Revenge of the Cybermen

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Revenge of the Cybermen

Postby John on November 5th, 2009, 1:19 pm

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
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Last edited by John on December 17th, 2009, 5:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Revenge of the Cybermen

Postby bcm77 on November 5th, 2009, 6:53 pm

I've only seen this once on Youtube before the BBC stopped people putting Doctor Who stories on there and thought it was OK, not the greatest story of Tom's run but the setting looked good and Tom was as watchable as always.

I hope it gets a region 2 DVD release soon so I can have another look at it in better quality as the Youtube video I saw wasn't the best transfer.
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Re: Revenge of the Cybermen

Postby Captain Rum on November 5th, 2009, 11:39 pm

Wasn't it the first story to be released on VHS? In about '83?? I've got a copy of it and that's the date it has on there, it still looks and sounds great through my nicam video and when it does come out onto dvd it will look amazing. I liked the story, solid and Cybermen were always my faves.
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Re: Revenge of the Cybermen

Postby John on November 6th, 2009, 12:14 am

Yeah, that's right! I wonder why they picked that one?

It's actually a guilty pleasure of mine. Much as I cringe at some of the scenes, I can't help loving it. It's certainly no masterpiece, but what the hell...it's no worse than Meglos! (Which I'm also rather fond of).

Christopher Robbie is the just the greatest Cyberleader of all time! You can almost hear him saying "Curses...foiled again!"
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Re: Revenge of the Cybermen

Postby Toothy Grin on April 7th, 2010, 11:26 am

Revenge of the Cybermen is actually a lot better than it's reputation. It's as solidly made as the rest of season 12, the sets for Voga and the Vogan costumes being well up to standard, the acting is fine, the Cybermen come across as very powerful and menacing and it's nice to see the Cybermats again. Tom is outstanding in this, I actually think it's one of his finest ever performances, and the location filming in Wookey Hole is atmospheric and exciting. I think the only thing that really lets it down is the incidental music, which is dreadful. Carey Blyton's music is truly bizarre - a tuneless barage of honking horns, random toots and whistles and plonking xylophones that just ruin the atmosphere and prove very distracting indeed. His score for Death to the Daleks was just as bad and has the same negative impact on that story. I think if Dudley Simpson had scored this instead, the story would be much more well regarded. The only other negative aspect is the Cyberleader, with his sith-afrikan accent and emotive body language - hands on hips, strutting around - aren't Cybermen supposed to be emotionless?
So aside from those two drawbacks, Revenge is a pretty decent story.
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