It’s been ten years since the end of the Great Cyber War. Thanks to the Glittergun, humanity prevailed – and the half-machine Cybermen were utterly obliterated. Out on the furthest fringes of the galaxy, a giant Cyber-head, hundreds of feet high is discovered. The Doctor sets out to investigate. His two companions, Jamie McCrimmon, and Zoe Heriot, find a stranger in The Doctor’s place. A stranger in a coat of many colours, who insists that he’s The Doctor – transposed in time and space with one of his former selves…
Here we see the continuation of Big Finish’s latest brainchild: a trilogy where we’ll hear Doctors five through seven matched up with companions from Doctors one to three. It’s a great way to celebrate this countdown to the 200th Big Finish release, by giving some fantastic actors who played early companions a crack of the whip in the main range.
Following on from The Defectors, in Last of The Cybermen it is still a mystery as to why this is happening. Is the wrong Doctor here to help, make a different choice, was he brought here by a friend or foe? You’ll have to listen to the whole trilogy for an answer to these questions.
Having heard Colin Baker, Wendy Padbury and Frazer Hines work together before, and against the Cybermen (no less!) in a previous Big Finish audio (the similarly titled The Legend of the Cybermen), this does make this grouping of characters a little more familiar but also, as we’ve heard it before, a little less exciting.
Writer Alan Barnes idea here was to create a story to bridge the long gap between the original Cyberman TV stories The Invasion (1968) and Revenge of the Cybermen (1975) – this is a fantastic notion, but the story almost tries to be too many different things and even as an avid listener of Big Finish it was, at times, hard to follow. I also found the title to be a little contrived.
There is some wonderful chemistry between Colin Baker and Wendy Padbury and Frazer Hines, and Lucy Liemann as the mysteriously motivated Zenox was also a real treat. Being a Cyberman story, Nick Briggs is in on the action, voicing the silver warriors. It was a nice touch to use a balanced combination of the Cyber voices from The Invasion, Revenge of the Cybermen and Earthshock, to hear a natural progression.
The perhaps misleadingly named Last of The Cybermen doesn’t quite match up to its predecessor. It was lovely to hear The Sixth Doctor interacting with Jamie and Zoe but the story didn’t quite connect up clearly enough. I am looking forward to the final part of the trilogy to discover how, why and who is is moving the Time Lord around in time.