Reviewed By: adamelijah
Review 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.