Saturday, 16 September 2017

172 The Tomb of the Cybermen: Episode Three

EPISODE: The Tomb of the Cybermen: Episode Three
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 16 September 1967
WRITER: Kit Pedler & Gerry Davis
DIRECTOR: Morris Barry
SCRIPT EDITOR: Victor Pemberton
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
RATINGS: 7.2 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who Revisitations 3: The Tomb of the Cybermen, The Three Doctors & The Robots of Death

"You will become the first of a new race of Cybermen. You will return to the Earth and control it!"

The Cybermen explain their plans for the travellers:

CONTROLLER: You belong to us. You shall be like us.
PARRY: How did you know that we would come to release you? You could have remained frozen forever.
CONTROLLER: The humanoid mind. You are inquisitive.
DOCTOR: Ah, I see, a trap. A very special sort of trap, too.
PARRY: What do you mean, special trap?
DOCTOR: Well, don't you see? They only wanted superior intellects. That's why they made the trap so complicated.
CONTROLLER: We knew that somebody like you would come to our planet one day.
DOCTOR: Yes, and we've done exactly as you've calculated, haven't we?
CONTROLLER: Now you belong to us.
DOCTOR: Excuse me. May I ask a question? Why did you submit yourself to freezing? You don't have to answer that if you don't want to.
CONTROLLER: To survive. Our history computer has full details of you.
DOCTOR: Oh? How?
CONTROLLER: We know of your intelligence.
DOCTOR: Oh, thank you very much. Ah, yes. The lunar surface.
CONTROLLER: Our machinery had stopped and our supply of replacements been depleted.
DOCTOR: So that's why you attacked the Moonbase.
CONTROLLER: You had destroyed our first planet and we were becoming extinct.
JAMIE: What difference does capturing us make? You'll still become extinct.
CONTROLLER: We will survive. We will survive. Now you will help us.
PARRY: What makes you think we're going to help you? That murderer doesn't speak for us.
CONTROLLER: You will become the first of a new race of Cybermen. You will return to the Earth and control it.
PARRY: Never! Never!
CONTROLLER: Everything we decide is carried out. There are no mistakes.
JAMIE: A new race of Cybermen? But we're humans. We're not like you.
CONTROLLER: You will be.
DOCTOR: Oh, no, no. Keep away! Keep away! Keep away from me!

CONTROLLER: To struggle is futile.

They will be turned into Cybermen and sent to Earth to create a new race of Cybermen. Victoria returns with Captain Hopper & Jim Callum. They work the hatch controls out, but Kaftan stops them from opening it until she is overpowered. Once the hatch is opened, Captain Hopper goes bellow. The Cybermen confirm their plans for their captives:
CONTROLLER: We have decided how you will be used.
CONTROLLER: You are a logician. Our race is also logical. You will be the leader of the new race.
KLIEG: You will listen to my proposals then?
CONTROLLER: Yes, we will listen, but first you will be altered.
KLIEG: Altered?
CONTROLLER: You have fear. We will eliminate fear from your brain. Yes. You will be the first.
CYBERMAN: And you will be the next.
PARRY: I? No, no!
CYBERMAN: You will be like us.
(Hopper takes the pin from a smoke grenade.)
CONTROLLER: To die is unnecessary. You will be frozen and placed in our tombs until we are ready to use you. Your lives will be suspended. Prepare the tombs.
PARRY: They really mean it. They're going to freeze us.
JAMIE: Not me.
Captain Hopper lets off smoke bombs allowing the Doctor, Parry & Jamie to escape. Toberman is captured by the Cybermen but Klieg makes his way to the surface and is let out the Tomb but then imprisoned with Kaftan in the weapons test room. Hopper returns to the rocket to finish repairs while Callum remains with the party. Kaftan & Klieg work on freeing the weapon held by the dummy Cyberman. The Doctor wakes late for his watch shift: Victoria has let him sleep. They talk about his great age and family
The Doctor: Are you happy with us, Victoria?
Victoria: Yes, I am. At least, I would be if my father were here.
The Doctor: Yes, I know, I know.
Victoria: I wonder what he would have thought if he could see me now.
The Doctor: You miss him very much, don't you?
Victoria: It's only when I close my eyes. I can still see him standing there, before those horrible Dalek creatures came to the house. He was a very kind man, I shall never forget him. Never.
The Doctor: No, of course you won't. But, you know, the memory of him won't always be a sad one.
Victoria: I think it will. You can't understand, being so ancient.
The Doctor: Eh?
Victoria: I mean old.
The Doctor: Oh.
Victoria: You probably can't remember your family.
The Doctor: Oh yes, I can when I want to. And that's the point, really. I have to really want to, to bring them back in front of my eyes. The rest of the time they... they sleep in my mind and I forget. And so will you. Oh yes, you will. You'll find there's so much else to think about. To remember. Our lives are different to anybody else's. That's the exciting thing, that nobody in the universe can do what we're doing.
As Victoria goes to sleep the Doctor notices Cybermats moving round the room. Everyone is woken and moves back to the control console where The Doctor runs a cable round them electrifying it and destroying the Cybermats. Klieg and Kaftan enter the room threatening the party, and then a shot is fired....

That's cracking stuff: plenty of action, some sinister monsters and that superb chat between the Doctor and Victoria during the quiet of the night, inspired by the revelation of the Doctor's age in episode 1. Fabulous, loved it.

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OK, yes, you can see the Kirby wires holding Toberman up as the Cyberman flings him across the room but it's a small fault and one that probably wasn't visible at the time.

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The Cybermen we see here are essentially the same as their Moonbase equivalents, one of the few times in Doctor Who's history that they don't change between appearances.

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Their main weapon here seems to be electrical sparks, generated from their hands, which we previously saw in The Moonbase. As there it's used to stun people. We've not seen them use their guns at all here. The guns, rod like device poked through the chest units, haven't even been drawn. In the Moonbase, and it's predecessor the dish device in the Tenth Planet, these weapons are used to kill not stun so there could actually be some continuity with their armament going on here!

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We get to see a new addition to the Cyberforces in the form of their Controller: he has no ear handles, head light or chest unit, a darker body & face and an enlarged cranium with a clear brain like top. It's the Controller that does most of the talking here with an emotionless drone to his voice as used for the Moonbase Cybermen, provided by by voice actor Peter Hawkins, who voiced Cybermen for the Tenth Planet and The Moonbase as well as the Daleks in all of their appearance. He's making his penultimate Doctor Who appearance here.

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Inside the Cyber Controller costume is Michael Kilgarriff who'll be back as an Ogron in Frontier in Space, and the Robot in Tom Baker's debut story, Robot, before returning as the Cyber Controller in Attack of the Cybermen. In the intervening 18 years he'd put on a pound or 2 and thus the Attack Controller is a littler porkier than he should be just for the sake of a nod to the fans out there. A different Controller has returned in new Doctor Who but uses the exposed brain idea suggested by the enlarged cranium of the Controller seen here. If you want to see what he looks like at around this time then he's in the UFO episode Conflict as Joe Steiner. You can hear him in The Dark Crystal voicing The General.

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This episode also highlights the silverfish like Cybermats that we saw a smaller version of earlier on in the story. They return in Wheel in Space, where the Cybermen used them to consume a fuel supply, and in Revenge of the Cybermen, where they're used to spread a plague similar to that seen in The Moonbase. Here they're actual threat is a little undetermined.

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They do give rise to a very bad pun, possibly an ad lib by Troughton given Frazer Hines' reaction:

PARRY: What are those creatures?
DOCTOR: Well, they're a form of metallic life. They home on human brainwaves and attack.
VICTORIA: Are they safe now?
DOCTOR: Yes, quite safe now. The power cable generated an electrical field and confused their tiny metal minds. You might almost say that they've had a complete metal breakdown.
(Jamie groans)
DOCTOR: I'm so sorry, Jamie.
In later life Hines becomes very fond of similar jokes himself becoming a regular contributor to Toby Hadoke's Pun Jar on commentaries.

Last episode we saw Victoria leave a gun lying around next to her unconscious prisoner: that turned out well as we see in this episode when Kaftan uses it to attempt to coerce Victoria, Hopper and Callum!

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There's no evidence that anyone has learned from that experience as they now lock Klieg and Kaftan up in a room that they know contains guns!

KAFTAN: What are you going to do now?
KLIEG: Take command, of course. What do you think? With this I shall be able to deal with those people in there.
KAFTAN: Never mind about them. The important thing for us is to control the Cybermen.
KLIEG: Yes, I know but
KAFTAN: Isn't it, Eric?
KLIEG: You haven't been down there. You haven't seen those vile things.
KAFTAN: You're not scared, are you?
KLIEG: I have completely underestimated their power.
KAFTAN: But this time we have the power, at least you do. The gun, Eric, the gun. You have the Cybermen's own weapon, this laser to turn against them. Now they will have to obey. If they refuse, we shall destroy the opening device and seal them up in their tomb forever. Now do you understand?
KLIEG: Yes. Yes, you're right. I am invulnerable with this. I shall be master.
KAFTAN: Come, let us deal with these people first. Eric?
KLIEG: Master. The supreme moment in my life. It was logical.
KAFTAN: Eric, we have work to do.
KLIEG: Yes, yes, of course. But hardly work, more a pleasure.
KLIEG: The pleasure to test this on that Doctor and his companions. The others are of no consequence, but he will make a most precise target.
Onto the actors within ranks of the Cybermen in this story: Four of the Cybermen in this story will be back as a different monster in the very next story: Reg Whitehead, Tony Harwood, John Hogan and Richard Kerley are the four actors playing Yeti in The Abominable Snowmen. Interestingly none of them are Yeti in their second appearance, The Web of Fear!

Reg Whitehead has already been a Cybermen in The Tenth Planet and The Moonbase, and in addition to the aforementioned Yeti in The Abominable Snowmen he also plays the doomed explorer John in the opening moments of the first episode. He gets a name check in this story when Klieg refers to the fictional "Whitehead Logic"in episode 1! He's not the last member of cast or crew to get mentioned on screen in a Doctor Who story either!

It's Tony Harwood's first Doctor Who appearance here, and after his Yeti next story he'll be back as the Martian Rintan in the The Ice Warriors, in The Seeds of Death & The War Games as other unnamed Ice Warriors and in The Ambassadors of Death as Flynn.

John Hogan later appears in Blake's 7as a Scavenger in Deliverance while Richard Kerley has a recurring role as Sergeant Hinds in Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)

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Charles Pemberton returns as an Alien Technician in The War Games - I'd like to think he's related to acting Script Editor Victor Pemberton but can't find any evidence that he is. You may have seen him as a Police Constable in Rentaghost or a Policeman in Sapphire & Steel and you can also find him as Prison Officer Miller in the Porridge film. There's a couple of episodes of The Professionals on his CV as Big Man in The Rack and Styles in The Acorn Syndrome so I know I've seen him in stuff but couldn't place his face!

Hans De Vries can be seen in You Only Live Twice as a Control Room Technician and UFO: The Psychobombs as a Security Man. Kenneth Seeger appeared previously in science fiction classic Quatermass and the Pit playing a Sightseer in The Halfmen, Dr. Klein in The Enchanted, a Man in Crowd in The Wild Hunt and a Sightseer in Hob.

One of these men is the poor actor who's cyber costume is shown to be ripped in the scene where he descends the ladder from the now sealed entrance hatch!

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We saw spaceship crewman Jim Callum briefly in episode one but having missed episode two he takes on a much larger role here. He's played by Clive Merrison who returns 20 years later as the Deputy Chief Caretaker in Paradise Towers, and is a far better actor than either of his Doctor Who appearances will lead you to believe. Running down his CV I've seen him in Firefox as Major Lanyev, Yes Prime Minister: The Smoke Screen as Dr. Peter Thorn, the Minister of State at the DHSS, Drop the Dead Donkey: Drunk Minister as Nicholas Waugh and The 1990s Tomorrow People: The Living Stones as General Beaumont-Savage. The most recent thing I can recall him in is the Lewis story The Lions of Nemea as Simon Flaxmore. He was interviewed by Toby Hadoke in Who's Round #170.

In late Jan/early Feb 1992 one was having a tinsy bit of a bad run: I'd been involved in a serious car accident (write off), my then girlfriend and I had split up and I had fallen down a flight of stairs further injuring my already damaged back. All in the space of 2 weeks. The University health centre decided to admit me and I spent nearly a week as their guest with little contact with the outside world. (worse was to follow: a week later I went down with acute appendicitis and was hospitalised!) Fortunately some friends brought me a paper in most day (The Telegraph: Christopher Martin-Jenkins was writing their cricket and the crossword & obits were good) There one day in the paper was the news that The Tomb of the Cybermen had been found. Much rejoicing was heard in fandom, there's a very good issue of Celestial Toyroom, the Doctor Who Appreciation Society magazine commemorating the recovery.

On May 4th that year, my Birthday as it happens, Tomb was released on video (alongside Claws of Axos: Twin Dilemma had been intended for release, this then became a Woolworths exclusive so some time, also released that day). Checks calender..... May 4th 1992 was a bank holiday and back then most shops didn't open on bank holidays so I'm guessing we didn't get a copy till the next day. Off we all trooped to the Woolworths in Egham, handed our cash over and sat down to watch a Doctor Who story we'd never seen before. It was the first time I'd seen the sixties Cybermen as well: the surviving episodes of The Moonbase and The Wheel in Space weren't released till 6th July that same year as part of Cybermen: The Early Years. I loved Tomb when I first saw it, still do. The only thing that bugged me at the time were the voice: Being used to the 1980s Cybermen, the Peter Hawkins electronic drone comes as a bit of a shock! I really didn't like them then and still don't to this day. Of the Sixties Cybervoices I much prefer the sing song ones from the Tenth Planet, however this matter is a source of much debate in our house as my wife hates those!

Saturday, 9 September 2017

171 The Tomb of the Cybermen: Episode Two

EPISODE: The Tomb of the Cybermen: Episode Two
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 09 September 1967
WRITER: Kit Pedler & Gerry Davis
DIRECTOR: Morris Barry
SCRIPT EDITOR: Victor Pemberton
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
RATINGS: 6.4 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who Revisitations 3: The Tomb of the Cybermen, The Three Doctors & The Robots of Death

"You belong to us. You shall be like us."

The Doctor repeats what Jamie's done revealing that Haydon was shot in the back by a gun that emerged from the wall and that the "Cyberman" was just a robotic target for the weapon. The Doctor identifies the Silverfish creature as a Cybermat. Parry decides to abandon the expedition in the wake of the second death, but Captain Hopper arrives with bad news:

PARRY:Ah, Captain Hopper. Just the man. Can you be ready to blast off at eighteen forty two?
PARRY: I beg your pardon? Did I hear you right? You are paid to take orders, Captain Hopper.
HOPPER: Not impossible ones, I'm not. It's the fuel pumps. Some character has balled up the lot.
DOCTOR: Or something.
HOPPER: Well, whatever it is, it's practically wrecked our chances of getting off this crummy planet.
Klieg, with more help from the Doctor, opens the main door to the underground chambers. They go bellow leaving Victoria & Kaftan behind. Kaftan drugs Victoria's coffee causing her to sleep and then reseals the main hatch. Klieg starts the sequence to free the Cybermen from their icy tombs. Viner reverses the process but is shot & killed by Klieg who starts the sequence again.

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JAMIE: You know, Doctor, I have a feeling that man's planned it all. He knew that that control wouldn't open the hatch.
DOCTOR: So did I, Jamie.
JAMIE: You knew, Doctor?
DOCTOR: I wanted to know what he was up to.
KLIEG: And now you know, Doctor.
PARRY: We know nothing. This is the action of a lunatic.
KLIEG: Lunatic? Not at all, Professor. A necessary detail, that's all.
PARRY: But why?
KLIEG: Logic, my dear Professor, logic and power. On Earth the Brotherhood of Logicians is the greatest man intelligence ever assembled. But that's not enough by itself. We need power. Power to put our ability into action. The Cybermen have this power. I have come here to find it and use it.
PARRY: So that was your motive in financing my expedition.
KLIEG: Precisely. Your complete lack of administration made it ideal for our purpose.
DOCTOR: You think the Cybermen will help you?
KLIEG: Of course. I shall be their resurrector.
Victoria awakens, and with the aid of the reactivating Cybermat overpowers Kaftan and flees to find Captain Hopper. The reactivated Cybermen corner the visitors and free their leader from the Tombs.
JAMIE: What is it?
DOCTOR: I think it's their leader, their Controller, Jamie.
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KLIEG: I am Klieg. Eric Klieg. I have brought you back to life. We of the Logicians have planned this. You are alive because of us. Now you will help us. We need your power. You need our mass intelligence. Are you listening? Do you understand me? Now that I have released you.
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KLIEG: Aaah! Let me go! I set you free! It was our plan!

CONTROLLER: You belong to us. You shall be like us.

Back to the real menace of the Cybermen at the end, that we can be converted loosing everything that makes us who we are to become like them. Chilling.

For most of the episode we're still doing The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb, exploring the Cybermen's deserted city, but let's throw in a bit of "Something frozen in the Ice" from The Thing from Another World to spice it up a bit as the Cybermen, our Mummys, awake from their frozen tomb.

The tombs themselves, built in Ealing with a smaller version of the lower levels replicated in the studio is an impressive structure, but the way it's presented in the story makes it look a bit of a singular structure. To see it repeated away to the edge of the screens would have made you feel there were many more Cybermen present.

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The production team are so fond of the sequence of the ice melting that they do it twice plus an extra in reverse for good measure! The Cybermen bursting through the membranes adorned with the Cyberhead logo we've seen elsewhere is a wonderful sequence, replicated in several future stories, and thankfully preserved in colour thanks to some publicity photos. I can remember one turning up in the 1982 Doctor who summer special when I was younger!

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The emergence from the tomb is accompanied by Martin Slavin's Space Adventure part 2, a theme for the Cybermen used in both the Tenth Planet and The Moonbase. This is it's last use with the Cybermen but it returns later when Douglas Camfield uses it during a Yeti battle in The Web of Fear. It feel odd to hear it used with another monster there! Also heard in this episode, quietly under various scenes in the control room, is Ultra Sonic Perception: Suspended Animation by Eric Siday

Kaftan and Klieg stand quite clearly revealed as the villains of the piece now. First we have this exchange between Kaftan and her servant Toberman:

TOBERMAN: It is done.
A little while later Captain Hopper shows up to tell them the ship is damaged and right the later part of this exchange Toberman can be stood behind the Doctor grinning sinisterly, making it clear he's responsible!

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Then Kaftan drugs Victoria, allowing her to seal the hatch to the tombs, trapping the rest of the party inside! The revived Victoria only escapes thanks to the intervention of the Cybermat she put in her bag awakening. Although having overpower Kaftan she's right to go and seek help but should she really have put the captured gun down by her unconscious prisoner?

In the Tomb panic has set in for one member of the party allowing Klieg to put his plan into effect as he start the procedure to awaken the Cybermen.

VINER: It's closed. What have they done that for? What are they playing at up there?
DOCTOR: Perhaps it wasn't them. Where's Jamie?
VINER: He went up the ladder to try it. Professor. Professor, listen to me, for heaven's sake! The hatch is down again. We're trapped down here.
PARRY: Trapped? But there are some of my party up there. Are you sure?
VINER: Of course I'm sure. You know how heavy that thing is. It's down now. We must do something. I give us a couple of hours in here at the most.
DOCTOR: Mister Klieg doesn't seem to be very worried.
KLIEG: No, I'm not, Doctor.
JAMIE: It won't open and I can't make anybody hear.
VINER: There you are.
KLIEG: There is an easy way out of our situation.
VINER: You've found something?
KLIEG: Of course you're forgetting your logic. If it closes it can be opened, from here.
DOCTOR: Conveniently labelled in symbolic logic, I notice.
KLIEG: Right, are we ready? I shall now operate the sequence.
DOCTOR: If it is the opening device.
KLIEG: It's obviously an opening device of some kind, Doctor.
VINER: I don't know how you can be so blasted calm about it all!
Once again the Doctor seems to have suspicions about what Klieg's doing which are very quickly proved right!

The main guest star for this series is Cyprus born George Pastell who plays Erik Klieg. Pastell was a regular of Hammer Film Productions. In fact he appeared in the aforementioned Curse of the Mummy's Tomb! He'd also been in the James Bond film From Russia with Love as the Orient Express train conductor. On the small screen he was in the first broadcast Out of the Unknown episode No Place Like Earth as Major Khan which still exists and you can see in the Out of the Unknown DVD Set.

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Cast as Kaftan is Shirley Cooklin who was then the wife of acting producer Peter Bryant. She won't be the last "spouse of the producer" to appear in Doctor Who either. Curiously one of the other roles in her CV is in the Z-Cars episode The Placer: Part 1 which is directed by Douglas Camfield who cast his wife in Doctor Who three times when he was directing!

The giant Toberman is played by Roy Stewart who'd already been in The Crusade: The Warlords as a Saracen warrior. He'll be back as circus strongman Tony in Terror of the Autons. He too was in the opening Out of the Unknown episode No Place Like Earth where he plays a Security guard. His most famous role is in the Bond film Live and Let Die where he plays Quarrel but you can also find him in Space: 1999 as the Tall alien in cave in The Metamorph and in the Rentaghost Christmas Special Rentasanta, the last episode featuring the original cast, where he plays Djinn. This Blog has some screencaps from this episode, sadly not showing Stewart, but featuring some recycled costumes from a later Doctor Who story! I have fond memories of this piece of madness and would love to see it again even though the introduction of Dobbin the Pantomime Donkey in it is seen by some as the point where the series goes wrong!

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Playing expedition leader Professor Parry is Aubrey Richards. He's appeared twice in The Avengers as Dr. Palmer in The Gravediggers and Professor Witney in Game: as you can see he made a living for playing those in academia! He can also be found in Doomwatch: The Red Sky as Bernard Colley and I, Claudius: Queen of Heaven as Varro.

The nervous John Viner is a first Doctor who role for Cyril Shaps who'll be back as Dr. Lennox in The Ambassadors of Death, the ill fated Prof. Herbert Clegg in the first episode of Planet of the Spiders and the Archimandrite in The Androids of Tara, his only role which survives the story he appears in! He has an Out of the Unknown to his name appearing as Dr. Duval in the missing second season episode Too Many Cooks. He plays the convict Jackdaw in the Porridge episode The Harder They Fall and Turner in The Sweeney episode May. He's briefly onscreen in the Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me as Dr. Bechmann, one of the two scientists killed in the helicopter explosion near the start. He was in the fondly remembered children's series Into the Labyrinth as Kadru in Cave of Diamonds and famed early 80s comedy The Young Ones as the Old Man Next Door in Demolition. I saw him in the cinema in Erik the Viking as Gisli the Chiseller. One of his later roles is in Dark Season, the future Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies Children's series, as Mr. Polzinski in the first three episodes.

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George Roubicek, Captain Hopper, also has a prominent role in 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me as the Stromberg One Captain. In the same year he appears uncredited in Star Wars as Commander Praji, one of the Imperial Officers who board the Rebel Blockade Runner at the start of Star Wars

Here's how Tomb of the Cybermen's return to the BBC came about: In 1991 Asia TV in Hong Kong conducted an audit of their film library and discovered a number of films cans produced by the BBC. They contacted the BBC Film & Video library saying they had a number of episodes of Softly, Softly and 4 of Doctor Who: would they like them back. Yes please says the BBC F&VL. The films never arrived there. They were sent back to BBC Enterprises, the BBC's commercial arm responsible for overseas sales and domestic video releases, who had sold the films to Asia TV, then called Hong Kong Television, in the first place. Enterprise opened the package, discovered it was serial MM, looked it up on a list and found they were holding the missing Tomb of the Cybermen.

Enterprises now had a problem: They knew a repeat season of Doctor Who was being organised for 1992 (it launched with a special documentary, Resistance is Useless and the Hartnell serial The Time Meddler). If they returned the film prints to to the Film & Video library they would almost certainly be used for the Troughton story. But if they hung on to them they could release them quickly onto video and reap the profits of an exclusive video release for a missing story. They let the Film & Video library know they had them but, since they were Enterprise's property anyway, that the F&VL could have them when Enterprises were finished with them. Word had leaked out that there were some returned films knocking around so a cover story was put about that they were merely duplicate prints of An Unearthly Child. When the Mind Robber was confirmed as being the Troughton story in the BBC2 repeat season the recovery of Tomb of the Cybermen was confirmed to the world.

For more details see pages 223-226 of Wiped! Doctor Who's Missing Episodes by Richard Molesworth or pages 233-236 of the revised edition

Saturday, 2 September 2017

170 The Tomb of the Cybermen: Episode One

EPISODE: The Tomb of the Cybermen: Episode One
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 02 September 1967
WRITER: Kit Pedler & Gerry Davis
DIRECTOR: Morris Barry
SCRIPT EDITOR: Victor Pemberton
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
RATINGS: 6 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who Revisitations 3: The Tomb of the Cybermen, The Three Doctors & The Robots of Death

"The tombs of the Cybermen must be below ground, together with all their records. If we can't get down there, all our work here and the sacrifice of that unfortunate fellow's life will go in vain."

Welcome to Doctor Who season 5, the famous season of monsters, reckoned by some to be the greatest season of Doctor Who ever. And what away to start: A Troughton story that exists in it's entirety! Huzzah! We're on DVD too!

We kick off with another great "Start the series by explaining everything" scene where the Doctor claims to be 450 years old! On the planet Telos Professor Parry's expedition have blasted free rock revealing the doors to the city. Kaftan, partner of the expedition's financier Kleig offers a reward for the first man to open the doors. A crewman tries and is electrocuted. The Tardis lands and it's crew are swiftly found & apprehended. The expedition are explaining they are searching for the remains of the Cybermen. Jamie and Victoria are keen to leave.

DOCTOR: I'm afraid that that became impossible the moment that name was mentioned.
VICTORIA: What name?
DOCTOR: Cybermen.
The Doctor first checks that the electrical charge on the door has been diffused and then gets Toberman, Kaftan's servant, to open the doors to the city. The Doctor uses the logic controls to open the two inner doors leaving the central hatch closed.
Eric Klieg: Doctor, you seem to be very familiar with this place.
The Doctor: Oh no, not really, um, it's all based on symbolic logic, the same as you use in computers. The opening mechanism to this door, an or-gate you call it.
Eric Klieg: Yes yes, I can see that, but how did you know in the first place?
The Doctor: Oh, I used my own special technique.
Eric Klieg: Oh really Doctor, and may we know what that is?
The Doctor: Keeping my eyes open and my mouth shut.
Klieg is left to try to open the door. Victoria, Kaftan & Viner find a room containing equipment to revitalise Cybermen. Jamie & Haydon find a room with a dead metallic giant silverfish like creature in. Klieg is defeated by the equations necessary to open the central hatch but the Doctor points him towards a solution. Kaftan causes Victoria to be trapped in the Revitalising machine. Haydon ties some controls in their room causing a hypnotic pattern to appear. The Doctor tried to release Victoria. Jamie is hypnotised by the pattern but Haydon turns it off. They think it's a target range. They run the program again as the Doctor frees Victoria. The Doctor runs into the room Jamie's in as a Cyberman figure appears from nowhere and Haydon is shot, his smoking body falling to the floor.

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It's "Doctor Who does Curse of the Mummy's Tomb". Obviously inspired by the Howard Carter "Tutankhamun" expedition and Mummy horror films this episode is exactly that: penetrate an ancient tomb, only on an alien planet rather than in Egypt, and work out how to get through the sealed doors and past the traps. Of course in the horror films once you find the Mummy it wakes up and rises from it's tomb so I think we can guess what's going to happen.

Troughton's superb in this, lots of great lines baiting Klieg who he takes an instant dislike to.

DOCTOR: We shall stay and help you with your search.
KLIEG: Perhaps we don't want your help.
DOCTOR: That's just it, you so obviously do
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It's a Cyberman story so back come Kit Pedler & Gerry Davis to write and also returning is director Morris Barry who helmed their previous appearance in the Moonbase becoming the first person to direct The Cybermen twice. Behind the scenes it's musical chairs as Producer Innes Lloyd temporarily vacates his chair in favour of script editor Peter Bryant getting a trial story as producer. His role is then filled by his assistant Victor Pemberton who had appeared in The Cybermen's previous story The Moonbase as Scientist Jules Faure.

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A significant amount of this episode was filmed on location with Gerrard's Cross Quarry providing the surface of Telos. These sequences were filmed 12th June 1967 enabling shirt sleeves to be worn and giving the impression of a warm clime, similar to the Egypt that Carter would have experienced. The same quarry serves as the surface of Dulkis in The Dominators, a later Second Doctor before appearing as Jaconda in the Sixth Doctor's first story The Twin Dilemma. It's final appearance is in the very next story, Attack of the Cybermen, where it's once again the surface of Telos.

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But Telos isn't the only alien planet in this episode: the start of the episode is set on Skaro, the only time both planets appear in the same story, as an Epilogue to Evil of the Daleks where the Doctor and Jamie rescue the orphaned Victoria and bring her into the Tardis for the first time giving the series another opportunity to restate the basics of what it's about:

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VICTORIA: I don't know. I can't believe it. It's so big. Where are we?
DOCTOR: Oh, it's the Tardis. It's my home. At least, it has been for a considerable number of years.
VICTORIA: What are all these knobs?
DOCTOR: What, these?
JAMIE: Instruments. These are for controlling our flight.
JAMIE: Well, yes. You see, we travel around in here through time and space.
DOCTOR: Oh no, no, no, no. Don't laugh. It's true. Your father and Maxtible were working on the same problem, but I have perfected a rather special model, which enables me to travel through the universe of time.
VICTORIA: How can you? I mean, if what you say is true then you must be, er, well, how old?
DOCTOR: Well, if we count in Earth terms, I suppose I must be about four hundred, yes, about four hundred and fifty years old. Yes, well, quite. Now, I think Victoria might find that dress a little impracticable if she's going to join us in our adventures. Jamie, show her where she can find some new ones, will you?
JAMIE: Aye, right. This way, Victoria. Try to give us a smooth take off, Doctor? We don't want to frighten her.
DOCTOR: A smooth take off? A smooth take off! What a nerve!
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I'm pretty certain I've seen the hypnotic targeting effect in this episode used in an old 1960s episode of Top of the Pops!

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The metallic creature Jamie finds on the floor will become significant later in the story, but it's worth noting this is the first appearance of a Cybermat, albeit a small one, in Doctor Who.

KLIEG: Well, the basis of this code is binary to digital conversion with a intervening step involving a sort of Whitehead logic.
Well, when this Burrier series is complete, there is no more to be done.
DOCTOR: Yes, but why do it at all?
The Whitehead Logic mentioned in this piece of dialogue is an in joke, a nod to Reg Whitehead who has appeared in both Cybermen stories so far. He'll be along shortly....

But some of the cast for this story aren't with us for all of it. Bernard Holley played the already deceased Peter Haydon and will return as an Axon in The Claws of Axos. He'd already been in the now missing Out of the Unknown episode 1+1=1.5 as a TV Announcer and would later appear in the second series of The Tripods as The Power Master. From my childhood I can recall him in the Children's educational series Eureka produced by former Doctor Who vision mixer Clive Doig and alongside future Doctor Who actor Sylvester McCoy. More recently you may have seen him as the Chief Constable in A Touch of Frost who has a liking for the rogue Inspector. You can hear him interviewed by Toby Hadoke in Who's Round 41.

1 actor Bernard Holley 1 actor Ted Rogers

I don't know anything about Alan Johns who plays Ted Rogers, bar that director Morris Barry also used him on a Z-Cars episode that same year, but I am required by law to do a 3-2-1 joke at this point.

Doctor Who got a new opening title sequence during The Macra Terror and new opening music during The Faceless Ones. Now the end credits catches up with the opening titles in having the updated version of the music.

There's some recognisable music in the episode too: Paul Bonneau's Sideral Univers is heard during the surface sequences: this track can be found on Doctor Who: The 50th Anniversary Collection 4CD set. Meanwhile Eric Siday's Galaxy from Ultra Sonic Perception is heard as they enter main room in the city. Various tracks from Ultra Sonic Perception have been heard before in the series but this is the first time this track has been used.

Tomb of the Cybermen is currently the earliest complete surviving Troughton story. But it wasn't always this way. We've just finished season 4, of which no complete story exists and there's only 10 episodes remaining. Season 5, the famous season of monsters, was once in much worse shape. At one point just two episodes remained from season 5: The Enemy of the World 3 and the final episode, Wheel in Space 6. Over the years many were returned till at the end of 1991 the BBC's holdings for season 5 consisted of the following:

Which Exist
When Found
What Were Missing
The Tomb of the Cybermen
The Abominable Snowmen
returned from collector 1982
1, 3-6
The Ice Warriors
1 & 4-6
all found in a cupboard at the BBC in August 1988
2 & 3
The Enemy of the World
always present
1, 2 & 4-6
The Web of Fear
returned 1978
Fury from the Deep
The Wheel in Space
3, 6
3 returned from collector in 1984
6 always present
1, 2, 4 & 5

That's nine episodes present, but still not a complete story (both the same as season 4) and nothing at all from either Tomb of the Cybermen or Fury from the Deep. Then in December 1991 the Film & Video library had a phone call from Asia TV in Hong Kong....