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< The Twin Dilemma
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Attack of the Cybermen

Rating Votes
10
2%
2
9
8%
7
8
24%
21
7
26%
23
6
25%
22
5
10%
9
4
5%
4
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
6.9
Votes
88
Director:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
5
Plot Rating:
4
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
5
Effects Rating:
4
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: MercuryReview Date: 2/9/19 1:23 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This two part story in my opinion has a decent but flawed first episode and an unsatisfactory second episode. There are lots of good bits to the first episode. The performances of Maurice Colbourne and Brian Glover as Lytton and Griffiths are great. There is some gritty dramatic build up. There is some atmospheric sense of menace and the promising appearance of the Cybermen. There are some nice references to Doctor Who lore right back to the first ever episode and to The Tenth Planet and Tomb of the Cybermen. It should be a great story. The problems are already there right from the start though. Early scenes in the TARDIS have pointless aspects of the Doctor working on circuits and the TARDIS going out of control which all is for no importance in the plot. It has Peri questioning the Doctor as to the stability of his regeneration which could have given them the opportunity to say he WAS unstable and was going to mellow but instead they reiterate this is the 6th Doctor's personality. I find that a missed chance to move in a better direction. Colin's acting is usually really good but his characterisation is not good. He is often unlikable, egotistical, pompous, obnoxious, loud and aggressive. This is mostly the fault of Showrunner John Nathan Turner but also partly Baker's own fault and that of writers and directors. It is no good people defending it saying he would have mellowed if given longer in the role because two whole series is long enough to expect a much faster and more successful improvement of the character. That could have started here but they preferred to say "this is the new Doctor - get used to it!" which I think was a mistake. The first part also shows some signs of the Doctor's violent streak (which is way beyond any other incarnation of the Doctor) as he fights a fake policeman and threatens people.

The Cybermen when they appear are sadly given very inadequate voices. They do not sound good and the delivery of dialogue is lame, sounding far too human and emotional. An emotionless mechanical voice would have vastly improved all the Cybermen scenes as would having a Cyber Leader who was not clearly a bit chubby around the waist!

There are poorly executed action scenes throughout as fights appear like bad amateur dramatics. One or two such scenes in episode 1 are followed by numerous inadequate scenes in part two where people look unconvincing as they fight and fall over unnaturally. Peri (Nicola Bryant) sadly is also, as usual, very wooden and comes across as a whining annoyance. She is used as pretty window dressing but rarely gives anything to add quality to stories apart from sub par acting.

The music for this serial is also poor.

At the end of part 1 things are already missing the potentially great standard but are still reasonably OK. Episode 2 goes downhill a lot though. The complicated plot does not come through to conclusion in a coherent way and things become very violent. Darkness and scares are great and what I want from Doctor Who most weeks but this is just heavy handedly done at times and involves the Doctor shooting Cybermen with guns, blowing things up with a sonic lance and threatening to kill people. I object to making the Doctor use violence in such an aggressive and easy way. The character has always used brains over brawn and found clever ways to deal with things. The 3rd Doctor did his Venusian Aikido to unarm or temporarily disable but the 6th Doctor is shown to happily engage in physically attacking, shooting, threatening and killing those in his way. It is too much and is the biggest problem with this story (and others which followed).

In part 2 we also get the arrival of the poorly designed and cheaply put together Cryons. Their alien behaviour and reliance on cold are good ideas and they could have been a good addition. As it is, they are embarrassingly bad in appearance and end up as a negative aspect.

Things come to an uninspired anti climax and overall this story was, for me, a disappointment. Good ingredients and scenes of gritty atmosphere are wasted with a poorly developed production and bad choices in the Doctor's behaviour.

Episode 1 - 6.5/10, Episode 2 - 4/10, Overall story - 5.25/10.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: BrainofMorbius23Review Date: 12/8/17 2:23 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Nostalgic value helps this story for my regards.
It’s the first doctor who I ever watched when I was 6.
It’s pretty mediocre but the cybermen are brutal and it’s definitely a more violent doctor who experience. Nice touch to have the tardis actually use chameleon circuits for a short change.

All in all it’s vetter than silver nemesis at least

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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: AlfredReview Date: 10/3/15 8:32 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This is one the best from Colin Baker's tenure. Lytton and his crime gang are very watchable, some good picaresque cliches; so are the renegades on Telos. The cybermen are menacing with one unfortunate exception (see below). The range of scenery from London sewers to the exterior of Telos and the cyber tombs is good.

The negatives are the cyber controller appears hilariously overweight, there is a torture scene, something which is out of place in a family TV show and the Doctor appears to enjoy a bit of violence.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 3/12/15 12:37 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Attack of the Cybermen stars Colin Baker's first Season as the Doctor (and also the first full season of 45 minute episodes) off with an exciting story. In it, the Doctor and Peri arrive in London to find strange goings on in the sewers and the return of the spooky fake policemen from Resurrection of the Daleks, and more importantly the Cybermen.

The story serves as a good fresh introduction to the Sixth Doctor after the fiasco of the Twin Dilemma. The Doctor is far more aggressive than his predecessor, using fists and guns without compunction and even threatening an undercover police officer by ordering Peri to shoot him. Yet the Doctor also has a few warmer moments with the Cryons as well as a great character moment at the very end of the story. Of course, with the pure ruthlessness of the Cybermen, it's hard to feel this isn't warranted.

The Cybermen have always been a menace, but this story shows them as a brutal evil every much as sinister as the Daleks and brings home their true horror

The story features some fantastic guest characters and Lytton is the very best. I also think this sotry did a great job in making the Cryons a species with great nobiity but also a weird alieness about their manner that's pretty rare compared to the near human aliens we often get.

As to downsides, the music is off in this. While the comedic stuff is okay for the chameleon circuit experiment stuff, it really feels out of place on Telos. While I like the Cyrons, it does seem they almost provide too much resolution to the plot and it does seem like the two pilots on the planet surface could have been cut without losing a lot from the story.

I can also understand some reasons people might have for not liking it in 1985. The violence doesn't really fit very well with a family show. While there would be some scary moments in prior seasons (particularly during the Hinchcliffe era), the level of almost constant violence is pretty high, although a little bit lower than Resurrection of the Daleks.

I say that this doesn't require prior episode because the show wasn't made assuming people had seen them because most of them couldn't have. While in the 21st Century, we have access to Tomb of the Cybermen and The Tenth Planet on DVD, people in 1985 with both of these stories being at least partially lost. So many of the continuity references related to things most of the audience barely had a clue about unless they were superfans and that hardly makes a new Doctor very accessible.

Still, I found this a strong and memorable start to Season 22, even if it was a grim.

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