Doctor Who Serial 037 – The Tomb of the Cybermen

Synopsis: After 500 years without Cybermen, an Earth expedition of archeologists finds their homeworld to find the Cybermen sleeping in wait.

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Hello, and welcome to The Patrick Troughton Years.

The Patrick Troughton years of Doctor Who are arguably the best. Troughton brought something very unique to the role, he brought comedy and clowning. Perhaps the greatest asset Troughton had in his time on Doctor Who was Frazer Hines. Hines played Scottish highlander Jamie McCrimmon for twenty stories, to give you some perspective, Patrick Troughton played The Doctor in twenty-one stories1. I cannot think of any companion who lasted as long as Jamie did, three years. 

The Doctor liked to hide how clever he was, and Jamie, a man from the 18th century was always out of his comfort zone, so Jamie believed The Doctor to be a bit dumb. Jamie thought The Doctor dumb, but trusted him implicitly.

That leaves the third companion; in this case Victoria. Victoria’s job was to remind them that at times the boys have to be serious. Oh, and to scream, she is a woman, after all.

The physical interactions between Jamie and The Doctor are gold, and they are what I feel properly defines The Doctor’s character and who he is, not just for his second incarnation, but for the remainder of the series. Pertwee, Baker, Tennant, and Smith all owe a great amount to Troughton. More so than Hartnell, I’d dare say.

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The Tomb of the Cybermen is a bit slow, and feels a bit padded. The archeologists of course are financed by someone who is opportunistic, he wants to use the Cybermen to gain control of Earth, he thinks that if he frees them from stasis, they will be grateful and help him. He’s wrong of course. The episode is too long, there are racist undertones2, the Cyberman voice is horrible, but overall, it’s a ridiculously enjoyable episode. The Doctor, Jamie, and Victoria all make for a great romp.

The Tomb of the Cybermen was believed lost until 1991 when it was returned to the BBC from Hong Kong.

  1. No, I’m not including The Three DoctorsThe Five Doctors, or The Two Doctors []
  2. Toberman being the big strong black man who can kick Cyberass []

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