When it was announced that the Fourth Doctor would be encountering the Cybermen again, I was really excited because the Doctor only had one adventure with the silver monsters and its always good when these two elements encounter each other. The Fate of Krelos was a good opening story because it was wonderfully atmospheric and yet totally engaging. An argument could be made that Krelos was a case of style over substance whereas this story is one of substance over style. All the good work that Nicholas Briggs had achieved in Krelos was undone quite spectacularly in this story. Nicholas Briggs is one of the best writers in Big Finish and when he gets to write a story I find myself totally engaged with what he has written and when he gets to direct as well then its like poetry. If you haven’t listen to 2006’s The Nowhere Place then I highly recommend that you do. When The Fate of Krelos finished I thought that this adventure would be wonderful and so it’s with a heavy heart that I say that Return to Telos is a huge disappointment.
There were things that I liked about this story. I thought that it was a nice touch that they used the Cybermen from Tomb of the Cybermen in this story. The Cybermen from this period of time are the best designed in terms of style and voice and I thought that it worked well. I also liked that they went to the trouble of getting Bernard Holley to reprise the role of Hayden. If I didn’t know better I would swear that it was from that story. Michael Cochrane is always fun to listen to because he is one of the best actors to be in Doctor Who and even when he stars in things such as Brotherhood of the Daleks he is still entertaining. Any chance of getting Frazer Hines to do a Patrick Troughton is one that should be taken and I loved at one point Hines would be doing Troughton and then Jamie. It would be great to think that he did it all in one take.
What disappointments me about this story is that I don’t quite understand why it was decided to include Jamie and Hayden. If they had been taken out then the business with the Fourth Doctor and Leela would have worked much better. I think like most people that there was going to be something more epic about this encounter bearing in mind that it’s the final story of the season but instead it just feels like a normal release.
There is also the small matter of the different console rooms which seems like it could be quite a big plot point but it doesn’t live up to expectations and that is ultimately how I will remember this story in years to come. Maybe I am being too harsh but I cant help but note the disappointment that I felt when the end music played. Like I said earlier, if they took out Jamie and Hayden then this review would go differently however it is what it is and sadly this story does nothing to the Cybermen’s menace or enjoyment.