It offered an alternate account of the conception of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley to that of the audio story Mary's Story featuring the Eighth Doctor, though with the story acknowledging that what it was depicting was the result of history becoming unusually flexible around that night.
The episode featured the return of the Cybermen, in their first television appearance since 2017's The Doctor Falls and their first encounter with the Thirteenth Doctor. Specifically, the story properly introduced the Lone Cyberman, as well as its motivations, after he had been mentioned by Jack Harkness in Fugitive of the Judoon.
The Doctor and her companions visit Mary Shelley on the fateful night in 1816 when she creates Frankenstein but all is not as it seems. The rooms of Villa Diodati keep shifting around and ghosts are stalking the halls. And the group soon remember a familiar warning: "Beware the Lone Cyberman. Do not let it have what it wants". But why is Percy Shelley not where he should be according to history?
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- The Doctor - Jodie Whittaker
- Graham O'Brien - Bradley Walsh
- Yasmin Khan - Mandip Gill
- Ryan Sinclair - Tosin Cole
- Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin - Lili Miller
- Lord Byron - Jacob Collins-Levy
- Claire Clairmont - Nadia Parkes
- Dr John Polidori - Maxim Baldry
- Ashad - Patrick O'Kane
- Percy Bysshe Shelley - Lewis Rainer
- Fletcher - Stefan Bednarczyk
- Elise - Sarah Perles
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- Villa Diodati is located near Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Team TARDIS travel there to witness the creation of Frankenstein on a stormy and rainy night on a Tuesday in June 1816.
- Lord Byron cannot return to England.
- The Doctor almost says the boney hand is from the 14th century before correcting, saying there's a "touch more umami", being human, protein and collagen.
- Byron has the skeletal remains of a 15th century soldier from the Waterloo Battle of Morat.
- Polidori believes the Doctor to be from "the north".
- Mary believes Percy has taken to their chalet Maison Chapuis by the shore.
- Percy described the "lake apparition" as a death god rising from Hades.
- Byron wonders if the haunted villa is in reality Hell.
- The Doctor ponders if the Year Without a Summer blamed on volcanic ash was really something else.
- The Doctor wants to return her friends back to 2020.
- The following July, Byron is reading one of his works to an audience of people.
The Doctor Edit
- The Doctor says she's getting a vibe of evil from the villa.
- The Doctor loves "a good plume".
- The Doctor has a natural "Time Lord magnetism" that makes the Cyberium choose her as host.
- The Doctor shows Percy a vision of himself drowning by using an "old Time Lord trick".
- John Polidori calls the weather outside dank and frigid.
- Fletcher is the butler at the villa, and Elise is a nursemaid.
- Mary Shelley notes that Percy Shelley is not one for playing tricks.
- Lord Byron recently separated from his wife.
- Graham searches for the lavatory, but finds that they're too early in history to enjoy the invention of toilets.
- Mary has a child named William.
- A ghost maid and a ghost girl are haunting the villa.
- Byron uses the term candid.
- Ryan mentions his nan.
- Mary feels she is not as good a writer as her parents.
- Fletcher points Graham to a chamber pot.
- Ryan tells Polidori to stop shooting daggers.
- Graham says the sleepwalking Polidori is like a zombie.
- The villa is described as demonic.
- The "lake apparition" turns out to be the Lone Cyberman looking for "a Guardian".
- The Lone Cyberman's real name was Ashad, and he once had children, but he slit their throats when they joined the resistance.
- Claire Clairmont finally falls out of love with Byron.
- Elise speaks French.
- Byron reads the book Tales of the Dead. Characters in the book include Hildegarde the Death-Bride and a Count.
- Graham begins "It is a truth universally acknowledged...", but the Doctor interjects "wrong writer".
- The Doctor has instructed her friends not to mention Frankenstein, or otherwise affect its inception.
- Mary and her friends teach the guests quadrille.
- Ryan plays "Chopsticks" on the piano.
- The Doctor quotes Lord Byron's poem "She Walks in Beauty".
- Lord Byron believes that the Doctor is after the third canto of his work Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.
- Mary Shelley wonders if Ashad is a composite of multiple men (like the creature in her novel), and refers to his creators as a "Modern Prometheus" (the novel's full title is Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus).
- As witnessed by the Doctor, Ashad also recharges via a lightning strike. In the novel, the monster is implied to have been brought to life via electricity.
- The Lone Cyberman recites Percy Shelley's poem "Queen Mab".
- The poem read aloud by Byron to the audience is "Darkness".
Food and beverages Edit
- Graham notices a plate of hors d'oeuvres on the table by the fireplace.
- The Doctor notes that the Cyberman might need a breath mint.
- The Doctor attempts to use her psychic paper to pass herself off as someone else, but finds that the paper is blank and might need a blow dry.
- The Doctor scans the villa with her sonic screwdriver.
- Polidori want to fetch his pistol for a duel with Ryan.
- The Doctor realises the villa has a perception filter all around it.
- The Cyberman's wrist blaster is broken.
- The Doctor notes that the Cyberman still doesn't have an emotional inhibitor yet.
- The Lone Cyberman uses a lightning strike to recharge itself.
- The Cyberman reveals that it is looking for the Cyberium.
- The Cyberium is an AI containing all the knowledge and complete history of all Cybermen, that fused itself to Shelley's cerebral cortex.
- The Lone Cyberman signals for his ship to come.
- The Doctor and her friends take off to stop the Cyber-Army from being built.
- The Lone Cyberman makes a time hop.
Story notes Edit
- The episode had a "cold opening".
- Curiously Nicholas Briggs went uncredited for his voicing of the Lone Cyberman.
- Unusual to a normal set up, this particular episode did feature a cliffhanger but it wasn't set at the end of the episode, instead appearing before Team TARDIS head back to the TARDIS, in the final scenes in Villa Diodati.
- In the real world, the competition to create the best ghost story took place over the course of three days, not one single night.
- The Cyberman's incomplete Cyber-suit is a unique patchwork design consisting of a new Cyber-helmet atop a body mostly matching the 2013 design introduced in Nightmare in Silver, lower legs matching the 2006 design introduced in Rise of the Cybermen and a left arm resembling the recreated Mondasian Cybermen introduced in 2017's World Enough and Time.
- Although uncredited, the Cyberman's helmet design visibly appears to be based on Matthew Savage's 2006 design.
- Jodie Whittaker confirmed the line about losing "anyone else" to Cybermen was a deliberate reference to Bill Potts specifically.
Filming locations Edit
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Production errors Edit
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- In another account, the Eighth Doctor was involved in this night's events. (AUDIO: Mary's Story)
- In a second account, the Tenth Doctor saved Mary from a bandaged alien during her stay in Switzerland, partly inspiring her to write Frankenstein, and certainly leading to the book's ultimate title. (COMIC: The Creative Spark)
- The Shelley Cabal's encounters with the Mal'akh are detailed in PROSE: The Book of the War.
- Although taking on Shelley's name, Mary and Percy are not yet officially married. (AUDIO: Mary's Story)
- The Doctor mentions that she knows Byron's daughter, Ada. (AUDIO: The Enchantress of Numbers, TV: Spyfall)
- Team TARDIS recall Jack's warning about the Lone Cyberman. (TV: Fugitive of the Judoon)
- The Doctor mentions that a single Cyberman has the potential to convert thousands of humans into Cybermen as well. (TV: Cyberwoman, Closing Time)
- The Doctor alludes to having lost previous companions to the Cybermen. (TV: Earthshock, The Age of Steel, Doomsday, World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls)
- Mary calls the Cyberman a "modern Prometheus"; this would form part of her title for Frankenstein. (COMIC: The Creative Spark, et al.)
- Percy sees ahead to his future death at sea. (PROSE: Managra, The Book of the War)
- The Doctor once again has a chance to permanently defeat an old enemy but sacrifices it for the common good. (TV: Victory of the Daleks)
- The Lone Cyberman's emotional personality is similar to the Cyber-Controller who crossed into the Federation universe and modified themself with the technology of the Borg. (COMIC: Assimilation²)
Home video releases Edit
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