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TME > Video > Commercial Releases

The Tomb of the Cybermen

The once-feared Cybermen have disappeared from the universe without trace. An expedition from Earth arrives on Telos - homeworld of the Cybermen - to try and discover exactly what has become of the silver giants.

Soon after the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria join the archaeological party, the first mysterious death occurs. With the group now stranded on Telos, it becomes clear that the Cybermen may not be as 'dead' as it was first thought...

Beneath the planet's surface, giant ice-tombs hold the last remains of the Cybermen in a frozen sleep. And someone is working to re-activate them from their slumber...

    -- from the DVD release, 2002

Initially rush-released to video when the story was rediscovered in 1992, this was chosen to be the first monochrome DVD release, as it had achieved an almost epic status in the years it was missing...

Episode timings on DVD: 24'01", 24'43", 24'13", 23'25"
Episode timings on PasB: 23'58", 24'44", 24'14", 23'22"


VHS releases

05/2/1992: UK - BBC Worldwide - BBCV4772
11/4/1992: Aus/NZ - PolyGram - BBC47722
??/??/1992: US - CBS/Fox - 5731 [renumbered E1181 in 2000 by Warner Home Video]

The video was introduced exclusively by Morris Barry.

Cover art based on an illustration by Alistair Pearson created that year for the Virgin reissue of the Target novelisation.

A colour version of this artwork was used as a poster in a 1992 edition of Doctor Who Magazine (right).

DVD releases

14/01/2002: UK - BBC Worldwide - BBCDVD1032
01/04/2002: Aus/NZ - Roadshow - B005799
06/08/2002: US - Warner Home Video - E1181
06/11/2006: UK - BBC Worldwide - B00015YN4G

Cover by Clayton Hickman (his first for the range) for UK/Aus. Previously to this commission, his predecessor created a temporary cover used in pre-publicity throughout the latter half of 2001 (right).

The back cover of the American release was based on a template for The Caves of Androzani, but the writer credit from that release (Robert Holmes) remained intact for the Tomb blurb in error.

For Christmas 2006, Amazon UK arranged for the three classic series Cybermen DVDs available to date (The Tomb of the Cybermen, The Invasion [2 discs, released the same day] and Earthshock) to be packaged together as 'The Cybermen Collection'. A similarly themed Third Doctor set was also released on the same day. No extra features were added to either.

DVD Bonus features

Title Sequence Tests (3'26")
Silent build-up footage of the second version of the opening visuals (used from The Macra Terror up to The War Games), with a specially prepared extended version of the second theme tune (used from The Faceless Ones to The War Games) backing it.

Late Night Line-Up: 'Special Effects'

Photo Gallery

26 colour and b/w photos.

The Final End (1'18")
Extracts from silent 8mm footage of the recording of the finale to the previous story (The Evil of the Daleks). This had been cut together from a lower quality film copy for the VHS release The Missing Years (backed with audio clips from the relevant scenes), and is reconstructed here from the master tape.
Tombwatch (28'42")
An edit from an hour long recording of the 26/04/92 BAFTA 'premier' screening of the recently returned prints of The Tomb of the Cybermen, the first part of which was followed by an interview with actors Frazer Hines, Deborah Watling, Shirley Cooklin, George Roubicek and Michael Kilgarriff, along with producer Peter Bryant, story editor Victor Pemberton and director Morris Barry.
They speak first of their overall memories: Kilgarriff on his mouthpiece and his wage, Bryant on a child visiting the set, Watling on her costume, Cooklin on the part being written for her (and Hines chatting her up, and falling asleep on set), Pemberton on writers Davis and Pedler and on the low budgets, Roubicek on his son being terrified by empty Cybermen costumes, Barry on his confidence in the script and actors and finally Merrison on how amusing the Cybermen were, and a certain story about Watling's knickers, which prompts Hines to retell an old anecdote.
Pemberton recounts his involvement in working on the script, and bringing the different personalities of Davis and Pedler together. Kilgarriff talks about how difficult it was to get in and out of the costume. Pemberton goes on to talk about the atmosphere they aimed to create and Barry about taking two weeks work out the shooting plans. Hines covers the topic of failing to his his marks, and Barry covers the subject of having to get everything done in one take.
Kilgarriff chats about his surprise that Tomb has become such a classic and the development of studio space over the years. Barry talks about some of the special effects in the second half of the story, and Kilgarriff shares more memories of the Cyber-suits. Bryant and Cooklin lead a round of applause for Barry's work, and Watling shares some thoughts about Patrick Troughton and working with Cooklin. Cooklin points out that she played a lot of evil characters, and explains her relationship to Davis. Hines on rewriting bits of the script as he went along and Cooklin on her then-husband Bryant writing her a thankyou letter. Watling on why she left at the end of the year.
Finishing off, Cooklin, Briant, Hines and Watling talk about violence in the show and Cooklin talks about her post-show party.
Cameras: Steve Broster, Richard Molesworth
Audio Visual Supervisor: Andre Willey
Vision Control: Paul Vanezis
Videotape Editor: Peter Finklestone
Presented And Produced By Andrew Beech
(C) Dominitemporal Services Limited MMI
Remastering For DVD (5'16")
A short featurette showing comparisons between the restored and unrestored versions of the story, with a subtitle commentary.
Telecine: Jonathan Wood (Telecine & Grading, BBC Resources)
Audio Restoration: Mark Ayres (www.markayres.co.uk)
Video Restoration: Steve Roberts (www.restoration-team.co.uk), Dave Chapman, Ian Simpson (3D & Digital Effects, BBC Resources)
Morris Barry Intro (3'06")
Recorded in 1992 for the original video release of this story. Barry talks about why he was asked to direct, casting Kilgarriff, tutoring Kilgarriff on the history of the Cybermen, the actor's disappointment at not being allowed to speak the lines, the effect of the Cybermen deaths and that he's "quite proud" of the finished product.

Information Text
By Richard Molesworth

By Frazer Hines and Deborah Watling, recording in Dubbing Theatre Y on 21/5/2001.
Easter Egg: Clean opening titles (0'37")
A copy of the original opening titles used from The Macra Terror through to The War Games without any episode information superimposed. On the main menu screen, click 'up' from the 'play all' selection to highlight the logo. Click this to play the clip.
Easter Egg: VidFIRE demonstration (2'29")
Although the VidFIRE technique was not completed in time to restore the whole story, this clip demonstrates the capabilities by showing a processed version of the sequence in Episode 3 where the Doctor talks about his family to Victoria (running from the start of the scene to Troughton's line "...and let this poor old man stay awake.") and was the first appearance of VidFIRE on a DVD. From the highlighted logo above, click 'right', then 'left' and then click on Troughton's face.

Easter Egg: 'The Abominable Snowmen' trailer (0'51")
An audio-only version of the trailer that aired immediately following the final episode of The Tomb of the Cybermen, put against a still frame of the opening credits. From the audio options screen, click 'left' from the 'on/off' selection.

Restoration Notes

The version released on DVD was restored during May 2001 primarily by Jonathan Wood (film transfer and cleaning), Steve Roberts and Dave Chapman (dirt removal and scratch repair), Mark Ayres (audio restoration) and Ian Simpson (using 3D interpolation software to recreate badly damaged and missing frames, such as the Doctor's line "a signal they will never receive" in Episode 2). Over 16000 blemishes were removed. Several frames were chopped out of the sequence where the Cybermen re-enter the Tomb due to their poor quality. The remaining frames were mixed together and blurred to give the appearance of one continuous shot. The decision to include an improved version of The Final End on the DVD rather than a full copy of the 8mm footage was based on a poll made by Steve Roberts on his website during 2001. The Millennium Effect voted for the former. The full version eventually appeared on the 'Seeds of Death' DVD. 


22/04/1992 - Main feature and Morris Barry intro passed as 'U' by the BBFC for the UK
01/05/1992 - Passed as 'G' by the OFLC for Aus/NZ
23/08/2001 - All bonuses (including the Morris Barry intro, but not the VidFire sequence) passed as 'U' by the BBFC for the UK
11/02/2002 - Repassed as 'PG' [Low Level Violence] by the OFLC for Aus/NZ

This DVD is the first to not feature a classification on the spine, making use of the clause that states one is unnecessary if the spine falls below 2cm in width. The back cover features a misprint, suggesting there is "some, mild" sex/nudity, whereas the BBFC website says no audience recommendations were made. This error crept onto the final cover despite it being spotted several months earlier on a pre-publicity cover by several fans.

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