It was January 2006 that the first Cybermen series concluded. Ever since then I feared that this second series would never come. Nicholas Briggs has decided not to write this series but hand this responsibility over to James Swallow who wrote Keepsake in 2008. How would he deal with the high level of expectation that I and countless other will have had. Its surprising that they decided to release all four episodes in one go instead of doing over four months. I personally think that this might be a mistake but only time will tell. This story is split into two parts. The first being about Liam and Sam who are trying to survive and then there is Becca and Hazel Trahan who are on Earth which is being run by Cybermen though no-one thinks that they are anything but soldiers dressing up. The Liam and Sam story seemed to start exactly where it left off in Telos, I found that this only worked because I listened to Telos the night before. Anyone else would probably struggle to remember why they are there. As soon as that problem is resolved then another arose and it created for me the impression that they were a team just trying to do the simple thing and get back to Earth. Mark McDonnell and Hannah Smith are brilliant as Liam and Sam. Smith in particular is a character that I have grown to like over the previous four parts and in this one she stepped up a gear trying to prolong the revelation that she is an android.
The other half of this was a nice new addition to the series. I found these two particularly interesting because they seemed to have a natural chemistry (being sisters that’s not a surprise), there was no bravado about them. Hazel was a taxi driver and Becca seemed to work in an office whilst being blind. With everything that is going on with Liam and Sam I found that these two gave a more human spin to things. Their story is not as developed as the other story but something tells me their story will be told. I thought that the best scene and also the most eerie was when Hazel caught by a group of Cybermen who were calling out a general speech but it started off quieter and got louder and louder. I thought that this was well played by Jo Castleton.
I recently listened to the last series and its amazing how this series is different to the last. The story seems to have a more traditional Big Finish main range feel to it. I liked how they mixed two strands together and continued the series one plot with Liam and Sam and introducing the new one with Hazel and Becca. James Swallow has done a good job starting this series after a near four year gap. The characters and pace seem fresh and gave me fresh incentive to start listening to the next instalment immediately, well the next day anyway.