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Return of the Cybermen - In an average way
on 23 March 2014
I decided to pick this book up because I found that the BBC Books' scarcely seem to publish a Cyberman story. So I was thankful of this addition to the line up, even if the book is a "Quick Read" book.
I was also happy to learn that Terrance Dicks has returned to writing Doctor Who stories, as he is a big name in the classic series and wrote the brilliant 20th Anniversary story "The Five Doctors"
This book deals with the after-effects of the 2006 story "Doomsday". Only a small group of Cybermen remain on Earth. They are trying to bring themselves back to power by stealing technology from the Earth's military forces. It's the job of the 10th Doctor and Martha to stop them.
Firstly, the good points. Devoted fans of Doctor Who will know that in the TV series, Martha never met the Cybermen. It is therefore nice to see how she interacts with them in this book. It is also nice to see how people reacted to her vanishing from the Royal Hope hospital and left her friends questioning where she had gone.
Terrance Dicks has also introduced a couple of new characters that the Doctor interacts with. The military have two main characters. Whilst we don't explore them in great depth, they help to keep the pace and story going.
Now on to the bad points, the reason I picked this story up was because of the Cybermen being incorporated into the BBC Books range. Whilst it is great to see them here, they are largely kept in the background in this book. Due to this, I felt no sense of urgency or danger coming from them. The Cybermen are also portrayed as scavengers here, having to scrimp and scrape from Earth's technology. Whilst this is an essential plot-point and key to the story, it makes them appear weaker and it is difficult to believe that they were all over the Earth upgrading humanity, only a few stories ago.
In conclusion, I would say this book isn't bad but it isn't brilliant. The story remains balanced on both good and negative points. It is good to see more of Martha's friends and how they reacted to her leaving but the central threat that the story presents is a weak one and it's sad to see the Cybermen so underused, especially when BBC Books rarely do a story with the Cybermen.