The Doctor and Nyssa explore an underground city on an eerily
familiar planet where no planet should be. The last denizens
of Earth's long-lost twin are prepared to pay any price in
order to survive, even if it costs them their humanity...
me, the creepiest Cybermen of them all are the ones that appear
in their debut story, 1966's The Tenth Planet. Despite
- or perhaps because of - their grating sing-song voices,
these models seem more menacing than the later, more technologically
advanced types. With their cloth faces and cumbersome fittings,
the Tenth Planet Cybermen are more akin to undead mummies
or Frankenstein's monster than to mere robots.
pleased I am, therefore, to hear their original voices so
lovingly re-created by sound designer Gareth Jenkins and performer
Nicholas Briggs. We also get to hear the vocal style of the
Moonbase and Tomb of the Cybermen versions,
spoken here by the governing Cyberplanner. Perhaps the latter
voice has been re-created a little too perfectly, however,
because - just as in the 1960s - it is sometimes rather difficult
to tell what is being said!
Genesis of the Daleks ruffled the feathers of some
hard-core fans when it was first screened in 1975, Spare
Parts slots seamlessly into established TV continuity
(but without requiring any specialised foreknowledge on the
part of the listener). The chain of events that leads to the
creation of the Cybermen seems entirely logical - and tragic.
The creatures' very name is presaged by the Mondasians' use
of job titles such as Doctorman and Sisterman.
his depiction of Mondas, writer Marc Platt has created a surprising
world that to an extent resembles Earth circa 1950, but which
is also chillingly out of kilter. On the one hand we have
a homely tea-fixated Dad (Paul Copley), but on the other we
are presented with cybernetically augmented policemen mounted
upon similarly augmented horses. Whimsical elements such as
Dad's wry comment about his accordion-shaped chest unit are
soon offset by a more grim and grisly tone, as Platt taps
into the horrific themes of the aforementioned Frankenstein.
the first episode's ending is something of a non-cliffhanger
(the Doctor and Nyssa seem perfectly safe within the confines
of the TARDIS), the drama as a whole is quite simply the most
original and significant Cybermen story since their debut.