The Tomb of The Cybermen
Reviewed By Nicky Pugh
"You belong to us. You shall be like us".
As we are still reviewing the Second Doctor’s era for the 50th Anniversary, you can’t help but feel sadness, due to the many incomplete or lost stories. As much as we all keep our fingers crossed that some of these missing gems will be discovered in some dusty attic, we have to be realistic that as time goes on, the chances of finding anymore in playable, restorable condition diminishes.
However, we are lucky to have some stories and episodes that survived the infamous BBC “junking” of the 60’s, one of which, Matt Smith himself has disclosed as his all-time favorites.
And what a fantastic story to pick, Mr. Smith!
Out of the many encounters the Doctor has had with the Cybermen, this story is one that many fans agree with Matt on, and consider it as arguably one of the best.
It begins with the proud Doctor showing his new companion Victoria, around the TARDIS. They land somewhere looking suspiciously like a quarry, and bump into a suspicious expedition group, trying to gain access through an odd looking door set within the cliff, which has clearly been booby trapped. When Parry, the leader mentions Cybermen, the Doctor becomes worried and tries to talk them out of their dangerous quest.
The initial scene involving The Doctor and his companions is wonderful, the passion, pride and love the Doctor has for the TARDIS is clear to see, and coupled with Jamie’s gentle ribbing it makes the beginning of a pretty sinister story very light hearted. You can tell all three of them had a good rapport behind the cameras. Then of course there is the scene with Victoria feeling self-conscious about her dress, and the Doctor commenting about Jamie’s, infusing the story with more humour. Who could forget, the infamous hand holding either...
I thought the scene with Victoria and the Doctor talking about losing loved ones and keeping their memory alive very touching and a perfect scene to break up the darkness of the story. What the Doctor tells Victoria makes you think about how little we know about his past and particularly his family. The tragic, yet fond glaze in his eyes as he talks with Victoria is prominent. It makes you ask questions about his family, and makes you wonder how Susan is getting on after their heartbreaking farewell. The Doctor demonstrates how much he cares for his companions.
Kaftan and Kelig are particularly unlikable characters, which really help you to root for the Doctor and members of the expedition with some common sense. I did found Kaftan particularly unsavory, especially with her relentless campaign to overcome poor Victoria.
I adore this story. It’s a wonderful, classic and utilizes the Cybermen perfectly. The characters are a perfectly balanced mix of good and evil.