I love the Cybermen, more than the Daleks, and I lament that they don’t get quite as much attention. Sadly, this is the only Fourth Doctor serial to feature the Cybermen.

Episode 1:

The Doctor and his companions spin through space and we see Space Station Nerva phase into view. The Time Ring brings them back to the transmat tubes on the station. Sarah looks around and notices the TARDIS isn’t there, but The Doctor explains they’re “a little earlier” and the TARDIS hasn’t arrived yet.

Harry asks if he can have the Time Ring, which The Doctor has set on the nearby transmat console. The Doctor tells him to “take good care of it,” but as Harry reaches for it, it disappears, much to The Doctor’s amusement.

Still laughing, The Doctor opens the door into the next room, and a body falls in, having been leaning against the closed door. Harry checks on him, proclaiming he’s been dead for several weeks. They enter the perimeter walkway, only to find dozens of dead bodies littered about.

We shit to a computer console in another room, where a man wakes up at the console when a report comes up. He contacts a ship, informing them that the Nerva Beacon (not space station, note) is a quarantined zone, there is a plague infection. The ship is rerouted to another beacon.

Warner, the beacon crew member, is asked by the ship’s pilot about his brother, who is serving on the beacon. Warner contacts Commander Stevenson (played by Ronald Leigh-Hunt, who played Commander Radnor in the most excellent SEEDS OF DEATH, the Second Doctor serial with the Ice Warriors taking over the transmat station on the Moon), who tells him to prevaricate and say that his brother is fine and the situation is under control.

Kellman, a civilian, argues with Stevenson over lying, asking how long they can go on. He argues that three men cannot do the work of fifty, though the crew argue they have done so for a week and will continue as long as they can. (It seems that Nerva is a beacon for an asteroid, with a thirty year mission.)

The Doctor and his companions move along, stepping over bodies. Harry stops to check a body here and there. As they talk, The Doctor again explains that they are much earlier than when they were on Nerva last time. The TARDIS hasn’t arrived yet, but it might be in a different part of the station, if they’ve changed things around.

A mechanical creature slithers along the dead bodies in the walkway, unbeknownst to the visitors.

Warner receives a transmission, but there is no ship assigned to it. It is faint and he can barely understand it. He tries to contact them back.

In a cave, we see two aliens with rifles moving along; they come across a third alien, who is trying to contact the beacon. They shoot the third alien.

Professor Kellman enters the room, and Warner asks him if he’s sure there’s no life on the asteroid, Voga. Kellman assures him there is not, and scoffs at Warner’s assertion that someone just tried to contact him. He explains that until it was captured by Jupiter’s gravity, it was drifting through space – there is no way life could have survived.

The Doctor opens a door in the beacon in one of the sealed areas, which triggers an alarm in the communications room; Warner alerts Commander Stevenson and the commander and Lester (the third crew man) grab weapons and go to investigate.

On Voga, the asteroid, the body of the alien (Vogan?) is brought to the… throne room. Several Vogans argue about their plan, about trusting their agent. They discuss the Cybermen, their enemy.

We see the mechanical creature, obviously a Cybermat, enter the communications room and attack Warner. He struggles with it, thrashing about.

Kellman enters the communications room, sees Warner on the ground, his veins glowing on his face. The professor moves to the log, tearing out the recording where Warner entered the mysterious call from Voga.

The Doctor, Harry and Sarah arrive at the forward control room. Stevenson and Lester enter, taking them captive with their guns. From the other side of the room, Kellman enters, telling them to step into the next room, which is the communications room Warner is in.

Kellman tries to push the commander into killing the intruders, saying they’ve brought the plague in. Despite that, The Doctor explains that Harry is a doctor of medicine and they can help. Stevenson agrees to let them examine Warner.

Kellman leaves, returning to his quarters, and puts together a communications device, which he uses to monitor the communications room and the conversation between The Doctor and the commander. The Doctor points out several clues that indicate it is not a virus.

Lester talks to Harry and Sarah as Harry tries to tend to Warner. We learn that this is day seventy-nine of the plague. Earth Central has quarantined the beacon instead of trying to send help.

The Doctor learns from Stevenson that Kellman is researching the new (13th, though we now know that Jupiter has over 60 moons, back in the 70s, when this was written and filmed, only 12 were known) satellite of Jupiter. When Stevenson informs him that it was originally called Neo-Phobos but has since been renamed Voga, The Doctor seems to recognise the name.

The Doctor informs Stevenson that the Cybermen are behind everything. He dashes off. Kellman, watching all this from his room, pulls out another device. He plugs it in and uses it to send a message, much like morse code.

In space, a rather phallic ship reacts to the signal. Inside, Cybermen are seen and the ship begins moving through space.

The Doctor arrives at Warner’s side, saying he’s been injected with poison. The Doctor announces that he smells a rat and departs.

You know, I sometime wonders if your friend is quite right in the head,” Stevenson says to Sarah Jane. Sarah Jane, plucky as ever, tells him that if he’s scented a rat, he’ll find one.

The Doctor hides as Kellman departs his quarters, then slips in, using his sonic screwdriver. He pokes around, finding Kellman’s devices, both the monitoring and morse code-ish one. He also finds a bag with gold in it.

Kellman returns, finding one of the devices not fully hidden. He realises that someone is hiding in the room, and he correctly guesses under the bed. The professor wires up the floor to be electrified and departs. The Doctor crawls out and quickly gets on the bed as he begins to get shocked. He quickly moves to shut off the power and try to open the door.

Sarah is watching some informational video and is attacked by a Cybermat… and the credits roll.

Excellent cliffhanger.

Episode 2:

The Doctor escapes the room and hears Sarah’s squeals of distress. He runs towards her, entering the room as she fights it off. He throws gold at it and it seems to flail about, dying. However, Sarah has been injected with the poison and The Doctor and Harry rush her to the transmat platform.

The Doctor tries to beam Harry and Sarah down, but there has been sabotage. The Doctor tells Stevenson that Kellman is the one working with the Cybermen and Stevenson and Lester rush off to get him; Kellman has been watching on his device all the while and gets a gun, ready for his visitors.

The Doctor struggles to fix the sabotage.

On Voga, Vorus (the leader of the Guardians of the mines) and his aide, Magrik, discuss the approaching Cybership. Vorus tells Magrik they have four hours to complete “the sky striker”, a giant missile he has viewed on a video screen. Magrik says the rocket is ready but the warhead has not been tested.

Lester and Stevenson break into Kellman’s room, but he is gone. They split up, searching for him.

The Doctor jury-rigs it so the transmat works, though there’s a flash that temporarily blinds him.

Harry and Sarah beam down to Voga, removing the poison from her body. They’re in a cavern and for some reason, start wandering about instead of returning back to Nerva. Harry sees gold just lying about.

Several Vogans (Vogons? Oh, wait, wrong canon) with guns arrive and take the companions prisoner.

Kellman wanders the outer walkway but he and Stevenson end up in a Mexican standoff. Lester grabs him from behind and they take him captive. Lots of captivity going on.

The Doctor, Stevenson and Lester try to interrogate Kellman.

The Cybership closes in on Nerva.

Vorus tries to interrogate the companions. Lots of attempted interrogations going on. His interrogation is interrupted by a communication from Tyrum, Voga’s chief councilor, who wants to meet with Vorus.

Stevenson tries to interrogate Kellman; The Doctor uses Kellman’s device that controls the Cybermat to threaten him to find out where the drive from the transmat is; terrified of the Cybermat and the threat of poison, Kellman gives in.

Harry and Sarah are chained in solid gold in a cave. Vorus meets with Tyrum, who has heard of the two humans. He accuses Vorus of being up to something. Vorus doesn’t want to hide in the caves any more – for centuries the Vogans have hidden beneath the surface, so nobody knows this ‘asteroid’ is the famous planet of gold.

Tyrum says he is removing the traditional authority the Guardians have over the mines, giving it to the militia. Vorus threatens to have Tyrum removed from office and storms off.

Vogans fight Vogans in the caverns.

The Doctor gets the transmat working, but since Harry and Sarah aren’t in the ring any more, he can’t bring them back up.

Lester detects an approaching craft on the radar and tries to contact them. They don’t respond.

Harry and Sarah break free of their manacles. They hear a vehicle approaching and hide. Vogans arrive and start searching for them. They get trapped, but then combative parties of Vogans start shooting at each other.

On Nerva, they get the ship on scanner, but don’t recognise it by sight. The ship gets closer, ignoring their quarantine signals. The ship moves into docking orbit.

Harry and Sarah run (it is Doctor Who, after all.) They make it to an underground river and just as Vorus’ men are about to shoot, militia Vogans surround them and take the Guardians prisoner.

Tyrum and his aide discuss the humans and Vorus’ treachery.

The ship docks; The Doctor finally tells them that it must be the Cybermen. Why he waited so long…? Stevenson and Lester fire on the Cybermen as they enter Nerva, but the humans are shot by the head guns of the Cybermen and drop. The Doctor tries to sneak away, but he, too is shot. The Cybermen announce that the beacon is theirs… and the credits roll.

Episode 3:

Kellmen approaches the Cybermen and assures they didn’t kill them. The Cyberleader says they did not, as they need them. Kellmen searches The Doctor’s pockets, trying to determine who he is, but only finds jelly babies and a chewed apple.

Sarah and Harry are brought before Tyrum. Sarah begins telling him their story.

The Cyberleader and Kellman discus the geography of Voga.

Vogans continue to fight each other. A message is brought to Vorus from Tyrum; the militia will not press on.

Kellman argues with the Cyberleader about letting him go down to Voga to check on things. The Cyberleader is swayed and beams him down.

Tyrum questions Sarah and Harry, saying Vorus is up to something, something to do with the beacon. They talk of the Cybermen. Tyrum tells the companions to accompany him, as he says it is time for Vorus to account for his actions.

The Doctor tries to rattled the Cyberleader, pointing out they have no planet, no influence, are just a group of ragtag survivors in a ratty spaceship. Cybermen aren’t supposed to have any emotions, so why the Cyberleader gets pissed off, I can’t figure out. The Doctor tricks him into throwing him near the bombs, and he grabs one, saying he wants some information.

A cyberman grabs The Doctor from behind and he is disarmed. He is only spared because the Cybermen need three “animal organisms” to deliver the bombs to Voga.

Kellman is captured by militia Vogans.

The Doctor, Stevenson and Lester are strapped with “cyberbombs”. The Cyberleader gives a cyberspeech about how the bombs will cyberfragmatise cyberthe cyberplanet cyberVoga.

Okay, I’m being facetious, but this is almost as bad as the 1960s Batman TV show…

The buckles on their bomb straps are rigged; should they remove them, boom.

The Doctor and a Cyberman are beamed down to Voga. Shortly thereafter, Stevenson, Lester and a second Cyberman are beamed down. Vogans open fire on the Cybermen. The Cybermen fight back. Vogans die and/or flee.

Kellman is brought to Tyrum and questioned on his relationship with Vorus. A Vogan arrives to report the Cybermen have arrived. Kellman insists they must use the rocket on the beacon to destroy the Cybermen. Sarah Jane finds this very alarming.

The two Cybermen kill more Vogans.

The Doctor, Stevenson and Lester move along. Lester wants to wait, but The Doctor says it’s best to move on.

Sarah makes for the transmat, to warn The Doctor (not knowing he’s on Voga). Tyrum calls out Vorus, demanding to know what he has planned.

Sarah beams up to the beacon. She slips past the Cybermen and overhears about the bombs and that there is no safety countdown.

Tyrum says Vorus has brought about the destruction of their race. Harry stops them from blaming each other and asks if there’s a way to get down to the main shaft. Tyrum says there may be a cross shaft.

The Doctor and the two crewmen discuss a possible plan.

Kellman, Harry and Tyrum examine the cross shaft and Kellman enters. Harry follows.

Cybermen kill more Vogans.

The Doctor and associates enter a chamber that is almost pure gold.

Harry and Kellman come to a rockfall and start to push it. The Doctor is on the other side and when the rocks collapse, Kellman is killed. The Doctor falls.. and the credits roll.

Episode 4:

Harry comes down to see The Doctor. He moves to take off the buckle, but Lester stops him at the last moment. The Doctor comes to, asks Harry if he was trying to unbuckle him and if he also caused the rock slide. Harry answers the affirmative to both, which sends The Doctor into laughter and then he shouts, “Harry Sullivan is an imbecile,” before collapsing.

Sarah eavesdrops on the Cybermen discussing the bombs. Eleven minutes to detonation.

Harry fills in The Doctor, Stevenson and Lester on what’s been going on. Stevenson agrees to keep going down the main shaft while Harry, Lester and The Doctor take the cross shaft.

Vorus and Tyrum continue their debate. Vorus says he will face trial before the people freely. Tyrum’s aide reports that the Vogans refuse to attack the Cybermen any more.

The Doctor, Lester and Harry catch up with the Cybermen, trying to use the gold dust. Harry and The Doctor leap, but Lester holds back. When The Doctor and Harry’s attempt to use the dust fails and they run off, Lester jumps down and activates his buckle, blowing up himself and the Cybermen.

The Cyberleader loses radio contact and orders manual detonation. Sarah Jane runs in and is knocked down. They activate the detonation, but nothing happens.

The Doctor takes off his buckle and doesn’t blow up.

Sarah Jane gives up the plan of Kellman and the Vogans. The Cyberleader decides that she is telling the truth but the rocket is no threat.

The Sky Striker is ready. Vorus readies to fire it, but The Doctor begs for fifteen minutes to deal with the Cybermen on his own. He asks Harry to go find the commander while he’s gone. The Doctor beams up to the beacon.

The Cybermen plan to drive the beacon into Voga, loading it with explosives.

The Doctor rescues Sarah and then rigs the Cybermat with gold dust, having it attack a Cyberman, killing it.

Harry has found the commander and brought him back to Vorus’ chambers. They see the beacon is in motion. Even though there are two minutes left, Vorus wants to fire the rocket. He is shot, and dies, but manages to fire his rocket. We get stock footage of a NASA rocket launch.

The Doctor and Sarah Jane attack the Cyberleader and his Cybermen in the control room, as they pilot the beacon. The Cyberleader gives The Doctor a super-vigorous massage (no, really, that’s kinda what it looks like.) The Cybermen tie up The Doctor and Sarah Jane and leave them in the control room, where they watch the Sky Striker approach.

The Cybership disembarks from the beacon.

The Doctor and Sarah Jane free themselves. The Doctor contacts Voga and talks the commander into changing the rocket’s course. The beacon is still heading towards Voga. The Doctor tries to change course but it is locked.

The commander aims the rocket at the Cybership. There’s a big boom.

The beacon is still moving straight towards Voga. The Doctor activates a secondary system (turning a big crank, cuz you know, that’s how it’s done on space stations) and they spin around the planet and then enter an orbit around Voga.

Just then, the TARDIS appears. The Doctor slips in to keep it from drifting off, and as Harry transmats up, he exits to tell them to hurry it up, he’s got an urgent message from the Brigadier, they’re needed on Earth. They enter and the final credits roll.

A decent serial, always fun seeing the Cybermen. One heck of an ending for the season, with the heading off to help the Brig, very curious to see what serial we’ll be viewing for Monday!

See you then!

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