So, fun fact: in his original televised run, the Third Doctor never ran afoul of the Cybermen. Those guys are, like, right after the Daleks in terms of being the Big Bads of the series, and while their first few appearances predate the Third Doctor, he never actually encountered any until the Five Doctors special. Jo Grant, by contrast, never encountered them. The Third Doctor’s companion for that anniversary special was Sarah Jane Smith.
But Big Finish decided to fix that.
There’s a spaceship crash, and the crew is mostly dead, and not in a fun Princess Bride sort of way. The planet is Burnt Salt. The specific place is Port Anvil near a former mine. It’s really cold outside. And into all that comes…the TARDIS. And yes, the Doctor assumed they were going to Earth, but Jo more or less knew better. Since when did the TARDIS ever go where he thought it was going to go?
As it is, there are some people hanging around. There’s the mysterious Hollisen Grier, an investigator of some sort who thinks the Doctor is a bit suspicious. He’s probably not wrong there. There’s also Gusta, the woman who runs a nearby bar of some kind, and Chad, a musician who works for Gusta. All his instruments are internal.
There are also these furry creatures running around. Gusta, who has a cybernetic arm and eye, hates them. Chad thinks they’re alright. Jo, when she sees them, thinks they are adorable.
But the problem is that the mostly dead crew are maybe dying of cyberconversion, something Grier is more than willing to finish off. The dying part, not the cyberconversion part. No one wants more Cybermen running around. The Cyber War only ended somewhat recently, and everyone is on edge about them. Grier, it turns out, is part of an organization looking to stop the things more permanently.
And Gusta, she has a crate in a back room that apparently has…the Cyber Leveler!
Um, what’s that?
Turns out in the end that no one knows. The Cybermen show up, release some Cyber-smoke, send out the Cybermats, and generally freak everyone out. The Doctor knows what they are, Jo is horrified by them, and the others know them and fear them.
Too bad poor Chad got exposed to the gas, and he’s starting to turn into a Cyberman himself.
Will he still play that swingin’ jazz if he’s a Cyberman? Probably not. Hive minds never allow anyone to have any fun. They just gotta be evil and hurt people. And heck, the Cybermen can’t even enjoy being jerks.
Well, the Doctor is on hand, and this is the Action Doctor, the one who can throw a punch when he has to while being smug and superior at the same time. Can he save the day? Of course he can!
Too bad this disc ended with his being throttled by a Cybermat. Those things suck. Maybe bring back the furry guys who can talk and tried to defeat the Cybermen with a snowball fight.
Wait, that sounds much worse.