Yet another box-set for fans to collect and it brings together two stories that are linked by a common theme, this time itâ€™s (nearly) everyoneâ€™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 â€˜plagueâ€™ is no natural illness â€“ and that some of his oldest and most fearsome foes are behind itâ€¦
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 Bakerâ€™s acting skill as heâ€™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 thereâ€™s much to enjoy here.
Commentary â€“ 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 â€“ 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 theyâ€™d gotten hold of Tom Baker to add his recollections to it.
Location Report â€“ A classic bit of research here with incoming Doctor Tom Baker being interviewed on location at Wookey Hole during the storyâ€™s shoot. An excellent if slightly cheesy piece that shows a young Tom at his most interesting and eccentric.