177 Ascension of the Cybermen & The Timeless Children

This is the one where the Doctor has an existential crisis but then gets over it, the companions do a whole lot of stuff on their own, and Chibs undercuts all of Steven Moffatt’s work and Matt Smith’s last episode.

Live from Master Closet Studios, you’re listening to the only podcast on the internet that starting a new morning show! It’s the Noobs and the Whovian! 

My name is Austin and I’m the Whovian, and these are my sons Corbin and Tripp and we’re the noobs! 

This is the podcast that introduces a whole new generation to Doctor Who by watching an episode each week and discussing it from the perspective of a dad who’s seen it before, and two sons who haven’t. 

Welcome to Episode 177 covering series 12 episodes 9 & 10: Ascension of the Cybermen & The Timeless Children

Super-short Recap

This is the one where the Doctor has an existential crisis but then gets over it, the companions do a whole lot of stuff on their own, and Chibs undercuts all of Steven Moffatt’s work and Matt Smith’s last episode. 

Production notes

  • Story #295
  • Originally aired February 23 & March 1, 2020 to 4.99 & 4.69 million viewers
  • Written by: Chibs
  • Directed by: Jamie Magnus Stone

Misc Trivia

  • Ascension is one of 11 episodes to not feature the TARDIS at all
  • This is also the second second finale of a Doctor to take place on Gallifrey
  • This story is the third to feature multiple on-screen regenerations, following Planet of the Spiders and Twice Upon a Time, and the first such story in which the then-current incarnation of the Doctor is not among those shown to regenerate.
  • This is the first time old footage of One and Two was colorized in an episode.
  • This is the third penultimate episode in an even-numbered series that is the first part of a two-part story featuring both the Master and the Cybermen, following Dark Water and World Enough and Time.


  • Ko Sharmus – Ian McElhinney
    • General Jan Dodonna in Rogue One
    • Barristan Selmy on Game of Thrones


  • Name of the episode spoken in dialogue?
    • Ascension – I don’t think so. There was talk about the return of the glory of the cybermen
    • The Timeless Children – nope! Plenty of talk about the Timeless Child, but not children!
      • There were, incidentally, 7 timeless children seen
  • Creature of the week
    • Lone Cyberman – not so lone anymore!
      • He’s gone a bit mad
      • He moves like a human
    • The CyberMasters
  • Needless sacrificial death!
    • Bescott died for just about nothin

Other stuff we noticed

  • Last human settlement this side of the universe
    • THIS side?
  • I wonder if they got to actually be in the cyberman suits?
  • Ko Sharma – I’ve already lived longer than I expected. I’m sure there’s something I can blow up before I go.
  • Their grand plan is just to become robots
  • Isn’t it great when the “legend” is an exact rendition of the truth.
  • Was this the fulfillment of the Hybrid Prophecy?
    • A hybrid creature (the Spy Master had merged with the Cyberium), would stand over the ruins of Gallifrey and unravel the Web of Time (the Master had hacked into the Matrix), breaking a billion billion hearts to heal its own (the Master had also slaughtered the Time Lords after he became distraught at learning the truth of their origins).

Who’s Who?

  • Who is Ryan Sinclair?
    • He’s not too sure about weapons. 
      • You can be a pacifist tomorrow. Today, we have to survive.
    • Gird your loins, gentleman. Uh… I … don’t know how to do that.
  • Who is Graham O’Brien?
    • We’re not lucky, sunshine. We’re persistent, we never give up!
    • He was born careful!
  • Who is Yasmin “Yaz” Khan?
    • She’s the best person Graham has ever met.
    • She thinks he’s not such a bad human.
    • Step into the unknown. Who fancies going first?
  • Who is the Master?
    • Did all this death make you happy? Ecstatic. And did it calm all the rage
    • Throw a stick in this universe and you’ll hit a robot. I used to do that.
    • (of the Cyberium) – well aren’t you pretty!
    • He thought when he shrunk Ashad that it would activate the death particle!
    • You may have made me, but I have destroyed you. Become death. Become me.
  • Who is the Doctor?
    • I used to hotwire warp drives on the weekends when I was a teenager. Not that we had weekends, or teenagers… 
    • Doctor of Hope – consider us your hope restored (to Ko Sharmus)
    • They always acted like they were different, like they were special. And they were right!
    • I don’t know who I am. Because your memories don’t line up with what you’ve learned today?
      • Have you ever been limited by who you were before?
    • I’m talking to myself again, that’s a good sign.
    • She’s clever. I’m clever. We’re all clever. However many of us that is.
    • You think you’ve broken me? You’ve given me a gift. You think that makes me lesser? It makes me more. I contain multitudes.
    • What?! WHAT?!

Can we talk about the regenerations?

Classic Who Connections

Overall impressions

  • Overall rating out of 10
    • Jared – 
    • Austin – 9.9 spinny spaceship
    • Corbin – 8.7 metal head frills
    • Tripp – 9 crazy cracks in space 
  • Creep Level – out of 500
    • Jared – 
    • Austin – 50
    • Corbin – 25
    • Tripp – 50


  • Who is the Timeless Child?
    • Tripp – a past regeneration of the Doctor of the Master, hidden by the Time Lords. The timeless child relates to the lone cyberman 
    • Corbin – it’s that little girl, who is no one we’ve ever met (hopefully, but not likely)
    • Left abandoned at the base of a monument that opened a gateway to another realm, galaxy, or dimension
  • Who is the Fugitive Doctor?
    • Tripp – the Timeless Child! Who is being hidden from Thirteen by the Time Lords. And the Master Found out
    • Corbin – 
  • Fate of the companions
    • Tripp – Ryan; Graham & Yaz stay
    • Corbin – all staying until next season

The Game Plan 

  • We have a Series 13 premiere date! Series 13 will be called Flux and is one, six-episode long story premiering October 31st, 2021!
    • As it happens, if we had been diligent, we would’ve ended ON October 31. However, we fell a week behind (sorry, guys).
    • We’re not sure if we can pull it off, but we’re gonna try to double up over the next two weeks. So watch your feeds and you may get a surprise episode in the middle of the week soon.
  • Next time, we’re covering the 2021 New Year’s Special, Revolution of the Daleks
  • After Series 13, we want to do a Best Of series. We’re going to cover our favorite story from each NuWho Doctor, and then our favorite Festive special! And by “our” I mean “all of us”. Go to noobsandthewhovian.com/bestof to take the survey and help us pick the very best of NuWho.


Noobs and the Whovian is a production of Master Closet Studios, where it’s always smaller on the inside. Your Senior Producer is Austin Reason. Our Audio Engineer is Thing One: Tripp Reason. Our Production Editor is the Other One: Corbin Reason. Special thanks to tardis.fandom.com for the trivia, and to Jared for the Classic Who Connection. Shout outs to Victor and Jared for their Patreon support.

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Until next time, be safe if you can. But always. Be. Amazing.