Reviewed By: traves8853
Review Date: 9/6/15 6:34 pm
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Series 2: Launched in 2009, Cyberman 2 is the sequel series to the 2005 Cyberman audio series produced by Big Finish Productions, and was written by 'Kingdom of Silver' author James Swallow. The Cybermen have taken over Earth.
Liam has been tried in absentia for treason and is to be publicly executed. The assassination attempt is in full swing despite protests from Samantha. Lots of action. Paul Hunt suffers emotive bleed through. Hazel is reunited with her sister. Orion central control is still planning to destroy the Earth, unless the Cybermen are destroyed. The livestock rebels and Sam prepares the logic bomb.
In terms of music the second series is more dynamic and wistful, a much needed improvement to the fine but at times dreary arrangement of the previous series without sacrificing anything. It has more of an eighties feel than the sixties vibe of series 1. The voices of the Cybermen are a little less modulated and have the sing song wonkiness of the Cybermen in 'Spare Parts'.
Both Mark McDonnell and Hannah Smith return as Liam and Samantha respectively, and their characters relationship has moved on from the clumsy sexual acrobatics of the last series. Even to the point of making sacrifices for each other. New additions are Jo Castleton as cab driver Hazel Trahn and Cal Jaggers who plays Becca Trahn, Hazel's blind sister. Baranaby Edwards also returns as Paul Hunt, and Toby Hadoke plays Louis Ricther. The characterisation in this series is a definite step up from the last. The characters feel like reel people with real lives, giving the whole thing a deeper, richer more complexly detailed feel to it. The even have derogatory language like 'Tinnies' for the Cybermen to indicate the societal divisions. Also terms like Synths and Organics highlighted the theme of division rather than the theme of unity from the first series. Hadoke's inclusion feels like stunt casting, his performance isn't as tight and his delivery is off.
The original series felt like it should have been three episodes, and had weaker characterisation. Her groups are split up and given sub-plots, giving a fuller experience. The Cybermen are also more off a threat in this series rather than just lurking in the shadows. It was a bold move letting James Swallow write the second series but it paid off handsomely, and I think highlight the favouritism handed to Briggs isn't always justified. The last series was remarkably consistent this one even more so and manages to push the standards of the last series and even betters them. The Cybermen are more of an overt menace here rather than skulking in the shadows.