The Great Cyber-War Part 1

Posted in Audio by - November 04, 2023
The Great Cyber-War Part 1

Released November 2023


In ‘The Great Cyber-War Part 1’ by Tim Foley, Audacity’s first trip in the TARDIS takes her to the space station Aurum, resplendent in its golden glitz while orbiting the planet Voga. Unfortunately, the Cybermen and the horrors of war are not nearly as far away as those around here would like to believe, and a rogue element within a very real political and societal conflict threatens to undermine humanity’s entire war effort and survival.

Naturally, part one of a multi-part story will never be able to offer up any sort of resolution to the plot points it introduces and develops, allowing all the more time to explore the world and people of its narrative. For the most part, Foley succeeds in this regard, though the decision to relegate the Cybermen to the background until the final moments does result in a few moments of the plot stalling while the conflicted human elements come into focus. Of course, Audacity comes from a society in which the few elite are wholly detached from society at large even as they make decisions that affect everyone, and she’s less than enthused to find that same societal disconnect here as the wealthy relish in the splendours and spoils of a lavish party while others suffer either directly in conflict or in the resulting turmoil of a war-torn landscape. While this doesn’t necessarily afford Jaye Griffiths a tremendous opportunity to explore more of her new companion character than what was already divulged in her introductory story, it does reaffirm her commitment to helping everyone in all walks of life and to calling out social injustices, sentiments that become all the more prominent as she finds her way into Dellatine’s resistance movement fighting back against Oberon Fix and the other elite.

‘Revenge of the Cybermen’ is hardly the most fondly remembered classic Doctor Who serial, but it nonetheless is filled with some genuinely engaging ideas, and the golden world of Voga presents a brilliant backdrop that is superb for exploring once more while developing the palpable conflict between different groups as everyone more or less looks out solely for themselves. No matter how odd the prospect of gold being a weakness to Cybermen remains, a world so predominantly comprised of that element is obviously one of strategic importance, and while the Doctor’s memory of events around Voga and the Great Cyber-War are apparently somewhat hazy, the introduction of Oberon Fix who has created the famed glitter gun and has further plans to take the fight back against the Cybermen even more demonstrably with his planned Golden Pulse is handled well with Keith Drinkel capably providing a measured and charismatic voice of intellect and reason. The Doctor, of course, is less than enthusiastic about what this man represents and what he hopes to do even if the efforts are against the Cybermen, but Oberon’s familiarity with time travelers and attempts to appease the Doctor and other tourists presents an incredibly unique angle through which to develop this famed scientist and this war in general.

With a harrowing tale of personal suffering and loss amidst fields of discarded semi-converted Cybermen to drive home just how prolific the threat their enemy poses is in every capacity, this is a story that manages to develop the terrors of war without ever entering a battlefield. Instead, the resistance forces that are acting to claim better living and working conditions for the people on Voga whom the local leaders have all but ignored in the name of ensuring continued protection from the elite are used to present the true conflict of this story. Given how much time is spent on the Aurum both within the gala setting and within the context of the Doctor slowly uncovering more information about his surroundings while still trying to gauge what kind of person Audacity truly is, however, the resistance doesn’t manage to develop quite as effectively beyond the strong and emotional statement of the social plights they are looking to change for the better as the demands for gold continue to increase ever more. And while the arrival of the Cybermen is anything but unexpected as this part of the narrative reaches its cliffhanger closing, there is not enough work done even with a data breach being mentioned previously to really suggest why such a betrayal on top of an unplanned assassination attempt would have taken place no matter the anger and lust for revenge that may have built up over time. The second part, of course, has plenty of opportunity to more fully flesh out particular motivations, but this twist without more context does strain credulity given the absolutely known quantities that the Cybermen are at this point in time. All in all, though, ‘The Great Cyber War Part 1’ capably delves back into the world of a classic serial to provide more context and further develop the surrounding narrative, featuring the Eighth Doctor at his most incisive and driven while putting Audacity in a position to truly act on the honourable and just principles she dedicated herself to in her own time.

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