Aided by his two assistants Jamie and Victoria, the Doctor lands the TARDIS on Telos, last resting place of the infamous Cybermen. There he discovers a band of archaelogists on a secret expedition to unearth the reason for... more » his old enemies' extinction. In the underground shadowy depths, they find the icy tomb. A whole army in hibernation. A threat to no one, if the temperature remains low. But if the traitor in their midst gets his way, things could really heat up. Originally broadcast in 1967 and then lost, this unique four part adventure starring Patrick Troughton - the Doctor's 2nd incarnation - was only recently discovered. It is now available for the first time on this special BBC Video which includes an exclusive interview with director Morris Barry.DVD Features:
Audio Commentary:by actors Frazer Hines and Deborah Watling
Documentaries: Tombwatch (panel of the cast and crew). Behind the scenes at BBC Visual Effects
Outtakes:unused title sequence and 8mm cine footage
"This is the first story featuring Patrick Troughton as the Doctor to make it on to DVD, and it's a classic! Unfortunately, very few of his stories have survived in the BBC archives, and indeed, this particular four part adventure, broadcast in the UK in the fall of 1967, was wiped and presumed lost after it's one and only UK transmission. Remarkably, prints of the tapes turned up in Hong Kong in 1992 and were returned to BBC Video, who cleaned them up and rush released them on home VHS. This edition has been digitally remastered and transformed once more, allowing for a very sharp picture and soundtrack which must be as good as the original ever was. A demonstration of the clean-up and results is included as an extra on the disc. The other extras are somewhat disappointing in certain respects. First of all, the commentary provided by Frazer Hines and (the irritatingly theatrical) Deborah Watling, who star alongside the second Doctor as his companions Jamie and Victoria. Newcomers to the show will doubtless be entertained by the warm and jovial chit-chat between the two, but those of us familiar with the world of Doctor Who will recognize their dialogue from numerous interviews the two have given over the years. Indeed the contrived "spontaneity" of their banter is now beginning to irritate me. This is highlighted by another extra on the disc, a taped panel discussion recorded in 1992, with virtually all the surviving cast and production team. Here Deborah and Frazer go through almost exactly the same "spontaneous" routine once more. This thirty minute background to the show is fascinating, if only to see how all the cast have aged over the years! Also here is an introduction from Director Morris Barry, a brief piece to camera originally recorded for the video tape release. There are a couple of fun "Easter Eggs" to find, one of which shows a scene from the show that has been restored to almost the original broadcast video quality. I'm confused as to why the entire story hasn't been restored in this way, since the picture is considerably better in this clip than the entire DVD. Test titles, a brief look at the visual effects modelling and a clip from the preceding story are also included. The story itself is very tense and well constructed, and the Cybermen very menacing. The technology of the day means that there are the inevitable fluffs and goofs, but that's almost what makes Doctor Who the cult classic that it is. The on screen captions and the commentary help to identify some of the biggest blunders. It's certainly the best Troughton story available in its entirety, which doesn't bode well for future DVD releases."
Garrett Fagan | PA, USA | 06/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The second doctor is the least known, since all but 5 of his stories were destroyed or mutilated by a house-cleaning at the BBC in the 1970s (the other intact Troughton stories are: "The Seeds of Doom," "The War Games," "The Mind Robber," and "The Dominators"). Troughton's doctor is one of the most appealing incarnations of the character. He's smart (of course), but also vaguely vulnerable and child-like. He has a good sense of humor and fun. And he handles all sorts of evil monsters with aplomb. It is a crying shame so many of his stories are gone completely, or mostly gone.
I was only a kid when this aired, and I can't recall it all (but I do remember the Ice Warriors from "The Seeds of Doom"). Now I have 6-year-old myself,and he *loves* Dr. Who, esp. this doctor, despite the fact that it's in black and white. Also, the title music during this phase of the show was at its very best. My son rocks out to it when it comes on!
Don't listen to the nay-sayers who complain about lack of production values. This is 40 years old, for f**** sake! What matters in Dr. Who is not set-design or the tiny budgets, but the active use of your imagination, great writing, appealing characters, thorougly evil monsters, and solid acting. "Tomb" has all of these traits in abundance. I love this version of the Cybermen, with their metallic voices and three fingers. They may be the best yet (though I've not seen the newest version of them yet).
All in all, an unreserved recommendation. I've watched it (with my lad, and a second who is approaching Who-worthy age) at least three times and loved every minute of it."
So glad this story was found for Who fans to enjoy!
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 03/10/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"An Earth archaeological expedition land on Telos, in search of the tombs of the Cybermen. The Doctor, Jamie, and Victoria arrive in time to help them with a pair of doors leading to the tombs. By the end of episode 2, the creatures, suspended in cryogenically, are awakened by a member of the expedition, the Brotherhood of Logician alumnus Klieg, who plans to use them to help him rule Earth. He describes them thus: "like bees in a giant honeycomb, awaiting for a signal to awake from their winter sleep."The expedition is filled with a variety of characters, the well-meaning but indecisive leader Professor Parry, the cold logicians Klieg and Kaftan, strong and silent Toberman, the high-strung and anxious Viner, and the tough-talking American (or maybe Canadian), Captain Hopper and his crew. The Doctor thinks that, "some things are better left undone, and I have a feeling that this is one of them." As usual, his words are prophetic.The Doctor manages to gain the animosity of Klieg, whom he shows up in figuring out the logical gates to open doors in the control room. The Doctor: "I used my special technique." Klieg, "And may we know what that is?" The Doctor: "By keeping my eyes open and my mouth shut." Ouch!The Doctor's conversation with Victoria about missing her father is touching. She'd be completely happy if her father, murdered by the Daleks, was still alive, and feels that her memory of him would always be a sad one. The Doctor tells her that he can remember his family, "I have to really want to, to bring them back in front of my eyes. The rest of the time, they sleep in my mind and I forget, and so will you." He puts her present and future in perspective: "Our lives our different than anybody else. That's the exciting thing. Nobody in the universe can do what we're doing."It's interesting that Klieg is German and believes that the logicians are the superbeings, in comparison to Hitler and the Nazis. For anyone curious, his colleague Kaftan is an Arab, a fact mentioned in the novelization but not the TV program.Victoria, played by Deborah Watling, has to be one of the most sensitive companions to accompany the Doctor. This is coupled by her prude, traditional sense of values--she's aptly named, coming from the Victorian era. She's got the reputation as the loudest screamer of the women, with Mel a close second. As Captain Hopper tells her, "You scream real good, Vic." Trust her to put a Cybermat in her purse despite being warned by the Doctor!The special intro by director Morris Barry is insightful, as he talks about Michael Kilgariff, the 6'4" actor he got to play the Cybercontroller. The scene where Toberman disembowels a Cybermen got a complaint from Mary Whitehouse, Britain's Tipper Gore of television, and Barry got his knuckles rapped for its explicit nature. He didn't think it was, and neither do I.The Cyberman theme from The Moonbase, with its booming drums and sharp brass notes, is repeated here as they emerge from their tombs.Cyril Shaps (Viner) plays the Archimandrite in The Androids Of Tara. And Roy Stewart (Toberman) reappears as Tony, Rossini's henchman in Terror Of The Autons.Tomb Of The Cybermen was presumed lost forever until a copy of it was found in Hong Kong, returned to the BBC vaults, and released on video. What good fortune! It emerges as one of the strongest Troughton stories."
When I say "run"... oh, you know the rest
C. R. Swanson | Phoenix | 06/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the great tragedies of "Doctor Who" is the dearth of Second Doctor episodes caused by the BBC purging their archives back in the 1970's. The Second Doctor was clearly one of the best. His "comsic tramp" persona masking a cunning individual who was always willing to use his brains over any brawn. Further he had an amazingly good chemistry with his companions (most notably Jamie and Zoe), as well as having some very good, well-writen stories.
Thankfully, though there are, if I recall, only about six complete stories from the Second Doctor's era, one of those is "Tomb of the Cybermen". Yes, boys and girls, before the Cybermen were creatures from another dimension designed in part by Rose's dad, they were aliens from Mondas, here to do nasty things to you.
For reasons unclear to me, the Daleks have always been the popular advesary. I like them fine, but I think they're overrated and, especially with the new series, very overused. The Cybermen were like the Borg precursors. Plus they not only managed to kill one of the Doctor's companions, albiet indirectly, but they were also the cause of death for the First Doctor! Not too shabby.
"Tomb of the Cybermen" features an archeological team that's attempting to explore... well... a tomb... of Cybermen. Uhm. Anyhow, the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria appear just in time to get involved (interestingly, someone apparently spots the TARDIS "landing", which I think is the only time that's happened).
The Doctor, Jamie, Victoria, and the archeologists get into the tomb. By the time the story is over, we've met the Cyber Leader, seen a cybermat, watched a lot of people die (yes, this is one of those "fun" stories where, Les Mis-style, just about everyone dies), seen the Doctor advise Jamie to run when he says so, and gotten the impression that our heroes didn't gain any sort of lasting victory; they just got away by the skin of their teeth.
The story is very excellent, and really does stand up well to the test of time, even if the SFX don't (not that they're bad. Actually, they're pretty decent). The acting is decent all around. The music is a little jarring, but not too bad.
Like usual, there's plenty of extras on the DVD, including information about the recovery of the tapes for this episode back in the early 1990's (so long ago... yet I remember seeing PBS up in Seattle broadcast this episode not long after they found the tapes... now I feel old...). Also of note is the wonderfully entertaing commentary.
This is the best of the existing Second Doctor stories, at least of the ones I've seen, which ain't many, and a must-have for any "Doctor Who" fan."
"Our lives are different to anybody else's. That's the excit
Crazy Fox | Chicago, IL USA | 02/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, there are times when "Doctor Who" is an unabashedly superior science fiction program, and there are times when it's embarrassingly and yet lovably campy. "Tomb of the Cybermen" definitely gravitates towards the latter extreme. No, scratch that. It practically defines that extreme, it's the perfect showcase for it. And hence loads of good fun.
Patrick Troughton's performance as the Doctor is the number one saving grace for this episode arc. He's flawlessly convincing as a superhumanly intelligent yet quaintly absent-minded and slightly whimsical cosmic hobo, eccentric and curious as always and incredibly warm-hearted and reassuring in a strangely detached way. The number two saving grace is the overall premise of the plot, which is simply ingenious. It has all the elements of a classic horror film, though here the horror is technological rather than supernatural. An army of Cybermen slumbering for centuries until a hapless band of archaeologists unearth them, awakening a threat the universe had consigned to its history books--the stuff of greatness.
And the whole idea of the Cybermen is chilling as ever: beings who have traded in their biological and emotional vulnerabilities along with their individuality in exchange for cold, impervious mechanical bodies and ruthlessly logical, computerized minds, all of a uniform, mass-produced design--and, by the way, who are thoroughly driven to share these "blessings" with the rest of us regardless of any "irrelevant" objections we might have. In many ways they, like the Daleks, are perfect foils for an oddball, unique character like the Doctor, and they cast the show's sci-fi humanism in stark relief here as always. Speaking of which, this DVD has quite a bit of historical value, for while this is the Cybermen's third appearance out of many over the decades, this is the first one that's complete and preserved (barely!).
Still, while the Cybermen make for great, techno-creepy villains and while the overall plot premise is excellent, the actual lineaments of the plotline itself are riddled with a host of little implausibilities, meanderings, and assorted incongruities that all kind of add up to make the whole presentation goofier than intended, an effect amplified by the totally hammed-up, B-Movie acting style of much of the supporting cast. And where some of the dialogue, mostly the Doctor's, is inspired, some of it is cliched or, as with an exchange between Vicki and the "American" rocket pilots, downright awkward. Still, in most cases I found myself laughing with rather than at the show whenever these and similar infelicities arose. In any case, it's a good old classic from the 1960's that we nearly lost forever, so we might as well enjoy it for what it is, strokes of brilliance and flatfooted gaffs and all."