Friday, 10 June 2011

Attack Of The Cybermen (Part 2)


Originally Broadcast 12th January 1985
Written by: Paula Moore

In a nutshell: The Cybermen now have control of the Doctor’s TARDIS, taking him to their adopted planet Telos, where it is revealed their plan involves Halley’s comet and changing the course of history in order to save their home planet.

Review: I previously said I myself have always had mixed opinions of this story, but I can’t help but really enjoy it this time round and I’m not sure why (although hopefully I’ll discover why through this review!). I thought, despite the heavy continuity (which was explained fairly well), the Cybermen’s plan was very clever and quite cunning as well. It certainly developed itself nicely until we’d learnt all there was to know about the plot.

Lytton was a great character, much better than his initial Dalek appearance (1984’s Resurrection) and for a while I genuinely didn’t know what side or what race he was working for. The bank robbery plotline turned out ok as well, Molloy getting a good character with Russell, who was sadly diminished rather poorly.
Another set of characters that were brilliantly realised (creating a change of atmosphere in episode one), were the two half-Cyber Telos characters. Both of whom were wasted in this episode, with their storyline coming to nothing, making me wonder why we even had to watch what they went though in the first part. Pointless much?

The brilliant Lytton in a dark scene
Away from this I can’t make up my mind on the Cryons, their costumes look good at times and terrible at others, although some of the acting was relatively decent from them. It’s a shame they didn’t really do anything except pretend to be bad guys for no reason near Peri though.

The last two minutes to this episode are, probably, the weakest from the entire story with the entire production suddenly feeling very rushed. Lytton sadly dies and Moore (I think an alias for Eric Saward) gives the Doctor what he ‘should’ (quotation marks used sparingly) feel like, emotionally. I don’t get why the Doctor sudenly comes over gloomy for all of one minute before the adventure (very abruptly) ends.

The music, which I pointed out how I hate, from the first episode makes another appearance to my annoyance. However, at least they give a new spin on it, with the production probably thinking:

“No, we’ve used this music before, it’s old now.”
“We could always compose something new and fun and catchy?”
“I know, why don’t we speed it up and play the same thing again?”

And I hate the music in episode two as well as episode one. Nevertheless, I don’t get any reason why people dislike Colin Baker from this two parter as he’s on excellent form, a really brilliant actor who portrays his Doctor very differently to others, yet it works and feels fresh after the disastrous attempt at his character in ‘The Twin Dilemma’, Baker really has eased into the role and dominates the show for this episode.

A famous scene from the serial as the Doctor attacks!

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