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Doctor Who: Attack of the Cybermen

“You can't use that thing — it's obscene!”

After the complete disaster that was 'The Twin Dilemma' you would think that the only way was up for the Sixth Doctor era. You'd be mistaken.

I’m trying, I really am, but I just can’t think of many nice things to say about ‘Attack of the Cybermen’. It's rubbish and not very lovable rubbish at that. Performance wise, Colin Baker continues to ham his way through a role that is now being written with all the thought and care of the Trump administration. Yeah, I got slightly political there. Deal with it. The writers and producers didn't seem to have any idea who they wanted the Sixth Doctor to be so they just threw everything at screen and hoped something would stick. Too bad they couldn't find anything corrosive to throw at that ghastly costume. And as for Peri, she continues to do exactly what she was hired to do: look sexy and complain a lot. You really have to feel for Nicola Bryant.

The writing of this story was notoriously a fucking fiasco. Debate still rages over who actually wrote it, although considering the final product I'm surprised anyone would want to claim responsibility for this turd. Not only is the plot a total mess, but you need at least a master's degree in Cyber-History to understand even half of what’s going on. Casual viewers need not apply.

For some reason, Maurice Colbourne's conniving mercenary Lytton, who first showed up wearing some seriously dodgy looking headgear in 'Resurrection of the Daleks', has been brought back for an encore. I can image this was because Eric Saward knew, having wrote 'Earthshock', what a bunch of monotoned dullards the Cybermen are and wanted someone around with at least a glimmer of charisma. Too bad Saward couldn't think of anything for him to actually do, besides meet a very bloody end.

The Sixth Doctor era has become infamous for its graphic violence, all of it unnecessary and completely gratuitous. Did we really need to see the Cybermen crush Lytton's hands to a bloody pulp? No, we didn't because it added nothing to the story whatsoever. Doctor Who should be scary, not needlessly gruesome.

Notes and Quotes

--This season saw the show undergo a minor format change. Story arcs were now two episodes long with each episode 45 minutes,

--Terry Molloy makes a rare non-Davros appearance as Russell.

--The Doctor actually manages to repair the TARDIS' chameleon circuit, allowing it to take the shape of a decorated stove, a pipe organ, and an ornamental gateway.

--It turns out it was the Cyber-Controller who ate all the pies (sorry, couldn’t resist).

The Doctor: "A little gratitude wouldn't irretrievably damage my ego."

The Doctor: "The TARDIS, when working properly, is capable of many amazing things. Not unlike myself."

Peri: "I only hope it believes you."
The Doctor: "Well if it doesn't, I shall beat it into submission... with my charm."

Russell: "Who are you?"
The Doctor: "I've already told you. I am known as the Doctor. I'm also a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous."
Russell: "You're bonkers."
The Doctor: "That's debatable."

Peri: "What is that terrible smell?"
Lytton: "Death."
Griffiths: "Trust him to cheer everyone up."
Peri: "What do you mean, death?"
Lytton: "The sour, rank odour of death is unmistakable."

One out of four fat controllers.
Mark Greig is walking on sunshine (Wow!) and don't it feel good. More Mark Greig

1 comment:

  1. This one is pretty bad too, although I'd argue that it did indeed have more care applied towards its writing than the abysmal Trump 'administration'!

    The only part I really liked is when the Doctor was trying to fix the chameleon circuit and it was organ at one point. It didn't last of course, but that was a rather fun bit.

    Lytton could have been so much more interesting as I found him one of the best aspects of this story and of Resurrection, but as you say, he's underused and the hand crushing helped nothing.

    Sadly, this is slightly above average for the 6th Doctor's stories. Which considering that it's not good is a testament to how poor things had gotten.


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