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Published on August 31st, 2010 | by James Whittington

5

Cybermen Box Set Reviewed

Doctor Who - Cybermen DVD BoxsetYet another box-set for fans to collect and it brings together two stories that are linked by a common theme, this time it’s (nearly) everyone’s second favourite bad guys, the Cybermen. Now then, one was made during the shows most credible run, the other when the series was battling to survive. Both have something to offer and reflect exactly how those in charge viewed the show and thought what us fans wanted to see.

Revenge Of The Cybermen

The Doctor, Sarah and Harry have landed on the Nerva Beacon, hoping to find the TARDIS waitng for them. Instead the intrepid trio find a space station in the grip of a deadly plague that has wiped out most f its crew. But the Doctor soon comes to suspect that the ‘plague’ is no natural illness – and that some of his oldest and most fearsome foes are behind it…

Seven years on since their appearance in The Invasion, this has the Cybermen at their stomping, domineering and hands placed firmly on their hips best. In fact they are quite butch here with the Cyberleader making a fine first appearance. Pitched just the right side of fun and traditional, Revenge Of The Cyberman highlights Tom Baker’s acting skill as he’s starting to hit his stride with the character and how he was gelling with the Ian Marter and Liz Sladen. Baker delivers his swipes with a straight face, no secret wink to the camera kind of comedy here.

SFX wise the story is sold short by the limitations of 1975 CSO. The make up effects for the Vogans too is slightly cheap looking; a shame as they are an effective alien. If you can get around these then there’s much to enjoy here.
Doctor Who - Silver Nemesis on DVD

Extras

Commentary – Actors Elisabeth Sladen and David Collings join Producer Philip Hinchcliffe for a jovial chat about this story. Now this is slightly stiff at times, not because of the quality of the information but just that Hinchcliffe is just so serious sounding. His disapproval of the music is a nice fact to learn though.

The Tin Man and the Witch – A smart but all too short documentary on the creation of this story. Director Michael E. Briant, Philip Hinchliffe and Barry Letts all contribute worthy anecdotes but I just wish they’d gotten hold of Tom Baker to add his recollections to it.

Location Report – A classic bit of research here with incoming Doctor Tom Baker being interviewed on location at Wookey Hole during the story’s shoot. An excellent if slightly cheesy piece that shows a young Tom at his most interesting and eccentric.

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About the Author

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James has been a Doctor Who fan for as long as he can recall. A child of the 70s and 80s, he weathered all the storms and controversies the show encountered, though he didn’t buy the “Doctor In Distress” single.




5 Responses to Cybermen Box Set Reviewed

  1. avatar Jez Noir says:

    I’ve always had a great deal of affection for these stories. The soundtrack is definitely the worst thing about Revenge. That Industrial Action doc was crazy – why did JNT let a man who knew nothing & cared nothing about Dr Who write the 25th anniversary story without even a good plot idea?! Still, fair play to Kevin Clarke for being so honest in the interview, the git.

  2. avatar jet simian says:

    I don’t know if 2Entertain or anyone else has indicated this at all, but there’s another link between the released stories in this set – Nemesis is the goddess of retribution or, if you will, Revenge!

  3. avatar Kronos71 says:

    It was great to see the feature about pre-video dr who, reminding me of what it was like in the days before you could easily watch Hartnell, Troughton, Pertwee et al.

    It is really bizzare to think back that as a 14/15 year old I was aware enough of viewing figures to have a real divided loyalty. Do I watch Dr Who in a vain attempt to boost the viewing figures (by 1!) and record Coronation Street, but then i could only watch Dr Who once. Or do I watch Corrie, and record Dr Who so that I could watch again, but therefore risking the already pathetic viewing figures to drop even more. Agh, the pressures of being a teenager!

    I am not going to say which way my loyalty went!

  4. avatar Carn says:

    I can remember shouting at my folks cos i wanted to watch doctor who but they wanted coronation street and we didn’t own a vcr then. god damn the theme to that show always makes me wanna stab myself in the ears even to this day. Oh well, at least the end of The Bill means I have no reason left to ever switch to ITV1 these days.

  5. avatar Byron says:

    Both of these stories are often slighted but I still enjoy them. Even the least of Hinchcliffe-era Who can decimate much of what came after.

    Silver Nemesis isn’t the greatest but it looks like a masterpiece compared to anything from McCoy’s first season. Lady Peinforte is OTT but McCoy has settled into his role nicely and continues the ‘mysterious’ Doctor angle of his later stories.

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