Setting aside the controversial new arrangement of the theme tune (which is growing on me, but feels singularly inappropriate alongside the period score that’s been written for this particular adventure), this is another sharp and enjoyable story, which appears to have revitalised Paul McGann’s performance as the Eighth Doctor in much the same way that the arrival of Lucie Miller did a few years back.
It helps that Julie Cox has been given some sparkling dialogue as Mary Shelley, and that, while this may be a Cybermen story, it’s not like anything you’ve heard before. Marc Platt develops some of the ideas about Mondas, the original Cyber-planet, that he introduced in his earlier story Spare Parts, giving us Cybermen who are both credible yet markedly different from anything we’ve seen on screen in the last decade.
The idea that Mary is gathering ideas that will eventually appear in her novel Frankenstein works well enough here, although it could become a bit laborious – hopefully we’ll see some of the inspirations for her political and other science fiction novels if this becomes a long-running series.
In his interview a few weeks back, script editor Alan Barnes described this story as something “special” and he was quite right: one of the treats of this year’s releases. 8/10
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