For me, some of it is still too stagey in the acting department (even by Who Sixties standards) with only Troughton coming off well (who I’m not normally a fan of, it has to be said). Anyway, I’m probably in the minority as loads of people absolutely adore this story, so let’s plough on and have a look at the special features.
The main doc, The Lost Giants, is an excellent look at the making of the story and features actress Shirley Cooklin (Kaftan), script editor Victor Pemberton, Frazer Hines (Jamie), Bernard Holley (Peter Haydon), Deborah Watling (Victoria), Michael Kilgarriff (Cyber~Controller) and visual effects designer, Peter Day. It’s superbly put together with some great computer~generated imagery to please the eye (included by itself as an Easter Egg, fact fans) – a very nice and most appreciated touch. Full marks to Rob Semenoff for his outstanding graphic work.
If I were to be critical of the piece, it’s that there’s no archival interviews (a point I’ll return to); resulting in no input or thoughts from Patrick Troughton, for example. I would also like to add that the green screen work in this docco is a tad obvious with Watling’s hair becoming distracting with its changing colours. Small points, I should add.
Accompanying the original commentary (a rather dry affair from Hines and Watling) is a shiny new audio moderated throughout by Toby Hadoke. He’s joined by: Victor Pemberton and Bernard Holley on Ep 1; Shirley Cooklin, Deborah Watling and Frazer Hines on Eps 2-4; whilst Cyberman Reg Whitehead joins them on the latter two episodes. It’s a bouncy affair and the gang get on very well (and, being actors, it’s entertaining) though there is a bit of repetition of stories with the main doc (some almost word for word).
And this is where I would humbly suggest that the classic range take a note from the Disney DVD book, as it were. No bear with me, please. On certain releases from the animated company, the audio commentary would feature archival materials, such as interviews with writers, directors, etc…; really fleshing out the entire story of a film with many voices. With the same people used in both the main documentary and the commentary for Tomb, it seems a waste that some people’s thoughts and memories are absent.
Regardless, the makers of this set have packed a whole lot of love (and new features) into Tomb of the Cybermen, making it certainly worth a look – even if you already own it. Plus you’ve probably worn out that ancient DVD ‘cos you’ve watched it so many times ‘cos it’s such a bleedin’ classic*
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