Monday, July 6, 2009

MM1 - The Tomb of the Cybermen 1

It's been 17 years since I first saw this story, but the most thrilling aspect of it, still, is the novelty of the fact that I can see it. When the tapes for this, long since thought lost forever, turned up out of nowhere in Hong Kong in late 1991, I, along with the entire Doctor Who community, were over the moon with delight. That a complete version of a story could turn up after all these years, and a perceived classic at that, is so good it's almost suspicious.

Were the years and the memory kind to Tomb? Judging by the first episode, I would say yes. There's some great location work in the opening scene, and a fascinating TARDIS scene, shot in film and with a distinct amount of reverb, in which we finally hear The Doctor reveal his age.

Watching other Troughton reconstructions has shown how much of a devious Doctor he was, but this story was, for modern day fans, the first time we actually got to see it. The Doctor desperately wants to enter the Cyber-tomb, but he doesn't have the authority within the group of humans he's just met, so he makes sure, discreetly, that they manage to make it through the tests and trials that are thrown their way.

Like the previous Cybermen stories, we don't get a good look at them during the first episode, but there is no mystery in the fact that they are there, this time. When we finally see one at the end of the episode, it's just a dummy, but I'm glad to see that the costume design from The Moonbase hasn't been changed much, as it is still my favourite.


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