Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Dr. Who: The Tomb Of The Cybermen - DVD Review

Without a doubt one of the most popular television shows on the BBC at the moment is Doctor Who. But a lot of the younger fans don’t realise that the series has a vast history to it, and thankfully, for us older fans, a great deal of it is available to buy on DVD.
The Tomb Of The Cyberman, originally broadcast in four parts in September 1967, starred Patrick Troughton as the second incarnation of the Doctor. Along with his travelling companions Jamie and Victoria, they land of a wasteland of a planet called Telos, where they meet an archaeological expedition from Earth, lead by a Professor Parry, but funded by Kaftan and Klieg from the Brotherhood of Logicians. They are there to excavate a tomb where it is rumoured that the Cyberman are buried. However, while Parry has good intentions, the people funding his work haven’t exactly been honest with him about their true intentions.
When I first saw this broadcast on UKTV Gold a few years ago, it instantly became one of my all-time favourite Who stories. The dodgy sets and special effects meant nothing to me. The tremendous writing of Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis had me on the edge of my seat then, and when I saw this DVD, I knew I just had to get it, to re-visit this classic story again, and for a second time, it didn’t disappoint.
Patrick Troughton is perfect here as the Doctor, always trying to solve the puzzles which present themselves to him, but showing he has a softer side as well as he consoles his new companion Victoria over her recent loss (her father died in the previous story, The Evil Of The Daleks, while saving the Doctor’s life).
This story is also a perfect example of how the Cybermen have developed as villains over the years. Although they look somewhat primitive by today’s standards, I can certainly see why they terrified many young fans back in 1967.
In conclusion - although many newer fans will try and compare this to today’s incarnation of the series, it’s really quite wrong to do so. These stories still hold up today, and that’s the important thing. The Tomb Of The Cybermen, lost for twenty-five years and found again in 1992, is a fine addition to the Doctor Who mythology, and a fine collection to anyone’s DVD collection.