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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Discovering more Cybermen from their Tombs on Telos!,
Back in the 60s, 70s and 80s, there wasn't much availability in terms of videos to watch `Doctor Who' stories. The only way fans could enjoy a `Doctor Who' story again and again, was by reading the Target novelisations provided for them based on the original TV scripts when it was first transmitted.
`Doctor Who and the Tomb of the Cybermen' was written and published in 1976 based on the original scripts for 'The Tomb of the Cybermen' back in 1967. More recently in 2013, AudioGo has produced a lavish audiobook reading on the novelisation of that story with Michael Kilgarriff reading and Nicholas Briggs providing the Cybermen voices. I bought this on holiday in Chester last summer, and just recently listened to it all the way through while reading the book that I purchased just recently. I really enjoyed the experience listening and reading the book of the story. It kept my attention all the way through, with such descriptive detail and dramatic plot threads with characters and situations.
Gerry Davis wrote the novelisation of the story based on the original TV scripts he did with Kit Pedler (who co-created the Cybermen) in 1976. Davis has only just recently scripted the Tom Baker story 'Revenge of the Cybermen' and much of the influence from that story is resonant here. The novel provides a more richer atmosphere and setting to the story compared to what was shown on TV. The story feels more cinematic than ever before. It's still the same plot and character dialogue throughout the story, but it's still enjoyable as more input in the characters' thoughts and feelings is added.
From the front cover of the story, it was originally intended to have Patrick Troughton's Doctor against the Cybermen in their Tomb versions. But BBC insisted that Target only used the current Doctor - Tom Baker - on the front covers, so it had to be abandoned. You can see what the front cover would have looked with Patrick Troughton inside the CD casing under Disc 1. Instead we have a Cyberman adorning the Tombs of Telos - yes that is the wrong Cyberman, I know. They used 'The Invasion' Cybermen for the front cover. I like the Invasion Cybermen very much, but it's odd they used them for that front cover for the 'Tomb' novelisation. But it was the only Cyberman photo and portrait they had at the time for artist Alistair Pearson to contend with, which is strange. But despite what the front cover looks like, the story's still very exciting.
There's a introduction to start off the story detailing how the Cybermen came to be entombed on the planet Telos, that's only about a few pages. It's an interesting introduction to start off with, although the writer seems to have made the mistake of stating the Cybermen originally came from Telos and claims it's their home planet whereas it's not since it's Mondas that's their home planet. The Cyber Controller re-emphasises the point they came from Mondas, contradicting the earlier statement made in the introduction.
In this story we get to know more about the characters from the story such as Victoria. Victoria is wearing a dress that she picked up from the TARDIS wardrobe that former companion Polly wore, which is very interesting and should be noted in mind when watching the TV story as to where she got the dress from. Also Victoria's changing opinion of Kaftan from being an admirer of her to being shocked by her actions was very interesting to read. Klieg's intellectual snobbishness is emphasised more strongly in this, especially when he has doubts at first controlling the Cybermen to his moment of madness to being `master of the universe'. It's a tense sequence, and even when reading or listening to it from the audiobook it makes for dramatic purpose.
The question of how Telos should be pronounced is debatable. Some say 'Tee-los', some say 'Tel-los'. I prefer the latter, but it's still an uncertainty that's raised today.
For the audiobook, Michael Kilgarriff reads the story. Michael Kilgarriff played the Cyber Controller in the original TV story for `The Tomb of the Cybermen'. It's interesting he's reading this since he had nothing to say during the story since all he had to do is open and close his mouth and somebody else spoke the lines for him. It's great to hear him reading this since he's a radio actor and has that deep voice providing a such a richness when reading the novel. I enjoyed listening to his voice telling the story, since it was very unusual yet very exciting hearing the Cyber Controller in his actual voice.
I liked how Kilgarriff provides voices for the characters. I liked his interpretation of Viner who's very panicky and nervous when he's in the Tombs of the Cybermen. I like how Viner redeems himself in the story when he attempts to shut down the reviving process freezing up the Cybermen again, since he was rather intellectually dismissive and too obsessed with recording his calculations. I liked Kilgarrif's strong Scottish accent for Jamie, which helps to visualise Jamie clearly even though it's not the clear Scots acent Frazer would use (more like Hamish Wilson really). I found his voice for Kleig a little more aggressive compared to how George Pastell played him in the actual story, but this is made up when he plays Kaftan providing silky and soothing tones for her exotic Arabian tones.
I liked how Kilgarriff read the scene between the Doctor and Victoria which is also included in the novel as well as the TV story. This is much more lighter and calmer scene compared to the action sequences happening in the story. Although Kilgarriff doesn't get the voices right for Victoria and the Doctor, it's still a nice scene throughout and well calmly read.
The Cybermen voices are provided by Nicholas Briggs during certain chapters of the story, mostly in the later half for Discs 3 and 4. Nick Briggs does wonders with the Cybermen voices, making them sound like they were in the TV story. The Cybermen voices are low and very electronic, as Nick provides the right pitch and level for the voices when speaking to the characters. I liked how Nick did that slow-motion sequence when the Cyber Controller couldn't get into the revitalization chamber, matching exactly what was on TV. I was happy with the Cyber voices in this audiobook, and was sad when the book was finished that there were no more of those Cyber voices to listen to since it's contained on two discs.
Reading the Cybermen in the book was great as they sound exactly right with their dialogue matching what was in the TV story. The Cyber Controller's still the same, although has a blackened head which he didn't have in the TV story. This is because Gerry Davis was following on from what he wrote in `Revenge of the Cybermen' since the Cyber Leader in that had a black head, although I don't think he should had deceived the readers to what was actually on the screen. The Cybermats also derive slightly from `Revenge' since they have stings in their tales rather than gnashing teeth.
At the time this was published, `The Tomb of the Cybermen' was a lost story from the BBC Archives. So Gerry Davis has to rely on his imagination and experiences to convey what he remembered from the story to make it so rich and exciting. How could he have known that the story would later be found at a TV station in Hong Kong years later?
On the CDs themselves, the endings of each disc don't match with what was on telly since most of the endings overlap from the original cliffhangers. The first disc ends with Kleig causing a tremor in the Tomb building with a power overload with the Doctor shouting `You fool! Why couldn't you leave it alone?!' The second disc ends with Kaftan closing the hatch, locking the Doctor party inside the tombs. And the third disc ends with Captain Hopper leaving the Tomb building after saving the Doctor and others from the Cybermen locking them down in their tombs with the hatch closed. The novel ends rather abruptly with the Doctor and others saying goodbye to Professor Parry with him apologising for all the deaths that happened with the Doctor saying `I know, I know.' So structurally the story's different compared to what was on TV both in novel form and on audiobook.
I enjoyed reading and listening to `Doctor Who and the Tomb of the Cybermen'. It must have been exciting for fans to read this book when the story wasn't available back in the day. I enjoyed the audiobook with Michael Kilgarriff reading and Nick Briggs providing the Cybermen voices. It's such an interesting addition to the Cybermen story that provides more depth and insight, and it was really enjoyable to experience more of the classic story in prose form as well as audio.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...genius...invincibly disturbing...atmospheric...",
There's a business phrase that is apposite in reviewing AUDIOGO's release of Gerry Davis' novelisation recording of DOCTOR WHO AND THE TOMB OF THE CYBERMEN; "...bringing your A-Game..." In effect, an attempt to complete an activity to your best ability given all your experience, resources available and ambition, and that, for this release, is exactly what has been done.
Thoroughly absorbing - even more so than the frequently vacuous NEW SERIES broadcast episodes - and combining the enviable talents of Michael Kilgarrif, the post-production of MEON SOUNDS and vocal interpretations of the Cybermen by Nicholas Briggs, this four-disc issue is as perfect as both a novel and an audiobook interpretation can be. It's a rare achievement.
(Description of the Second Doctor) "...his green cat's eyes still on her face..."
It's September 1969 - Season Five - and THE TOMB OF THE CYBERMEN premieres a set of stories that collectively have, quite rightly, become known as "the monster era" (Cybermen [twice], Yeti [twice] along with the Great Intelligence, Ice Warriors, and Seaweed creature) that has become a cornerstone in the series' 50-year history and, certainly, never surpassed by the 2005-2013 re-imagineered series with its digital technology and finances.
Like RONSEAL varnish's iconic marketing slogan, this on-screen collaboration between Gerry Davis and Kit Pedler does exactly as its title say. The Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon and, new companion, Victoria become embroiled - through the Time Lord's own curiosity - with an archaeological expedition to uncover the centuries lost titular resting place of the part-mechanical part-organic aliens.
In his novelisation, Davis retains the character-led formatting of the original four-part broadcast, focussing upon the internal paranoia and power-struggle of the humans as each faction seemingly undermine each other in the feint hearted & misguided attempt to secure the ignominy of discovering the actual Tombs. In effect, bravely, it is story of two halves; the first (represented on television as the first two episodes) is the study of conflicting human interaction
Unsurprisingly, Kilgarrif's reading reinforces the tensions within that build toward the faltering first awakening steps of the silver metal giants from their hibernation (whether this is accidental or self-impose, as a form of `genetic gene bank', it is not wholly clear). Whilst the clarity of his voice has diminished with age - as it will with all of us; "...taxes and death...."), it remains as arresting and spellbinding as he sympathetically delivers (there is no attempt, thankfully, to re-create the original actor's performances) Davis' written text with a relish and verve that draws you into the machinations on Telos (or, as it is pronounced, "...Tealos..."). Diligent in his accent choice, vocal gesture and clinical examination of the combination of pitch, stress & time, each character is crafted without pastiche or undermining comedic element, and if you had not watched the original (or DVD release) television broadcast then from his reading then every single player can be visualised.
From the caustically irritating, paranoid and persistently perspiring John Viner, to the `by-the-book' North American Captain Hopper, to the reptilian-like guile of Kaftan, and to the calming ethereal presence of the Second Doctor, Kilgarrif's degree of energy is captivatingly precise skipping from subdued to vehement within a heart-beat, as is his application of rhythmus and melody lifting the printed word into a digital realm.
The author's description of the murder of Peter Haydon is horrifically realised by Kilgarrif that will cascade cutis anserina across your increasingly clammy skin. (Disc 2 Chapter six).
However, there is another contribution within DOCTOR WHO AND THE TOMB OF THE CYBERMEN that matches Michael Kilgarrif's contribution, and in what seems to have been a `labour of love, Simon Power (as MEON SOUNDS) has created an aural canvas upon which its reader deftly colours with vocal brushstrokes.
Overall, the music `cues' are suitably atmospheric, coated with an enigmatic hard frost that uncompromisingly chills to the bone and then penetrates further to a chromosome level within you. Occasionally, a low-rumbling, akin to lying flat with your ear pressed to an Underground Station platform listening to an approaching train, ominously resonates - almost psychedelically hypnotic - as the threat from the silver-metal bionic alien becomes apparent.
Equally, incidental sound effects are invincibly disturbing whether they are the hydraulically-driven biomechanical joints of the waking giants, or the accurately observed footfalls on frozen metalwork, or the purely science fiction elements of the Cybermen weapon testing area, or the more substantive validity of the Tomb Hatch (the new sound effect gives a credible mass-weight and multi-locking [perhaps, even deadlock seals] format that the television version failed to achieve back in the days when the series was fiscally challenged and realised by hardboard and cooking aluminum foil).
"... now you belong to us..."
It's not easy but ensuring that a sound effect actually sounds like what it is supposed to be is an art, and in this release we witness a Masterpiece being painted within our ears (as opposed beneath our eyes); vast blocks & sheets cracking ice sounds like cracking ice, whilst nefarious footfalls on frosted floors sound suitably treacherous.
Additionally, the sound treatment for the Cybermen voice is genius. Probably, the best rationalisation of these aliens ever, with annunciation crystal-clear and vocal articulation enviously pure courtesy of BIG FINISH's Nicholas Briggs that removes the mildly comical twang of the television versions (past and present) that made them sound like a something from The Buggles' 1976 song, "Video killed the radio star".
If I haven't persuaded to buy - or borrow from a library - DOCTOR WHO AND THE TOMB OF THE CYBERMEN already then I can do no more.
Remarkably astute in its vision, gloriously crafted by AUDIOGO, an intelligent and thrilling novel, this release will stand head and shoulders and ear-pieces above the rest, setting a benchmark for future unabridged TARGET novelisations.
Truly, it is aspirational.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Curse of the Cybermen's Tomb,
Whatever happened to the Cybermen? Once they were the scourge of the Galaxy, but then they seemed to just disappear. In order to answer this question, a group of archeologists land on the planet Telos, reputed to be the last resting place of the silver giants. However, there are some in their party who have more sinister motives. And are the Cybermen really dead? Or are they merely sleeping and awaiting the signal to rise again?
Landing on the planet at the same time, The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria find themselves in mortal danger as the Cybermen begin to awake .....
Gerry Davis' novelisation of the 1967 TV script was published by Target books in 1978. It's a faithful adaptation of the original story, sticking closely to the original source material.
Michael Kilgarriff, who played the Cyber Controller in the original TV production of Tomb, is the reader. Amongst his other talents, Kilgarriff is a vastly experienced voice actor, which makes this reading very enjoyable.
When he played the Cyber Controller in 1967, he didn't do the voice - Peter Hawkins did. It's therefore slightly ironic that some 45 years later he's still not able to, as this time Nicholas Briggs provides the Cyber voices.
After the disappointment of Earthshock which had the wrong type of Cyber voices, it's good to find that on this audiobook Nicholas Briggs produces a good approximation of the authentic Tomb Cyberman. This really does help to create the atmosphere, as although the Cybermen don't say an awful lot, what they do say sounds so much better with the weird buzzing monotone delivery as heard on the TV broadcast - "You belong to uzzzzzz".
Tomb of the Cybermen is a great reading of a classic Doctor Who tale.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tomb of the Cybermen,
The Tomb of the Cybermen is one of those classic stories, that seem to evoke memories - memories of the first time you saw the awesome power of the Cybermen, little knowing how formidable they would evolve into being over the years in more stories with more Doctors. While the Cybermen had appeared in Doctor Who before (The Tenth Planet, with the First Doctor in 1966, and The Moonbase, with the Second Doctor in 1967), this, I think is the first time the audience gets to see just how organised, widespread and frightening the Cybermen are, given their clear organisational skills and strategies for domination. These are not just random aliens, they're an entire civilisation. And they seem to be everywhere.
This reading is of the novelisation (by Gerry Davis) of this story from late 1967, which features the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton) with his companions Jamie, and Victoria Waterfield in only her second story after being rescued by the Doctor from the Daleks who killed her father in Victorian England. To start with, she seems a reserved and proper Victorian miss, but even in the development of this story, she shows an intelligence and a backbone that will stand her in good stead in future stories.
The Doctor and his crew land in the Tardis on a planet, which they learn when encountering a team of archaeologists and others is Telos, the home of the Cybermen, who apparently died out some centuries earlier. But the Doctor, clearly to us, is suspicious from the start, and when access to the Cybermen's tombs is clearly based on advanced human scientific and mathematical knowledge, the Doctor is convinced that a trap is about to be sprung. But unfortunately for everyone involved on Telos, there are more schemes and more plots hatching than even the Doctor may suspect.
Given that this is only a four episode story, there's a lot going on. There's the expedition with their mix of different professions and the ship's crew, intent on remaining alive long enough to get off Telos, and the Doctor with his friends. And then there are the Cybermen, with their Cybermats. What do the Cybermen intend, and will the Doctor be able to stop them and the others with evil on their mind from unleashing a potentially unstoppable horror on the universe?
This narration of the story is read by Michael Kilgarriff, who played the Cyber Controller in the originally televised story. Given that he's now in his mid-70s, his voice is strong and vibrant; you can imagine him as a man of presence, which would fit with his playing a larger than life character in 1967. It may seem a strange choice for narrator, but believe me it really works. His voice and his reading are spot on for this story; methodical and clear, and wonderfully emotive where required; even his rendering of Victoria and the mysterious Kaftan are absolutely convincing. The Cyber voices are done by Nicholas Briggs.
This is a great story, and it's great to hear it in its novelised form and in this really great reading. I absolutely thoroughly enjoyed this from beginning to end, and look forward to listening to it again and again.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth digging up,
Tomb of the Cybermen is considered by many to be one of the classic stories of the original run of Doctor Who. The book - a novelisation from 1978 - comes to audio courtesy of a dramatic and entertaining reading by the Cyber Controller himself, Michael Kilgariff.
From the start, the reader draws the listener in with one of the best readings in Audio Go's recent titles. Clear and easy to follow, Kilgariff also acts many of the characters and whilst avoiding an attempt to copy Troughton's Doctor, the characters are all distinct and Viner in particular sounds as though the late Cyril Shaps was present.
There has been some disappointment in other Cyber novels that the voices all sounded too much like the 2000's version of the silver giants. Here Nick Briggs delivers a very similar intonation to the original TV versions.
For once, the sound effects are kept in their rightful place - as background tonal soundscapes, and are much the better for it. The dripping water in the echoey tombs adds to the sense of tension as the Cybermen begin to unthaw. THe only slight disappointment is the ineffective "feet walking in cat litter" sounds to suggest people walking - where everyone from the petite Victoria to some of the Cybermen have the same monotonous tone. Also the producers are tempted to add sound where none is necessary and again we have text suggesting silent events that are accompanied with a sound effect!
These are very slight criticisms and I would rate this release as one of the very best of the range. I hope that Mr Kilgariff is invited back - Attack of the Cybermen would be a must - but any other adventure would be great. Michael offers a clear, effective reading of an enjoyable classic novel. Highly recommended!
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