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Recap / Big Finish Doctor Who 017 Sword Of Orion

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Right from the get-go, Eight got a glimpse of war.

Released in 2001, Sword of Orion is the Eighth Doctor's first personal encounter with the Cybermen note .

Ramsay the Vortisaur is a bit under the weather, so the Eighth Doctor takes Charley to a futuristic human colony market in the Garazone system to see if they can find any information to help. The TARDIS, however, ends up on a spaceship, and the Doctor finds himself forced to travel along with a group of interstellar junk collectors.

The ship's crew have a few problems already: they hate their new by-the-book captain, their secret smuggling operations are interrupted, they're in the middle of a war between sentient androids and the humans who created them, and to top it all off, the junk ship they're taking apart for spare parts turns out to be full of Cybermen.


The new captain knows a whole lot about Cybermen, and she reveals that she's looking for a way to drag them into the humans vs. androids war as soldier slaves. The Doctor tries to explain to her just how terrible of an idea that is. In the end, she (of course) turns out to be an android spy, although the Doctor catches on a bit late. When the Doctor and Charley are ejected into space, the captain makes a Heroic Sacrifice to save Charley's life and defeat the Cybermen, because she was touched by the Doctor's trust in her. Although she can't technically die, she'll float in space unconscious forever, or until someone would revive her. In a way, the Doctor notes, she was more human than the humans who made her: simply adapting as a new life form, as opposed to humans who ignore (or, in case of the Cybermen, literally erase) their conscience.


The standalone series Cyberman spins off here.


  • Evil Is Not a Toy: The Doctor is told that the Earth Alliance want to make an alliance with the Cybermen against the androids and says the Cybermen will betray them. Slightly subverted but still played straight when he finds that they know better then that and want to learn how to cyber-convert their troops, which the androids are also planning to do to their human prisoners. The Doctor tells Deeva the Cybermen will destroy both sides.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The Cyberleader sounds the deepest of the lot.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: The Doctor offers to save the space station from the Ion Storm, after which the Cybermen will let them go free. Deeva shows herself to be smart enough to shoot the Cybermen before they can betray the humans.
  • Ghost Ship: The Cybermen's ship is found floating apparently derelict after being damaged in a ion storm.
  • Hammerspace: The Doctor says he's got a lot in his pockets.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When the ship breaks up in the ion storm at the end, Deeva gives up her own emergency life support kit so Charley will survive.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The Androids learned from their creators.
  • Human Popsicle: Or rather robot popsicle, Deeva.
  • The Mole:
    • For the Cybermen, Grash.
    • Deeva Jansen, agent of Earth's military intelligence, is actually an Orion android who has infiltrated Earth's military intelligence to help her own people.
  • Non-Answer: "Relative to your time, the Cyberwar took place... A very long time ago."
  • Recurring Riff: In the market place there's a ringtone of a cellphone going off somewhere in the background..
  • Resistance Is Futile: "Resistance Is Useless!"
  • Robotic Reveal: Captain Deeva Jansen is revealed to be an android after she's injured by a Cyberman.
  • Robo Speak: The rogue Cyberman: DESTROY
  • Robot War: It's on the fringes of the story, but the android/human war occuring in the Orion system is signifcant.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Some of the crew attempts this when the ship starts losing power. Then the engine fails.
  • Space Is Cold: Namedropped by the Doctor
  • Team Pet: Ramsey.
  • There Are No Coincidences: The Captain seems a bit overprepared for Cybermen. The Doctor doesn't think it's just a coincidence, and he's right.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock
  • Turned Against Their Masters: The androids, although the way it's described they would have been happy to keep to themselves if the humans had been willing to let them.
  • Ugly Cute: Invoked In-Universe: The Cybermat
  • Used Future: Justified because the first ship is stated to be an old one.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?
  • Whole Plot Reference: A crew is stuck on a spaceship, without means to communicate back home. One by one their numbers are diminished by a threat they can't pick up, and the entire mission is a covert ops mission of an artificial lifeform in order to get the alien lifeform back to a corporate entity to use as a weapon. Alien or this adventure?