This is the second of our mini run of cyberstory edits, and having just done The Lodger I thought why not do the sequel as well, Closing Time. What’s not to like about that?
Well, there’s the lack of Daisy Haggard for a start. And the Cybermen aren’t exactly at their best either, but hey, James Corden is back so it’s not all bad. And there’s a nice callback to the opening of The Lodger when Craig opens his front door. A Cybermat with teeth is both fun and scary at the same time and the design harks back to the originals of The Tomb of the Cybermen whilst updating them to look just a little bit cuter. I liked it so much I bought the Character Options toy one, but I didn’t name it Bitey…
There’s also the Leftie Political Agenda that gets another run out with Nurse Gladys Emmanuel thinking that the Doctor & Craig are a homosexual couple. Hardly surprising given that the writer of both Closing Time and The Lodger, Gareth Roberts, is a homosexual himself and “partner” of former DWM editor Clayton Hickman, so you would expect him to promote homosexuality in his episode.
Personally, I prefer my Doctor Who without a Left-wing agenda and so all those references get ditched. And you know what? The story works just as well without them, if not better, which only goes to show how little plot there is. If the Cybermen had captured Smiffy & Craig [and Stormy, who’s in his pram!] when they first teleport into the ship the story would only be twenty minutes long! As it is, the fan edit runs just over half an hour.
Once again we get the usual Men Are Stupid meme that the Moff so successfully propagandised us with when he gave us Rory The Wimp. Craig can’t cope on his own with the baby, it’s only Sophie that has got her act together, which is the usual role reversal the Left loves of strong woman, weak man. Boring! To quote Dr Smiffy in this ep: “Ya-awn!”
It doesn’t always make for a good conclusion to an episode when the Doctor needs rescuing as it tends to diminish him as the hero but it works here. Even if it’s the feminine emotion of Lurve that blows up the Cybermen, and not a masculine one. But then Craig is a weak & wimpy metrosexual Beta-male and not a Man.
Aside from ditching the tedious LGBT stuff, the other difference to this episode is that there’s a lot less music, something I’m experimenting with to see what difference its absence makes. A while back I fan edited Evolution of the Daleks with no incidental music whatsoever and having less of it makes the editing somewhat easier. Trying to eliminate the discord you sometimes get when you fade from one music cue into another was always a problem when I first started editing the New Series, or it was until I worked out how to extract the 5.1 sound.
And so the approach I’ve taken here is to remove the music except for where I really think it’s needed instead of it being almost constant throughout the episode. I reckon I’ll stick to that approach for the rest of the NS edits, and re-edits from now on…
You can tell that Roberts is a long-time fan, as the episode starts in traditional Who fashion, with Ladies Wear Supervisor Shona getting done in by the Cybermen before the opening credits, which pretty much gives the game away. So in this version their reveal is held back until Smiffy & Craig get teleported into the Cybership. If we know before the credits that the Cybermen are the villains, then we know what to expect when we get to the ship. For me, not knowing who’s responsible makes the eventual reveal of the Cybs that bit more dramatic.
And there’s no comedy snog attempt by Smiffy on Craig, which was the only really tricky editing sequence to cut around.
The coda with River revealed as being in the astronaut suit at Lake Silencio also gets dropped. I think that’ll work better as a pre-credits for the eventual edit of The Wedding of River Song, whenever I get round to it…