Industrial Evolution (2011)

After his previous story, I was hoping that Eddie Robson’s next script would be an improvement, and I’m happy to say that this is the case with Industrial Evolution which is the final story of the latest Brewster mini-series. The story is a nice historical story where Brewster is trying to get use to a normal life. The first episode and a half is spent setting the story with a workplace that is unionised and people who are either the workers or the employees. The story really does have all walks of life. What seems like a typical run of the mill (sorry for the pun) story, soon turns into this story with machines wreaking havoc. The story sees a device which creates stuff using everything around and this creates monsters that are humans with bits and pieces bolted on, sort of like a historical version of the Cybermen. There is an interesting idea about this and there is a lot of good stuff happening when they start getting involved.

I think that out of the three stories involving Brewster this year, this is by far the best because he gets a bit more to do actually moves part of the story along. He forms a good partnership with Belfrage which is where there were some moments where it seemed like the Doctor and Brewster’s relationship was better than we had thought. The conclusion for Brewster is the best one that they could have gone for. If they had killed him off then it would have been a massive mistake and if they had let him walk off into the sunset that that too would have been a mistake but by letting him fly off with Belfrage means that there is room for Brewster to come back in future adventures with either the sixth or later Doctors.

The supporting cast was also on good form with Rory Kinnear my particular highlight. I found him to be a nice strong character that thankfully has the potential to come back with Master Brewster. I also like Joannah Tincey as Clara Stretton. She started off as some sort of human rights campaigner but by the end she had progressed into someone whose whole world had fallen apart with the destruction of her home and the death of her father. Tincey’s performance was very heartfelt and believable. Hugh Ross was another good piece of casting as Robert Stretton, I thought he was best when he had stopped being Clara’s father but as a baddie.

Colin Baker and Maggie Stables put in good performances as usual and whilst it’s been a long time since we had an Evelyn story, I have to say that it’s been worth the wait. Their relationship is one of the highlights and I also liked in these three stories how Evelyn is still willing to see the good side of Brewster and is forcing the Doctor to see the good in him even after everything that we know he has done. As the third ‘member’ of the TARDIS crew, I have to say that I quite like John Pickard as Brewster. I think that now he has a few more stories under his belt its easy to see why he is such a good companion because he’s not quite like what we’ve had before in Doctor Who.

With the departure of Brewster it’s clear that the next time we hear a story featuring the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn that it will just feature them and not Brewster. Industrial Evolution isn’t the best story of the year but compared to Prisoner of the Sun this is a massive improvement and it’s a satisfying conclusion to this mini series.


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