Home : Archive : TSV 1-10 : TSV 7 : Review

Revenge of the Cybermen

Video review by Michael Mayo

Why the BBC chose this story as their first video release, I'll never know. Maybe it was about the time that Earthshock had just screened in England, and because of the immense popularity of that epic, the Beeb decided to release the only other fully existing Cybermen story, alias Revenge of the Cybermen. Anyway I didn't locate any cuts that had been made except for the obvious ones, such as the start of episode recaps, and the part of the title sequence that says 'Part One'. As usual, Sarah and Harry played by Elizabeth Sladen and Ian Marter worked together terribly well, which is why they are described as the best Doctor/companion team yet.

Being made as four 25-minute episodes, I found that the story tended to plod in places despite all the action. So by the beginning of the fourth episode I began to get bored and ask questions. Like how could Harry and Kellman, who are a couple of hours behind the Doctor and two others in the Vogan caves, take an alternative route and catch up with the Time Lord and arrive in the exact cave where the Doctor is resting? How could the Vogans survive on the surface of the planet considering there is no water, not to mention underground? And then the Cyberleader states that two bombs will blow Voga to fragments, so one goes off next to two Cybermen, killing them, but would their bodies still be in one piece? What about the radar equipment the unfortunate Cybermen had been carrying? Surely that would have been destroyed, or at least damaged, but it was unharmed. Also the pull of gravity would be so great at the centre of Voga, that there shouldn't be any caves there at all. Just to finish moaning, at the end the story the Doctor opens the TARDIS door, and we see quite plainly a bundle of computer paper tape inside the black interior of the police box exterior. The door closes after the Doctor goes in, then he comes out again with the tape saying that he got it from the TARDIS console room! That shot of the tape behind the doors should have been cut back in 1975 when it was filmed and was probably only kept in the video version because if they cut it, we wouldn't see Tom Baker enter the TARDIS.

I must say, Revenge of the Cybermen is not exactly the perfect choice for a video release. If they had to bring it out, they should have chopped it down to 60 minutes instead of The Brain of Morbius video, or alternately, they should have waited a few years and brought out Earthshock.

This item appeared in TSV 7 (May 1988).

Index nodes: Revenge of the Cybermen