If they had left out all the needless continuity about Mondas and simply made Tomb of the Cybermen mk 2 a story about diverting Halley`s Comet to destroy the Earth then this story might have worked a helluva lot better.
It`s a deeply flawed production – as seen by the sheer number of Bloopers posted elsewhere – but there are some decent ideas in there trying to get out. When you cut it in half as I`ve done here it`s much less painful to watch… I knew I would lose the crushing of Lytton`s hands for a start. It`s just gratuitous in a way that completely missed the point of the Hinchcliffe and Holmes style they were presumably attempting to emulate. I also wanted to get rid of all that nonsense with the Chameleon Circuit.
And speaking of pointless continuity references that have no need to be included in the story, there was no way the Tardis was going to land at 76 Totters Lane. I mean, WTF? Even watching it on original transmission I thought that was utterly pointless. And what exactly was the “attack” of the title? The Cidermen don`t actually attack anything in the show apart from maybe a couple of Crayons, I mean Cryons. On the plus side we once again have Nicola Bryant’s tits bouncing around all over the shop for most of it, so it’s not all bad.
This is essentially a story of two halves, Earth & Telos. The problem once again though is that it takes far too long for the Doctor to get involved in the story so I had to get him down into those sewers as quickly as possible. This is one of those stories that must have bamboozled non-fans and there are some appalling storytelling lapses- for instance, Lytton tells Griffiths he gets the £2M in diamonds if he keeps Lytton alive.
So why then does Lytton volunteer to stay on guard at the bottom of the ladder and cover the rest of them as they climb up? Because the writer needs him to get captured, that`s why! That`s just one example of the kind of sloppy writing that even a trainee Script Editor would spot needed fixing in a rewrite, but not our Eric…
It`s not all bad though. There`s dear old Brian Glover, of Kes and Tetley Make Tea Bags Make Tea fame, who does his best with some appallingly limp dialogue. Maurice Cole is as good as he was first time out as Lytton and Nicola Bryant looks as shaggable as ever. That`s about it though. And I still don`t get why they would go so overboard on the continuity but make zero effort to recreate the sets from Tomb of the Cybermen or at least try and make the new ones match in terms of style. I mean, if you`re going to do it, then do it properly.
Like many of the stories from this period of the show`s history, the point of the fan Edit is to rattle through the story so quickly that you don`t have time to notice the holes in the plot. The Brain of Morbius is a perfect example of this kind of thing, a story that draws you in and engages you so much that you don`t notice the massive hole at the centre of the plot.
Although I`m no great fan of the JNT version of Who, I still consciously try to come up with the best version of those stories that I can, given the limitations of the source material I have to work with. I reckon with this one I`ve done as good a job as it`s possible to do, and when it came to deciding who to credit for the authorship of the story, I just included all the possible suspects. That way I was bound to get one of them right!