Monday, October 19, 2009
The first episode of Revenge of the Cybermen just feels a bit off for a Philip Hinchcliffe production. This seems odd to me, given that the same sets for Nerva Beacon were just used in the previous story produced, The Ark in Space, so familiarity with them and how to light and shoot them would have been high. But these sets seem almost smaller in scale by the way that they're shot. Is it perhaps because of director Michael Briant that this looks slightly substandard? His Death to the Daleks was equally uninspiring, after all.
It may be because of the music score by Carey Blyton, which is better than either of his previous two scores for the series, but that might be because of Peter Howell tweaking it after the fact on the instructions of Briant. It might be because of the fact that there are only four human characters to start the story, and one (Warner) dies before the end of Episode One. Who of those left are we supposed to root for? Because we're certainly not rooting for the Vogans.
Is it perhaps because, for the umpteenth time running, this is a Cybermen story that, frustratingly, doesn't actually feature Cybermen? Their sole scene in Episode One is a very poor scene that sees the Cyberleader (a new creation for this story about which more later) standing in a spaceship behind his two pilots, arm raised, ready to give a command to, presumably, change course. He then motions to the two Cybermen, and the Cybermen obey and change course...despite the fact that both Cybermen have their backs turned to their leader! Have they developed telepathy since their last appearance?
The episode ends with Elisabeth Sladen doing her absolute best to make it look like a Cybermat (and, my, haven't they grown) is attacking her by flailing it about while still trying to hold the prop to her neck. She succeeds only slightly more than Alec Wallis as Warner did earlier in the episode...
Posted by Steven at 12:32 PM