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!

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