Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Blast from the Past: The Tomb of the Cybermen

This was one of the many unfortunate stories of the early sixties to be junked by the BBC after transmission, so as to save space in the vaults for programmes which were considered more valuable. In 1992, fans of the show would hear of some exciting news about this legendary Cyberman adventure: The entire four-part story had been discovered in Hong Kong! After all this time, would the story live up to expectations…

This was the third story to feature the popular enemies of the Cybermen, and the production team were trying to find new and interesting ways to use the creatures. The story is in a typical base-under-siege format, which increases the fear levels as there could be a Cyberman around any corner. This story is also iconic for being the first to feature the almighty Cyber Controller, whose brain is encased in a dome-shaped container above its head.

One of the greatest scenes in this story is a subtle conversation between The Doctor and Victoria, where they discuss the people who they have lost in their past (Victoria’s father had died in the previous story), and how they can move on from their grief. Patrick Troughton and Deborah Watling excel in this scene, giving their characters real depth and emotion, which acts as a good opposite to the fast paced action scenes which follow.

The fight sequences between Toberman and various Cybermen have become famous throughout long-term fans of the programme (in particular for the mysterious wire which magically assists a Cyberman to lift Toberman). The hero of the day is Toberman himself, who manages to throw the Cyber Controller (who looks suspiciously like a dummy) across the control panels, before slamming the electrical tomb doors shut on the damaged Controller, electrocuting himself in the process.

This story has been highly regarded by many fans of the show (including Matt Smith), due to all of the brilliant elements which really come together and gel to make the stunning result. A thrilling encounter with the terrifying Cybermen, a great cast to make each individual character come alive, and Deborah Watling in a very short dress are sure to please the viewers. You can’t ask for much more than that!

Tomorrow: The Green Death


BlueDalek said...

This is my favourite classic episode bar The Five Doctors, which has bloody five of 'em in it doesn't it?

Blink said...

Yeah, they're both great! The Five Doctors should really be called The 4.5 Doctors! Tom Baker was only in it for a few seconds!