; Date: February 23, 2020
The story of Officer Brendan is a curious addition to Ascension of the Cybermen because his story doesn't seem correlated to the Cybermen story. For most of the episode I was expecting Brendan to somehow be converted to become that Cyberman that we met at Villa Diodati.
In Diodati, that Cyberman talked about having killed his wife and children because they joined the resistance. That line makes me think there was a split in humanity - those who are supporting the Cybermen, and those who are fighting back.
Getting back to Officer Brendan - the story starts with him being found on a country road. His future-father was riding a bicycle somewhere, saw the basket with a baby, carries it home, and is then seen showing it to the police captain. Brendan is then shown growing up, going to school, etc, then deciding to join the police force, with his application being handled by the same police captain.
Officer Brendan says his goal is to Make A Difference which is a vague non-specific sentence. Which reiterated the thought Brendan might have something in him that makes his destiny to be Cyberman. But...
Officer Brendan shoulda died but didn't
The first key event comes when Officer Brendan is chasing a thief across the moors. They're running towards the cliff, and when the thief see's the cliff he stops for a confrontation with Officer Brendan. During the confrontation, Brendan is forced to the cliff-top where the thief shoots him, and he falls off the cliff - which looks to be 100 feet high, or so.
Surely being shot and falling off such a cliff would kill someone.
Instead - at the bottom of the cliff, somehow the police captain is able to run up - how did the police captain know to be there? - and be there when Officer Brendan suddenly opens his eyes, takes a deep gasping breath, and comes back to life.
Those of us who've seen Capt. Jack scenes know this scenario. We saw Capt. Jack get convincingly killed in many ways, shot, stabbed, etc, even shot by Daleks, and he simply takes a deep gasping breath and comes back to life. It even worked that way when someone trapped him in a building with a massive bomb, and even though his body was blown to tiny tiny tiny pieces, it took a few weeks for enough of his body to rebuild so he would come back to life.
Therefore - whatever else is going on - it seems that Officer Brendan is somehow associated with the story of Capt. Jack.
The other thing to think about is that next week's episode is titled The Endless Children.
We were told about The Myth of the Endless Child earlier in the season, during Skyfall 2 when The Master told The Doctor that everything we all knew about Gallifrey was wrong.
Officer Brendan's story fits what one might call an Endless Child, doesn't it? That is - someone who revives after certain death, like Capt. Jack does, is probably Endless to some definition of Endless.
There's the question of another event in Officer Brendan's life. Towards the end of the episode we see him being honored for a lifetime of service, and retiring, being given a clock as a retirement gift. Then on the way out of the police building he's met by his father and the police captain, who tell him to go with them to the back room. In that room, he's strapped to a chair, headphones put on, connected to electrical equipment, etc.
His father says they'll have to remove everything. The police captain thanks him for his service, and apologizes that he won't remember anything. They turn on the equipment - his hands strapped to the chair - and then there's a cut to the humans who'd stolen the Cyber ship, and the controls of that ship involve the hands being strapped to paddles in the same sort of way. Does that segue mean to connect the scene with Officer Brendan to Cybermen in some way?
THe curious thing is that his father and the police captain do not look aged, while Officer Brendan has aged and has white hair. Why would that be?
What does that scene mean?
Is that scene the first stage of a Cyber conversion? That's what I thought at first, and that somehow the father and police captain were ones on the side of Cybermen. But ... that's not how Cybermen operate. Cybermen operate in the open, and do conversions of humans in the open.
Another possibility is that the father and police captain are part of some kind of Order that finds/locates/nurtures/protects Endless Children. So... that scene where Officer Brendan is connected to the equipment has something do do with preparing for transferring to the place where the Endless Children live? Uh... I'm not sure. My guesswork is starting to fail me.
This is another possible clue. That the show carefully puts significance on this indicates it has significance. It's not the first time this season where significance was placed on a time-piece. In Skyfall 1, the episode starts with Ruth (who later became The Ruth-Doctor) focusing on her watch as she was eating breakfast and waiting for husband Lee to wake up.
Which leads my thoughts to yet another theory - that the father and police captain are some kind of Time Lord agents who seek out kids that show signs of being Endless Children. The Time Lords would be able to scour the universe for the presence of such children, and then send agents to watch them for a few years, and then take them out of their timelines at an appropriate time.
Bottom line is that I started writing this posting certain that Officer Brendan is related to Capt. Jack and/or the Endless Children. But I'm having trouble coming up with a clear theory how that could be. This is far more likely than the alternative, that somehow Officer Brendan had been selected to become a Cyberman.