Revenge of the Cybermen was the fifth and final serial of season 12 of Doctor Who. The story saw the return of the Cybermen as lead villains for the first time since The Invasion in 1968 and their only appearance (barring flashbacks and cameos) until Earthshock in 1982.
Like The Ark in Space earlier in the season, Revenge went through a difficult scripting process. Davis' original plot bore almost no resemblance to the transmitted episode, with the action taking place on a deserted space casino. More rewriting from Davis followed, and the action now largely took place on Nerva Beacon. However, the script included no Vogans, with their place being taken by a group of half-starved Welsh gold miners. Script editor Robert Holmes largely rewrote the episodes. Holmes added the Vogans and got rid of the human gold miners entirely, as well as a female member of the Nerva crew named Anitra. (INFO: Revenge of the Cybermen)
It was not originally intended as the finale of season 12. The next story to air, Terror of the Zygons, was originally filmed as the finale of season 12, but it did not air until the following season.
In-universe, this serial explained the long absence of the Cybermen from the show as a product of the Cyber-Wars, which motivates the backstory. This addition to Cyberman lore would have a long lasting effect on the rest of their appearances in the show with their return in Earthshock exploring the origins of the conflict whilst the revived series story Nightmare in Silver would explore another group of Cybermen survivors after the wars. Furthermore, the Series 12 two part finale Ascension of the Cybermen/The Timeless Children depicted the immediate aftermath of the war with the Cybermen similarly scattered and weak but seeking retribution.
It was further significant for being the first Doctor Who story released on home video and inaugurated the franchise's VHS, Betamax, and Laserdisc ranges. This story and The Brain of Morbius were the only two stories to be released on Video 2000.
The story was partially filmed at Wookey Hole Caves, a location renowned for bad luck. When scouting the ancient cave system for its suitability for location shoots, the director's wife found some Iron Age arrowheads and decided to take them home, unwittingly calling an ancient curse on the production team. First, the team encountered a strange individual in potholing gear who had apparently wandered into set, of whom the staff had no knowledge, which the director began to believe was the ghost of an Irish potholer who had died in the cave three years earlier. The boats used in the cave scenes repeatedly broke down; one production team member had to be replaced due to an attack of claustrophobia, and another was taken seriously ill. On a day when staff disobeyed instructions not to touch the "Witch" formation (said to be the petrified body of the witch), Elisabeth Sladen nearly died — her boat went haywire and she had to dive overboard to keep herself from smashing into the cavern wall, where a stuntman had to pull her out to save her from drowning, and who later fell ill. An electrician broke his leg when a ladder collapsed under him, and the pyrotechnician found nothing would light or work correctly. The director took the arrowheads from his wife and reburied them, after which production ran smoothly. (DWM 297)
- 1 Synopsis
- 2 Plot
- 3 Cast
- 4 Crew
- 5 References
- 6 Story notes
- 7 Continuity
- 8 Home video and audio releases
- 9 External links
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
Arriving on Space Station Nerva in its distant past, the Doctor, Sarah and Harry find its crew threatened by a mysterious plague. Discovering that things are not as they seem, they stumble upon a plan to commit genocide, devised by the Doctor's old enemies, the Cybermen.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Part one[edit | edit source]
The Fourth Doctor, Harry and Sarah Jane spin through time and space back to Space Station Nerva. They land in the control room they left when they last beamed down to Earth, but Sarah notices the TARDIS is not there. The Doctor says the TARDIS is drifting back in time towards them and they just need to wait for her to catch up. He leaves the Time Ring behind, prompting Harry to say he'd like to have it. Before Harry can even touch it, the Time Ring vanishes, returning to its place of origin with the Time Lords. A door slides open, revealing a dead body and many more beyond, littering the outer ring of the station.
In the communications room of Nerva Beacon, crewman Warner warns off an approaching spaceship due to the Beacon being under plague quarantine. Professor Kellman, a planetary surveyor, asks Commander Stevenson how long they can run a fifty-man station with three men, but the other officer, Lester, thinks they can manage. Nerva is on a thirty-year assignment to warn ships away from Voga, the new asteroid it is orbiting, until its presence is updated on all the starcharts of inbound ships.
The time travellers find a sealed door leading to Section Q. The Doctor surmises that this is the same station they left, but thousands of years in the past, before solar flares devastated Earth. As the Doctor tries to get through the door, the trio fail to see a silver, snake-like creature — a Cybermat — crawling around the bodies behind them.
Somewhere else, an alien tries to contact Nerva and barely gets through to Warner before he is shot by two more of his own kind. The only place the signal could have come from is Voga, but Kellman tells Warner that he set up the transmat station there and spent six months cataloguing its rocks. Voga had drifted into the solar system fifty years before and had been captured by Jupiter's gravity. An asteroid of that size drifting between star systems could not support life, he says, and he warns against going down to Voga and spreading the plague. Warner logs the call anyway. The Doctor opens the sealed door, which activates an alarm.
On Voga, Vorus, leader of the Guardians of the mines, orders his men to bury the dead Vogan that was shot earlier. Magrik, his aide, tells him that the dead Vogan was frightened of Vorus's plan. Vorus tells him that they can trust their agent on Nerva. Gold buys humans, and they have more gold on Voga than in the rest of the galaxy. The reason the agent had not contacted them is probably because the Cybermen are monitoring transmissions.
In the communications room, the Cybermat attacks Warner, biting him before it is thrown off. Warner collapses, glowing veins appearing on his face, while Kellman enters and pulls the magnetic log tape from the console. Meanwhile, the Doctor, Harry and Sarah have reached the forward control room mere seconds before Lester and Stevenson enter, levelling their weapons at them. The door behind them slides open to reveal the communications room, and Kellman brings Stevenson to Warner's fallen form.
When Stevenson sees that his crewman has the plague, he prepares to shoot Warner to halt the infection's spread, but the Doctor stops him. The Doctor lies, saying that they are a medical team sent from Earth, and convinces Stevenson to let Harry examine Warner. They take Warner to the crew quarters as Kellman returns to his own room and spies on the Doctor and Stevenson in the communications room using an assembled device. Stevenson tells the Doctor about the asteroid, formerly Neo Phobos, but renamed Voga by Kellman. The Doctor recognises the name, Voga, the Planet of Gold, and realises that Cybermen are involved. Stevenson says the Cybermen died out centuries before, but the Doctor points out they merely vanished after attacking Voga at the end of the last Cyber-War. Hearing all this, Kellman contacts a Cybership nearby, its crew commanded by a Cyber-Leader with a black helmet. The ship moves towards Nerva.
Warner is dead. When the Doctor examines the body, he finds two puncture wounds, indicating that Warner was injected with poison and confirming the Doctor's suspicion that there is no plague. The Doctor says that if he had seen Warner earlier he might have been able to use Nerva's transmat to filter out the poison from his system. The Doctor has another suspicion; investigating Kellman's quarters, he finds the communications device as well as some gold. The Doctor hides when Kellman returns, but Kellman realises that someone has been inside the room. He sabotages the room, electrifying the floor and sending gas pouring up from it. Keeping off the floor, the Doctor reaches the door to open it with his sonic screwdriver.
Meanwhile, Sarah turns off a monitor she has been watching and turns around, only to be attacked by a Cybermat.
Part two[edit | edit source]
The Doctor escapes Kellman's room and hears Sarah scream. He throws the Cybermat to the floor and kills it with gold dust, but Sarah has already been bitten. The Doctor carries her to the transmat chamber, handing her to Harry, and prepares to beam them down to Voga and back. However, Kellman has taken the transmat's pentalium drive. The Doctor reconfigures the transmat to bypass the sabotaged system while Stevenson and Lester go to confront Kellman. On Voga, Vorus sees a giant rocket, the Skystriker. He tells Magrik his agent has informed them that the Cybermen are heading for the beacon. Vorus wants the Skystriker fitted with its bomb head in four hours.
The Doctor jury rigs the transmat, and Harry and Sarah beam down to Voga. With the poison filtered out, Sarah instantly recovers. As Harry notices that the cavern floor is littered with gold, Vogans arrive and capture them. Harry and Sarah are brought before Vorus, who wants to know who is still alive on Nerva. However, the answers will have to wait. Harry and Sarah are taken away while Vorus answers a call from Councillor Tyrum, who arranges for them to meet.
Lester and Stevenson capture Kellman. The Doctor explains that the Cybermen fear Voga because gold, a noncorrosive substance, plates their breathing apparatus and suffocates them. The Doctor cannot get Harry and Sarah back without the pentalium drive, but Kellman feigns ignorance, trying to buy time until the Cybermen arrive. The Doctor uses a control box he found in Kellman's room to activate a Cybermat, threatening Kellman with it until he reveals that the drive is around his neck.
Harry and Sarah are chained in a cave. Harry notes that the chains are solid gold, soft metal through which they may be able to file. Meanwhile, Tyrum tells Vorus that he knows that aliens have come to Voga. He also knows that Vorus wants Voga to emerge as a trading power again and not hide from the Cybermen, who apparently disappeared centuries ago. Tyrum no longer trusts Vorus or the Guardians and will send his militia to take over the mines. Vorus is furious, but Tyrum says his troops have orders to crush any resistance.
Fighting breaks out in the mines between the Guardians and the militia. Vorus tells Magrik to keep Tyrum from finding out about the Skystriker and to kill the two humans immediately. Harry and Sarah have freed themselves, however, and get away before the execution team arrives. They are pursued by more Guardians, who fire at them. Harry and Sarah are cornered and about to be shot when militia troops appear, forcing the Guardians to stand down.
The Doctor has repaired the transmat but cannot lock onto Harry and Sarah as they have left the receptor circle. Lester detects an incoming ship, but it does not respond to their signals. As the Cybership docks, the Doctor recognises it for what it is but cannot lock the hatch. The Cybermen enter, as if in a funeral march or procession. Lester and Stevenson shoot at the Cybermen, but the Cybermen return fire and shoot sizzling balls of light from their head ports on their foreheads that take Lester and Stevenson down. The Doctor tries to sneak away, but the Cybermen shoot him several times and he lies on the floor, looking dead. One of the Cybermen reports that all resistance is overcome. The leader then proclaims, "The Beacon is ours!"
Part three[edit | edit source]
The Cyber-Leader tells Kellman that the three men are not dead, merely neutralised; they are necessary to their plan. Kellman set the transmat receptors mere yards from a shaft that leads into the core of Voga. The environment is hostile to Cybermen. The three men will carry explosives to Voga and destroy the asteroid. Kellman insists on going down to Voga first to check that the transmat is functioning properly, and the Cyber-Leader beams him down. There, he runs into some militia. Not realising the distinction between them and the Guardians, he demands to see Vorus and is taken away while trying to warn them that they are all in danger. Meanwhile, Harry and Sarah are brought before Tyrum and tell their story. When Harry mentions the cybermats, Tyrum asks Harry and Sarah to accompany him to confront Vorus.
The Doctor wonders what Kellman's reward is, if it is not Voga's gold. He taunts the Cyber-Leader, saying that the Cybermen were finished once humans discovered their weakness to gold and ended the Cyber-Wars. The Cyber-Leader tells the Doctor that is why Voga must be destroyed before the Cybermen resume their campaign. The Cyber-Leader says Kellman was promised the rule of the solar system after the Cybermen have conquered it.
With Cyberbombs strapped to their backs, the Doctor, Lester and Stevenson are briefed. They are to plant the bombs in the core of the planet, after which they have fourteen minutes to return and escape via transmat. If they try to remove their harnesses before they reach the target zone, a secondary explosion will kill them. Their progress will be followed by radar. They beam down, accompanied by two Cybermen. Militia arrive and start to fire on the Cybermen, who make short work of the Vogans. None of the three men believe that the Cyber-Leader will keep his word and let them escape, but they have to keep moving towards the target zone as they are being monitored, their suspicions are correct. On Nerva, the Cyber-Leader declares that Kellman is of no further use to them.
Tyrum questions Kellman, who tells him that he and Vorus were working to lure the Cybermen to the beacon, which Vorus has targeted with a rocket. At that moment, a militia man arrives to tell Tyrum about the arrival of the Cybermen, and their weapons are useless. Kellman urges them to use the rocket. Tyrum orders his men to use every weapon they can while he speaks to Vorus. Harry tells Sarah to get back to Nerva to warn the Doctor while he tries to stop the rocket from being fired.
When Tyrum tells Vorus about the Cybermen on Voga, he shows Tyrum the Skystriker, on which he has been working for two years. With the Cybermen already on Voga, they have no time to get it ready. Vorus claims his plans were to free his people from the fear of the Cybermen and bring them back into the light. Tyrum scoffs. Vorus has allied himself with Kellman, a double agent and murderer, motivated solely by the promise of gold. Harry suggests finding another way into the core to stop the bombs.
The Cybermen continue their slaughter of the Vogans as the bomb timer ticks. Sarah transmats back to Nerva, where she overhears the Cybermen monitoring the three men's progress. However, the deeper the three men go, the more the gold interferes with the radar. The men continue onward to the centre of the asteroid.
Harry and Kellman, meanwhile, crawl down a cross shaft towards the same place. With the exit blocked, Harry pushes against the rocks, causing a rock slide. Kellman pushes Harry out of the way, only to be crushed to death by a boulder. On the other side, rocks rain down on the Doctor. Harry exits the shaft and finds the Doctor unconscious. Not knowing the danger, Harry tries to unbuckle the Doctor's harness.
Part four[edit | edit source]
Lester recovers and stops Harry from unbuckling the harness. The Doctor then recovers and asks Harry if he tried to unbuckle the harness and if he caused the rockfall, and Harry replies in both cases he must have. The Doctor chuckles, then yells "Harry Sullivan is an imbecile!", before passing out. Now recovered, the Doctor conceives a plan. Stevenson will go on and create a radar trail, while the rest use the cross shaft to surprise and attack the Cybermen with gold. The Doctor and Harry jump the two Cybermen, trying to push gold dust into their chest plates, but the Cybermen are too strong, and Harry and the Doctor are forced to retreat. Lester leaps onto the Cybermen and undoes his harness, the explosion killing himself and the Cybermen.
With the loss of contact, the Cyber-Leader orders immediate detonation. Sarah tries to stop them but is thrown to the floor. However, when the button is pressed, no explosion follows. The Doctor has disarmed the countdown device, which allows him to release his harness safely. With Sarah tied up, the Cyber-Leader now plans to send Nerva, loaded with more Cyberbombs, into Voga's centre to destroy it.
Magrik tells Vorus that the Skystriker is ready, but before he can launch it, the Doctor asks them to give him fifteen minutes to transmat to Nerva and deal with the Cybermen himself, armed with a bag of gold dust. If he does not contact them in that time, they can launch the rocket.
The Doctor reaches Nerva and frees Sarah while the Cybermen are loading the bombs. He takes the Cybermat and its control box, filling the Cybermat with gold dust. He sends the Cybermat to attack a Cyberman, injecting it with the dust and killing it. As Nerva begins to move towards Voga, Vorus sees this and tries to fire the rocket. Tyrum shoots Vorus, but as the Guardian dies, he triggers the launch.
The Doctor and Sarah's attack on the remaining Cybermen fails; the Doctor is forced by the Cyber-Leader to tie himself and Sarah up, and they are left to perish in the crash. However, the Skystriker is approaching just as fast. The Doctor unties them both and contacts Voga, instructing them to steer the rocket towards the Cybership that is just leaving. The Skystriker veers away from Nerva and destroys the Cybership instead. However, the beacon is still on a collision course. The Doctor unlocks the gyro controls, skimming Nerva just above Voga's surface until they reach the other side of the asteroid and open space.
The TARDIS materialises in the control room just as Harry arrives via transmat, and the Doctor goes inside to reset the drift compensator. The Doctor then emerges to tell his companions to hurry up; he's received a message from Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart through the space-time telegraph the Doctor left him, which means it is a grave emergency. Although Harry asks if they should say goodbye to the Commander, Sarah tells him not to argue. The three rush into the TARDIS, and it dematerialises.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Doctor Who - Tom Baker
- Sarah Jane Smith - Elisabeth Sladen
- Harry Sullivan - Ian Marter
- Commander Stevenson - Ronald Leigh-Hunt
- Lester - William Marlowe
- Kellman - Jeremy Wilkin
- Tyrum - Kevin Stoney
- Vorus - David Collings
- Warner - Alec Wallis
- Magrik - Michael Wisher
- Sheprah - Brian Grellis
- Cyber-Leader - Christopher Robbie
- First Cyberman - Melville Jones
Uncredited cast[edit | edit source]
- Cybermen - Tony Lord, Pat Gorman
- Voice of Colville - Michael Wisher
- Vogans - Cy Town, David Billa, Leslie Weeks, Roy Caesar, Barry Summerford, Harry Fielder, David Sulkin (all DWM 297)
Crew[edit | edit source]
- Assistant Floor Manager - Rosemary Hester, Russ Karel
- Costumes - Prue Handley
- Designer - Roger Murray-Leach
- Film Cameraman - Elmer Cossey
- Film Editor - Sheila S Tomlinson
- Film Sound - John Gatland
- Incidental Music - Carey Blyton, Peter Howell
- Make-Up - Cecile Hay-Arthur
- Producer - Philip Hinchcliffe
- Production Assistant - John Bradburn
- Production Unit Manager - George Gallaccio
- Script Editor - Robert Holmes
- Special Sounds - Dick Mills
- Studio Lighting - Derek Slee
- Studio Sound - Norman Bennett
- Theme Arrangement - Delia Derbyshire
- Title Music - Ron Grainer
- Visual Effects Designer - James Ward
Uncredited crew[edit | edit source]
- Floor Assistant - Steve Haggard (INFO: Revenge of the Cybermen)
- Make-up assistants - Jane Boak, Martha Fisher, Martha Livesey, Kerin Carswell, Vanessa Poulton (INFO: Revenge of the Cybermen)
- Senior Cameraman - Peter Granger (INFO: Revenge of the Cybermen)
- Design Assistant - Jan Spoczynski (INFO: Revenge of the Cybermen)
- Assistant Film Sound Recordist - Bruce Galloway (INFO: Revenge of the Cybermen)
- Assistant Film Cameramen - John Harper, Ian Milton, Mike Spooner (INFO: Revenge of the Cybermen)
- Film Lighting - Sid Morris (INFO: Revenge of the Cybermen)
- Technical Manager - John Farr (INFO: Revenge of the Cybermen)
- Grams Operator - Paul Graydon (INFO: Revenge of the Cybermen)
- Film Operatives - Stan Cresswell, Don Mattinson (INFO: Revenge of the Cybermen)
- Vision Mixer - Nick Lake (INFO: Revenge of the Cybermen)
- Inlay Operator - Dave Jervis (INFO: Revenge of the Cybermen)
- Armourer - Jack Wells (INFO: Revenge of the Cybermen)
References[edit | edit source]
Transport technology[edit | edit source]
- Phobic energy is associated with recent transmat use.
- Without the pentalium drive, a transmat can't work.
Weapons[edit | edit source]
- During the Cyber-Wars, the glittergun was used to great effect by humanity.
- The Armageddon Convention banned Cyberbombs, two of which could destroy Voga.
Cultural references[edit | edit source]
- The Doctor quotes Macbeth.
- The Doctor claims to have been taught how to tie a Turk's head knot by Harry Houdini.
Story notes[edit | edit source]
- This is the first story to feature the Cybermen since The Invasion in 1968 as well as the first since the show's move to colour in 1970.
- Revenge of the Cybermen introduced a new form of Cybermat and the title of "Cyber-Leader". It was also the first time a Cyberman had had a black helmet.
- Out of the four Doctor Who stories to be written by Gerry Davis, this is the only one that he wrote by himself (excluding The Highlanders which Elwyn Jones is credited as having co-written but actually did not contribute to it).
- The BBC Radiophonic Workshop's Peter Howell, later to become one of the series' regular incidental music composers, made his uncredited debut on this story when he was asked by producer Philip Hinchcliffe to add to, and enhance, the score provided by Carey Blyton.
- This story had working titles of Return of the Cybermen and The Revenge of the Cybermen. Also, each of the four episodes had its own individual title, even though this practice had been discontinued back in 1966, with season three's The Gunfighters being the last to feature them. These were "The Beacon in Space", "The Plague Carriers", "The Gold Miners" and "The Battle for the Nerva".
- A number of sets in this story were reused from The Ark in Space, which was recorded immediately before it.
- Elisabeth Sladen is credited as "Sarah Jane" in Radio Times for parts one to three.
- Ronald Leigh-Hunt (Commander Stevenson) is credited as "Commander" in Radio Times for part one.
- The Cybermen's voices were provided for the first time by the actors inside the costumes.
- The symbol seen hanging in the Vogan audience chamber (and smaller versions on the Vogan costumes) would later be reused in The Deadly Assassin by Roger Murray-Leach, and become better known thereafter as the Seal of Rassilon.
- Between the broadcast of parts one and two, William Hartnell, the First Doctor, passed away. Coincidentally, he died during broadcast of a serial that served to reintroduce the Cybermen. His final solo appearance, The Tenth Planet, as the Doctor occurred during the serial that introduced them.
- This marks the final appearance of the Cybermats in the classic series. They would appear in the The Adventure Games 2010 instalment Blood of the Cybermen, but they would not make a televised return until Closing Time, a full thirty-six years after this serial.
- After being absent from the last two stories, the TARDIS appears on-screen for the first time since The Ark in Space.
- At the time of its broadcast in 1975, and until the broadcast of Earthshock in 1982, Revenge of the Cybermen was the only complete Cybermen story in existence; all previous stories featuring them either being incomplete or, in the case of The Tomb of the Cybermen, having been junked entirely by the BBC. It remained the earliest complete Cybermen story until the recovery of The Tomb of the Cybermen in the early 1990s.
- This is the first Cyberman story not to include an appearance by the Second Doctor.
- In A History of the Universe and aHistory, this story is arbitrarily dated to 2875, as the Doctor had previously dated the inner technology of the Nerva Beacon to the late 29th century at the earliest. However, Earthshock, which is clearly stated to take place in the early 26th century, references the events of this story in the past tense, bringing that date into dispute.
- Part three of this story is the 400th episode of Doctor Who.
- In Gerry Davis's earlier drafts, the Cybermen appear much earlier, which explains the presence of the Cybermats on the Beacon. In the broadcast version, they do not arrive until the end of Part Two, so how the Cybermats got onto the Beacon is never explained.
- In the absence of a concrete idea of how Tom Baker would be portraying the new Doctor, Gerry Davis originally elected to essentially write the character as a timid, reserved figure in the vein of the Second Doctor, including the use of such signature elements as his 500-year diary.
- Originally, the Cybermen costumes from The Invasion were to have been used, but only two had survived, and in poor condition. This necessitated entirely new outfits, which included chest panels constructed from the innards of old television sets and trousers which, for the first time, were not tucked into the Cyber-boots.
- Gerry Davis was unhappy with Robert Holmes's rewrites on what turned out to be his final contribution to the series. He also disliked the title. John Dorney adapted Gerry's original draft as part of Big Finish Productions' The Lost Stories range and it was released under its originally-planned title in March 2021.
- Philip Hinchcliffe hated the production, feeling it belonged to the old way of doing things. He didn't like the Vogans, the masks, or the way the actors played Vogans with "Shakespearean projected shouting". He was particularly unhappy with the incidental music score by Carey Blyton, which had been commissioned by director Michael E. Briant (who had previously worked with Blyton on Death to the Daleks). Hinchcliffe made substantial edits and changes to the score for the final transmitted version, along with getting BBC Radiophonic Workshop staffer Peter Howell to uncreditedly provide a few replacement music cues. After this, Dudley Simpson would be the only composer employed on the show all the way through to the end of Season 17, with the notable exception of the two serials directed by Douglas Camfield, who refused to work with Simpson.
- The secret radio transmitter disguised as a clothes brush, used by Kellman, is the very same prop that appears in Live and Let Die. The prop was handed over by none other than Roger Moore himself when he visited the BBC in 1973. He later told Radio Times that the props master, not recognising Moore, had paid him two shillings and sixpence (12½p in decimal currency) for the item: "I'd popped into the Beeb [BBC] for a cup of tea and spotted a notice about an upcoming Doctor Who, so I thought the darlings would be so cash-strapped they'd need anything they could get their hands on. It wasn't MGM, after all. But I didn't expect to walk out with two and six!"
- The masks for the principal actors playing the Vogans were specially moulded to their faces, but for the non-speaking artists the BBC had to cut costs. According to actor David Collings on the DVD commentary, who played Vorus, the masks for the extras were made using a facial mould of Arnold Ridley.
- A Vogan costume was later reused for the Blake's 7 episode Warlord, still sporting the Seal of Rassilon.
Ratings[edit | edit source]
- Part one - 9.5 million viewers
- Part two - 8.3 million viewers
- Part three - 8.9 million viewers
- Part four - 9.4 million viewers
Filming locations[edit | edit source]
- Wookey Hole Caves, Wells, Somerset
- BBC Television Centre (Puppet theatre, TC1, TC8), Shepherd's Bush, London
Production errors[edit | edit source]
- The Doctor was wearing a long brown coat and hat at the end of the previous story, Genesis of the Daleks, but they've vanished when he materialises. Harry's sideburns have received a neat trim too.
- In part three, at the 20:56 mark, the actor's face can be seen through the Cybermen head's mouth. This later happens at 6:20 into part four.
- At 6:02 into part four, the Cybermen actor's eyes are visible through the eyehole.
- Lester wears his interplanetary Space command insignia upside down.
- When Kellman pulls the tape from the reels in part one, the squealing sound of fast-winding tape is heard, even though the tape is not in contact with the playback heads.
- When the Doctor enters the TARDIS in part four, the paper printout of the space/time telegraph can be clearly seen hanging on a hook just inside the door.
- When Harry examines Kellman's dead body, Kellman can be seen breathing.
- The video screen image of the beacon "approaching" Voga is rather obviously just the camera zooming in on the model, as the background also seems to be approaching.
- In part four, when the rocket launching video is shown, it can clearly be seen that it was filmed on Earth because of the blue sky in the background. (This is actually NASA stock footage — shot from the gantry — of the Saturn V rocket launch. This had previously been used in Genesis of the Daleks, and would appear again in The Android Invasion.)
- In part one, as the Doctor and company happen upon dead crew members in the transom, by looking closely the "victims" are represented by dummies, and only portrayed by extras when a scene calls for a close-up of a corpse. Also, the "stars" in the Nerva Beacon's windows can be distinguished as rope lights with dark power cords that do not fully camouflage with the black backdrops.
- As the Time Ring propels everyone to the Nerva Beacon in part one, the colour separation overlay used to achieve this effect is imprecise — Harry's right leg briefly disappears under the CSO mask.
- When Warner logs a call from Voga, the CSO used to project an image on the monitor is again applied improperly, as the first letters of his log are cut off on the left side of the screen.
- Again an instance of CSO effect failure occurs when the Cybermat rears up to attack Sarah in the control room, with the Cybermat partially blending into the wall in the background.
- In some shots, the Cybermat looks very small, such as the first shot of it, but when it is attacking Warner and Sarah, it is much, much larger.
- When the Cybermat is attacking Sarah, the actor is actually holding onto the prop and while pretending to struggle with it, she is actually pulling it towards herself like the Cybermat is jumping at her. This is not obvious, but visible when observed closely.
- In episode four, there are many instances when the green screen for the CSO has not been layed on at all. This is especially visible in the scene when the Cybermat kills the Cyberman, when the Doctor and Sarah walk away, the corridor they are going into is just a green screen.
- Several of the Vogan's heads (the wider ones for extras) amusingly wobble when they run.
- The Vogan's eyes are sometimes hidden behind makeup and the wobbling headpiece.
Continuity[edit | edit source]
- The Doctor, Sarah Jane and Harry had previously left the station (and the TARDIS) in its future. (TV: The Ark in Space)
- The Doctor is sent to Nerva at this time by the Time Lords, which they call a "trifling matter". (PROSE: A Device of Death)
- The Cybermen's first home planet, Mondas, was destroyed. (TV: The Tenth Planet) All Cybermen on their second home planet, Telos, were entombed in ice. (TV: The Tomb of the Cybermen)
- The discrepancy over how many moons Jupiter should have is resolved in PROSE: To the Slaughter.
- The Doctor, Sarah Jane and Harry return to 20th century Earth in answer to the Brigadier's summons in TV: Terror of the Zygons.
- The Doctor would later return to the Nerva Beacon in the company of Leela at a time when the Beacon was referred to as Space Dock Nerva and orbited Jupiter. (AUDIO: Destination: Nerva)
- The Cybermen had already used a biological weapon in TV: The Moonbase.
- The Nerva Beacon would remain in orbit of Earth until at least 16127. (AUDIO: Wirrn Isle)
- The Twelfth Doctor would reference his victory over the Cybermen on Voga when battling Mondasian Cybermen on Floor 0507. (TV: The Doctor Falls)
Home video and audio releases[edit | edit source]
DVD releases[edit | edit source]
This story was first released on DVD in the UK on 9 August 2010 as part of the Cybermen boxset, alongside Silver Nemesis. The one disc set includes a restored version of the story, as well as the following special features:
- Commentary by Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane), David Collings (Vorus) and Philip Hinchcliffe (Producer).
- The Tin Men and the Witch
- Cheques, Lies and Videotape
- BBC News Location Report
- "Coming soon" trailer for the DVD release of Time and the Rani
- Radio Times Billings
- Production Subtitles
- Photo Gallery
- Easter Egg: BBC Video Ident and copyright statement from 1983.
Editing for DVD release completed by Doctor Who Restoration Team.
Box sets[edit | edit source]
Blu-ray release[edit | edit source]
Released as part of Doctor Who The Collection Season 12.
- Commentary by Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane), David Collings (Vorus) and Philip Hinchcliffe (Producer).
- Production Subtitles
- Optional Updated Special Effects - Watch the Story with updated effects sequences.
- The Tin Men and the Witch (Expanded 2018 Edition)
- Behind The Sofa
- Cheques, Lies and Videotape
- BBC News Location Report
- Photo Gallery
- Written Archive
VHS and Betamax releases[edit | edit source]
This story was released on VHS and Betamax as Doctor Who: Revenge of the Cybermen. This was the first Doctor Who story to be released to the home video market.
- UK October 1983 (edited)
- UK May 1984 (edited)
- UK April 1999 (unedited)
- Australia January 1987 (edited)
- Australia December 1999 (unedited)
- US December 1986 (movie format)
- Japan December 1983 (movie format — in English with Japanese subtitles)
Laserdisc releases[edit | edit source]
It was also one of the select Doctor Who stories to be released on laserdisc.
[edit | edit source]
- Revenge of the Cybermen at the BBC's official site
- Revenge of the Cybermen at RadioTimes
- Revenge of the Cybermen at BroaDWcast
- Revenge of the Cybermen at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- Revenge of the Cybermen at The Locations Guide
- (Fan Based Site) Episode Synopsis of Revenge of the Cybermen
- The Tardis Library: Video release information for Revenge of the Cyberman