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Published on May 23rd, 2006 | by Christian Cawley

The Age of Steel Reaction

DWAS – the Doctor Who Appreciation Society – reports that the second part of the Cybermen adventure The Age of Steel garnered overnight ratings of 6.9 million viewers.

That is a 35.5% audience share, and although the viewing numbers are down the audience share is still significant. The episode also seems to have been better recieved than Rise of the Cybermen – or at very least the predecessor’s opinion has been revised in light of its conclusion – with SFX‘s website declaring:

Rise of the Cybermen and The Age of Steel take that impossible vision of Doctor Who and make it real. It’s Doctor Who as WWII high adventure, delivered with a feature film sheen.

Have a read of it, and reflect upon the episodes as you do, especially these points:

Still, there’s so much to love here – a twinkly David Tennant saying the deeply Doctorish line “I would call you a genius but I’m in the room”, Noel Clarke bowing out on top and, oh yes, the simple joy of Billie Piper in a maid’s outfit, the kind of thing that reminds you that human emotional response is a great and sacred thing.

Conversely Daniel Woolstencroft posted a review on blogcritics.org that is very much the antithesis of the SFX one – proving that the tale will split Doctor Who fans for years to come:

I can’t help but think that the return of the Cybermen won’t be regarded as such a huge success [as Dalek]. That’s not to say that this episode isn’t enjoyable enough, but perhaps in service to its two-part nature, it feels terribly flimsy… The lack of originality is further demonstrated by Rose’s desire to (once again) reach out and touch her family

We’ll close with this snippet from The Mirror – news that the original Cybermen costumes were knocked up in an hour…

Designer Alexandra Tynan, 65, said: “No research work went into it at all. There wasn’t any motivation except that I had an hour to do a drawing. When I look at those first costumes, they’re absolutely dreadful but we had no money.”

Alexandra, now costume head at Glyndebourne Opera Festival in Lewes, East Sussex, added: “The new Cybermen look a fantastic design.”

Now, where did I leave my sketchpad…?

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About the Author

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A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




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