Sunday, September 18, 2005

'The Tomb of the Cybermen'

4 episodes

Incredibly, this is the only complete serial remaining from the fourteen in the first two seasons of the Second Doctor's era, and was itself only rediscovered in Hong Kong in 1992. Fortunately, given its privileged status, the story is something of an acknowledged classic. The opener for Doctor Who's Season 5, it begins with a neat little recap of the nature of the TARDIS and what the Doctor is doing in it, and progresses to some great location shots... in a quarry, to be sure, but with great steep-angle views up and down the slopes as a group of future archaeologists blast their way into the long-buried tomb of the Cybermen, thought extinct for centuries. The arriving Doctor helps them gain access and, through the machinations of a rogue element in the shape of the expedition's funder Krieg and his partner Kaftan, the Cybermen hibernating within are released from their frozen sleep. For the first time we get to meet the Cyberman Controller, and their little 'pet' metallic beasties the Cybermats. The sets are wonderful, with some cool, almost Art Deco bas-relief Cybermen depicted on the tomb walls, the Controller is imposing and powerful, and for two episodes at least the atmosphere of mystery, intrigue and menace are maintained. Unfortunately things unravel a bit towards the end, as the Cybermen just come out of their cocoons, go back in again, come out again and don't do very much before they return again, backwards, and seal themselves back in. Bit of an opportunity wasted, one might suggest. Deborah Watling as Victoria is a bit hit and miss here, as well, though it's another fine performance from Patrick Troughton. Despite its flaws, still very enjoyable.


Episodes watched: 99
Episodes still to watch: 623

Oh dear, only four episodes today and have slipped back again to 9 behind schedule, as was distracted by Locus and Pip returning home with many tales to be told and photos to be looked through... Cake turned out nice though, and I'm within an ace of my episode tally reaching triple figures!

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