The Tomb of the Cybermen: Episode 4
First Broadcast September 23rd 1967 @ 5.50pm (7.4m viewers)
‘The Tomb of the Cybermen’ is an unquestionable classic. It is stuffed full of iconic moments. The visual spectacle of the Cybermen twitching and emerging from their tombs. A new form of Cyberman, the Cybercontroller, with a strikingly designed helmet. Debuting in this story were the Cybermats. The lovely scene of the Doctor and Victoria discussing their travels. Deeper than this the story echoes the popular historical events of archaeological discovery, most notably the discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen. All these elements combine to deliver one of the greatest Doctor Who stories ever which stands up even to our modern expectations of the 21st Century.
This fourth episode brings the story to a conclusion as the Doctor, his companions and the expedition attempt to escape the clutches of the silver menace which their curiosity has unleashed. Granted much of this peril has been caused by the egotistical and humorously misplaced intelligence of Klieg and the Brotherhood of Logicians. Predictably Klieg and Kaftan get the comeuppance that their actions deserve, proving the peril of craving power over humanity.
Although the portrayal of Toberman is dated in the way it deals with race, casting actor Roy Stewart in the strong but silent role, he becomes the hero. The DVD release of the Jon Pertwee story ‘The Mutants’ features an excellent documentary which explores the representation of race on Doctor Who and television generally. Originally intended to be deaf, which is included in the novelisation, it is refreshing to see a coloured actor saving the day but sadly sacrificing himself in the process.
Memorable Moment (Spoiler Warning)
The final shots of the episode allude to the continuing threat of the Cybermen. A lone Cybermat is seen outside of the closed doors. However, the horror element is found in the stirring life force behind those doors. Instead of the traditional conclusion of overcoming all the villains, they are simply shut away. For the time being. Because there lies the genius of the conclusion. The Cybermen are going to be back. You simply know that they are. The viewer is left scared but also excited for what would only be the fourth Cyberman story, whenever that may come.
Doctor Who – Patrick Troughton
Jamie – Frazer Hines
Victoria – Deborah Watling
Captain Hopper – George Roubicek
Professor Parry – Aubrey Richards
Eric Klieg – George Pastell
Director – Morris Barry
Producer – Peter Bryant
Writer – Gerry Davis
Writer – Kit Pedler
Also First Aired On This Day…
- The Ribos Operation: Part Four