Sunday, 15 December 2013

The Monster Collection - The Cybermen

With their debut in 1966 opposite William Hartnell, the Cybermen have appeared in 17 televised story lines, and have proven that a good old fashioned cyborg can be just as intimidating as any quantum locked statue.  Being an avid fan of the angels, this is said with complete respect to both monsters and illustrating the test of time the cybers have stood for nearly five decades.  As it was so eloquently put, the angels (usually) kill you nicely by letting you live to death, while the Cybermen actually take you apart and put a casing around what they want to keep so their technology can go on working.

In this set, we have the four part serial Tomb of the Cybermen featuring Patrick Troughton and Rise of the Cybermen/Age of Steel from series 2 featuring David Tennant.  I like this pairing because it was a bit different from the others I've previously viewed.  Instead of the classic story being the villain's first, the Doctor had already encountered the Cybermen twice before.  He and his current companion Jamie, a Scottish bloke complete with a kilt, responded to the news of Cybermen with a sort of dread, instead of the pure curiosity that could be seen in the first Silurian special with Pertwee, or the Daleks' with Hartnell.

The Tomb of the Cybermen-

The Doctor, Jamie, and Victoria, a girl just rescued from a conflict with the Daleks, land on the planet Telos where there are archaeologists all searching for a Cyberman tomb.  Once inside the tomb, various rooms and cyber technology are discovered and it's revealed that some of the group's members aren't there for the simple reason of a discovery.
When the Cybermen are awakened from a honeycomb like structure in the depths of the tomb, we hear of their plan to take over the humans and live again out in the open.
The first appearance of the Cybermats is in this set of episodes and proves to be a real treat for people who have only seen them in current Who.  They've proven to me that potato shaped metal slugs with antennas and eyes, are surprisingly effective at being a startling foe when it can jump and make a high pitched sound as it rolls towards you.
Overall, I found this story exciting, intriguing, and one that I would watch again without much contemplation.

Rise of the Cybermen/Age of Steel-

After Mickey joins Rose and the Doctor on the TARDIS, they land in an alternate time line pocket universe where the TARDIS is unable to fly.  Trapped here, they find Jackie and Pete Tyler, both still alive and in good health, as well as Mickey's grandmother who had already died in the real time stream.
 With regular downloads into the headsets the humans have willingly begun to wear, we see an all too familiar fear recognized that maybe the new technology has a second purpose to the one we know.  Things get complicated when duplicates or lack there of, of our main characters surface and Rose's urge to connect with her fake dad is strengthened against the Doctor's advice.  Factories full of cyber converting equipment are explored and the modern day insight into the gruesome process that is a full cyberconversion makes for a chilling and worth-the-wait instalment into the recurring monsters' storyline.

One more thing I must say about The Tomb of the Cybermen is this- There's one scene in particular between the Doctor and Victoria that came off particularly heart warming.  The discussion of the loved ones they've lost, and how they miss them or only think of them occasionally was beautiful, and one of the first glimpses I've seen of a classic Doctor showing the same introspective side we see occasionally with those in current Who.

The collection is a good one, but as always I wish it had been a bit more extensive.  With only two story lines it left me wanting more, but in its own way, I suppose that was the general idea.

To purchase the set click- Here

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