With Cybermen taking over London, the Doctor and companions must embark on a risky plan to stop them.

Cast and Crew

David Tennant as the Doctor
Billie Piper as Rose Tyler
Noel Clarke as Mickey Smith
Camille Coduri as Jackie Tyler
Shaun Dingwall as Pete Tyler
Andrew Hayden Smith as Jake Simmonds
Roger Lloyd-Pack as John Lumic
Helen Griffin as Mrs. Moore
Colin Spaull as Mr. Crane
Mona Hammond as Rita-Anne
Duncan Duff as Newsreader
Paul Kasey as the Cyber-Leader
Paul Antony-Barber as Dr. Kendrick
Adam Shaw as Morris
Andrew Ufondo as Soldier
Don Warrington as the President
Nicholas Briggs provided the Cybermen’s voices

Written by Tom MacRae

Directed by Graeme Harper

Cybermen created by Gerry Davis and Kit Pedler

Originally aired on the 20th of May 2006 on BBC One in the United Kingdom.

Synopsis

With Cybermen taking over London, the Doctor and companions must embark on a risky plan to stop them.

High Points

  • The Doctor’s opinion on humanity’s desire for control is probably accurate.
  • Lumic’s fate was deserving, although I’m sure I’ve seen a similar thing elsewhere.
  • ‘It’s the Cyberman of food, but it’s tasty.’
  • Mrs. Moore’s backstory is probably the best of any incidental character we’ve encountered in the series so far.

Low Points

  • Getting out of the cliffhanger was too easy, but that’s fairly normal for Doctor Who.
  • It was not necessary to leave the viewer wondering ‘Mickey or Rickey’ for so long, which felt rather unnecessary.

  • Lumic’s fate was something he should have seen coming and prepared for.
  • Hacking into a computer which gives absolutely no feedback about the efforts or even what software it’s running… yeah, that’s going to work.

The Scores

Suddenly all the interesting bits of the plot emerge, and it’s not Genesis of the Daleks this time. Four out of six for originality.

This week’s effects were slightly lesser than last week’s, although still pretty good. The same criticism about the Cyberman suits applies of course, but the CGI reconstruction of Battersea power station looked great (even if it is referred to as an old factory in the story). Four out of six.

Now that we’ve got the initial parallel universe idiocy out of the way, the story gets a bit better. High stakes, lots to do and not much time in which to do it. Nothing here is vastly brilliant, but it does come together into a pretty good tale. Just why does Mrs. Moore have just the right things for the situation in her bag? Four out of six.

Why mention acting that’s exactly the same as last week’s? Five out of six.

Emotional response is primarily tension. The odds are pretty stacked against them — more than usual, in fact. I’m going to give them a bonus point for happiness at the end, but that might just be me. Five out of six.

The production team made things look a little bit more like London this week, probably because so much of the action is focussed around shots of Battersea. The residential streets seen don’t look quite right still. Four out of six.

Overall, better than last week, but not good enough for the full six points. They have left a few options for further stories based on these events, or they might opt to deal only with our universe’s Cybermen in the future. We shall see, but either is possible (or even both). Five out of six.

And that makes the grand total for The Age of Steel a fairly respectable thirty-one out of forty-two.