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Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited

June 10, 2019

Science fiction teaches us not to bother. Don’t investigate that derelict spaceship. Don’t try to figure out what “soylent green” is, because figuring stuff out only causes trouble. Sure, there are wonderful discoveries to be made, but sometimes it’s important for buried secrets to remain hidden, deep in the ground.

[[nid:5264]]Of course, if no one bothered there would be no stories, and that wouldn’t do, especially if it meant being denied a chance to enjoy the excellent “Tomb of the Cybermen”, the second Doctor's entry in the Doctor's Revisited collection. When the TARDIS arrives on the planet Telos the Doctor (Patrick Troughton) and his companions Jamie (Frazier Hines) and Victoria (Deborah Watling) encounter an archaeological expedition in search of the lost tomb of the Cybermen. 
The opening scenes, shot on film at a quarry outside London, have a documentary feel that evokes Night of the Living Dead. That feeling of dread becomes all-encompassing as the expedition's true intentions are revealed: the resurrection of the Cybermen. 

The resurrection is the most engrossing scene in the entire story. The Cybermen emerge from their frozen stasis in pods arranged along a structure similar to a hive. Robot arms press through plastic seals emblazoned with hieroglyphics. This insect-like birth is disturbing, but it's also a marvel of special effects, no small feat for a show known for its shoestring budget and less than convincing visuals. The black and white broadcast is particularly suited to the Cybermen, their metal casing and empty eyes appearing much more sinister in the stark contrast.
These early tales from the Doctor's storied history are the perfect companion for a Summer Challenge focused on space. 

Comic book panel of man expressing horror avatar


Jeremy Estes has worked for Nashville Public Library since 2008. He loves comic books and dislikes the term “graphic novels”. He hosts Panel Discussion, a comics book club for adults, on the first Wednesday of the month at 12pm at the Main Library.