on 4 October 2013
This collector's package contains the two stories "The Tomb of the Cybermen" and "The Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel", and is part of a new collection of DVD packages with each package showcasing one classic adventure and one recent adventure featuring some of the show's most popular monsters and villains.
The four-part "Tomb" from 1967 still stands up very well to this day. Riddled with what now be thought of as racial stereotypes and bombarded with clichés, it's one of Patrick Troughton's best adventures and certainly the best out of all his surviving ones (although The Mind Robber and The War Games do come quite close). Iconic images are everywhere; the Cybermen symbol used within the story is massively recognised by Who fans. Several of the actors give great performances, Roy Stewart (although the racial stereotype thing has been mentioned) is suitably intimidating and equally so is Michael Kilgarriff, who turns in a sinister performance as the Cybercontroller without really having to do very much at all. Captain Hopper is very much a prototype of Captain Jack.
From 2006 comes the two-part adventure "Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel". This re-visits the idea of having a parallel world in Doctor Who, something which had really only been tried on the screen once before back in the very early 70's. Rose discovers her alternate-world dad, Mickey discovers his alternate-world self and the Doctor faces an alternate-world threat. This seems to act as a reboot for those who were new to the series and had never heard of the Cybermen before. Roger Lloyd-Pack's performance has been criticized in reviews, but it doesn't spoil the story. More infuriating is Andrew Hayden-Smith's performance as "freedom fighter" Jake Simmonds. Also nice to see the connections between this story and old Doctor Who, as Colin Spaull guest stars and Graeme Harper directs, both of "Revelation" fame.
Chances are you've seen these stories before and know everything I've just typed, in which case you'll know what great stories they are and I will have wasted my time. If, by some odd chance, you've never come across them, where have you been? Here's the time to watch them! Two great stories, no extras, but one heck of a good price.
on 12 July 2014
Next to the Daleks, the Cybermen, originally created by Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis, have become renowned in popular culture as one of the Doctor's most terrifying and recurring foes. A recurring threat since the classic series' fourth season serial, 'The Tenth Planet', the first Cybermen hailed from Earth's twin planet Mondas, and attempted to make humanity into their cloth-faced image, with William Hartnell's First Doctor ultimately defeating them alongside companions Ben and Polly moments before his first regeneration into Patrick Troughton's Second Doctor. Subsequent appearances would show an evolving species of changing cybernetic strengths and weaknesses, alongside attempted invasions, all thwarted by the Doctor in his many incarnations up until the classic series' cancellation. These Mondasian Cybermen were also featured within the BBC/Big Finish Audio-books throughout the years when Paul McGann took the reins as the Doctor's Eighth incarnation, up until the series revival in the mid 00's.
When the Doctor Who television franchise was revived by Russell T Davies in 2005, it was only a matter of time until the Cybermen were to make a much-anticipated on-screen return. This ultimately came during David Tennant's tenure as the Tenth Doctor, when an accidental crash-landing on a parallel Earth saw a re-imagining of the Cybermen's origin, when the brilliantly intelligent madman John Lumic attempted to cheat death by creating copyrighted chemicals that would preserve the brain inside a cybernetic metal suit of armour. These Cybermen from a parallel universe (later deemed 'Pete's World') have been referred to as the Cybus Cybermen by the Whovian community, in order to distinguish them from their Mondasian counterparts from the Classic Series. Throughout the New Series, the Cybus Cybermen have sporadically returned, both in television and within prose novels/comic form, and they have now been clearly cemented within Doctor Who lore. It has now been suggested that both species of Cybermen, the Mondasian originals and their parallel counterparts, somehow shared technology and interbred through time travel and other means to become a major force well into the distant future of the Whoniverse, with both versions of Cybermen being virtually indistinguishable from each other, save the Cybus logo that is branded onto John Lumic's creations. Furthermore, with the New Series Season Eight episode, 'Nightmare in Silver', being recently broadcasted, a new upgraded version of Cybersuit has been revealed, with a supposed mixing of Mondasian and Cybus origin.
This 'Cyberman' entry within the Doctor Who 'Monster Collection' series of DVDs contains two stories on one disc, one from the Classic Series and another from the New Series, which shows the progression of the Cybermen over nearly fifty years of Doctor Who's televised history. Released in 2013 and distributed by BBC Worldwide Ltd/2entertain for the Region 2 market, the two stories amount to a feature-length running time of 192 minutes (just over three hours), with the option of choosing audio navigation and episode selection on the menu screen, as well as optional subtitles for the English hard-of-hearing.
The two stories are as follows:
* 'The Tomb of the Cybermen' - First Shown from 2nd - 23rd September 1967, and broadcast in black-and-white format, this Classic adventure stars Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor, with companions Jamie and Victoria landing on the planet Telos. There, they encounter an archaeological expedition, who are searching for the last remnants of the Cyberman legions, who have been cryogenically suspended for the last five hundred years. They subsequently become embroiled in a trap laid by the Cybermen themselves, who have been waiting for humanoids with superior minds to free them from their ice tombs and invade the Earth to expand their empire. The Brotherhood of Logicians attempt to make an alliance with their Cyber-Controller. However, things don't go as they planned, and it is up to the Doctor and his companions to seal the Cybermen back into their icy tombs forever.
* 'Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel' - This New Series Second Season two-parter, first shown on BBC One from 13th - 20th May 2006, sees the Tenth Doctor, portrayed by David Tennant, alongside his companions Rose Tyler and Mickey Smith, landing on a parallel version of London after falling out of the time vortex. With a nod to the Big Finish Audio Adventure, 'Spare Parts' (written by Marc Platt), this story shows the creation of the Cybus Cybermen on a parallel Earth, later deemed 'Pete's World' by the Whovian community, which results in the forced upgrading of London's population into Cybermen. With this new threat looming, Rose also faces an emotional turmoil when she encounters a parallel counterpart of her father, who is alive and well and a self-made millionaire, attempting to bring down John Lumic, the mad power-hungry businessman behind Cybus industries, from the inside, alongside the vigilante group known as the Preachers.
With no bonus material, these two stories pretty much make up the entirety of this release, which is the same as with all other entries within the 'Monster Collection' series of DVDs. Of course, it would have been nice to have some extra materials to bulk up the release, at least some history on the Cybermen themselves, but this does not ruin the viewing experience at all. Besides, there are plenty of extra bonus material pertaining to the stories themselves on their specific DVD releases.
'Tomb of the Cybermen' has been released within the Classic Who series of DVDs by BBC Worldwide/2entertain on both Region 1 and 2 formats, with plenty of extras included therein, including a commentary on the serial itself, production note subtitles, and other notable featurettes. Additionally, it has also been released in audio form as a television soundtrack with linking narration by Frazer Hines, who played Jamie in the serial, and within the series of classic serial target novelisations.
The other aforementioned two-parter adventure, 'Rise of the Cybermen' and 'The Age of Steel', has been released as a vanilla DVD, making up the series of single DVD releases, and within the New Series Season Two box-set. Additionally, it has also been included within 'The Cybermen Collection', a box-set distributed in 2009 within the Region 2 market, which contains specific episodes relating to the Cybus Cybermen within Season Two of the Revived Series
All in all, the Cybermen entry within the 'Monster Collection' series of DVDs shows how the Cybermen and their designs have changed over Doctor Who's long history, and gives a small glimpse into the ever-expanding Whoniverse, which the Cybermen have been well cemented into from their humble origins on Earth's twin planet Mondas. If the Cybermen's progression is something that interests you, it is also well worth looking at the aforementioned two-disc 'Cybermen Collection', and exploring the classic serials distributed via DVD that feature the Cybermen from 'The Tenth Planet' onwards.
on 24 April 2013
The Tenth Planet: The South Pole, 1986 and the Doctor regenerates after his first battle with the Cybermen.
Part 1: Landing at the South Pole the travellers find a new planet is disrupting a space shot.
Part 2: Earth's energy is being drained away by the new planet, Mondas, and faces destruction...
Part 3: To stop the Cybermen and the energy drain, General Cutler prepares to launch the Z-bomb.
Part 4: The Cybermen are defeated and back in the TARDIS, the worn out Doctor regenerates...
08 - 29 Oct 1966
The Moonbase: The Doctor and his companions arrive on Earth's moon in 2070 but the Cybermen are waiting!
Part 1: The TARDIS lands on the Moon in 2070 and Jamie is injured during a spacewalk.
Part 2: Polly learns that the Cyberman are abducting the plague victims, but nobody believes her.
Part 3: The Cybermen have taken over the moonbase and are preparing to control Earth's weather...
Part 4: The Moonbase is cut off from Earth and under siege by the Cybermen...
11 Feb - 04 Mar 1967
The Tomb of the Cybermen: The TARDIS takes the Doctor, Jamie and new companion, Victoria to the world of Telos.
Part 1: The Doctor meets some archaeologists investigating the Cybertombs on the planet Telos.
Part 2: Professor Parry and his team begin to unlock the secrets of the Cybermen's tomb
Part 3: The tombs are a trap. The Cybermen have risen from their centuries long slumber.
Part 4: The Cybermen have left their icy tombs, planning to turn everyone into Cybermen.
02 - 23 Sep 1967
The Wheel in Space: The TARDIS lands on a small spaceship where the Doctor is attacked by a Servo Robot.
Part 1: The Doctor and Jamie are forced to abandon the TARDIS when the mercury fluid link breaks.
Part 2: The Doctor and Jamie are rescued and taken aboard the Wheel but Jamie sabotages the laser.
Part 3: Cybermats eat the Wheel's bernalium supply, forcing the crew to board the Silver Carrier.
Part 4: The station is in danger of being destroyed by the approaching meteor storm.
Part 5: The Cybermen reveal their plans to invade Earth, using the Wheel as a guiding beacon.
Part 6: The Doctor and the crew of the Wheel battle against the invading Cybermen.
27 May - 01 Jun 1968
The Invasion: The travellers land in London where they help find computer scientist Professor Watkins.
Part 1: The TARDIS lands in London and the travellers agree to help find Professor Watkins.
Part 2: The Brigadier confirms there is something suspicious about International Electromatics.
Part 3: The Doctor and Jamie are taken prisoner by Vaughn who denies abducting Zoe and Isobel.
Part 4: Trapped by Vaughn's men, the Doctor requests help from UNIT. But what's in the cocoon?
Part 5: The Cybermen are planning to immobilise Earth's population and Vaughn is helping them.
02 Nov - 21 Dec 1968
Revenge of the Cybermen: The time ring returns the Doctor, Sarah and Harry to space station Nerva.
Part 1: The Doctor, Sarah and Harry return to Nerva and find a deadly mystery...
Part 2: Sarah is a victim of the plague and the only cure is to transmat her down to Voga.
Part 3: Nerva Beacon is invaded by the Cybermen who are intent on destroying Voga.
Part 4: The Cybermen intend to crash the bomb-laden Nerva Beacon into Voga.
19 Apr - 10 May 1975
Earthshock: On Earth the Doctor discovers a bomb powerful enough to destroy the whole planet.
Part 1: Deadly androids are protecting a bomb buried beneath the Earth.
Part 2: With her crew slowly vanishing, Briggs assumes the Doctor to be the guilty party.
Part 3: The Cybermen are released from their silos and are on the march.
Part 4: The Doctor realises the freighter is now a huge bomb, with one passenger still aboard...
08 - 16 Mar 1982
The Five Doctors: Who is taking the Doctor out of time and placing him in the Death Zone on Gallifrey?
25 Nov 1983
Attack of the Cybermen: The Cybermen plan to destroy Earth before their original planet, Mondas, is destroyed.
Part 1: The Cybermen are in the London sewers and turning humans into cybernetic slaves.
Part 2: On Telos, the Doctor meets the Cryons, the planet's original inhabitants.
1 - 15 Jan 1985
Silver Nemesis: Cybermen, neo-Nazis and time travellers all want to control the Nemesis Statue.
Part 1: Neo-Nazis are seeking the Nemesis Statue - as are Cybermen and Lady Peinforte.
Part 2: The Cybermen have the Nemesis Statue but Lady Peinforte and Richard fight back.
Part 3: The Nemesis Statue is alive and claims it has secrets to reveal...
23 Nov - 07 Dec 1988