Monday, July 6, 2009

MM3 - The Tomb of the Cybermen 3

Let's get the lesser aspects of Episode Three out of the way right now. There's a truly terrible sequence where a Cyberman picks up Toberman, raises him over his head, and throws him across the room. Sounds like a neat scene, right? But the Kirby wires that pull Toberman up are blatantly visible, he in now way looks like he's actually being lifted by the Cyberman, and the whole sequence happens silently, as well. Fail.

The Cybermats are about the most adorable monsters to ever appear in Doctor Who (except Series Four's the Adipose, naturally), which isn't the most advantageous quality to have when the monsters' intention is to kill the humans. Had we actually seen a Cybermat wreaking havoc before the climactic scene of Episode Three, we might be able to believe that they are capable of some sort of damage. But we don't, and the Cybermats only succeed in frolicking around, wagging their tails, and defying you to not want to take one or more home with you.

And what is the deal with the Cybermen's Punch & Judy voices when they're agitated and chasing after the escaping humans?

Then there's the good bits of this episode. First, George Pastell as Klieg. Pastell brings just the right amount of insanity and megalomania to the role, but not quite so much as to make it unbelievable. His monologue in the weapons testing room about him being supreme ruler and how logical it is is haunting. He's often overlooked in this midst of all the Cybermadness going on around him, but it's a terrific performance.

And then there's The Scene, the one that everyone and their dog talks about whenever they think of this story - the one where The Doctor and Victoria talk about families and memories, about wanting to remember them, not mourn them, and how their lives are like those of nobody else. It's obviously wonderful, and more words have been written about it by others that nothing I could say here could possibly be original. Suffice it to say, though, that I'm never entirely convinced that The Doctor is speaking the truth when he talks of his "family". Troughton's Doctor has already in this episode held his cards close to the vest, revealing only enough to move the humans along in their desire to open the tombs (which is what The Doctor wants anyway). At times, he also says what he knows that the human expedition will want to hear, and do what needs to be done, surreptitiously, to allow the expedition to advance.

I think he's doing the same thing here. How else can he possibly relate to what Victoria is going through? Just like with the expedition, he is merely telling Victoria what she wants to, what she needs to, hear in order for her to get past her current grief and become a better person.

Subtext aside, isn't Patrick Troughton a bloody marvelous actor? Gradually, I'm seeing why so many people (especially his fellow actors) rate him as the best Doctor ever.


Her Bloginess said...

Yes, the Cybermats are just adorable. Do you know if someone sells replicas somewhere? I've been thinking of knitting one, just because I can.

Patrick Troughton, acting wise, is the best Doctor ever, and my second favorite. While other Doctors have charisma in droves, they just don't match his acting skills. (I'm thinking Tom Baker here. Great Doctor, and my favorite, but he really hammed it up. Not the best in that sense.)

Tomb of the Cybermen is not my favorite story, I have to say. The actors seemed like caricatures, and the Cybermen don't seem all that threatening. I can't wait till you get to The Invasion, now that was an awesome Cybermen story.

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