137) ATTACK OF THE CYBERMEN

5 - 12 January 1985

Average Viewing Figure: 8.1M

Plot

The Cybermen plan to divert Halley's Comet to destroy the Earth in 1985 to  prevent the destruction of Mondas in 1986, but is Lytton so 

interested in banding with the Cybermen, and what other agenda does he have?

Cast

Colin Baker (The Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri), Maurice Colbourne (Lytton), Brian Glover (Griffiths), Sarah Berger (Rost)

Esther Freud (Threst), Faith Brown (Flast), Sarah Greene (Varne), Terry Molloy (Russell), James Beckett (Payne)

David Banks (Cyber Leader), Michael Kilgarriff (Cyber Controller), Michael Attwell (Bates), Jonathan David (Stratton)

Brian Orrell (Cyber Lieutenant), John Ainley (Cyberman), Stephen Churchett (Bill), Stephen Wale (David)

Uncredited Cast

Keith Chamberlain, Ken Pritchard, Christopher Holmes, Cy Town, Penny Lambirth (City People in Streets)

Michael Braben, Michael Jeffries (Policemen), Ian Marshall-Fisher, Roger Pope, Thomas Lucy, Pat Gorman (Cybermen)

Pat Gorman, Stephen Hull, Chris Connolly, Tim Milsom (Work Party on Telos), Pat Gorman (Rogue Cybermen)

Ken Pritchard (Man being Cyberised), Trisha Clark, Irela Williams, Maggie Lynton (Cryons), Ken Barker (Stunt Cyberman)

Crew

Paula Moore (Writer), Ron Grainer (Title Music), Malcolm Clarke (Incidental Music), Dick Mills (Special Sound)

Andrew Buchanan (Production Manager), June Collins, Sue Anstruther (Production Associates), Llinos Wyn Jones (Production Assistant)

Pennie Bloomfield (Assistant Floor Managers), Godfrey Johnson (Film Cameraman), Barrie Tharby (Film Sound)

M.A.C. Adams (Film Editor), Chris Lawson (Visual Effects Designer), Dave Chapman (Video Effects)

Nigel Finnis, Dinah Long (Vision Mixers), Alan Arbuthnott (Technical Co-ordinator), Alec Wheal (Camera Supervisor)

Hugh Parson (Videotape Editor), Henry Barber (Lighting Director), Andrew Stacey (Studio Sound)

Anushia Nieradzik (Costume Designer), Linda McInnes (Make-up Designer), Eric Saward (Script Editor), Sid Sutton (Title Sequence)

Marjorie Platt (Designer), John Nathan-Turner (Producer), Matthew Robinson (Director)

Uncredited Crew

Gordon Lester (Film Sound Assistant), Eric Samuel (Film Camera Assistant), Graham Richmond (Film Operation Manager)

Gray Hutchings (Grips), Paul Eveny, Max Foster (Film Lighting), Julie Godfrey (Costume Assistant), Sarah Bird (Booker)

Sheila Hodges (Bookings Assistant), Adele Marolf (Design Assistant), Sarah Lee (Production Secretary)

Selwyn Allen, John Billett (Senior Studio Engineers), Remi Adefarasin (Model Film Cameraman), Graham Brown (Visual Effects Assistant)

Brian Beaumont, Billy Burn, Joe Ryan (Model Film Lighting), John Doyes (Grams Operator), Bert Smith (Lighting Chargehand)

Sharon Walsh (Make-Up Assistant), John Pearson (Production Ops Supervisor), John Charles (Props Buyer), Lynda Pannett (Floor Assistant) 

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Glenthorne Road, Hammersmith, London

  • London Scrapyard, 161 Becklow Road, Hammersmith, London

  • Davis Road, Ealing, London

  • Gerrards Cross Gravel Pits, Wapseys Wood, Bucks

  • Cameron Scrap Merchant, 36 Birkbeck Road, London

  • Model Stage, Western Avenue, London

  • Television Centre: Studio 6

Deaths

  • Lytton [killed while fighting the Cyber Controller]

  • Griffiths [shot and killed by a Cyberman]

  • Russell [shot and killed by a Cyberman]

  • Payne [shot and killed by a Cyberman]

  • Cyber Leader [shot and killed by The Doctor]

  • Cyber Controller [shot and killed by The Doctor]

  • Flast [killed when exposed to above-zero temperatures]

  • Varne [killed by a Cyberman]

  • Bates [shot and killed by a Cyberman]

  • Stratton [shot and killed by a Cyberman]

  • Cyber Lieutenant [killed when Cyber Control blows up]

  • Cybermen [shot/beheaded/killed when Cyber Control blows up]

  • Bill [converted into a Cyberman and later killed]

  • David [converted into a Cyberman and later killed]

  • Rost [killed when Cyber Control blows up]

  • Threst [killed when Cyber Control blows up]

  • Policemen [converted into Cyberman and later killed]

  • Man being Cyberised [killed when Cyber Control blows up]

Production Days

  • 11 Days between Tuesday 29 May - Sunday 8 July 1984

Production Days

  1. The Cybermen's plan is one big plot hole. The Cybermen plan to destroy Earth in 1985 so Mondas won't be destroyed in 1986. However, Mondas returned to its original orbit in The Tenth Planet so the planet could absorb Earth's energy to survive. So if Earth is destroyed in 1985, Mondas will be doomed anyway

  2. The scorch mark caused by Russell after firing a Cyberman gun is present on the Tardis wall before the event even takes place

  3. The Cyberman who guards The Doctor and Flast attempts to put out his flaring arm with his gun

  4. Toward the end of the serial, one of the two Cybermen who rush off-camera, makes an emotional hand gesture when the Cybermen are supposed to be EMOTIONLESS 

  5. The Cyberman's head which The Doctor investigates has no organic parts inside 

  6. The Doctor seems to know a lot about Lytton when he hears his name despite the fact that the pair of them never actually met during Resurrection of the Daleks. And why does The Doctor feel so bad for misjudging him? Lytton is not a nice character at all, so the judgement is fair and accurate on The Doctor's behalf. 

  7. A couple of floor crew members can be kneeling behind some boxes during the scene when Flast is dragged out of the refrigerated chamber - look at the right hand of the screen

  8. Why does Lytton get his two policemen friends to go with him to Mondas instead of Griffiths, Payne and Russell?

  9. At the end of the serial there is still one Cyberman still aboard the Tardis who is uncounted for

Working Titles

  • Return of the Cybermen

  • Return to Telos - (outline)

  • The Cold War

Verdict

An interesting story ideas which never gets off the ground and ends up as an almost complete mess. Glaring plot holes, recycled ideas from better Cybermen stories, a large cast of forgettable and uninteresting characters, another high unnecessary body count, ridiculously acted out B-Movie quality deaths, poor filming techniques and character inconsistencies all bring this supposedly expensive-looking narrative down to Earth. There are too many plot points many of which are either out of the blue or stupid. Some of which are seriously underdeveloped or unwarranted depending on which way you look at them. Some nice designs, the Cryons, the Telos landscapes, the ice tombs, and some practical effects but even then they do feel rather rushed and cramped into the already overcrowded production. Apart from Maurice Coulbourne and Michael Atwell then the whole thing would be rather forgettable. The serial may look like money and effort went into it but on the whole, its extremely lazy at the best of times and less said about the soundtrack and the Tardis changing its appearance the best.  Not the absolute worst by any means, just not good. A few more viewings are warranted but as a must-see, the answer is a one hundred percent, no. ***