The tomb of the Cybermen (1967)
About this serial
This is a four-part serial, that was first broadcast between 2-23 September 1967. The serial was written by Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis, produced by Peter Bryant and directed by Morris Barry. The script editor was Victor Pemberton.
The Doctor helps an archaeological expedition in their search for the lost tomb of the Cybermen. Unfortunately, they find it.
[Note: this was the first story from the Troughton era that I reviewed.]
The good news:
- The awakening of the Cybermen, accompanied by an excellent musical score, is impressive even after almost forty years.
- It has symbolic logic in it, possibly due to the involvement of writer Kit Pedler who is decribed in one of the documentaries on the DVD as a 'scientist and computer expert'. Then again, you probably need to be a computer geek to appreciate this.
- The Cybermen are an interesting example of fictional Cyborgs and, more in general, of fiction's response to the advance of technology. (According to Wikipedia the Cybermen were Peddler's and his fellow writer Gerry Davis' response to concerns about technology and its impact on human life).
- I haven't seen anything else with Patrick Troughton in it, but this is generally described as one of his better efforts.
- As usual, the restoration team has done a great job on images and sound.
The not so good news:
- The first three episodes may have plot holes, but the fourth and final episode makes very little sense whatsoever. The episode starts with one of the villains attempting to shoot the Doctor, with a very large gun, from a very short distance, and killing one of the other characters instead for no apparent reason. From then on, the whole thing goes steadily down-hill as far as plot is concerned.
- The two companions who travel with the Doctor on the Tardis are useless and somewhat annoying, and why he decided to take them on board in the first place is anyone's guess.
- The Cybermats, little creatures that are controlled by the Cybermen and are supposed to be menacing, look positively cute and are obviously harmless.
The bottom line
For an introduction to classic Doctor Who, even 'The Dalek invasion of earth' might be better than this. It is excellent fun, though, and of interest to fans of the show and of science fiction in general.