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Season One
- Season Two - Season Three - Season Four - Season Five - Season Six - Season Seven - Season Eight - Season Nine

Watching All Doctor Who in Order

Season Five - The Tomb of the Cybermen

And so we kick off with Patrick Troughton's first full season, and Doctor Who starts its fifth year.

Woah, hang on, just a moment.

Episode one, scene one, shot one. And I'm confused.

Didn't we last see the TARDIS inside the Dalek city when the Dalek Emperor held the Doctor to ransom? And the city then ker-ploded?

I know the TARDIS is indestructable but what's it doing out in this pile of rocks? Clearly the flickering light on the right side of the TARDIS is supposed to be the burning city in the distance.

Well, wherever it is, this is clearly seconds after the 'final end'.

With that in mind, it is rather surprising that Victoria asks about the knobs in front of her (those big eyes being the very embodiment of innocence) and then laughs about the ship taking flight with such light-heartedness, given that she learnt of the death of her father only a few minutes ago. Short memories, these Victorians. I suppose times were harder back then...

Just to underline the point, the Doctor then mentions the deceased and also gets a bit of one-up-manship over the late Mr Waterfield, saying that Victoria's dad had a cack time machine. I'm paragraphrasing.

This being the first episode of a new season, we get the traditional mini recap telling us what the premise of the show is all about.

Interestingly, the Doctor goes on to say that he has perfected his time-travel machine, again as if he'd built it himself, and in addition we learn he is 450 years old. I don't quite understand what prompts Victoria to ask about his age. Why would she jump to the conclusion that he must be ancient? Why couldn't the Doctor be a forty-year-old bloke from Cardiff with his own time machine?

Well anyway, the Cybermen are back! But not in person. Forgetting the episode caption at the start, we are presented with embossed wall art in their shape. But no-one makes mention of it.

The professor explains they are on the home world of the Cybermen.

But wasn't that Mondas?

In the previous story we had the strong, silent, dark-skinned Kemel. This time we have the strong, silent, dark-skinned Toberman. Not at all a racist era then.

It seems very odd that the Cybermen have branded everything with their image. Quite an artistic temprament they have, for an emotionless race.

Interestingy, this story takes the opposite format to its predecessor. In The Evil of the Daleks everyone knew about the foe except for the Doctor. Whereas in The Tomb of the Cybernen, we're being fed numerous references to the threat, we've seen their technology and even their own artistic renderings of themselves. But no sign of the monsters themselves.

But wait, is that one whizzing in sideways?!

Episode two begins. False alarm. It wasn't a cyberman. It was just a shop window dummy with a replica helmet on.

So in this, the third Cyberman adventure, we find that these life forms are not unique in their cybernetic nature. Creeping about are tiny metal animals. Perhaps the whole planet is full of metal life?

Victoria has a great figure and I highly approve of the dress she has on. Bravo. Despite her girlyness both in form and function, she is surprisingly pro-active and saves the day twice.

Just as the season four finale showed us the Daleks have a never-before-seen leader, so this season opener shows the Cybermen have the same. Like the Dalek boss, the cyberman controller has more tubes and is taller!

From meek, frozen weakness, the monsters take control. A brilliant ending to the episode.

But randomly, the end music has been replaced by the opening titles music!

They had a first planet, Mondas, and now they have another. Was either their original? It all seems a little different to what's gone before.

In a grapple all the cybermen have a built in didgeridoo and the camera work goes dodgy.

Despite her whimpering, Victoria is heroic again. This time saving the Doctor's life. And did I mention her bum?

We learn the little animals are called cybermats. And there are more, even bigger ones. Cyber-cats?!

Victoria finally talks about the loss of her father. She's not at all upset though and seems to talk as if it happened months ago. But at least it has been addressed.

The Doctor finally mentions his family too. Quite remarkable, but only a passing remark. I suppose it could just mean Susan but he does say 'them'. He can seem a surprisingly normal man at times, this Doctor.

The cybermats are said to be a form of metalic life. As I said, almost suggesting lots of little metal animals crawling around Telos. It almost implies the Cybermen aren't the man-made creations we were first told about, but perhaps almost evolved as metal, just like the Magnadon way back in The Daleks. As the first Doctor said to Ian, "Can't you imagine a creature unless it's flesh, blood and bone?"

Toberman has been given cyber arms! And the controller can send controlling signals, a bit like the way humans were controlled in the previous Cyberman story.

It's a bit of a mish mash of ideas. Robot animals, frozen robots, brain control, and logical humans. I suppose it's all meant to blur the lines between how robotic we currently are, and how human robots could be.

Nevertheless its a magnificently atmospheric story. The idea of having to go down into the hatch adds to the threat. The slow, zombie like monsters and eerie music make it extremely compelling.

I'm rather surprised that the Doctor rigs up the controls and the door as a fatal trap for the next unwitting human explorers.

Extended theme music again! Very odd.

Enjoyable, but at four episodes it seemed quite brief after the last two!

The Abominable Snowmen

What a cracking title for a story! Full of promise! Just no Aled Jones, please.

The story opens dramatically with a worrying attack on some poor fella up a mountain.

The TARDIS lands and the Doctor is excited to learn he's been here before. The Himalayas! Well his last visit can't have been in any adventure we've seen! How rude. I feel left out.

Nice little reference to the Tombs just left behind.

The Doctor gets caught by the monks and Jamie finds a load of balls.

Just as a big hairy beastie (not the Doctor, a different one) turns up, it ends! The episode flew by, rather excitingly.

Episode two brings a big monster! And the return of the recorder.

The story is moving quickly with Travers and the Yeti both revealed for what they are. Or are they?

The Doctor wins over the natives and we gets lots of monster fun. It's interesting that it's a comparable amount of monster fun per episode as the last story, for what will be a longer adventure.

Episode three slows things down somewhat with rather more talking than doing although they do capture a control sphere. Then we learn a great intelligence will take hold of Earth and they are using the Yeti.

Not a real Yeti. Apparently those are timid. These are robots! Its rather amusing that the existence of real Yeti is taken to be fact by everyone!

Episode four and Yetis galore!

The nasty voice of Padmadamnava reminds me of the Animus, which was a suspiciously similar great intelligence from space which controlled lower life to do its bidding. Maybe the Zarbi and the Yeti have teamed up?

Episode five brings a lot of chat and some exposition. Having finally seen the face of the enemy in a very creepy scene, the real threat remains intangible.

Things have slowed down further and people are chatting a lot. I don't dislike the story but with such great monsters on offer, they don't do much.

Up the hill the menace is growing.

Its actually taken me until episode six to realize what is so unusual about this story. Its the first of a brand new type of Doctor Who story.

Never before has a whole story been set in the past but had futuristic monsters. Although the first 'pseudo historical' was The Time Meddler, there was no actual monster, just the threat of a person.

And not long ago we had The Evil of the Daleks but I would hasten to add that not only did Evil start in the present day and finish in the future, but it was a story fundamentally about time travel.

This tale about the Detsen Monastary is happening very much in the moment. The Great Intelligence has come to Earth and attacked in the 1930s. This simple and remote setting adds a whole new angle to fighting aliens as there is no modern technology to bring to bear like usual.

The final episode sees a tumultuous climax with the Doctor locked in a mental battle whilst Jamie and Thomni take a more physical approach and smash everything.

Travers seemed destined to save the day for a moment but his token gunshot did nothing and his character perhaps seemed redundant in the end.

The story left me a little cold. It was overly long and a tad simplistic. Evil had the Daleks to sustain it but even though the Yetis were fun, there didn't seem enough material to stretch to six episodes.

Jamie wants to do somewhere warmer. The Doctor plays his recorder and off they go.

The Ice Warriors

Ohh a special icey title caption with the lady from the Star Trek music wailing.

Hmm, apparently this isn't 'episode one', it is just 'ONE'!

We've alternated time zones back to the future.

Short skirts in mad patterns.

My first thought is that this it's a carbon copy of The Moonbase from last year, which was in itself a copy of The Tenth Planet.

What's the betting that like The Moonbase this technological sytem (which is vital to the survival of Earth) comes under attack from a band of aliens intent on using the technology in their conquest of Earth?

The TARDIS lands on its side! This begs all sorts of questions! How has it happened? Does the inside tip over too? What went wrong? Why has it never happened before?

Contrary to popular belief, Jamie does not think the TARDIS has hardly moved. He actually says that Tibet was bad enough, but "you've just landed us further up a mountain" - not the mountain.

It's a very comedic slapstick start including peering round a corner.

Tight editing. There's a nice little reference to being in retreat in Tibet.

Global cooling is the problem of this future. All the plants have gone and there isn't enough Co2 in the world! Ha, if only!

They've been quite clever by using a 20th century building as their future setting, just with added technology.

The frozen warrior helmet is a bit Viking. But it has electronic connections!

Jamie mention the short skirts and asks if Victoria would wear one! Brilliant and surprisingly honest!

In episode two the helmet design randomly changes! It was all big and wide in episode one and now it's all dainty.

The monster overall is very effective and exciting. Ohh there are lots of them! And they have names!

Episode four's filmed scenes are tight and well edited and add a great feeling of quality. It just goes to show how much of an effect the studio time constraints have on the end product. The scenes of Victoria being hunted through the tunnels look like they belong in any decent quality 60s horror film and the zingy music is very alien.

The story is reasonable but it kind of stutters along. There's political stuff going on and the monsters, although great, don't do much monstering. The characters are good but it's not got me absolutely gripped.

There's a lot of to-ing and fro-ing between the Ice Warriors ship and the story drags during the rest of episode four and five. Episode six sees a bit of monster fun as the Ice Warriors stomp around in the Ioniser base but when the heat is turned up they leave. Then they go home and are are blown up by the humans.

Then the Doctor and company leaves.

I find it hard to sum up my feelings about this story. It never really went anywhere. We met all the characters in episode one (and the Ice Warriors soon after) so the story didn't seem to unfold slowly, and then it had a lot of chat about what they should do, before they finally decide to do what they said they were going to do in the beginning. There isn't any great sense of the story developing as it goes on.

The Enemy of the World

The TARDIS makes a very sick landing noise. Is there a reason for this?

Victoria has to explain to Jamie why the Doctor suggests taking a bucket and spade - This seems logical until Jamie exclaims that building sand castles is for children, so he clearly knows of the passtime! Did they build many sandcastles in the Scottish Highlands in the 18th century?

There then follows an extremely exciting chase where hovercraft fellas try to shoot the Doctor, thinking he is 'someone'. Our heroes escape in a helicopter which strangely the Doctor seems to make fun of Jamie for not knowing about.

Astrid runs through the types of doctor he might be, and he won't accept any.

Ah, we learn it's a doppleganger issue! It looks to be heading for another Massacre thing. When we see Salamander we find his vocal chords are the same too! But with a different accent.

Jamie likens his technology to the Ioniser from the last story. Another nice simple link to the last story.

The Doctor proclaims it would take him three months to master the accent of Salamander! But he had three minutes and in a brilliant turn, becomes the world dictator.

Episode two sees the Doctor agree to help and we meet many more characters. There are a couple of surprisingly comic moments as the Astrid insults the time-travellers and then the Doctor mis-hears "disused jetty" as "disused Yeti"!

Jamie poses as a saviour to the baddie and wrangles a job for him and Victoria - his 'girlfriend'!

No recap!

In episode four things get quite complex and satisfyingly interesting. In a story devoid of a real monster, the opponents of the dictator are keen to point out the monstrous nature of Salamander.

As with episode three the music does feel strongly like stock material.

The story is quite tough, but no more gritty than moments in the previous story where the Ice Warriors are stalking Victoria.

I find myself totally gripped by this story. The characters are all rather interesting and Salamander's power seems so great that he is a real threat. He isn't some foolish alien who makes an attempt at some impossible scheme and fails, he has already succeeded. He is an evil, world-dominating power but is loved by a great many people as the saviour of mankind. What bigger challenge can the Doctor have than trying to defeat an enemy who already has the Earth on his side? And to add to the problems, he and the Doctor look the same so the Doctor can't use his normal tactic of storming in and sorting it all out.

In case there was any danger of this story becoming stale, a stunning twist is revealed. Salamander, as if we doubted his ethics, is revealed to be keeping a whole load of people hidden underground! He's lied to them all about a nuclear war!

The story has lots of interesting variations on role-changes. We have Salamander who is evil, pretending to be good to the people of the Earth. Then we have the Doctor who is good pretending to be Salamander. And now we find Salamander is also pretending to the people underground that the whole world above ground is wasteland.

Episode six brings two more fascinating changes, as Bruce has turned from Salamander's ally into a good guy, but the real twist is Giles Kent turning from hero to villain. The brilliant finale sees Salamander impersonating the Doctor in the TARDIS, and finally the two look-a-likes meet. With the TARDIS doors accidentally opened, the evil dictator is sucked out into the space-time vortex as the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria struggle to hang on...!

A while back, at the start of season four, I was bemoaning the contrived nature of the story cliff hangers, but this has to the very best.

The Enemy of the World was really enjoyable.

The Web of Fear

The action resumes with the TARDIS occupants just managing to stay inside the ship, and we are treated to lots of shots of Victoria's legs as she struggles on the floor of the TARDIS. They sort things out and before you can say "abominable snowmen" the Doctor is thinking about their next adventure!

We then get an absolutely superb five minutes of television as professor Travers returns, a Yeti is revealed, and we learn he has reactivated a sphere, and it has escaped! It then flies through the window and the Yeti comes to life! Brilliant, dramatic, cinematic and wonderful.

Professor Travers is a great character to have back. Aside from The Monk, I'm struggling to think of any other character which has re-appeared in the show. In this fairly pure age it's still something of a surprise to hear his mild expletive when he says 'How the hell should I know?'

It's also unusual to have a prolonged sequence in the TARDIS. Victoria remarks on how long they've been trapped. The Doctor had time enough to wire up a new machine, but she's still in the same dress. Hours? Days? She could have changed and changed back!

They land in gloomy tunnels and again the quality is cinematic. Well-lit, spooky music, and shot from interesting angles. Low angles I might add, with Victoria's skirt-shortness being of particular note.

The three heads pop round the corner just as with The Ice Warriors!

In episode two we have a unique moment in Doctor Who as Travers meets Jamie and Victoria, hardly a day older! It's so unusual that characters others than the Doctor know about the monsters and a threat.

Things move on apace as all the protagonists move into the tunnels.

Jamie and the other fella discover the great web thing in the Circle Line whilst the Doctor meets a rather fun Colonel...

Episode three moves on with a briefing explaining the events prior to episode one, and also interesting is the fact that the Doctor remarks on the design change of the Yeti monsters.

As their plans to blow the tunnel are revealed, the plan is foiled before of starts... Someone is a double agent!

The plot isnt the most direct. As with The Ice Warriors, the central premise isnt meaty enough to sustain six episodes and this becomes particularly apparent in episodes four and five where there are only a few key moments.

There's a failed muck about in the tunnels, with the suspicious but quite charming Lethbridge Stewart chap, and then back at base the Yeti burst in with Travers! He is the agent of the Yeti!

In a very disturbing scene, the Great Intelligence speaks through the usually lovable Travers and tells of its plans to exploit the Doctor's mind. Its weird to hear the Intelligence has been watching the Doctor through time and space.

And with Victoria captured the Doctor may have no choice. But he is cleverly rigging a control sphere to work for him.

There's a chilling moment when they nearly come a cropper trying to get their modified sphere into a Yeti.

As episode six begins, The Doctor is suspicious of the Colonel and he's played in a rather creepy way. The whole story is based on suspense and the constantly echoing soundtrack makes it extremely atmospheric. The story does tend to drag a bit, with quite long tunnel scenes but these do add their own weight to the feel of doom.

Into the lion's den go Travers and Victoria. I do get very confused knowing that they are father and daughter in real life, whilst Travers has his fictional daughter in the series. I keep expecting Victoria to call him father!

The Doctor and Jamie struggle to figure out which is their Yeti! That TV reporter has turned up again. Suspicion is back onto him and the paranoia is kept up.

The uncerainty of the situation is compounded by the Yeti's on/off nature. The scene where Jamie is trying to control theirs is tense.

The real traitor is revealed. Not unlike Evil the Doctor is to be converted but Jamie foolishly unleashes the ally Yeti.

In a shock twist we find that the Doctor's plan is foiled, and his set up to defeat the intelligence is ruined. He was moments from utterly defeating the Great Intelligence but instead only cut its contact with Earth. Not quite a defeat for our hero.. but a really interesting end. And leaving the door open for another Yeti sequel.

The episode ends with a rather silly moment as the time travelers are worried about the trains.

Fury from the Deep

An unusual start straight away as the TARDIS floats down out of the air and onto the sea! Its never done that before!

They have a little frolick in the foam and Victoria's skirt is remarkably short for such antics. Hooray!

Investigating a pipe the Doctor whips out a snazzy new little gadget he calls a sonic screwdriver! Most interesting!

We meet Robson in the base. Once again following a very dinstinctive template the same as The Ice Warriors with a group of workers providing a vital service which is under threat from ... Something.

Something in the gas pipe.

Any time you have to use the word "something" to describe the threat, it immediately becomes more sinister...

It seems that there's a human threat at work too... And as a result Victoria becomes splattered with sticky white goo. No-one wants to see that kind of thing.

In episode two Victoria describes a seaweed monster. The fact its only described and not seen makes it all the more disturbing.

The power struggle over the pipe pressure continues and something jams the impeller.

Meanwhile Mrs thingy has been visited by Mr Oak and Mr Quill. I don't know which is which, but they both look like sex offenders. The goggle eyed one is hideous as he opens his mouth and spews gas. The fat one is less scary as he's wearing lip-liner.

Its down there. In the darkness. In the pipeline. Waiting. Roll credits.

His immortal line is different in the recap of episode three, and delivered differently.

This era is big on atmosphere and short on content. Everything is drawn out, menacing, slow, and deliberate. The same was true of The Web of Fear. It's not a major criticism but it does start to feel very obvious that they are struggling to fill six episodes.

The Doctor finds an 18th century picture of a seaweed monster in a book. They surmise that that's how long this creature has been known, at least in the legend of ancient mariners. I love that kind of thing where a genuine Earth legend ties in with a new monster. It is also exactly what we had with the Yeti recently.

It's also interesting that we have an Earth-evolved menace, instead of one from outer space, which is a first in the show.

Robson has gone totally bonkers, but just as you're wondering where his character can go next, he gets gassed and turns into a seaweed man.

The foam in this story has a lot in common with the Web in the previous story. It serves as a physical representation of a spreading threat. Normally a menace is largely conceptual, assuming it isnt an actual pitched battle for territory. But the Web and Weed Foam are real creeping terrors. You can out-run them easily but they are relentless and you get the feeling they will reach you eventually.

Suddenly Victoria seems unhappy with her adventures. The Doctor says that trouble is the spice of life, but she's fed up of being scared.

Mrs Harris spookily walks into the sea. The alien menace taking over humans is another theme repeated in recent times. The Daleks did it, the Cybermen did it, the Yeti did it and now the Weed monster.

In episode four we find the original William Hartnell music has unexpectedly returned! How weird and empty it sounds now, by comparison.

Victoria further voices her distress at constant... Distress. She has so many questions, bourne from her own fears about being infected.

As Van Luychens goes to investigate we see a horrible moment as he's grabbed by an organic arm from the foam and dragged under by a weed-covered appendage.

As the Doctor and Jamie clamour to escape, we get another small glimpse of the weed monster amongst the foam.

Episode five still has the wrong music!

Unusually the weed creature is very intelligent, but cannot speak, and becomes a disturbing and unique enemy.

It had taken over the top people and after stealing Victoria in the form of Hobson, he says the Doctor must go over to them!

Into episode six and Victoria's scream is too loud for the baddie monster and they escape.

There follows a rather drawn-out sequence of the Doctor flying a helicopter badly. It is more farce than drama.

Not long after, we have another silly moment where Victoria finds she can't scream due to stage fright. They are surprisingly frivolous bits in an otherwise quite scary story.

All hell breaks loose as the weed monster bursts in. but the noise weapons repel the attack.

The undercurrent of discontent from Victoria comes to a head as she expresses her desire to leave. It's the most nicely foreshadowed and well-handled departure since Susan, with both the Doctor and companion being sad to part company, but knowing its for the best.

What's really sad is Jamie, apparently quite besotted with her, but too controlled to ever say anything (aside from the occasional sneaky remark about skirt lengths) is left in the middle.

He clearly wants her to stay and tries to change her mind a little but in the end has no say in it.

It's easily the saddest moment of the series when Jamie says he doesn't care where their next journey takes them. He's just thinking of her. Tragic.

The Wheel in Space

Into the season finale we go! Last time it was Daleks... but they have been totally destroyed. For ever. So what this time? We already had Cybermen once this season. And Yeti twice. There isn't really a fourth-most-popular monster.

The scene picks up immediately from the previous story and two very odd things happen. The TARDIS somehow is intelligent enough to know there is danger afoot and bizarrely shows fake pictures to tempt them away. It's remniscent of way back in The Edge of Destruction when the ship showed a series of slides to try to send them a warning.

Then once they land, we discover the Doctor can remove the time vector generator and make the TARDIS a normal police box!

How on Earth will they put it back if they can't get inside the ship?!

The Doctor carries sherbert dips!

They talk about Victoria which is sweet. Jamie asks what she must be doing now, and the Doctor side-steps telling Jamie she'll be long dead!

A funny robot bimbles around and at the controls throws the ship off course, making the Doctor hit his head.

The robot then turns its attention to a pod which opens, some egg things float out and off into space! Mad stuff.

Never before have we gone this long into an episode by just following the Doctor and companion. Its twenty minutes into the episode before some other people turn up!

A team of people in a futuristic space place? Base under siege formula anyone?

The weird eggs float along and attach to the Wheel but the inhabitants plan to destroy the carrier! Crikey!

In episode two we find this base has a grumpy boss. It seems to be a tradition. I wonder if he'll go off the rails like Leader Clent and Robson.

It's a very chatty story but the dialogue is good. The characters are all rather solid and believable.

Jamie is trying to invent morse code using a laser! Clever chap!

More weird egg business! They wobble through space and attach to the outside of the Wheel. Interesting stuff.

Jamie provides a pseudonym for the Doctor - John Smith - which he reads off a piece of equipment.

And here's a new young girl. Just as we were finding the TARDIS crew one short!

However, this new girl, Zoe, seems a rather obnoxious and rude pain in the arse. I don't like her much, although she is amazingly cute. "You're wearing female garments!" she tells Jamie. A strange remark considering I haven't seen a girl in a skirt in the whole place!

Once again it's decided to blow up the Silver Carrier and Jamie sneaks off to do something about it.

On board, something very weird is going on. Two of the egg things, giant ones, are wobbling around. We can suddenly see there's something inside them... Cybermen! It is them after all! A metal fist breaks out...!

The Cybermen voices have changed for the third time in four stories. The very effective computer-voice has now been relegated to use on their weird new controllery thing, which is like a brain trapped in a chemistry set, and the Cybermen have a much more human, and rather soft sound to it. Slighly effeminite if that's not a politically incorrect thing of me to say in this day and age.

The cybermats are back! Hooray. But it seems that, like last time, they actually do bugger all. They sneak around on the floor looking rather cute.

Cybermen are up to phase four. This is a very complex plan.

I'm slightly confused by the Bernalium. It isn't made very clear what it is, or what the Cybermat has done. Other bits of dialogue eventually fill in the blanks. But for what seems like a really dramatic plot point, it is very under-played.

Ah, finally a Cybermat is revealed to be dangerous! Kemel (not a Turk) gets dazzled and his hands go all funny.

Again we get another very badly realised moment. Retrospecitvely it's possible to work out, but at the time it is not clear that he shoots the plastic on the Cybermat which is then given to the Doctor. The line about the floor-tile is so quick, and then you can barely see what he's holding, so it becomes hard to follow.

A couple of chaps float over to the rocket where they're greeted by two Cybermen, whose voices have become even more awful! Their mouths no longer open when they talk, they just rock back and forward. Their credibility is ebbing away.

Episode four brings a quick recap of what the Cybermen are, for Jarvis and for new viewers. Interestingly, contrary to both previous stories, these humans don't know of Cybermen. In The Moonbase, we're told that "every child" knows there were Cybermen. Maybe we're much further in the future now and they've been forgotten?

The Cybermen climb inside crates to be taken to the Wheel. If their Cybermats floated across in the eggs, why couldn't the Cybermen? This seems a very convoluted plan.

Oh, Jarvis has indeed gone totally mad.

Despite their slighly ropey portrayal here, I do like these old sixties Cybermen. They were really sneaky. In The Tenth Planet, they stole the men's parkas and went into the base in disguise. In The Moonbase, they sneaked in through tunnels, and hid in the sick bay under blankets pretending to be patients. Now we have them hiding in Bernalium crates and jumping out at people. They have a character, not in their individual personalities but in their behaviour. Sneaking around doing odd things to complete their naughty plans.

Zoe, the human computer, is showing signs of wanting to be more normal. We can but hope. She is otherwise bloody annoying.

A bit like last season's finale, this story deals with ideas of humans being robotic, whilst dealing with an emotionless threat. But this doesn't really feel like a finale. It's not a rip-roaring adventure. It's quite good, but it feels drawn out. Last season's was an epic spanning many time zones and packing lots in. This is a very slow affair, albeit nicely written, with everything moving gently towards a picnic or something.

More cute Cybermats are on the attack! The Doctor gives some technobabble idea how to save the day - it's all to do with soundwaves - and the poor little things die.

They're up to phase six now. But it's still not exactly pacey. Even the cybermen are taking time to have a sit down and watch their controller thing on TV.

Zoe talks about "being created" to deal with situations without emergencies. Jamie's better nature is getting in the way, and he's being a bit nice. It's the first girl in ages he hasn't tried it on with immediately.

Flannigan has a fight with Vallance. Isn't that the name of the skirt thing round the bottom of a bed?

So, as they get the laser ready the Doctor ponders the fact that the Cybermen made a whole star go super-nova to get the humans to use the laser, run out of Bernalium, then check the rocket to see if there's some there, and thereby come under control to bring the Cybermen back over in a crate!

But in order to do this, the Cybermen had to get Cybermats on board in order to destroy the Bernalium! And in any case, the humans were going to blow up the rocket before the end of episode one! If Jamie and the Doctor hadn't been on board, they would have!
How many cyber-plans do we never hear about because they fail before the end of phase one?

He also says they have an overriding ambition to invade the Earth and plunder its mineral wealth. Do they? That's not what they were doing in the previous story. I'm not even sure what they were really doing prior to that in The Moonbase. Just messing with the weather for a laugh. It seems that five years into the show and it's already getting lost in its own continuity. The production team has changed too much to create any consistency.

Poor Gemma has been done in by a nasty Cybermen, but at least she's exposed their plan. A bit of it anyway. It would take too long to expose all of it.

Realising an episode ending is near, the Doctor sends Jamie and Zoe out into space on a pointless mission as an asteroid storm approaches.

But it's okay, they get a bit of a buffeting from some mysterious force in space which makes them look like they're suspended on wires, and then they're sorted.

Then we see Jarvis get done in too. Instead of using its chest-gun as with everyone else, this time the Cybermen opts for a rather grotesque stragulation. Possibly knowing that humans are watching on the screen, and they they feel fear. Nasty anyway. Oh but then it chucks him through the air and shoots his corpse too! Very nasty!

Lots of lava lamps in the future. They were right too.

Just to pad things out a little longer, there's a drawn out sequence where Jamie and Zoe watch the Cybermen and Vallance on TV, whilst Vallance and the Cyberman conjour up pictures of everyone else on TV. And all this is happening on my TV. I'm sure this is a very clever metaphor or something.

It's an odd situation because the Cybermen don't have their own nerve-centre. They were on the carrier, and now they're on the Wheel. We don't get a feeling of them launching an attack from anywhere in particular, because they're just wandering around, chatting and watching TV.

Ahh! The Doctor has made it into the power room, via a convenient ventillation shaft!

Two Cybermen turn up. "You know our ways". I think its their kind of childish voices which spoil them. I quite like their appearance. The impractical tubing has been replaced by more serious-looking wires and more sensible-looking hydraulic-looking rods on their arms.

The Cyberfleet can only invade if they home in on a radio beam?! That's insane! How do the Cybermen ever manage to fly their ships anywhere if they haven't been there before and set up a beam? And in any case, why couldn't they send an unmanned craft first, like a big floaty egg, and home on that?

The Doctor destroys one of them to teach them a lesson for having such a stupid plan. The retreating one says "Others are coming!"

Oh dear. We see the others coming. They're kind of ghostly, and there's only three of them which have been mirrored to look like six, and they're flapping their arms in space. Literally space-walking. Oh dear.

However, for Cyber-fact-geeks, this massive invasion force of three appear slightly different to the previous ones we've seen. They wear their chest units the other way up (with the circular bit at the bottom like in Tomb), the fabric of their costumes is loose and creases unlike the very tight wet-suits we've seen all through the story, and they have hydraulic links on their shoulders with a lot more wiring around the neck.

They're flapping nearer to the doors. They're nearly invading! It should be a really tense scene but strangely there's no music. No atmosphere of any kind. Just an eerie sound effect.

They blow the Cybermen's ship up. They activate a force-field, and the three invaders whizz off into space.

And that's it. Easy.

I'm sure there were other Cybermen still on the Wheel. What happened to them? Maybe they just broke down in tears and were rounded up.

Zoe has added an 's' to 'dimension' in the TARDIS acronym.

Jamie says he wont forget her, but he's politely trying to say she's not welcome aboard. He gets into the ... hang on! What happened to the inside of the TARDIS? It was removed and the ship became a normal police box! How did they get back inside to sort everything out?

It's glossed over anyway. But also interesting is a new wall inside the TARDIS. There are two computer blocks and lots of switches with a TV screen above it. Also the photographic blow-up of the roundels is looking very old and ropey.

Zoe is hiding in a box! Didn't Jamie shut the door behind him? She wants to come with them.

To scare her off (she really isn't wanted aboard the TARDIS) the Doctor does the worst thing he can think of to put her off, and decides to show her the cliff-hanger at the end of episode one of The Evil of the Daleks! Lucky girl. Obviously this will backfire because anyone who watches Evil will love Doctor Who.

So that's that. A very odd ending to a season. Kind of subdued. Not exactly base under seige... more a bunch of nice people having a small invasion to cope with. And we've got a new companion which no-one likes. And then to top it all off, we're left with a clip of Evil and remembering how brilliant that was. This is a first in itself as it's the first time in the show we've had material from a previous story recycled.

The season over all has been enjoyable. Extremely slow though, I have to say. Last year we had six four-episode stories, and only three were longer. This year however we've only had one four-parter, and then six six-parters! Everything has felt extremely laborious and drawn-out, although the overall quality has improved.

Last year was very jolly at times, with the Doctor dressing up and dong silly voices. It had a patchy bunch of stories. Not especially bad, but just a bit disjointed. Season five has felt a lot more solid, and more serious. Very little substance to them though, except for The Enemy of the World, but they have all had a lot of atmosphere.

Will the show become even more sinister next year?

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