18 March 2009

Manufacturer: BBC DVD / 2|Entertain

Written By: Paula Moore

RRP: £19.99

Release Date: 16th March 2009

Reviewed by: Doctor Who Online

Review Posted: 18th March 2009

Attack of the Cybermen offers a bold and ambitious start to Colin Baker's first full season as The 6th Doctor. With some great locations, acting and nods to the shows past, the serial is a generally enjoyable 88 minutes.

There are, however, a few let-downs, which prevented the story from reaching its full potential.

The role of the Cyber Controller didn't really work, as David Banks' Cyber Leader had already been established within the story, and is more than a powerful enough adversary for The Doctor to face off with.

The musical score for the story, has to be one of the worst in the shows entire history, and ends up sounding both messy and terribly dated. That being said, the brief theme for The Cryons had great potential and was sadly underused.

The script also had its fair share of pitfalls, with most of the meatier dialogue given to Maurice Colbourne, who, to be fair, was instrumental in most of the areas that this story succeeds in.

The DVD release is packed with some top quality features that not only compliment, but help to mend the way for those who may feel a little short-changed by the serial itself.

'The Cold War' looks at the making of Attack of the Cybermen, and features interviews with Actors; Colin Baker (The Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri), Terry Molloy (Russell) and Sarah Berger (Rost), Writer; Eric Saward, Director; Matthew Robinson, Continuity Advisor; Ian Levine, and Film Cameraman; Godfrey Johnson.

It proves to be an insightful breakdown of the genesis of the story, and may even surprise some fans when the authorship of the story comes into discussion.

'The Cyber Story' blasts off with an awesome CGI introductory title sequence, and offers an in-depth look at the genesis of the Cybermen, and how there is a basis of plausibility behind their concept. Featuring interviews with Director; Morris Barry, Writer; Eric Saward, Designers; Sandra Reid and Dinah Collins, Cybermen Actor; Mark Hardy, Cybermen Voice Artist; Roy Skelton and Professor Kevin Warwick.

'Human Cyborg' features an extended version of the interview with Kevin Warwick (Professor of Cybernetics at Reading University), from the previous feature, who, as well as being a self-proclaimed Doctor Who fan, is heralded as the worlds first Human Cyborg.

The feature looks at the possibility of whether Cybermen could exist, as Kevin unveils some of his experiments, beliefs and ideas. This is a DVD extra that is bound to capture the minds of all fans of The Cybermen, as well as educating with surprising clarity.

'The Cyber-Generations' is a pictorial guide to the different types of Cybermen throughout the year s, displayed in chronological order. With photos from lost stories that some fans will never have seen before, it is great to have such a concise guide to one of The Doctors greatest villains. (The title sequence isn't quite as mind-blowing as 'The Cyber Story', however).

The 'Coming Soon Trailer' is for the forthcoming Image of the Fendahl DVD release. As with the other trailers, it fails to disappoint, with tight scene cutting and an energetic music track that work well together.

The 'Audio Commentary' features Colin Baker (The Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri) and Terry Molloy (Russell) for Part One, with Sarah Berger (Rost) replacing Terry Molloy for Part Two. Colin in particular, provides a thoroughly entertaining narrative, thanks to his knowledge of the show, coupled with some choice one-liners - he also directs the conversation perfectly. Colin and Nicola's on-screen chemistry, carries itself off-screen for this commentary, as the pair share both affection and memories which are a genuine joy to hear.

As with previous DVD releases, the usual Photo Gallery, Info Text, Trails & Continuity and Radio Times Listings are included. There's also a Dalek related Easter Egg hidden somewhere within the menu system.

Although this release may not house the best example of Classic Who, the features are representative of some of the best examples of the impressive quality and effort that goes into the Doctor Who DVD range.

 

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