The human race could be about to become extinct. Mankind
is fighting a long and costly war with its android creations,
who want human rights and will stop at nothing to get them.
The deadlock must be broken at all costs. The President of
Earth must think the unthinkable...
expected, the first part of this new mini-series shows every
sign of doing for the Cybermen what Dalek Empire did
for the Daleks. This is logical.
Denied the visual appeal of Doctor Who's second-most-famous
monsters, writer/director Nicholas Briggs uses the creatures
in more original, interesting and unpredictable ways than
they were usually afforded by writers of the old television
series. The Cybermen's scheme isn't simply to take over a
planet and/or wipe out humanity: it's more complex than that,
and we are given only tantalising clues towards it in this
with the Dalek Empire series, Cyberman's roots
lie in earlier episodes of Big Finish's Who output:
in this case, the human/android conflict depicted in the Paul
McGann adventure Sword
of Orion. Briggs' music is also essentially
the same memorable mixture of Malcolm Clarke and Dominic Glynn,
inspiring a palpable sense of lurking menace. This time, though,
the Cybermen speak not with their 1980s-style booming declarations
but with Troughton-era vocal modulations, which are far better
suited to the Invasion Cyberman depicted on the cover.
If this episode has a fault, it's that it is slightly bitty.
Ideas seem to be toyed with then discarded as though by a
bored child. A torture scene highlights the obvious irony
of mankind's capacity for inhumanity in the midst of battle
against inhuman killers. However, Briggs seems to realise
that his morality tale is in imminent danger of reaching its
conclusion three episodes too early, and so the torturer,
Admiral Brett, is soon heard to regret her actions. Later
on, the Admiral receives two Macbeth-style predictions
of power, but both come to pass within minutes of running
apologies for not naming any members of the cast, but instead
of production credits this CD directs the listener, Spooks-style,
to a web page, and the cast list remains shrouded in mystery.
niggles aside, if you're hungry for the Cybermen's return
in the 2006 series of Doctor Who (a typically emotional
response, a sign of human weakness), then this four-part saga
should tide you over nicely.
I managed to get through an entire Cyberman review
without using the word "excellent" - oh bugger, I've said
this item online
compare prices online so you get the cheapest
deal! Click on the logo of the desired store
below to purchase this item.
All prices correct at time of going to press.