Doctor Who Reactions: "The Tomb of the Cybermen" (SPOILERS)

1)Troughton does an excellent job in this - genial,  sly and quietly sarcastic. One could do a "fun quotes" section just on him dumping on Klieg:

  • "Keeping my eyes open and my mouth shut."
  • "I love to see the experts at work, don't you?"
  • "I think perhaps your logic is wearing a little thin."
  • "Now I know you're mad - I just wanted to make sure."

 

2)The scene between the Doctor and Victoria where he discusses her memories of her family is one of my favorite scenes from all of Doctor Who. Very well-written and well-played.  "Nobody in the universe can do what we're doing."

 

3)There're also alot of good moments between the Doctor and Jamie - Troughton and Hines made a good comedy team:

  • The bit where the Doctor end up holding hands was improvised by the two actors.
  • "If anyone wishes to leave, they must do so at once. Not you, Jamie."
  • "You might almost say they've had a complete metal breakdown."  "Ooh." "I'm so sorry."

 

4)The Doctor's behavior seems a little contradictory in parts - on the one hand, he tries his best to discourage them from opening the hatch, but at the same time he surreptitiously helps them to get it open.  He claims to be 450 years old "in Earth terms".

 

5)Victoria acquits herself well on her first adventure. She screams alot, but she's also brave, determined and occasionally sarcastic.  And a crack shot for a sheltered Victorian woman.

 

6)One of the extras for the Jon Pertwee story "The Mutants" is a brief history covering the issue of race in British television in general and Doctor Who in particular.  One of the things they point out is how the human heels in this are swarthy, foreign-sounding types And of course, there is the character of Toberman, the big, immensely strong, mostly-silent black servant. He's a bit of a stereotpye, although he does end up overcoming the Cyberconditioning and being the one who saves the day in the end.  Kaftan and Klieg both have a tendency to overact a bit.  I did like the contrast between how Klieg tried to get the hatch open by trying to solve it as a logical problem, and the guys from the rocket worked out how the switch was wired up.

 

7)The Cybermen aren't as much of a presence in this as one might have expected, not even showing up until the end of Episode 2.   We do get the introdcution of the Cybermats, who are an interesting idea but maybe a little too cute in this first appearance.  Not sure why they would leave a live gun on the practice dummy, that strikes me as a little dangerous. The Cybertombs and the awakening of the Cybermen were well-done.  You'd think the Cybermen would have a way of opening the hatch rather than let themselves get stuck down there.  Also not sure why they re-freeze themselves right after waking up, or why they don't have a go at forcing the hatch and swarming through by sheer weight of numbers.  There is clearly a wire involved when the Cyberman lifts Toberman, and it is clearly a dummy when Toberman subsequently lifts the Cybercontroller.  The Cybercontroller is another interesting addition to Cybermythology. I gather Michael Kilgarriff was particularly known for his voice, and was somewhat bewildered at being offered a part in which his voice wasn't heard.

 

8)Some more fun quotes:

  • "Look at him, archaeologist written all over him"  "Really, does it show?"  Be funny if a really lost River Song showed up.
  • "What would a Cyberman want with a hypnotizing machine?" To hypnotize people?
  • "Our history computer has full details of you."  Do you happen to have a copy of Episode Four of "The Tenth Planet"?
  • "Everything we design is carried out. There are no mistakes."  Then why do you keep losing?
  • "You have fear. We will eliminate fear from your brain."
  • "I"m sure they will have some use for you - or parts of you."
  • "When I say 'run' - run."

 

9)Cliffhangers:

Episode 1: Haydon is shot and a dummy Cyberman appears!

Episode 2: The Cybercontroller announces: "You belong to us. You will be like us."

Episode 3: Klieg fires the Cybergun!

Episode 4: A lone Cybermat scuttles away...

 

Overall:

My favorite Troughton story, and one of my favorite Doctor Who stories. If only one Troughton-era Cybermen story could survive intact, I'm glad it was this one.  Very "Hammer horror" this - practically a "mummy" story.

 

[Part of list of Doctor Who episodes here.]

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Roy Stewart (Toberman) returned for one episode of "TERROR OF THE AUTONS" as the circus strong man who menaces Jon Pertwee. He also played "Quarrel Jr." in LIVE AND LET DIE. What I'd be very interested in seeing is DANGEROUS DAVIES (1981), where he appeared with Bernard Cribbins, Joss Acklund, Bernard Lee & Colin Baker!

George Pastell (Eric Kleig) was in both THE MUMMY (1959) and THE CURSE OF THE MUMMY'S TOMB (1964), but playing 2 different parts. He was also the train conductor in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE who informs Bond that his friend Kerim Bey has been murdered.

Clive Merrison (Jim Callum) much later played Sherlock Holmes on BBC radio, and apparently was the only actor (along with his Watson, Michael Williams) to adapt every one of Arthur Conan Doyle's stories in his series! (Jeremy Brett died before he was able to.) Merrison returned to WHO as the "Deputy Chief Caretaker" in "PARADISE TOWERS".

This was the one that was missing in its entirety, until a complete copy turned up in Hong Kong. It was shipped to England, and almost immediately put out on videotape, in 1992. I got my copy! So far, this is the only one of the "missing" stories that was not seen on PBS in the 80's that I've gotten ahold of.

I've seen this a few times since then, but I'm still not sure the story makes any sense at all, or not. Which makes it one of the only WHO stories I can say that about. It is spooky, and The Cybermen are a LOT creepier in this one, but overall, I'd rather watch "REVENGE OF THE CYBERMEN".

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