Doctor Who: 10 Things You Might Not Know About THE TOMB OF THE CYBERMEN - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Doctor Who: 10 Things You Might Not Know About THE TOMB OF THE CYBERMEN

Mercy! Just look at this place!

1. Peter Bryant, who had previously worked as associate producer on Doctor Who and assistant to the previous script editor Gerry Davis (plus succeeding him as script editor on the preceding story, The Evil Of The Daleks), was offered the chance to produce a serial in order to prove that he could take over from Innes Lloyd as, what would be the fourth, producer of Doctor Who.

In March 1967, Bryant was temporarily appointed to producer to oversee what would be Serial MM of Doctor Who, and the adventure to be produced as the last story of season 4's recording block. As the first two Cyberman stories, The Tenth Planet and The Moonbase, had proved popular with viewers, before production had wrapped on the latter plans were already afoot for a third serial involving the Cybermen. It was simply a case of when and not if the Cybermen would return. Seeing this as the perfect opportunity to bring the silver giants back, Bryant commissioned Cybermen co-creator, Kit Pedler, to write a new adventure set on Telos. Gerry Davis, who had devised the Cybermen along with Pedler, envisioned this as a chance to explore the background of the monsters and get away somewhat from the “base under siege” formula used for their previous appearances.

2. Working titles for this story included The Ice Tombs of Telos and The Cybermen Planet.

3. The Cybermats were controlled by various means - some by wires, some by wind-up clockwork, some by radio-control, and some by simply being shoved into the shot. When the team were not filming, it was known for the people controlling the radio-controlled Cybermats to chase Deborah Watling around on set.

4. In the scene where the group are at the main entrance of the tomb, Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines worked out in secret, without the knowledge of director Morris Barry, the brief sequence where both the Doctor and Jamie go to take Victoria by the hand and end up taking each others. This was in the knowledge that, with the recording schedule and the likelihood that re-takes would not be possible, it would have to be left in.

5. Unlike the radical reinvention seen in The Moonbase, only minor changes were made to the design of the Cyberman costumes for The Tomb Of The Cybermen. However, a significant addition to their ranks was the Cyberman Controller, played by Michael Kilgarriff. His costume differed from that of the regular Cybermen in that it lacked a chest unit and featured a large cranial dome.

6. The scene of the Cybermen breaking out of their tombs was filmed entirely in one take.

7. The character of Toberman was originally intended to be deaf, hence his lack of significant speech; his hearing aid would foreshadow his transformation into a Cyberman.
8. As mentioned above, The Tomb Of The Cybermen was produced at the end of the fourth season recording block. It seems the intention was always to hold it back to be the opening adventure of season 5, but this did briefly change and a 'Next Week' caption was prepared for the final episode of The Evil of the Daleks, suggesting that it would end the fourth season, beginning on July 8th 1967.

But viewers would have to wait until September 2nd 1967 for the start of Tomb Of The Cybermen. They weren't disappointment though, and following the transmission of the first episode, the BBC's Head of Drama Sydney Newman personally congratulated Peter Bryant on what he had seen and assuring him the Doctor Who producer job was his (although he'd have to wait until The Web Of Fear before taking over fully from Innis Lloyd).

Bryant later recalled of the conversation:
"Coming from the man who created Doctor Who that was the ultimate compliment, even more so seeing as it was my first job as producer."

9. Doctor Who has often the subject of controversy. In the mid-1970s the Philip Hinchcliffe era was often angering conservative activist Mary Whitehouse, among others, with several "violent and brutal" episodes  However, this wasn't the first time the show had come in for criticism for its violence as episode four of Tomb Of The Cybermen attracted controversy.

Following its transmission on September 23rd 1967, Kit Pedler appeared on the BBC series Talkback, hosted by David Coleman, to defend the serial against parents who thought it was too violent. The "disturbing content" that incited considerable controversy was the scene in which fluid spurts out of a Cyberman's innards after it has been attacked by Toberman.

Although the footage for that episode of Talkback no longer exists, the soundtrack survived (an excerpt was included on the audiobook Doctor Who at the BBC volume 2). Referring to the debate in the following programme, presenter David Coleman joked of Doctor Who:
"perhaps it's too scary for grown-ups." 
10. When the BBC's film archive was first properly audited in 1978, The Tomb Of The Cybermen was one of many believed missing (although it was marked as potentially absent in an earlier 1976 listing).

Tomb Of The Cybermen was prepared for release in early 1992 on audio cassette as part of the "Missing Stories" collection, using recordings made by fans at home at the time of transmission, with newly-recorded explanatory narration by Jon Pertwee.

Then in late 1991, telerecordings of all four episodes were returned to the BBC from the Hong Kong-based Rediffusion company, and in May 1992, the serial was released on VHS with a special introduction from director Morris Barry.

The VHS release topped the sales charts throughout the country, making Tomb Of The Cybermen the only Doctor Who adventure from the original era to top the UK charts.

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