferryman for a portal leading to a ‘boundary’ beyond the end of the universe. 😐

I did have my suspicions about Ko Sharmus from watching the first episode. I mean, he seems nice enough, but whether he was a good man was yet to be determined as I was watching Series 12 here.

Other human survivors from the Cyber Wars are as follows. There’s Alex Austin as Yedlarmi, Steve Toussiant as Feekat, Rhiannon Clements as Bescot, Matt Carver as Ethan and Jack Osborn as Fuskle! 🙂

Ethan joins the Doctor and Ryan when they hijack a Cyber shuttle from Earth. Not everyone survives in the first episode. I did wonder whether everyone else would survive in the second episode here. 😐

Throughout the first episode, there were these unusual flashbacks of a boy growing up on 20th century Ireland on Earth. The boy’s Evan McCabe as Brendan growing up with his father and mother.

Brendan’s father is Branwell Donaghey as his Patrick and his mother is Orla O’Rourke as Meg. There’s also Andrew Macklin who played the police officer Michael in the Brendan flashback sequences.

We see the life of Brendan growing up in Ireland as he becomes a policeman before he ends up as an old man and gets a strange headset that somehow…wipes his memory? That was so weird to watch.

I had no idea how this tied into the other story that was going on with the Doctor, Graham, Ryan and Yaz. He also seemed to be an immortal man in the story. Was he related to Captain Jack somehow?!

I hoped Jack would return in the final episode of Series 12 as I felt it would be a shame for him not to meet up with Jodie’s Doctor in the series, having appeared in ‘Fugitive of the Judoon’ beforehand. 😐

Of course, little did I know he would return in Revolution of the Daleks’! I also wondered if Jo Wilson’s Doctor would make an appearance in the final episode to tie everything within Series 12. 😀

Chris Chibnall also did say about having past ‘Doctor Who’ companions returning to the series like Sarah Jane, Harry, Ace, Tegan, Amy and Rory. I wondered if Nyssa would ever return to the TV series.

The first episode of this two-parter concludes with the Doctor, Ryan, Ethan and Ko Sharmus seeing a portal opening at the ‘boundary’. That portal reveals the destroyed Gallifrey. The Doctor is horrified.

She saw the ruins of Gallifrey at the end of ‘Part Two’ of ‘Spyfall’. Everyone is confused by all of this. I wondered what all of this meant and how Gallifrey became involved with the Cybermen two-parter.

Speaking of which, Graham, Yaz, Ravio, Yedlarmi and Bescot are in trouble when the Cyber Warriors are about to break through in their hiding place aboard the Cyber carrier. The tensions begin to rise!

But that’s not all! Sacha Dhawan as the Master jumps through and makes an entrance, before he tells the Doctor that she should be afraid. Everything is about to change forever. No!!! The horror!!!!

I had an inkling the Master would return. It was such a thrill to see him again. I wondered what secrets he would share to the Doctor and whether it would change things for the good or the worst.

The first episode of this two-parter is a good appetiser for the season finale. I enjoyed the various Cybermen in it from the Lone Cyberman, his two escorts and the Cyber Warriors aboard that carrier.

It was good to see the Master again. I wondered how everything would conclude in the final episode of Series 12. I did wonder whether the questions that had been asked would be answered next time.

I was certain that we would get a satisfying conclusion to the two-part finale of Series 12. It was very satisfying so far as I enjoyed watching each episode every Sunday night in the early months of 2020.


And here we are at the end of Series 12 of ‘Doctor Who’! I was saddened that Series 12 had come and gone so quickly in the early months of 2020 and I greatly enjoyed seeing the season overall here.

I know I had some issues with certain episodes of the season, but the majority of Series 12 had kept me entertained and I’ve never found a boring moment. I hope to enjoy more when Series 13 comes.

The concluding episode of Series 12 – ‘The Timeless Children’ – is the second episode of the two-part finale with the Cybermen and the Master. And I’m not going to lie; I really enjoyed the final episode.

I found the story engaging to follow, accompanied by some very good acting from the actors who were playing their characters as well as the action sequences featured throughout. It was fulfilling. 🙂

The final episode is bound to upset some fans, especially in terms of how the Doctor’s past has now become unveiled in more ways than one. But quite honestly, it was a really good eye-opener for me.

And at least it’s left on a note where there seems to be the promise of more questions waiting to be answered. I don’t mind waiting. It allows me time to reflect and speculate on what has just occurred.

Let’s talk about the story. The episode follows on directly from ‘Ascension of the Cybermen’ where the Doctor sees Gallifrey at the ‘boundary’ and the Master makes a surprise appearance at the end. 🙂

The Master takes the Doctor with him and they return to Gallifrey. They soon enter the Capitol and the Doctor gets trapped and forced to enter the Matrix by her old enemy. It’s really getting tense! 😐

Meanwhile, Graham and Yaz escape the Cyber Warriors aboard the Cyber carrier with Ravio and Yedlarmi. Sadly, Bescot got killed earlier on in the episode. Aww, that is a sad shame about Bescot.

Graham, Yaz, Ravio and Yedlarmi soon escape to where the ‘boundary’ planet is and meet up with Ryan and the others. I liked their method of escape as it’s so ingenious how it gets unveiled in story. 🙂

Ryan is with Ko Sharmus and Ethan once the Doctor’s been taken by the Master to Gallifrey. They sort out some Cybermen before they meet up and reunite with Graham, Yaz, Ravio and Yedlarmi. 😀

The group of humans try to find a way to enter Gallifrey via the portal in order to save the Doctor. But as the episode progresses, things become serious where Time Lords and Cybermen are involved.

Just to say, I really enjoyed Sacha Dhawan back as the Master in this final episode of Series 12. He’s really into playing the character and he does spar off with Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor pretty well here.

He balances both the childish insanity of the character as well as the degree of menace required to play the Master. It’s almost on the same level as John Simm when he played the Master in the series.

The Master seems pretty determined to break the Doctor when he reveals to her what the past of the Time Lords was really about via the Matrix and that everything they knew was a lie. Pretty scary!

It’s even scarier when the Master deals with attending to the Doctor whilst also attending to the Lone Cyberman and its forces with huge aplomb. That balancing act is so remarkable for the Master.

For me, the scenes where the Doctor is being shown the Time Lords’ history by the Master within the Matrix were the most exciting part of the final episode. I got a buzz out of watching them scenes.

It was interesting to see how the Matrix was depicted in this particular ‘Doctor Who’ episode, considering that it’s changed a lot in ‘Who’ lore. Not like ‘The Deadly Assassin’ and ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’.

Anyway, the Master reveals to the Doctor that long ago on Gallifrey, there was this native explorer – a Shobogan woman called Tecteun, played by Seylan Baxter – who went out to explore the universe.

Tecteun discovered a small child at a portal on some distant world. She adopted the child before discovering that it had the unique ability to…regenerate! Where did this child originate from then? 🙂

Eventually, Tecteun experimented on the child for many years, forcing it to regenerate before discovering the secrets of the child’s gift. Tecteun acquired the ability to regenerate herself here. 😐

Thus it allowed her society to flourish before they became arrogant and decided to rename themselves as the Time Lords. That’s a very intriguing new angle about the Time Lords’ history here.

Just to point out, I like the idea of someone experimenting on a child to make her people become Time Lords. It does put me in mind of something I’ve been doing with my own Fifth Doctor stories. 🙂

In my Fifth Doctor stories, one of my characters – Salvador – was a human boy before he was forced to become a Time Lord once he ended up on Gallifrey. Thought I mention that little bit of trivia here.

Anyway, once the Master reveals to the Doctor about that secret piece of history regarding how the Time Lords came to be, the biggest revelation gets unveiled here. And it’s a big revelation indeed. 😀

When the Doctor asks the Master what became of the child, the Master reveals to her that she…the Doctor…is ‘the timeless child’. I was gobsmacked when I first saw the episode on BBC iPlayer itself. 🙂

This comes as a big shock to the Doctor as I’m sure it came as a big shock to many ‘Doctor Who’ fans that saw this. Even now, there are heated debates going on about ‘the timeless child’ revelation. 😀

So it seems the Time Lords lied to the Doctor and that her/his history was a lie. The Doctor has lost her/his early memories, seeming to have had more lives before William Hartnell came about here. 😐

The revelation is definitely a shock to the system for certain. But somehow…and I know this is going to sound weird…I feel it actually makes sense. I know this revelation won’t work for many fans here.

But the revelation does work for me. This has been building up for a while throughout Series 12 regarding the Doctor’s past and didn’t come as a disappointment once the revelation came about.

After all, we’ve had Jo Martin as the Fugitive Doctor in ‘Fugitive of the Judoon’ and she makes a brief appearance in this final episode too. There’s also an explanation given about who that Brendan was.

You know, Brendan from the previous episode? The more I thought about this, the more I accepted the new light shed upon the Doctor. It allows the character to become richer than ever before here.

It’s currently interesting that the Doctor’s not just limited to having thirteen lives as established by Robert Holmes in ‘The Deadly Assassin’. There’s more given on Gallifrey’s mythos and Time Lords. 🙂

There are areas that need to be addressed from this story, especially the so-called Division featured from the Doctor’s ‘pasts’. But it’s something exciting that does need to be delved into for the future.

And here’s the thing. I’ve become accepting of the fact that there are more than just thirteen Doctors in ‘Doctor Who’ played by the TV actors. After all, there’s Michael Jayston as the Valeyard. 🙂

There’s John Hurt as the War Doctor. There are also the Unbound Doctors, including David Warner’s, in the Big Finish audios that provide more layers on the Doctor’s past than we have ever considered.

And whilst I’m unhappy about there being another Mary Shelly ‘Doctor Who’ story on TV as we had a good version of that story via Big Finish audio, I’m accepting two versions of the story can co-exist.

It’s the same with two versions of ‘Shada’ co-existing with each other. I have issues about ‘At Childhood’s End’ with Ace and ‘Farewell, Sarah Jane’ with Nyssa and Tegan, but that’s another story.

Also, to be fair, at least it gives more food for thought about the Doctor’s past with having more incarnations before William Hartnell happened. How many lives has the Doctor been living through?

How old are they? There’s even a moment where the faces from ‘The Brain of Morbius’ get shown in the episode. That was interesting to see as I thought they were Morbius’ previous incarnations. 😐

There’s also something that Timelord007 pointed out to me. It seems that the Thirteenth Doctor era is getting echoes of the Seventh Doctor era. I wasn’t sure what he meant by that once I first heard it.

Now I see it as Andrew Cartmel tried to add more mystery to the Doctor as the script editor and it seems to be the case here with ‘the timeless child’ revelation. Not sure Andrew would agree though.

But here, we do get to have more mystery provided on who the Doctor is and being ‘more than just a Time Lord’ from the planet Gallifrey. In fact, the Doctor happens to not be a Gallifreyan at all here.

Not all the questions are answered regarding the Doctor’s extra past lives before William Hartnell. Jodie Whittaker herself said not all the questions will get answered when she was being interviewed.

The questions raised on why the Doctor forget his/her memories before William Hartnell; why the Time Lords/Gallifreyans exploited the child’s gift; and where the Doctor comes from are intriguing. 🙂

I did wonder if all that the Master had told the Doctor was really true since he didn’t mention those certain details when he kept her in a containment field. And most of the tale is blocked in the Matrix.

Or at least it was blocked. I wonder if the Doctor will travel back in time to confront the Time Lords on Gallifrey and ask about ‘the timeless children’ before the Master destroyed the planet. It’d be fascinating.

I’m disappointed we didn’t get to have an appearance of David Bradley as the First Doctor, or even cameos of the other Doctors to establish the connections when Jodie’s Doctor is within the Matrix. 😦

Maybe this will be made up for when it comes to the 60th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’ in 2023. I hope so. I would like to think that Jodie Whittaker is the current incarnation of the Doctor by then. 🙂

I’m happy to stick to calling the Doctors from William Hartnell to Jodie Whittaker and including John Hurt as ‘the Doctors’ whilst the previous incarnations before them weren’t called the Doctor at all. 🙂

Mind you, I’m curious about why Jo Martin called herself the Doctor in ‘Fugitive of the Judoon’. There are still a lot of unanswered questions that hopefully will be answered when Series 13 comes.

I still want to know how Captain Jack fits into all this. How did he know about the Lone Cyberman? I did wonder whether he’d be alone or joined by other companions next time he meets the Doctor. 😀

Jodie Whittaker once again is brilliant as the Doctor in this final episode. I love her scenes with the Master. It was intriguing to see the rivalry between them and how Jodie and Sacha played that here.

Whilst the Doctor was quite passive with being kept in her containment field in being forced to enter the Matrix, at least she did return with superb energy in order to overthrow her enemies in this tale.

That moment where Jodie’s Doctor lashed out at the Master, demanding to know more about what’s going on with her history and the Time Lords was incredible! Even on re-watch, it’s amazing.

I don’t think I’ve seen Jodie’s Doctor that angry before. I did like it when Jodie’s Doctor became stronger as the Master tried to weaken her. It’s something I always like to see in Jodie’s Doctor here.

I also liked how Jodie’s Doctor used all of her mental energies to break out of the Matrix and we hear the ‘Doctor Who’ theme tune playing in the background. It felt like an epic defining moment. 🙂

I greatly enjoyed Jodie’s Doctor and Sacha’s Master in this final episode of the story. The emotions delivered by both the actors in their performance are well done. They are thrilling and gut-punching.

Bradley Walsh is equally good as Graham in the episode. I loved that scene he had with Yaz as he tells her how much he finds her to be a brave person when thinking they might not survive this tale.

He’s put off by Yaz’s lack of response to his admiration of her, but it’s a very good scene. It’s those kinds of touching, tender moments I enjoy more and more as I watch ‘Doctor Who’ nowadays. 😀

I liked it when Graham becomes resourceful and even suggests the idea of him, Yaz, Ravio and Yedlarmi dressing up as Cybermen to bluff their way off the Cyber carrier. It was very of good of him.

This is when they’re about to go off to the ‘boundary’ planet and especially when Ashad the Lone Cyberman inspects them. That moment when they surprise Ryan and the others was totally brilliant.

At least Yaz managed to take off her Cyber helmet. Graham had trouble taking his off. I couldn’t help laugh at that. I do wonder how they managed to get his helmet off though. How did it get jammed?!

Mandip Gill is equally good as Yaz in this adventure too, especially when she teams up with Graham, Ravio and Yedlarmi. She’s upset when the Doctor’s about to self-sacrifice herself in this adventure. 😐

There is speculation that Yaz might be romantically interested in Jodie’s Doctor in the series. I’m not sure if that’s true but it’ll be something interesting to explore when it comes to Series 13 itself here.

Tosin Cole is equally good as Ryan. He copes well when teaming up with Ko Sharmus and Ethan and they have to sort out Cybermen. Ryan’s hesitant at first, especially concerning his dyspraxia issues. 😐

But he becomes too eager when he manages to blow up some Cybermen with a grenade. Thankfully he doesn’t get killed once more Cybermen came behind him. I’m glad he didn’t get killed in the tale.

I did wonder if one of the Doctor’s companions was about to die in the tale like Adric in ‘Earthshock’. I wondered if perhaps Yaz would run in and save the Doctor by self-sacrificing herself in her place. 😐

In the end, it was Ko Sharmus who did that but I wasn’t too disappointed by that plot thread. At least Ko Sharmus didn’t turn out to be a villain as I initially suspected whilst I watched this two-part finale.

I still don’t know what to make of Ko Sharmus though. Not much was revealed about him. Maybe he was an incarnation of the Doctor. It’s never established. Perhaps that’s saved for another occasion.

Just to talk about the Cybermen, they are very impressive in this second episode of the two-parter. And I was pleased the Cyber Warriors had Cyber voices like the ones from ‘Rise of the Cybermen’. 😀

I admit, it did seem the Cybermen were rather side-lined in the second episode, but at least they looked menacing especially in their Cyber Warrior armour. They also weren’t played out as a joke. 🙂

Ashad the Lone Cyberman is superb; although I was surprised he didn’t see it coming when the Master miniaturised him. Surely he should’ve anticipated it when the Master zapped him in the tale.

The Master also unveils to the Doctor one of the coolest and scariest things he’s done to the corpses on Gallifrey. He’s turned them into Cyber Time Lords with the ability to regenerate. That is so scary!

It’s also creepy and cool! A shame it didn’t last long with the Cyber Time Lords once Gallifrey had been blown-up again. We should’ve had more scenes of the Cyber Time Lords invading our universe!

The story ends with Graham, Ryan and Yaz managing to escape back to Earth via a TARDIS from Gallifrey with Ravio, Yedlarmi and Ethan joining them. What will Ravio, Yedlarmi and Ethan do now?

The Doctor’s friends are unaware that she’s still alive as she returns to Earth and to her TARDIS. All before the Judoon arrest her (how did they get into the TARDIS?), teleporting her to a prison planet.

WHAT?! What’s going on here?! Why have the Judoon arrested the Doctor? Is the Doctor now a fugitive since ‘Fugitive of the Judoon’? Is this something in connection to the next TV episode here?!

The next episode is called ‘REVOLUTION OF THE DALEKS’ as teased after the end credits? YOU CAN’T END THE STORY LIKE THAT?! How come the Daleks are involved? Where’s Captain Jack in all of this?!

We haven’t seen him at all in the final episode. I hoped he’d make an appearance and finally meet Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor. At that point, I was looking forward to ‘Revolution of the Daleks’ in 2021. 🙂

I was geared up for more ‘Doctor Who’ after being excited by the two-part finale. I hoped Captain Jack would get to meet Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor soon as it would be a fascinating meeting indeed. 🙂

How the Judoon got into the TARDIS is a mystery. Hopefully that might be explained in the festive Dalek special. Also how Graham, Ryan and Yaz will ever reunite with the Doctor again, I’ve no idea. 😐

I wish ‘Revolution of the Daleks’ ended up being a two-parter, being shown on Christmas Day 2020 and New Year’s Day 2021. But I was still looking forward to ‘Revolution of the Daleks’ once it came. 🙂

For me, ‘Ascension of the Cybermen’/’The Timeless Child’ is a satisfying and exciting two-part finale in Series 12 of ‘Doctor Who’. Admittedly, not all questions have been answered in the two-parter.

But at least the promise of the Doctor returning in the festive special episode as well as Series 13 is guaranteed. I was so looking forward to it and by the time of this review, I would’ve probably seen her return. 🙂

It was fantastic to see the Master again and the Cybermen were well-handled compared to previous Cybermen season finales. I think this one’s better compared to the Twelfth Doctor’s Cybermen stories.

I greatly enjoyed Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor throughout this two-part finale as well as Series 12 itself and her companions Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill were pretty good throughout it here.

The DVD/Blu-ray special features for this two-part story are as follows. On Disc 5 of ‘The Complete Series 12’ of ‘Doctor Who’, there are ‘Closer Looks’ on ‘Ascension of the Cybermen’ and ‘The Timeless Children’.

I greatly enjoyed Series 12 of ‘Doctor Who’. Do I think it’s a better season than Series 11? Well, in some ways yes and in some ways no. As I indicated earlier in the review, I do feel the episodes are a mixed bag. It’s the beginning and the end of the season which has helped me to feel it’s really good.

With the two-part stories ‘Spyfall’ and ‘Ascension of the Cybermen’/’The Timeless Children’ keeping the series alive, especially with appearances of the Master; the Cybermen and the reveal of ‘the timeless child’, I found Series 12 worthwhile. I was really thrilled by what went on in those two tales.

I did feel ‘Praxeus’ was a let-down for me as well as ‘The Haunting of Villa Diodati’ since I consider them as missed opportunities. This especially in connection to the Big Finish audios of ‘Doctor Who’! Despite my issues, ‘The Haunting of Villa Diodati’ has done well judging by the reception it received.

My favourite episodes of Series 12 have to be the aforementioned ‘Spyfall’ and ‘Ascension of the Cybermen’/’The Timeless Children’ as well as ‘Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror’ and ‘Can You Hear Me?’. ‘Orphan 55’, whilst it had problems, was for me an entertaining episode to watch throughout.

‘Fugitive of the Judoon’ was a mind-blower of an episode for me with the introduction of Jo Martin as an earlier incarnation of the Doctor as well as the return of John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness. I’m wondering if more ‘Doctor Who’ companions from the past will return to the TV show.

Sacha Dhawan’s Master was a thrill for me every time I saw him in ‘Doctor Who’ and his scenes with Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor were spell-bounding. I like the new Cybermen in the form of the Cyber Warriors with meshes of previous Cyber designs as well as that Borg-like look in the Lone Cyberman.

Of course the highpoint of Series 12 for me was Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor as well as Bradley Walsh as Graham, Tosin Cole as Ryan and Mandip Gill as Yaz. Whilst I don’t feel Graham, Ryan and Yaz have had an episode dedicated to each of them, at least they have remained being the Doctor’s friends. 🙂

At least ‘Can You Hear Me?’ was an episode dedicated to those four characters and exploring them individually. Jodie Whittaker has been able to shine with portraying new facets of the Doctor, especially the darker and angry aspects when she learns secrets getting shared to her by the Master.

Overall, Series 12 has been an enjoyable season throughout. I have issues with some episodes but at least the opening and closing two-parters weren’t boring and maintained my interest. I’m currently looking forward to what’s coming next for the Thirteenth Doctor once the next season comes along.

I’m saddened about Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole not coming back as Graham and Ryan for full-time in Series 13. Hopefully we’ll see them again soon and at least we can enjoy adventures with Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor and Mandip Gill’s Yaz. There’s bound to be lots of surprises in store for Series 13.

Before we get to Series 13 however, let’s check out ‘Revolution of the Daleks’, shall we?

As of September 2022, I’ve had the Blu-ray box set of Series 12 of ‘Doctor Who’ signed by Jodie Whittaker, Sacha Dhawan and Jo Martin at the ‘Collectormania 27 – Film & Comic Con Birmingham’ in September 2022.

‘Ascension of the Cybermen’/’The Timeless Children’ rating – 9/10

The previous story

For the Fugitive Doctor was

For the Thirteenth Doctor was

For Graham was

For Ryan was

For Yaz was

For the Master was

  • ‘The Master and Margarita’ (IATM)
The next story

For the Fugitive Doctor is

  • ‘The Power of the Doctor’ (TV)

For the Thirteenth Doctor is

For Graham is

For Ryan is

For Yaz is

For the Master is

Return to The Fugitive Doctor’s Timeline
Return to The Thirteenth Doctor’s Timeline
Return to Graham’s Timeline
Return to Ryan’s Timeline
Return to Yaz’s Timeline
Return to The Master’s Timeline
Return to The Doctors’ Timelines Index
Return to The Companions’ Timelines Index
Return to The Monsters’ Timelines Index
Return to Doctor Who Timelines
Return to Doctor Who
Return to Sci-Fi

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