This is the third story in season 6 of Doctor Who. It features Troughton‘s Doctor with Jamie McCrimmon and Zoe Heriot as the companions. In this story we get the second appearance of the Brig (yay!) and the version of the Cyberman seen in this story was used up until Earthshock in 1982. Episodes one and four of this eight part story are considered missing – but there are animated versions of those parts available.
More animated Troughton! My first exposure to animation of the missing episodes of Doctor Who was the 2016 release of Power of the Daleks in animated form. This episode reminded me how much I actually enjoy the animation as a replacement for missing episodes. I really love the black and white animated Tardis. The animation of the Tardis crew is a bit clunky in parts, but it overall it does an effective job of conveying the imagery of the story.
I loved the background music in this one, particularly the music which accompanied the Doctor and Jamie when they were being followed and taken to UNIT – the music combined with the 1960s computers and SF costuming help were some of my favourite parts of this episode. This is the only Who story with music composed by Don Harper. I also enjoyed Zoe blowing up a computer by overwhelming it with logic.
Kevin Stoney‘s performance as Tobias Vaughn was the standout part of this episode. The evil, scheming, company owner is well done. The bit about his two offices being identical and standardization as the key to success is a well done gentle hat tip to the coming Cyberman in the episode.
Another animated episode, complete with a daring helicopter rescue by UNIT. The cliffhanger ending is the Cyberman reveal, which actually looks fantastic in animated form.
My favourite part of this episode is the rage from Isobel and Zoe when they are told they shouldn’t do something because they are women, and their response to being told that men are ‘better’ at that kind of thing. So much rage, snark, and wit from Zoe and Isobel in that scene. The fact that they then leave to ‘prove the men wrong’ also made me smile.
I found this episode a little slow paced. But it’s worth sticking through to get to the monumental scene of the Cyberman bursting out of the sewers and taking on London.
Back the sewers! This time its the Doctor navigating the underground to get back to Vaughn’s control area. We’re into the earth defending itself from the Cyberman phase of the story – with a lot of UNIT action and defense planning. Plus Zoe does some quick math and the UNIT team listens to her advice, a win for team Zoe.
More rockets, counter attacks, and scrambling to prevent the Cyberman taking over earth. And UNIT pulls out a bazooka which I kind of love the ridiculousness of.
Overall, there is a lot of greatness in this story. I loved the Brig and both Zoe and Isobel have some quality segments where they actually engage with Cyberman and do their own thing.