"Roll up! Roll up! To the great Viennese Exposition, where showman Stahlbaum will show you his most wonderful creation, the Silver Turk – a mechanical marvel that will not only play for you the fortepiano, the spinet and the flute, it will play you at the gaming table too!
But when the Doctor brings his new travelling companion Mary Shelley to nineteenth-century Vienna, he soon identifies the incredible Turk as one of his deadliest enemies – a part-machine Cyberman.
And that’s not even the worst of the horrors at large in the city… "
The Doctor - Paul McGann
Mary Shelley - Julie Cox
Dr Johan Drossel - Gareth Armstrong
Alfred Stahlbaum - Christian Brassington
Ernst Bratfisch - David Schneider
Count Rolf Wittenmeier - Gwilym Lee
Countess Mitzi Wittenmeier - Claire Wyatt
The Cybermen - Nicholas Briggs
Here we are, the welcome return of the Eighth Doctor to the monthly range. Now we get full four part stories rather than just the two of the Eighth Doctor Adventues. What we don't have though is either Lucie Miller or Charlie Pollard. Instead, The Doctor has a brand new toy to play with, this new toy coming in the form of new regular companion Mary Shelly.
I love the first part of this with The Doctor excited to show his new companion the delights of travel through space and time and Mary Shelly not being quite as impressed as others would be. The first half of this story not only has the joy of getting to know a new companion relationship, but there's also a Cyberman who is performing for its human master - playing piano, challenging people to games - as he takes it on tour. Nothing much really happens in the first half but it all gels together into an interesting narrative.
Eventually The Doctor and his companion split up so we lose their chemistry from the story, but we do gain an interesting twist to the Cyberman's story. The writer, Marc Platt, does a great job of making you care for Cyberman. If you're looking for action, there's very little of it here but there are plently of great character pieces in this story.
0/7 - Non-existant
1/7 - As bad as you can get
2/7 - Poor
3/7 - Quite poor / too many poor points / didn't like it
4/7 - Quite good / plenty of good points / liked it
5/7 - Good
6/7 - As good as you can get
7/7 - Impossible perfection
Writer: Marc Platt
Director: Barnaby Edwards
Produced By: Big Finish
Released: October 2011