The Doctor and the Cybermen Face Off Again….Excellent

“Hour of the Cybermen” is a Doctor Who audio play from Big Finish Productions and stars Colin Baker.  Andrew Smith wrote this particular story where the Sixth Doctor is summoned by his old allies, UNIT, to look into a very unusual drought afflicting Britain. The Cybermen have masterminded a new attack on Earth, and the Doctor will have his work cut out for him to thwart it.

This episode has a quite a few gems tucked away in it for the long-time fans.  The most obvious one is that David Banks and Mark Hardy reprise their roles from the television series as the version of the Cyberman from the 1980’s.  Much like the Doctor, the Cybermen have some varying versions over the years.  What was amusing about Banks’ interpretation of the Cyber Leader, he often seemed oddly boisterous for being one of a race who had all of their emotions removed. I have to admit to letting out a bark of laughter when I heard the booming, modulated “Excellent!” reverberating around my car. Fortunately, it was not a schtick that was used more than once.

Colin Baker really seemed to relish the script as well. He is very reliable in this series, probably because the writing is so much better than what he was stuck during his time on the television series.

There were some fairly surprising twists.  It seems that the character of Daniel Hopkins, played by Blake Harrison, is going to be the thread through a trilogy that will conclude with the Seventh Doctor.

The whole support cast was very engaging.  There was even an actress with the rather unlikely billing of Frog Stone.

The Cybermen have been my favorite of the Doctor’s many foes. There was something enticingly chilling about their single minded goal of converting people to their imposing silver image, removing their emotions and memories.

The episode comes off very well.  There is a pretty good blend of creativity and the familiar.

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