By Gareth Roberts
Reviewed By Will Barber – Taylor
“Yes, he likes that, Alfie, though personally he prefers to be called Stormageddon, Dark Lord Of All.”
The Doctor decides to meet up with his old friend Craig Owens to pay his respects before his journey to Lake Silencio. He soon discovers strange things are happening at the local department store; people are going missing and a large silver rat has been seen. The Doctor knows this can mean only one thing - the return of the Cybermen.
The plot was a very good one. The return of James Corden ( Gavin And Stacey) as Craig Owens was written well and better than Corden’s first appearance in the series (The Lodger). The return of the Cybermen and the Cybermats was also well written and the Cybermen were finally returned to the skulking menaces they were in the Troughton and Davison eras, respectively. The Cybermats also make a welcome return, having not been in the series since Revenge of The Cybermen back in 1974. Unlike the Revenge Cybermats which were just plain silly, these Cybermats were similar to the ones seen in Tomb Of The Cybermen (1967), which were actually scary. The Cybermens’ evil plot was a bit basic and rather unimpressive. Some fans may argue the fact that the Cybermen were beaten by love was a bit - well… unimpressive. They are wrong. The core idea that emotions can be so powerful that the Cybermen can be destroyed by pure, raw emotion was utter genius.
The acting was brilliant from both the stars of the show. I have to admit I was previously not a fan of the Corden/ Smith double act but this story proved me wrong. The scene when Corden and Smith were hunting for the Cybermat and were mistaken for a couple was believable and hilarious.
The directing was magnificent, especially the scene pre titles where Shona (Sercoa Davis) was grabbed by the silent, stomping Cybermen. Steve Hughes deserves a pat on the back.
The design for the Cybermats was frightening because of their sharp teeth and streamline body quality. They certainly deserve an action figure of some kind.
All in all, this is a very good episode, with fantastic acting, directing and writing. As we know from the end of this episode, The Doctor’s Time is running out. The Astronaut is waiting in the waters of Lake Silencio to strike the Timelord dead….