Part 2: Fear

Writer/director: Nicholas Briggs
Big Finish Productions
RRP: 10.99
ISBN 1 84435 118 1
Available 02 November 2005

As the androids begin to realise the truth about Earth's new "allies", Liam Barnaby's suspicions about Paul Hunt continue to grow. What kind of hold does Hunt have over Liam's old friend President Brett? Liam gains an unlikely ally in the form of Hunt's ex-girlfriend, Samantha Thorne...

The second part of Nicholas Briggs' Cyber-serial marks a change of emphasis. Whereas the previous episode concentrated on Admiral-turned-President Karen Brett (Sarah Mowat), the mysterious Paul Hunt (Barnaby Edwards) and Earth's perspective on the human/android conflict, this instalment turns the spotlight on these characters' foils. Fear focuses on Brett's right-hand man, Liam Barnaby (Mark McDonnell) and Hunt's ex Samantha Thorne (Hannah Smith), and presents the androids' point of view for the first time.

Liam's early dialogue contains a heck of a lot of visual description about what is going on around him. So thank goodness he gains Samantha as a sidekick (or is he her sidekick?) so that he no longer has to tell no one in particular (meaning we the audience) how fast a pursuing vehicle is travelling, etc.

Samantha explains that mankind has forgotten about the Cybermen, whereas androids never forget. This might be a reference to the mythology of Doctor Who, in which humans have demonstrated a knack for neglecting Cyber-attacks that have taken place earlier in their history.

In addition to writing and directing this production, Briggs also plays a few small roles, including the well-realised Cybermen and CyberPlanner voices - truly bringing the sounds of the Troughton serials The Wheel in Space and The Invasion to life. Like Little Britain's Dennis Waterman, he also wrote the feem toon and sings the feem toon! Well, he speaks the word "Cyberman" at the end of it anyway.

Unfortunately, compared with Part 1, relatively little seems to happen in this episode. Hopefully things will hot up over the next couple of instalments. This series' slogan is "There is nothing to fear", which is ironic, because there isn't that much to Fear.

Richard McGinlay

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