‘LAST OF THE CYBERMEN’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Second Doctor Adventure with the Sixth Doctor, Jamie and Zoe with the Cybermen
The Cybermen are back! And Zoe and Jamie have got a new Doctor with them!
‘Last of the Cybermen’ is the second story in ‘The Locum Doctors Trilogy’ by Big Finish! It stars Colin Baker as the Doctor; Frazer Hines as Jamie and Wendy Padbury as Zoe. I enjoyed this second story in the trilogy that also featured the Cybermen. It is complicated, but it’s full of nostalgia and adventure.
Like I said before in my review for ‘The Defectors’, ‘The Locum Doctors Trilogy’ are stories where the main range Doctors in Big Finish are put in earlier Doctor adventures with past companions. The arc goes backwards from Seven to Five which is a little odd, but I was glad to see Six with Jamie and Zoe.
‘Last of the Cybermen’ is a four-part adventure by Alan Barnes, script-editor of ‘Doctor Who’ in Big Finish. It features the Sixth Doctor who swaps places with the Second Doctor in this adventure. I’m still none the wiser as to why Seven, Six and Five have been placed in these early Doctor adventures.
‘The Locum Doctors Trilogy’ is of course a build-up to the 200th release of main range Big Finish audios of ‘Doctor Who’. I’ll get to that when we come to ‘The Secret History’. The idea by Alan Barnes was to have 80s Doctors guest star in early ‘Doctor Who’ adventures in contrast to ‘School Reunion’.
‘Last of the Cybermen’ goes like this. On a dead world, Jamie and Zoe see their Doctor returning on the TARDIS scanner. They go out to welcome him before he disappears. Eventually they find a stranger in the Doctor’s place. The Sixth Doctor meets Jamie and Zoe before discovering Cybermen.
This isn’t Colin Baker’s Doctor’s first association with Jamie and Zoe in ‘Doctor Who’. Colin Baker worked with Frazer Hines before in ‘The Two Doctors’ and later worked with both Frazer and Wendy in ‘Legend of the Cybermen’, part of ‘The Jamie Trilogy’. It was great to hear Sixy with Jamie and Zoe.
However, Jamie and Zoe don’t know the Sixth Doctor in this one. No, this one comes before Sixy meets them in ‘The Two Doctors’ and ‘Legend of the Cybermen’. It makes sense, since this story takes place during Jamie and Zoe’s travels with the Second Doctor and they forget old Sixy after this.
I love all the references made to past Second Doctor adventures with Jamie and Zoe when the Sixy is with them. And it’s not just the TV stories, but also the Big Finish ones as well. This story of course takes place after ‘The Invasion’ and it bridges the gap between that and ‘Revenge of the Cybermen’.
I like that the Second Doctor’s theme music is emphasised throughout this story instead of using the Sixth Doctor theme music. It was very fitting also to have Cybermen as the villains of this ‘Doctor Who’ adventure, since the Cybermen were popular and iconic enemies from the Second Doctor era.
The camaraderie between Colin Baker, Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury is brilliant. They sound like old chums, despite not having worked together in TV. Even though Colin’s the wrong Doctor, he does suit as the Doctor for Jamie and Zoe in this audio tale having worked with them before in audio.
Colin Baker is easy to listen to as the Doctor in this adventure. This sounds like the Sixth Doctor who’s travelling alone and after Peri, since he makes no mention of where he is in his timeline. I love his scenes where he’s clearly very fond of Jamie and Zoe and he’s greatly missing his time with them.
Frazer Hines is equally great as Jamie in this audio adventure. Jamie is very sceptical about the Sixth Doctor being their Doctor once. There are times when Sixy and Jamie fight it out with each other, but the atmosphere of their relationship exists as Jamie gradually grows to accept Sixy as the Doctor.
Wendy Padbury is the highlight for me as Zoe in this adventure. Zoe is the one who gradually and willingly accepts that Sixy is the Doctor, unlike Jamie does. This story also explores Zoe’s back-story as a character. Her intelligence is put to use to unlock logic gates and gets put inside a Cyber-Planner.
I really liked it when Jamie and Zoe’s future is touched upon in this story. I was quite surprised that Sixy revealed to Jamie about their future in ‘The War Games’, which he shouldn’t mention since they don’t know he’s a Time Lord yet. It’s a heart-warming and fan-felt moment before Jamie and Zoe forget this.
Lucy Liemann guest stars as Zennox, the villain of this story. Zennox starts off as reserved when the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe meet her. It soon transpires that she wants the Cyber Planner and to use it to impose science and logic on Earth. She’s clearly a cold person and shows no compassion for anyone.
Nicholas Farrell guest stars as Captain Frank. I’ve seen Nicholas Farrell before in TV productions, including ‘Torchwood: Children of Earth’ and heard him in ‘Time Reef’ with Peter Davison. Captain Frank is someone who fought in the Cyber Wars. He sounds rather old fashioned and gun-ho in this.
Kieran Hodgson guest stars as Findel, a young and clever student who went to the same school as Zoe. I liked the connections between Zoe and Findel, as he reveals to her how their school closed before many student joined the Brotherhood of Logicians as seen from ‘The Tomb of the Cybermen’.
I liked the scenes where Zoe and Findel work together to shut down the logic gates for the Doctor, Jamie and Captain Frank in order to get to the heart of the Cyber-Citadel’s head. There is a moment when I thought Zoe had sacrificed herself to the Cybermen, before it turned out Findel was the one.
Nicholas Briggs returns to voice the Cybermen. The Cybermen sound different compared to what they sounded like ‘The Invasion’. Nick Briggs wanted to go for a transitional voice for the Cybermen in this by having them go from ‘The Invasion’ to ‘Revenge of the Cybermen’. This does make sense.
This leads me onto talking about Lanky…an emotional Cybermen from Lancashire. At first I couldn’t believe it. It sounded ridiculous that a Cyberman would have emotion. It did make sense that a Cybermen would have it not completely converted. But it soon turns out, Lanky isn’t who he seems.
I was impressed with the idea of a Cyberman’s head shaped in the form of a citadel on top of a mountain. I could easily visualise it in the story with reference to the CD cover of the story. It sounds and feels terrifying, especially when Zennox uses the Cyber-Head as a beacon to summon the others.
The Cybermats also make an appearance in ‘Last of the Cybermen’. How could you not do a Cybermen story without Cybermats in it?! 😀 I was anxious for the Doctor and Jamie when they were surrounded by Cybermats in the store-room at the end of ‘Episode One’. It got tense in that scene.
The story gets complicated in ‘Episode Four’ when the Doctor and Zoe go to Telos and Jamie is stuck with Captain Frank far away. There is a timey-wimey plot element involved, which isn’t so clear. You might have to listen to this story a couple of times in order to get the time-travel elements involved.
‘Last of the Cybermen’ is a wonderful Second Doctor adventure with the Sixth Doctor, Jamie and Zoe facing Cybermen in it. I love the nostalgic references made to Jamie and Zoe’s adventures in ‘Doctor Who’ and loved it when Sixy is clearly fond of Jamie and Zoe, before he leaves them forever again.
Here, the point is reached as to what ‘The Locum Doctors Trilogy’ has been all about and why Doctors have been swapped for earlier adventures. I looked forward to the last story in the trilogy.
The CD extras are as follows. At the end of Disc 1, there is a suite of incidental music to enjoy. At the end of Disc 2, there are behind-the-scenes interviews with cast and crew, including Colin Baker, Wendy Padbury, Nicholas Briggs, writer Alan Barnes, etc. Frazer Hines isn’t interviewed surprisingly.
There is also a trailer for ‘The Secret History’ with Peter Davison, Maureen O’Brien and Peter Purves.
If you subscribe to Big Finish for ‘Last of the Cybermen’ via a 6 or 12 CD/Download subscription, you’ll get the following extras. There is a PDF script and extended extras of ‘Last of the Cybermen’.
‘Last of the Cybermen’ rating – 8/10
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