This season, the serials were two 45m episodes. As such, I can’t do one episode, then place a spoiler warning. So… I’m going to start putting them earlier, not even the halfway point, but after we see where things are going? We’ll see, it’s a fluid thing.

That being said. I REMEMBER THIS SERIAL. Okay, not all the details, but one big one. Oh yes. Excited, I am.

Episode 1:

Some workers (blue coveralls, yellow helmets) move through some catacombs/tunnels, remarking how old/derelict they are. One finds a brick wall where there shouldn’t be one. They discuss being under Fleet Street, so they’re in London.

David goes off to check that they’re in the right tunnel. His friend gets worried when he doesn’t come right back and goes looking for him. Instead, he encounters something that frightens and attacks him.

The Doctor tinkers with circuitry within several of the round panels in the hall. He tells Peri he’s working on repairing the chameleon circuit. She worries that he’s overdoing it, remarking he seems a little unstable.

At this moment, I’m as stable as you’ll ever see me,” he tells her.

Oh dear,” Peri remarks mournfully.

He proceeds to remind her that he is not how he used to be and she has to stop comparing him to his former self.

I’m a Time Lord. A man of science, temperament and PASSION!”

And a very loud voice.”

He pauses, “Yes, that too. But not unstable.”

Cute dialog – I really like the Peri-Doctor interactions.

He sets the coordinates, but when he activates it, the TARDIS goes wildly out of control and they have to hang on to the console for their lives. Their voices are distorted as they talk.

In a city (London, presumably) we see a car full of men pull up. THE DRIVER IS LYTTON!! YAY, LYTTON! (Okay, that was the part I was excited about.)

Now that’s out of the bag, let’s have us a spoiler warning!

spoiler warning

It seems Lytton is the leader of a group of thieves and they have their minds set upon ten million pounds worth of diamonds. One of the men, Russell seems to be alarmed that Lytton is planning for the heist that very day – he says getting the explosives might be a problem.

Russell leaves the car and makes a call about the heist.

Back in the TARDIS, things have calmed down. Opening the scanner, they see Halley’s comet – The Doctor says the year is 1985.

The thieves get gear out of the car and unload it in a garage; Lytton explains they’re going to access the bank via the sewers, using the explosives from below to enter.

Peri is all worried about being in space near the comet; The Doctor tells her she has nothing to fear.

Lytton opens a cabinet and activates some high-tech equipment, testing it, then shuts it off.

Russell arrives with the explosives. They enter their garage/whatsit. Two bobbies watch from across the street.

Peri shuts off the scanner, then notices a strange signal; she asks The Doctor if it has something to do with him. He says it doesn’t, but identifies it as an “interstellar distress signal” coming from Earth. He says that cannot be good and they must investigate.

Lytton’s men seem to have some qualms about his machine pistol/submachine gun. He tells them that “armed robbery is armed robbery.”

Russell complains he doesn’t like guns or Lytton’s secrecy. Lytton says he’s new to the group, so that’s why he doesn’t know all the details, and the other two are muscleheads. Griffiths, the bald musclehead complains, but Lytton tells him to deal with it or he’s out.

That pretty much puts an end to the rebellion and they head into the sewer.

The TARDIS appears in a junk yard. No, no way. Nuh uh.

The Doctor exits, looks around, and says, “This looks familiar.” He has a hand-scanner to track the distress signal. Peri complains that the TARDIS didn’t change, blend it.

She’s probably thinking about it,” The Doctor says, heading off to follow the signal. The TARDIS changes into a… I don’t know what it is, but Wikipedia says “a rather conspicuous ornamental stove”. Peri laughs and teases The Doctor, who tries to defend the TARDIS.

The Doctor stops, “I suddenly feel conspicuous.” Peri eyes his clothing, “I’m not surprised in that coat.” He says, “It’s more a question of having organised a surprise party and forgotten who it’s for.”

Peri remarks that since his regeneration, his memory is all jumbled. “In the past couple days, you’ve called me Tegan, Zoe, Susan… on one occasion you even referred to me as Jamie!”

All the while, they follow the signal on the tracker. As they narrow in on it, we do see the two bobbies watching them. Suddenly, The Doctor says, “I’m a fool! Of course I am, that’s precisely what I would have done,” and then he dashes off, Peri following him… as the two bobbies watch.

Russell says they’re being followed in the tunnels. Lytton leaves Payne behind to deal with anyone who might be following them.

Returning to the scrapyard, we see that it is, in fact, the original scrapyard from AN UNEARTHLY CHILD. The bobbies follow them, watching from the entrance as they enter the stove, which disappears.

The Doctor says that the signal was bounced off several relay points in London. The Doctor and Peri discern that the house (that the signal tracker led them to) has to be watched for anyone to arrive.

Payne hears a noise and moves forward in the tunnel, looking to ambush whomever it might be. He returns back to his hiding spot, where he is grabbed from behind and attacked. Again, we don’t see who it is, but since we know whom the badguys are from the title…

The TARDIS appears elsewhere, disguised as an organ (like a piano); they’re just outside Lytton’s garage. From the entrance to the sewer, one of the bobbies appears, pointing a gun at them. The Doctor knocks him back in and jumps in after him.

The other bobby approaches Peri, but she throws a rock in his face and he drops the gun. The Doctor appears, having dispatched the other. This one is cuffed (The Doctor tells Peri the other is “having a little lie-down”.)

They agree that these aren’t real police and head into the sewers to investigate what’s going on.

Lytton, Griffiths and Russell arrive at the spot; Lytton says Payne will catch up with them when he hears the noise they’ll be making. Russell, looking at the map, sees the wall that isn’t supposed to be there (the same wall from the beginning of the episode.)

They argue, Russell complaining that nothing is right, saying they don’t know where they are. He tells them to get started.

The Doctor and Peri banter as they make their way through the catacombs. Something/someone is following them.

Lytton and Russell discuss Payne’s lack of arrival. They see something moving down the tunnel, but Russell says it’s too big.

It’s a cyberman!

Griffiths opens fire on it, damaging it, and Lytton shoves his gun under Griffiths’ face, telling him to hold his fire.

The brick wall that isn’t supposed to be there slides open, revealing multiple Cybermen. (It’s a Cyberwall!!! Okay, I’ll behave.)

Lytton approaches, handing his gun to them, “My name is Lytton, and I am your prisoner, Cybermen.” The Cyberman who takes the gun breaks it. Griffiths turns to run, but a Cyberman (the one he shot, I’m guessing) is there and the bald thief screams.

The Doctor and Peri find Payne; the Time Lord says his neck has been broken. Peri suggests contacting the police, saying he doesn’t have to play The Lone Ranger. (Peri is an American, so she would use a reference like that.)

The Cyberleader asks Lytton how he knew where to find them.

You have a ship hidden on the dark side of the moon, I tracked your transmissions.” He assures them that the Earth authorities cannot track them. When they point out he was able, he tells them he’s not from Earth. (Griffiths takes this rather stoically.)

Lytton tells them he is from a satellite called Riften 5, orbiting the planet Vita 15 in the star system 6-9-0. The Cybermen know of it, saying that the inhabitants are mercenaries and not to be trusted. Lytton pleads to serve them, but they say he will as a Cyberman.

Lytton says he knows why they are here and says he brought others with him to be turned into Cybermen. The Cyberleader says the Cyber Controller will determine his fate – and we learn the Controller is on Telos!

We see what must be Telos; humanoids are slaving (digging and the like), observed by Cybermen. Suddenly, several of the workers give signals to each other and attack the Cybermen. One Cyberman’s head is knocked off, but when the men try to grab it, a Cyberman shoots it and the two surviving men run off.

Peri startles The Doctor, worrying about whether the alien killed Payne. AS they move on, they encounter Russell, who disarms them. Russell finds his gun (that Payne had and The Doctor took) and orders them to put their hands on the wall.

The two men who escaped the work party argue; their third man was killed, and they needed the head, and without both, they’re unable to fly a Cybership and escape. Stratton (the one who panicked and didn’t grab the head in time) apologises but the other guy yells a lot.

Griffiths asks how Lytton knew all that stuff to tell them; Lytton suggests it was true. Griffiths says that Lytton told them he was from Fulham.

You know, Griffiths, when I look at you, I often wonder why your ancestors bothered to climb out of the primordial slime,” Lytton says, disdainfully.

That sounds like another insult, Mister Lytton,” Griffiths replies.

Stratton and Yelling Man watch the work party, wondering why the others didn’t try to escape, why they’re still working. Stratton says they have more sense than they did, but Yelling Man… well, he yells, saying that they’re mining Telos with high explosives and when the Cybermen are ready, they’re going to Cyberblowup the… oh, sorry, I’m doing it again. But, anyhow, they’re going to blow up the planet, and them with it.

Yelling Man points out Cyber Control, saying that’s where they’re going.

In Cyber Control, the Cyber Controller Cyberlearns that Stratton and Bates (that’s Yelling Man) escaped. He says they will try to recapture their ship. The controller says they can learn from watching the men as they try to “evade destruction”.

Russell finds The Doctor’s sonic lance (that’s new, an upgrade on the sonic screwdriver?) Russell says he’s police. The Doctor distracts him and they disarm Russell. The Doctor tells him who he is (really, he does, saying he’s a Time Lord, from the planet Gallifrey, in the constellation Kasterborous. Russell says he’s bonkers. The Doctor says that’s debatable, but doesn’t change the fact what he told him was true.)

It turns out that Russell was telling the truth, too. He is a cop. Under duress, he tells them that he’s keeping watch on a man called Lytton; The Doctor immediately recognises him, “The sort of man who would shoot his mother, to keep his trigger finger supple?”

Russell says that some specialised electronics were stolen and they tracked it down to someone named Lytton, someone with no record or official existence.

The Doctor decides it’s time to return to the TARDIS.

The Cyberleader learns of the presence of three humanoids and asks Lytton if he knows about it. Griffiths suggests it could be the police. Cyberleader sends his Cybermen out to capture them, with orders not to damage them, so they can be converted.

Stratton and Bates make their way to Cyber Control, the former whining, the latter not yelling but being mean (rightfully so, I will admit.) They see a Cyberman and lure him into a trap, so they can take his head. Bates explains that Stratton is going to empty out the helmet and wear it, so they can sneak into Cyber Control as prisoner and Cyberman.

The Cyber Controller learns that the Cyberscout (their word, not mine, I promise) was destroyed by the escapees. He says it’s not possible, but is Cybercorrected (my word, I admit) by his Cyberunderling. The Cyber Controller says they’re too resourceful and orders the guard to be alerted.

Trying to find their way back to the TARDIS, The Doctor, Peri and Russell come across a Cyberman. The Doctor, suitably, is alarmed.

The Cyberleader is informed that there is some local “time distortion”, and scouts are sent out to investigate.

Peri and Russell, having been told what a Cyberman is, want to leave, but The Doctor says he can “shake it up” with his sonic lance. When Peri asks what he’s going to do, he gives a great line, “Wait, watch and learn.”

(I’m really amazed how many lines, especially incidental ones, in this serial I recall. I haven’t seen this in over fifteen years. Could be twenty, easily.)

The Cyberleader learns that the Cyberscout (their word again) has been destroyed. Griffiths mocks the Cybermen, talking in a robotic voice, and is physically reprimanded for it. The Cyberleader then instructs Lytton and Griffiths to follow him.

The Doctor, Peri and Russell rush back to the ladder and climb it.

Lytton identifies the sonic lance, still stuck in the Cyberscout’s chest. The Cybermen say that an alien could explain the time distortion, and Lytton makes a guess at who it might be, “I’ve been expecting him to return… he calls himself The Doctor.”

The Cybermen tell Lytton they are more than aware of him, and talk of capturing the TARDIS.

The Doctor leads Peri and Russell into the TARDIS, where a Cyberman grabs The Doctor from behind. Russell shoots the Cyberman and takes the Cybergun. He shoots another, but suddenly the Cyberleader enters with Lytton, Griffiths and more Cybermen.

Peri is grabbed and the order is given to “destroy her at once.” Peri flinches as a Cyberman raises his fist to destroy her at once… and the credits roll.

Decent cliffhanger I suppose. YAY LYTTON, YAY CYBERMEN!!!

See you CyberFriday!

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