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Attack of the Cybermen
1 (or for the US 1 and 2)
This first 45 minute parts is...and I have to admit that I've always hated this story and considered it awful...is not as bad as I thought. In what is probably the most changed opinion and turnaround for me, I found this first part fairly engaging. Perhaps it was the going back to the girl-Doc double pair, perhaps the threat of changing the TARDIS or getting rid of it once and for all, or perhaps it was...Peri, I don't know but here, I found all of it engaging and even exciting.
The tunnel scenes are not unlike the atmospheric ones in THE INVASION. Peri is not annoying at all and in fact, her scenes with Colin have less of the fighting they are known for and there are even some smiles between them; the fight scenes are not as bad as I remembered and the police from RESURRECTION get their comuppence and the Doc finally uses some violence and glad those creeps that caused Adric's death are getting their own deaths handed to them by the Doctor. I am not bothered, today, by the Doctor using violence to kill the Bas-ards that always kill humans. I don't know why they brought the criminal policeman into the TARDIS but he saved the Doc and Peri but lost his own life.
The cliffhanger is not too great but not terrible either as Peri screams, "NOOOOO!" about to be killed by Cybermen. The Cybercontroller on Telos I think...it's hard to tell but the two bases are seen back and forth and rather quickly...the pace is better than I remembered and the motives seem intact and logical, even if they're not. Lytton is still a creep here, taking humans to Cybermen to be converted. Anyway one of the Cybercontrollers or the main one seems to be...putting on some weight but not as badly as I remember.
At first, I thought the Telos scenes were going to be awful compared to the Earth scenes but in fact, they're not. Yeah, the double act of Bates and Stratton does seem to get on my nerves a bit but they do garner a few chuckles. Not sure what the point they offer to the plot but...it's different and unexpected. Cybermen seem to be easier to kill here both on Telos and on Earth. Telos looks as grand as it did in TOMB OF THE CYBERMEN.
Colin and Nicola have some good interplay here. I love that they are at 76 Totter's Lane and that the Doc is still unstable, name checking old companions and Zodin (also mentioned in THE FIVE DOCTORS). While not a GREAT episode, it's not terrible either and is fast paced and entertaining, with action, a few laughs, and a few unexpected twists (how did the Cybermen get in the TARDIS...did the Doc leave the doors open again!?). I didn't even mind, THIS TIME, the changes in the TARDIS exterior, now fully knowing they would not be permanent.
Oh, and I don't mind any of the continuity references that everyone always complains about: they make sense here and they don't seem to detract from the story at all, in fact, they add to it, at least in this part.
All in all, re-evaluating this, has been fun, something I was not expecting.