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

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