A classic though it is not, Revenge of the Cybermen
will always hold a special place in my affection’s, as it was one of the first stories I bought on VHS. The first Cyberman story that I can vividly recall seeing was Earthshock
, which was the first story to feature the new design Cyber costumes, so it was lovely to see an earlier design, although I was immediately struck by how ridiculous their costumes looked, especially as they seem to be wearing flares!
It has to be said that the majority of Gerry Davis's script is fairly dull and lacks the action and pace of Earthshock
, the storyline is also flawed. If the Cybermen merely wished to destroy Voga, why then did they not simply fire a missile at it? Why go to all the trouble of slaughtering the beacons crew and forcing the survivors to transport bombs to the surface? If the reclusive Vogan’s with their limited resources could build a rocket, I’m sure the Cybermen could.
The location work for Revenge of the Cybermen was very particularly effective and contrasted nicely with the sterile, brightly lit sets of Nerva Beacon, the rocky passageways and underwater river provided a wonderfully authentic feel, a far cry from the disappointing studio caves created for The Silurians.
The Cybermen themselves are badly portrayed in this story and have lost much of their inherent menace, far from being frightening; they come across as rather comical. Christopher Robbie’s performance as the Cyberleader is particularly amusing, uncharacteristically displaying a wide range of emotions, such as anger, pride, and even demonstrates an understanding of irony, as well as swaggering around with his hands on his hips in a rather camp fashion and delivering his lines in what sounds curiously like an American accent.
All told, Revenge of the Cybermen
was a disappointing return for the silver giants; the plot is woefully thin and lacking in action; and aside from some nice location work and Tom's characteristically strong performance, the story fails to entertain.
Rating: 2 Tom's out of 5