Our lives are different to anybody else's. That's the exciting thing. Nobody in the universe can do what we're doing.
— The Doctor
The TARDIS lands on the planet Telos, where a group of Earth archaeologists is trying to uncover the fabled Tomb of the Cybermen.The Doctor helps them get in, where they discover the creepy silent remains of the Cybermen's city.
After one of the expedition's members dies in an accident in the weapon testing chamber, the expedition leader, Professor Parry
, decides that the expedition should return to Earth and be better prepared for the next expedition. Kaftan, one of the expedition's financial supporters, makes her servant Toberman sabotage the rocket so they can't get off the planet and has to explore further.
The Doctor helps them to open the way down to the tombs of the Cybermen, whereupon Kaftan and logician Klieg awaken the Cybermen from their cryogenic sleep and reveal that they are in fact there to revive the Cybermen, using their brains and the Cybermen's strength to conquer the universe.
As bad an idea as this would be, it turns out to be irrelevant anyway, as out the tomb is just a giant logic puzzle designed to weed out everyone but the smartest people, whom the Cybermen judge worthy to be turned into more Cybermen. The Cybermen punch their way out of the refrigerated tombs and attack the party accompanied by little slug-like Cybermats.
Toberman is captured and partially Cybermodified, but the party manages to escape the tomb area and stall off the (still weakened) Cybermen. The Doctor also uses electricity to disable the Cybermats and later the group finds a single Cyber-prototype weapon to keep the Cybermen at bay.At the same time, the Cybercontroller orders his Cybermen to return to their criogenic tombs (as they are very low on energy) while Kaftan and Klieg attempt to betray the Doctor and friends by stealing their weapon and using it to seize control over the Cybermen, causing a very uneasy (and temporal) alliance between the Doctor and the Cybercontroller to ensure their mutual survival. Kaftan and Klieg end up being massacred by a lone Cyberman and with the mutual threat gone, the Cybercontroller turns against the Doctor's group, but Toberman's will power allows him to temporarly overcome his Cyber conditioning and destroys one Cyberman, giving everyone the chance to escape. Finally, Toberman makes an Heroic Sacrifice
by closing the entrance to the tomb and activating the door's defense mechanism that kills both him and the Cybercontroller, leaving the remaing Cybermen locked inside forever.The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria part ways with the surviving expedition's members and each go on their way.
Can be watched here
The story was thought to be lost for decades, until a complete copy was discovered in Hong Kong — it is the only complete story of Season 5 and of the first two years of Troughton.
Also, this episode turned Matt Smith
(i.e. The Eleventh Doctor) into a fan of the show.
- All There in the Manual: Toberman was intended to be deaf, but during filming they managed to remove every reference to this. This ended up with some Unfortunate Implications in the portrayal of the story's one black character.
- Big Bad: The domed Cyber Controller. As Cyber Leaders hadn't been invented yet, this was the first time we saw a chain of command with the Cybermen.
- The Cavalry: Captain Hopper distracts the Cybermen with some smoke bombs, allowing The Doctor, Jamie and Professor Parry to get away just in time.
- Creepy Monotone: The Cybermen.
- Deadpan Snarker: Victoria
- Evil Is Not a Toy: Klieg never learns this. Well, technically he does, but it's a rather fatal lesson...
- Food Pills: And suddenly Victoria is not hungry.
- Hand Blast: Several Cybermen fire electrical bolts from their hands.
- Heel Face Turn: Toberman
- Heroic Sacrifice/You Shall Not Pass: "They will not get past Toberman"
- Hey, It's That Guy! / Retroactive Recognition: Klieg and Toberman both played supporting parts in the James Bond series, while Clive Merrison (Callum) is the Headmaster from The History Boys , amongst others.
- It's Quiet... Too Quiet
- Just for Pun: See Lame Pun Reaction below.
- Karmic Death: Kaftan and Klieg are killed by the Cybermen - the very creatures they wanted to bargain with.
- Lame Pun Reaction: Jamie does not appreciate the Doctor's attempts at wit.
Doctor: The power cable generated an electrical field and confused their tiny metal minds. You might almost say they've had a complete metal breakdown! [Jamie groans] I'm so sorry, Jamie.
- Missing Episode: The story was lost for decades until 1991, when a copy of all four episodes was returned from Hong Kong of all places, along with a number of other British TV programs.
- Only Smart People May Pass: The controls to the tomb are a giant symbolic logic puzzle. Justified, in that the Cybermen want their new race to be built from only the best - that is, people smart enough to figure out the puzzle.
- Scary Black Man: Toberman, with a surprising dose of Hidden Depths.
- Sealed Evil in a Can
- Sequel Hook: From the ending shots, it's quite obvious that this is not the end of the Cybermen.
- Special Effects Failure: When a Cyberman picks up Toberman to throw him, the wire holding the actor up can be clearly seen.
- In turn, when Toberman picks up a Cyberman to throw him, the 'Cyberman' is clearly just a ragdoll in a costume.
- Smug Snake: Neither Kaftan nor Klieg are nearly as clever as they think they are, but Klieg in particular spends a lot of time strutting around inadvertently letting the Doctor make him look stupid.
- Squick: When one of the Cybermen suffers a hull breach, the white fluid that leaks out doesn't look pretty.
- Straw Vulcan: The Logicians
- Take Over the World: Kaftan and Klieg plan to use the Cybermen technology to do this.
- Villainous Breakdown: Klieg just can't seem to grasp that the Cybermen never will cooperate and that his plan was doomed to fail from the start. At the end, he names himself the new Cyber Controller, right before he is killed by a Cyberman.
- Women Are Wiser: Of a sort; they're both as bad as each other, but of the two Kaftan clearly has her head screwed on a bit better than Klieg.
- The X of Y
- Logical Fallacies: Victoria reaches the (correct) conclusion that the Doctor is older than he looks based on nothing more than the fact that he's a time traveller.
- You Will Be Assimilated: "You beeelong to Uzzz. You shall beee like Uzzz."
- You're Insane!: Towards the end, the Doctor rather awesomely humours Klieg's delusions of grandeur, purely for the purpose of getting Klieg wound up and ranting like a megalomaniac so that he can use this as a put-down.
The Doctor: Well, now I know you're mad. I just wanted to make sure.