Monday, July 27, 2009
Like most stories that begin with its sole focus on The Doctor and his companions, this episode starts very mysteriously with little explanation as to what is going on. The opening shot is that of the TARDIS reforming (taken from the end of the previous serial, The Mind Robber), with no sign of The Master (from The Land of Fiction, of course, not THAT Master), nor with any mention of him. Was The Mind Robber, indeed, just a dream?
The TARDIS crew doesn't have time to worry about this, though, as they're now facing the prospect of being blown out of space by a rocket launched from the dark side of the Moon(!). I assume the background to this will be explained. It certainly wasn't during the course of this episode. Anyway, once the TARDIS instigates an emergency landing, the crew seem to have arrived in the middle of a dictatorship, hitching a ride with someone who is on the outs with the prevailing leader and, particularly, his henchman.
As per usual for a Cybermen story, there is no sign of the metal beasts, nor are they imminent, apart from the strange computer in Tobias Vaughn's office. Oh, and seeing that there's eight episodes in this story, there'll be plenty of time to mention Kevin Stoney as Vaughn and just how bloody awesome he is.
I should also mention the neat novelty of the DVD release and the animated reconstructions for episodes one and four. The relative success of these reconstructions has led many fans to demand such recons for other missing stories, but, to be honest, the animation is slightly crude, reminding me, in an unflattering way, of other quickly made, Flash-animated cartoon series like 6teen (for those who didn't spend 6 years working at a TV station that broadcast cartoons, feel free to look that one up) and even the 2007 animated Doctor Who serial The Infinite Quest. As I said - a neat novelty, but probably not worth the considerable cost it took to bring them into being.
Posted by Steven at 10:56 AM