“You belong to us. You shall be like us.” The Cybermen vanished from the galaxy centuries ago, but where did they go?

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(AudioGo)

YOU can hear the ice permeating throughout the buried tombs of the long-dead Cybermen, deep beneath the barren surface of Telos, and then you can feel it begin to slowly melt as the metal monsters are recklessly resurrected…

Sound plays a great part in this Target Books adaptation of the classic Second Doctor story, with designer Simon Power deliberately trying to evoke a chilling sense of menace which perhaps wasn’t conveyed on screen, building up the claustrophobia and sense of tension in a way which would probably have left sixties audiences dribbling in the corner.

The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria join a group of archaeologists determined to uncover the Cybermen’s final resting place, but in a foreshadowing of his later, more manipulative personae, the Doctor has an agenda of his own for working with this gang of would-be grave-robbers…

Recruiting original Cybercontroller Michael Kilgarriff to handle the reading of Gerry Davis’ book wasn’t perhaps the most obvious choice, but he succeeds in complementing the growing feeling of menace which other, more well-known narrators might have missed, ably assisted by Nicholas Briggs’ Cybermen voices.

There’s no attempt here to mimic any of the cast members, but instead Kilgarriff brings his vocal inflections to Davis’ prose, building on the implied threat of the Cybermen long before they appear in the narrative.

AudioGo’s range of audio adaptations of long out-of-print Target novels has been a decidedly hit and miss affair depending on the original book and the choice of reader, with even the music and sound effects occasionally off-kilter. In contrast, all these elements come together here to create a near-perfect masterpiece of storytelling which in many ways is actually superior to its television counterpart.

This is the audio by which all subsequent releases will be judged, and a must-have addition to any collection.

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