The GLG Reports
Page 38 of 67

Return of the Cybernauts
By Grant L. Goggans

"This ice—" "—Should be in a glass with a large whiskey wrapped around it." A confession and a promise: You the reader, whoever you are, will like "Return of the Cybernauts" more than me. This is not to say it's a bad episode; in fact the direction is fantastic and Peter Cushing is sublime as Beresford. The Cybernaut footage is really well done, particularly in the chilling teaser sequence, and in a great bit where it slams Mrs. Peel halfway across Steed's flat. But these enormous charms come amid a silly, ill-planned episode full of plot holes and half-characters that, frankly, didn't need a Cybernaut in it. "Return" is just a standard revenge story where the antagonist couldn't even be bothered to come up with his own evil plan, he just hijacks some scientists to figure something up for him. Cushing does a great job as Beresford, but unfortunately Beresford isn't much of a character, and had anyone but Cushing played him, there's no way this episode would be remembered as fondly as it is. At least he sets a few sparks between Emma and an oddly jealous John! Cushing, who obviously cost more than a standard guest star, apparently had a negative impact on the budget. Beresford's mansion consists of a lab, three cells and a small study, awful rear-screen is used along with woeful doubles for location work, and the other guest artistes are hardly masters of their craft. A word must be said about Aimi MacDonald's riveting Rosie, though. The girl is even more 1967 than the dated, transistor-and-cardiogram technology, and enlivens her two scenes greatly. The overall complaint is just with the ill-treated Cybernauts, however. Paul Beresford might just have well as been the brother of season four's Dr. Sturm. We wouldn't have gotten much different an adventure.

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