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Reviews for Attack of the Cybermen / The Tenth Planet

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By:Tom Lingwood, Broseley, Shropshire
Date:Saturday 23 February 2002
Rating:   9

This special tin features the William Hartnell finale The Tenth Planet along with the Colin Baker tale Attack of the Cybermen. Both videos have special features.

Tenth is the first Cyberman and regeneration story. Unfortunately, episode four is missing. However, there is a special reconstruction for it, like the one on The Ice Warriors tape, using telesnaps and off-air recordings. Existing clips e.g. the regeneration are used as well.

In Attack, the Cybermen are trying to knock Halley’s comet off its course and send it crashing into the Earth. This story features the return of Commander Lytton (Resurrection of the Daleks) and references to Tenth. At the start of the tape, there is a clip from Saturday Swapshop featuring Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant and Jacqueline Pearce (Servalon in Blake’s 7).

It’s hard to say which is the best story but I’ll let you decide. This tin is a must have for Doctor Who fans.

Not the best...

By:Matthew B, Cardiff, Wales
Date:Monday 2 October 2006
Rating:   7

Lovely tin. Let me say that first of all.

A taste of things to come. The Tenth Planet was the first story that embodied Innes Lloyd’s misguided attempt to make Doctor Who more “gritty” and “believable” (a preoccupation that would later reach its formulaic nadir in Season Five), managing to achieve neither of these things throughout its four episodes. If it weren’t for the fact that it was the first Cyberman story and William Hartnell’s last crack of the whip, there would be nothing to make this farrago memorable. The regulars are badly served and the guest cast are generally dreadful. The script is dull as dishwater and is riddled with terrible dialogue. The Tenth Planet could be fairly described as little more a roomful of people shouting at each other for ninety minutes, something we would see a lot more of in the next few seasons. The Cybermen themselves are reasonably well designed, and are quite sinister – until they speak. Not only are their voices absurd but they often display emotion even though they claim not to have any. Daft rather than terrifying. The only things that make The Tenth Planet worth watching are Craze and Wills (as usual) and the impressive regeneration sequence. A shameful end for Hartnell.

An improvement on the preceding story (faint praise, given that the preceding story was The Twin Dilemma), Attack of the Cybermen is typical of Season 22 in that its good parts are usually scuppered by its bad parts. There are some great things here; Matthew Robinson's direction, great design work, Brian Glover and Maurice Colbourne, Lytton's conversion (finally we are allowed to see how monstrous the Cybermen can actually be), and plenty of action sequences. Unfortunately, just when you're enjoying one or more of the above, along comes one of the following to put you off; uneven performances from the regulars, the dreadful Saward dialogue, Malcolm Clarke's unpleasant score, a plot that doesn't really make sense, and some highly bizarre hand movements from the Cryons (reminiscent of the "choreographed" Fish People from "The Underwater Menace"). Annoyingly inconsistent in every way, Attack of the Cybermen is by turns entertaining and annoying, but it is still the superior production of this box set.

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