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1.2 - Fear >

1.1 - Scorpius

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Average Rating
7.7
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56
Cybermen - Series 1
7.7
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Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 12/25/17 3:46 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The beginning of the Cybermen set is interesting as it doesn't begin with an invasion but rather sets the stage as we meet Admiral-and later President Karen Brett, who is become a hero in the Earth's ongoing war against the androids in Orion. The focus is set mostly on Brett, particularly in the second half after she assumes the Presidency. She's suspicious of initial overtures towards her through the Scorpius project and even more reasons to be suspicious emerge throughout the story. However, the story is about her growing frustration and desperation as this is going on.

It's an interesting take on a premiere story, and it's an interesting idea. In Doctor Who, often those who collaborate with the Cybermen on vainglorious fools. Scorpius offers us a heroine who sees problems with the situation but is forced consider it because of what's going on around her. Sarah Mowat helps by turning a superb performance.

The story does have some pacing issues, and there are few military and political ideas that I was somewhat dubious. Still, this is an intriguing lead-off story for the Cybermen series.

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Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 8/19/17 1:49 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

I'm really interested in how Nick Briggs decides where to start the story. On one of the "Dalek Empire III" discs, he talks about how he inteded to start the story with more-or-less what became episode three, but was persuaded by early script feedback to expand the Graxis Wardens from a background detail into major characters. I mention that because this episode also seems to have a somewhat arbitrary starting point. The story could have started with President Levinson's resistance to the Scorpius program, or it could eliminated Levinson entirely and started with President Brett. I don't have any complaints about where this story starts, but I am curious how and why Briggs decided to start there.

The story picks up on the backstory of "Sword of Orion", which is an interesting choice. I know that story is quite popular, but in my view, the backstory involving the war between the humans and their android creations was the most interesting thing about it. I am aware that subsequent episodes will deal with the androids more directly, but this episode seems to be taking mostly the same approach as "Sword of Orion"... the Orion War is the motivating factor which convinces humanity to start messing around with Cyber technology, in the hopes of discovering a technological advantage. That's totally fine, it works fine. But I am a little frustrated that we've got this really interesting concept of a human vs. android war, and so far, we're just using it to tell stories about Cybermen.

It's not that I don't love the Cybermen... I do! They've been favorite ever since I was a little kid. I bought at least three copies of David Banks's indispensable coffee-table book (because I kept losing them... I'm pretty sure one was stolen). But "Sword of Orion" didn't really do anything new with them. We'll see where this story goes, but for this episode, they're just a lurking menace.

I feel like I'm endlessly criticizing the villains' plans lately, but I'm going to do it here too. I don't think that killing President Levinson was a very good move, and I'm really surprised that it worked out so well. I realize that Brett is feeling desperate by the end of the episode, and that she's already been established as a character willing to take extreme measures in pursuit of victory. And yet, shouldn't it be clear to her that she's being manipulated and threatened into activating the Scorpius program, which clearly has its own agenda? I feel like she's being very foolish, and I'm already disposed to dislike her because she started off the story by torturing someone.

By the way, torture is morally wrong, and it doesn't work. The script, via President Levinson, seems to acknowledge that torture is at least a morally questionable undertaking, but it could have been a bit more forceful about it. Depicting torture as effective is irresponsible, and using it to demonstrate a character's toughness is gross. I have very little patience for these right-wing militaristic fantasies.

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Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 9/5/15 1:26 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Scorpious sets up the first Cybermen series and shares a lot of qualities with its 'Dalek Empire' cousin. It's a dystopian tale where the ends justify the means. It helps but is not necessary to have heard 'Sword of Orion' from the main range of Big Finish releases. Written and directed by BF stalwart Nick Briggs who also voices the Cybermen.

The Earth is engaged is a long bloody war with the androids and are morale is at an all-time low. Admiral Karen Brett has snatched victory from the jaws of defeat by dubious means, and thus claiming a vital victory for her home planet. Paul Hunt receives a call in the middle of the night, project Scorpious have been activated and he leaves behind his home life most likely for good. After gaining notoriety for her actions Karen is summed to a secret rendezvous with Paul Hunt and a trail of intrigue and suspicion begins as the Earth President is assassinated by an armoured stranger and Karen’s rise begin to power begins in earnest.

The soundscape is ominous and the cold harsh grating tones of the Cyber voices are perfectly pitched. It's always hard to describe the musical impact when the atmosphere realise much more on sound effects, but the impact of a more functional arrangement is not diminished.

Scorpious: 'Scorpious' jumps around a bit initially offering small bits of information and our first experience of Karen is her torturing a prisoner to death to gain the code to destroy a fleet of android ships poised to launch an attack. Straight from the off we are left with no illusions as to how far Karen is prepared to go. Packed with political intrigue in a bleak future the Cybermen rarely feature in the initial episode.

The head strong Karen is played by Sarah Mowat who also voices the central character 'Susan Mendes' from the Dalek Empire series, also written, directed and largely voiced by Nick Briggs. And whilst offering more realism this series is so stylistically similar gives it an almost incestuous feel. Barnaby Edwards, another Big Finish regular, plays Paul Hunt is a mysterious figure working for an unknown organisation, but is equally determined and ruthless. Baranby most notably has featured in both ‘Sword of Orion’ as Digly and 'Storm Warning' as Rathbone. Undercover Sam Thorn is played by Hannah Smith.
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Reviewed By: Tim90Review Date: 6/11/13 7:17 pm
2 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Scorpius is the first part of the first series of Cyberman. As you'd expect this opening episode has to set the scene for the rest of the series and it does this brilliantly leaving this listener eagerly anticipating the next episode. The main plot for Scorpius revolves around the Orion war between the Humans and the Androids which was previously seen (or rather heard) in the 8th Doctor audio "Sword Of Orion". While it isnt neccesary to have heard "Sword Of Orion before you hear Cyberman I would still recommend you do as it will give you more background information into the Orion War. The Cybermen themselves dont really appear too often in Scorpius but to be honest as it is the opening episode I didnt really think they would.

I highly recommend Scorpius especially if you were a fan of "Sword Of Orion". If the rest of the series is as good as this then I cant wait to hear it.