Published on August 31st, 2010 | by James Whittington
Cybermen Box Set Reviewed
Cheques, Lies and Videotape â€“ Wohooo! The old BBC Video logo greets us at the start of this extra. I feel so old. This documentary written by Nicholas Pegg is an affectionate look at how hard it was way back in 1983 (the year Revenge Of The Cybermen became the first commercially released adventure) to watch classic Doctor Who and those of us who bought the incredibly expensive recorders and tapes at that time. Eventually hitting the piracy market that sprung up and how fans tried to get the older material this is a great documentary.
Photo Gallery â€“ This action packed collection of must-see shots is the highlight of this box-set. OK, sorry about that, this is another collection of pictures taken from the production of the story.
Info Text â€“ As reliable as ever this compendium of facts, stats and oddities is well worth investing time on.
PDF Materials â€“ Pop the disc into your PC and view the Radio Times Listings from when the serial was originally shown.
Coming Soon â€“ A (thankfully) short trailer for Time And The Rani.
The date is November 23rd 1988, Lady Peinforte and her loyal servant Richard have travelled from the year 1638 for this moment. Herr de Floresâ€™ dreams of establishing the Fourth Reich rest on this point of time. The Cybermen have also planned an invasion of Earth for this moment. The link? A statue, Nemesis, fashioned from validium â€“ the living metal first made by Rassilon on Gallifrey and capable of bestowing the power of life and death on any individual. Can the Doctor and Ace prevent its awesome power from falling into any of their evil hands?
Itâ€™s easy to knock this adventure as it had been designed specifically to shout aloud that this is the 25th Anniversary story. References abound and nods to the past pop up regularly and even the mystery to whom the Doctor really is is touched upon. But in the end the story is very slight, basically a game of cat and mouse between several different factions with the Cybermen coming off worse. Never have they been so out of place or less than effective. Sylv and Sophie were always a good team but the story lacks any real meat to it and in the end it really does appeal to hardcore fans.
Owners of the VHS edition from a few years back may be disappointed to know that the documentary that accompanied that release isnâ€™t here.
Commentary â€“ Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred are joined by Director Chris Clough and Script Editor Andrew Cartmel for a gag track that exudes humour and positivity. All contribute reams of information and are still chuckling right up until the end scenes. Just listen to the screams of embarrassment when the â€œeffects ladenâ€ ending happens.
Industrial Action â€“ clocking in at nearly 35 minutes long, this retrospective look at the making of Silver Nemesis is the usual high standard that weâ€™ve come to expect from these releases. Kevin Clarke, the scriptwriter gives away the best information but I wonâ€™t spoil it for you.
Deleted and Extended Scenes â€“ 23 minutes of extra material including the Doctorâ€™s love of music complete with Lois Armstrong impersonation.
Trails and Continuity â€“ A sumptuous collection of pieces from the era when it was originally shown. That old BBC logo was great wasnâ€™t it?
Photo Gallery â€“ Production shots taken during the making of this story coupled with the rather irritating score.
Audio â€“ You have three choices here, the normal stereo soundtrack, a 5.1 remix and the chance to listen to the score without any intrusion from the dialogue.
Info Text â€“ The usual textual information straplines deliver another collection of worthy pieces of information.
PDF Material â€“ Radio Times listings for those of you who want to see how this was billed when originally broadcast.
Coming Soon â€“ A rather poor trailer for the DVD release of Time and the Rani, ironic really.
So then another month another box-set that will divide opinion. You can see why Silver Nemesis has been coupled in as I doubt it would have shifted many copies by itself.
The Doctor Who: Cybermen DVD boxset is out now with an RRP of Â£29.99 – but you can order now from Amazon for just Â£17.93!