Production Code: 6T
1 - 05/01/1985 17:20
2 - 12/01/1985 17:20
The TARDIS is lured to Earth in 1985 by a distress call sent by Lytton, who has made contact with a group of Cybermen based in London's sewers. The Doctor and Peri are then captured and forced to take Lytton and the Cybermen in the TARDIS to the Cybermen's home planet Telos. The Cybermen have stolen a time vessel from another race and plan to change history by crashing Halley's Comet into Earth and obliterating it before it can bring about the demise of their original home world, Mondas, in 1986.
Lytton is, however, a double agent employed by the Cryons - a species native to Telos. His mission is to capture the stolen time vessel, but he fails and is partially converted into a Cyberman. The Doctor is unable to save him, but manages to kill the Cyber Controller. The Cryon leader Flast sacrifices her own life and a huge explosion completely destroys the tombs.
The Doctor, Peri and an undercover detective named Russell enter the TARDIS, only to find that the Cybermen have got there before them. The Cyber Leader enters the ship and orders that Peri be destroyed at once. Peri screams.
The Doctor and Peri leave in the TARDIS. The Doctor feels that things haven't gone very well and, despite reassurance from Peri, reflects: 'I don't think I've ever misjudged anybody quite as badly as I did Lytton.'
The bank robbery subplot is drawn from the productions of Euston Films.
There are visual and musical references to Steptoe and Son.
The Doctor : "The TARDIS, when working properly, is capable of many amazing things. Not unlike myself."
Russell : "Who are you?"
The Doctor : "I've already told you. I am known as the Doctor. I'm also a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous."
Russell : "You're bonkers."
The Doctor : "That's debatable."
Peri : "What is that terrible smell?"
Lytton : "Death."
Griffiths : "Trust him to cheer everyone up."
Peri : "What do you mean, death?"
Lytton : "The sour, rank odour of death is unmistakable."
Lytton : "I can understand why they call them 'tombs'."
The Doctor : "You can't use that thing - it's obscene!"
The Doctor wants to repair the TARDIS chameleon circuit, and seems to get it working for a while. The TARDIS appears as a stove, a playable organ, and a tomb-like doorway. If the TARDIS shell were ever punctured the occupants would find themselves trying to breathe in a vacuum. The TARDIS arrives at I.M. Foreman, 76 Totter's Lane, some years after the events of An Unearthly Child. The Doctor is able to set the TARDIS to self destruct.
It is implied that the Time Lords have engineered the Doctor into position so that the web of time might be protected from the Cybermen. These Cybermen are much weaker than those previously seen: they are vulnerable to bullets, feel the effects of the Doctor's sonic lance, and lose their heads rather easily. There are black ['stealth'] Cybermen in the sewers [left overs from The Invasion]. The Cybermen already in the tombs are identical to those that are rescuing them (and virtually identical to those of Earthshock) [and therefore one can only speculate that the Cybermen left in the tombs (and those in the sewers) have kept pace with developments. The tombs themselves seem to have evolved, too.
Therefore, and also because the Cyber Controller remembers the Doctor, the tomb sequences must take place after those of The Tomb of the Cybermen, and the sequences in 1985 feature Cybermen who have travelled through time in their 'borrowed' time machine]. The Cybermen can detect time disturbances. The origin of the time machine they use is not specified, although it takes three people to operate it.
The process that turns people into Cybermen is not always successful, and in addition to cybernetic 'enhancements' the process involves drugs. Diamonds are common on Telos.
As in Resurrection of the Daleks, Lytton's two accompanying 'policemen' are shown, watching over his transmitting station. Lytton himself says that he comes from a satellite of Vita 15 (Riften 5) in the star system 690 (and not, as he told Griffiths, Fulham).
London, 1985; Telos [in the future].
Faith Brown, better known as an impressionist and entertainer, plays the Cryon leader Flast.
Children's television presenter Sarah Greene plays Varne, one of the Cryons.
Former wrestler Brian Glover, well known as the voice of the 'Tetley Tea Folk' in television commercials, plays Griffiths.
Terry Molloy, better known to Doctor Who fans as the third actor to play Davros and to the general public as Mike Tucker in the BBC radio serial The Archers, appears here as Russell.
The TARDIS changes its exterior shape for the first time in the series' history. It takes on the appearance of a cupboard, then a pipe organ and then an ornamental gateway before reverting back to its normal police box shape.
This story was written by Eric Saward and fan Ian Levine under a pseudonym. (It wasn't, although Paula Moore is indeed a pseudonym, for Paula Woolsey. Several plot ideas were initially suggested by Levine however and, due to Moore's complete inexperience as a writer, Saward played a significant part in development and rewriting.)
This story replaced one called The Opera of Doom featuring Lightfoot and Jago, Padmasambhava, Omega, the Master, the Rills and the Cybermen. (This was a rumour deliberately started by fans and printed as fact in the news magazine DWB.)
The Cyber Controller has a bit of a tummy on him.
The Cyberman guarding the Doctor and Flast tries to extinguish his flaming arm by batting it with his gun.
The Cyberman's head that the Doctor investigates, searching for the distress signal, contains no organic parts [although it does at least have a silver chin, a nice piece of continuity].
When Lytton stabs the Cyber Controller some of the green fluid squirts onto the camera lens.
Towards the end, when a Cyberman realises that Cyber Control is soon going to blow up, he makes 'leg it' motions to his companion.
Why does the Doctor berate himself for misjudging Lytton when they didn't even meet in Resurrection of the Daleks? [An untelevised adventure, perhaps?] (And is he really that nice anyway?)
Why is Lytton's distress signal still transmitting some months after the Cryons have made contact? (How do they do this, given that they are in the future?)
How was Lytton able to build a sophisticted communications system with 1985 components?
Why does Lytton abduct Griffiths when he could have taken his policemen with him?
How can you turn a comet (a large snowball) into a bomb?
Why do the Cybermen want to destroy the surface of Telos?
Why do they leave the Doctor in a room full of explosives?
There's at least one Cyberman left in the TARDIS.
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Colin Baker
Peri - Nicola Bryant
Bates - Michael Attwell
Bill - Stephen Churchett
Cyber Controller - Michael Kilgarriff
Cyber Leader - David Banks
Cyber Lieutenant - Brian Orrell
Cyberman - John Ainley
David - Stephen Wale
Flast - Faith Brown
Griffiths - Brian Glover
Lytton - Maurice Colbourne
Payne - James Beckett
Rost - Sarah Berger
Russell - Terry Molloy
Stratton - Jonathon David
Threst - Esther Freud
Varne - Sarah Greene
Director - Matthew Robinson