Cyberwoman

Roots: The idea of a Cyberman story whose premise doesn't make any sense at all may be inspired by The Wheel in Space

Rhys asks Gwen to video Wife Swap.

Goofs: The entire premise of the story makes no sense. How is it quicker for the Cybus Cybermen to invent an entirely new conversion process (in the middle of a battle) that requires extensive surgery on multiple parts of the body than to construct new conversion units using their existing process of transplanting brains into otherwise robotic cyber-bodies? It can't be a shortage of robot parts, because they would still need those parts for the new conversion process. Lisa should have been a brain transplanted into a Cyber-body, and wouldn't have looked human enough for Ianto to be fooled into thinking that she can be saved.

Lisa doesn't understand how version numbers work when she describes herself/Cybermen as "human 0.2". That would imply that she is an early development version. To imply that she is an a major upgrade on the original release she would have to describe herself as "human 2.0".

On a similar note, it seems somewhat odd that the Cyber-conversion process leaves Lisa with a cyberbikini and cyberhigh-heels, rather than removing the relevant body parts and replacing them with more functional cybernetic parts.

How did Ianto get Lisa and all that equipment into the basement in the first place? There are several doors on the route that look bigger than the conversion unit.

Given that Jack lives in the Hub it's somewhat odd that he hasn't noticed how much time Ianto must be spending in the basement.

Ianto sends Jack a text about the UFO sighting whilst he's watching Dr Takoshima work on Lisa upstairs from the hidden conversion unit. Since he's clearly preoccupied, how does he notice it the reports about it? And why doesn't he realise that will mean everybody else coming back, and get Lisa moved back to the basement immediately?

Why do Torchwood's radios go dead when the Hub's power is switched off? Don't they have batteries? If it's because the building blocks radio signals, and so needs hardwired signal boosters, then how does Gwen's phone ring? Come to think of it, why doesn't the metal of the box Gwen and Owen are hiding in act as a Faraday cage?

So Lisa transplants her own brain into the pizza girl's body using a conversion unit that is set up to add cybernetic parts to a human body, rather than to do brain transplant surgery between two humans, and then (rather pointlessly) removes all signs that her original head has been opened up for surgery. In a matter of minutes.

Fashion Victims: The Cyberwoman costume. High-heels and a Cyberbikini. No wonder Lisa comments that she is disgusting when she sees her reflection.

Continuity: Ianto's girlfirend Lisa Hallett, now aged 26, worked for Torchwood London. During the battle of Canary Wharf the Cybermen needed soldiers fast, so instead of tranplanting brains they started using Earth technology, upgrading whole bodies instead of transplanting brains. [See Goofs]. Lisa was halfway through this new conversion process when the machinery shut down. Some aspects of Lisa have been augmented, others have not. Her breathing and hearing appear completely cybernetic, but she still has human skin. Ianto rescued her, turning elements of the conversion unit into life support based on Lisa's instructions. Lisa is in constant pain, and Ianto has recently changed her dosage of painkillers. He has been keeping her in the Torchwood basement, hidden from the rest of the team, but is forced to kill her during this story. She is unable to fight against Torchwood's pterodactyl.

Gwen, Owen, and Tosh play basketball in the main part of the Hub. It's not clear why they aren't worried about breaking their equipment.

Jack has never seen a live rugby match. He appears to be familiar with at least some of the future history of this universe's Cybermen.

Owen refuses to let Tosh or Gwen drive the Torchwood SUV because of the position women set the driver's seat to. He recognises the remnants of a Cyber-conversion unit, which implies that he was involved in clearing-up Torchwood 1 after the battle of Canary Wharf (Doomsday).

Nobody can get into the Hub without tripping seven different alarms.

Last year, Suzie scavenged a device that can open any lock within 45 seconds. It looks suspiciously like the device Tosh used to put books into an electronic form in Everything Changes, and nothing at all like a sonic screwdriver.

Torchwood have a contact called Neil at Jodrell Bank who has a voice like Sean Connery.

A UFO sighting over Cardigan Bay turns out to be an Arkan leisure crawler first generation collectors item. Arkans are mostly made of liquid and Jack says that they are so boring the first question of an interrogation would take a month.

Links: Lisa was converted during the events of Army of Ghosts/Doomsday. Rhys again mentions his mate Dav (Ghost Machine).

Extras: This episode has an episode of Torchwood Declassified.

Location: The Torchwood Hub, and a couple of other locations in Cardiff.

The Bottom Line: 'You like to think you're a hero, but you're the biggest monster of them all.' If you ignore the nonsensical premise, the costuming fanservice, and the fact that most of this story is just characters running around the Hub and achieving nothing, you can just about see a character-driven plot for Ianto hidden underneath. It's melodrama rather than true substance. But, for the first time in the series, if feels like somebody is at least trying to write something with a little depth.

Discontinuity Guide by Stephen Gray
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