“Last of the Cybernauts…??” Review

According to Bettridge’s Law this title should indicate there’s yet another Cybernaut episode to come – but there isn’t – and on the evidence of this episode (and the last one) that’s a good thing. The Avengers doesn’t really do returning villains so it’s a bit of a mystery why these metal men are an exception. Perhaps in this case it’s out of a desire to make reference to the mothershow, with Gambit and Purdey making reference to Emma Peel (having read the files).

The twist, this time, takes them closer to the Cybermen that came later, but seem to have become much more popular. Most of the episode takes place 10 years after the the events of Cybernauts (which was broadcast 11 years earlier) and 1 year after the sequence at the beginning of the episodes involving Steed, Gambit and Purdey which sets up the vengeance storyline. But Goff, who here is introduced as having been Armstrong’s assistant in the original, was never seen or mentioned (unlike Benson, who appeared as his assistant in the first story, and returned in the first sequel) so there’s also some retconning.

The first part of the episode is devoted to developing the evil scheme, so we only occasionally see our heroes, cutting away to some tedious social occasion. But the villain’s lair is decorated with giant photographs of them, just like we got an enormous Emma banner in The House That Jack Built.

We do see Steed’s birthday, and he has (yet another) girlfriend. An agent arrives at Steed’s house – they all seem to know his home address, and prefer to visit him there than their HQ, wherever that may be.

We get our first view of Gambit’s flat, when Purdey gets her own back on him rolling her out of bed in Eagle’s Nest. His bed is a funky retractable… We also get a bit of unsavoury paternalism between the two men, when Steed tells Gambit: keep an eye on Purdey…

Overall, a lacklustre episode. Muddy visuals, and overworn plot. To bring back the cybernauts once may be regarded as misfortune. To bring them back twice looks like carelessness.

Also, that second question mark??

About Simon Wood

Lecturer in medical education, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See simonwood.info for more...

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