Some tombs should remain lost, especially if they contain metallic Doctor Who villains bent on world domination. However, what was lost can be found as this episode from Patrick Troughton’s Doctor was once thought lost forever. When it did turn up it was a reason for celebration which we now celebrate again.
The Doctor (Patrick Troughton), Jamie (Frazier Hines), and Vicky (Deborah Watling), arrive on the planet Telos where an Earth archaeological expedition, led by Professor Parry (Aubrey Richards), is attempting to uncover the lost tombs of the Cybermen. With a lot of help from the Doctor the archaeologists enter the tombs. What they find is the frozen remains of the Cybermen and they’re not as dead as they’ve been led to believe and some of the party has other plans for the tomb than historical exploration.
Tomb of the Cybermen was a Doctor Who adventure that was thought to have been lost forever. Troughton’s Doctor seems to have suffered much from the BBC’s recycling program to reuse videotape. It was then almost miraculous when it was discovered in 1992 that a Hong Kong television station had all the episodes and returned them to the BBC.
The return of the episode was cause for much celebration, as Who fans do for any found episode or even bits of them. It’s the earliest known Troughton episode in existence. Tomb is a fun adventure and features the fine team of Troughton, Hines and Watling as well as redesigned Cybermen. It features other inventions in Cyber-tech such as the cybermats and cyber controller. We also get a chilling take on how the Cybermen will pick up their new recruits and spare parts. Tomb is rightly remembered as one of the best Cybermen stories.
Tomb of the Cybermen is presented in fullscreen. Disc one contains the special features a commentary by Watling and Hines (from 2001), a second commentary from actors Hines, Watling, Bernard Holley, Shirley Cooklin, Reg Whitehead, script editor Victoria Pemberton, and moderated by Toby Hadoke, a pop up trivia track, a 3 minute introduction from director Morris Barry, 3 minutes of title sequence tests, a 3 minute TV interview with effects supervisor Jack Kine, and the 1 minute “Final End” is the recreation of a Dalek battle from the lost Troughton episode Evil of the Daleks. Disc two has the 27 minute “the Lost Giants” making of, the 14 minute “Curse of the Cyberman’s Tomb” about the parallels between this tomb and the Egyptian tombs, the 32 minute “Cyberman – Extended Edition” is a history of the villains, the 6 minute “Magic of VidFIRE” talks about the technology used to restore the shows, a 30 second Who themed commercial, a photo gallery, and the Radio Times Listings on DVD-ROM.
Tomb of the Cybermen is an adventure that stands the test of time and is glad to be found yet again. If you have the original DVD you may want to hang onto it though as a documentary called Tombwatch is not on this new release. Keep looking in those attics and hopefully one day more Doctor Who will turn up.
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