Say Something Nice – Doctor Who: The Tomb of the Cybermen

In an effort to find something quick that can be written as part of Daily Doctor Who, we are continuing with Say Something Nice, where I look back at each of the Doctor Who stories and pull out one or two cool things about it.

(Daily Doctor Who #315)

Read the previous entry here. Today, we continue with the first story of the show’s fifth season…

The Tomb of the Cybermen

The story stars Patrick Troughton as the Doctor and Frazer Hines as Jamie McCrimmon and Deborah Watling as Victoria Waterfield.

The serial is written by Kit Pedler & Gerry Davis and directed by Morris Barry.

Say Something Nice…

(Named for Missy–aka the Master–and her catchphrase from her first full appearance in Dark Water).

The design-work of the whole tomb, both up top and below, is quite cool. George Pastell as Eric Klieg makes a good villain, and the Cybermen themselves are imposing and threatening. There is a really lovely scene the Doctor and Victoria in the middle of the story about how special the life is that they get to live, as well as their shared sadness over lost loved ones.

But because we’re equal-opportunity fans here, we’re not going to only be sycophantically complimentary.

You craven-hearted spineless poltroon!

(Another cry from the Master, but not exactly a catch-phrase, this time from The Deadly Assassin)

Some of the plotting and a lot of the action of this story is clunky and awkward, including a particularly notorious bit where Toberman is clearly on wires as the Cyberman is lifting him overhead (apparently, the wires would not have been so visible before the story was re-mastered), and then later when an obvious dummy substitutes for a thrown Cybeman Controller. Captain Hopper’s American accent and attitude is a bit laughable. This is the second story in a row to feature a largely mute muscular villain who isn’t white and who gets a redemptive arc, which feels a bit iffy.

Catch you next time!

2 thoughts on “Say Something Nice – Doctor Who: The Tomb of the Cybermen

  1. Yes, the handling of the black guy wasn’t ideal. And unlike some stories, the Cybermats aren’t very intimidating. Overall, though, a very good one.

  2. Even our favorite science fiction classics like Doctor Who and Star Trek often suffered such issues. I’m coming to terms with that a lot now. Thankfully the modern Doctor Who would improve on a great deal. And Congratulations to Ncuti Gatwa for becoming the new Doctor Who.

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