The Tomb of the Cybermen
The Tomb of the Cybermen was the first story of season 5 of Doctor Who. It introduced the first Cyber-Controller and the Cybermats. It is the earliest Second Doctor serial to survive in its entirety and, from its recovery in the early 1990s until the recovery of TV: The Enemy of the World in 2013, it was the only complete serial extant from season 5.
The story begins immediately after the events of TV: The Evil of the Daleks.The Doctor (now about 450 earth years old) and Jamie show their new travelling companion Victoria Waterfield the interior of the TARDIS, though she scarcely believes it can travel through time and space. As the ship takes off from Skaro, the group ready for their next adventure.
On the planet Telos, an archaeological expedition uses explosives to uncover the entrance to a city hidden in the side of a mountain. When a member of the expedition touches the huge metal doors, he is electrocuted. Immediately afterwards, the TARDIS lands nearby. The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria arrive on the scene. Captain Hopper, the expedition’s pilot, holds them at gunpoint until the Doctor convinces them they had nothing to do with the death through his ability to take control of the situation. John Viner, the assistant to expedition leader Parry, accuses the Doctor of being part of a rival expedition. Parry explains that they are here to find the remains of the Cybermen, who apparently died out centuries before. The expedition is funded by Miss Kaftan, who is accompanied by her giant manservant, Toberman, and her colleague, Eric Klieg. Now that he knows the Cybermen are involved, the Doctor decides to accompany the group. He uses a small device to unelectrify the doors and employs Toberman’s great strength to haul them open. The Doctor warns the expedition to be careful but they march in, paying no heed to his warning.
Entering the darkened inner chamber, they find a control panel with a series of levers and switches, large, hidden doors and a sealed hatch. Klieg and Kaftan conspire with each other, more concerned with their new friends than anything else. It is decided that Kaftan shall stay with Victoria, Klieg with the Doctor, and Toberman with Jamie. The Doctor opens the doors using the levers, which operate on symbolic logic. Klieg is resentful that the Doctor is able to deduce this instead of him. The hatch, however, remains sealed, so the members of the expedition split up and explore.
Victoria, Viner and Kaftan come across a chamber with a sarcophagus-like box facing a projection device that was apparently used to revitalize the Cybermen.
In another room, Jamie and Peter Haydon find a small silver caterpillar-like object on the floor.
In the control room, the Doctor gives Klieg the clue he needs to reactivate the controls to restore power to the base. He tries to pretend that he doesn’t want Klieg to activate the tomb but when he does and the lab rumbles into life the Doctor rushes away, keen to ensure his companions are safe.
When Victoria curiously climbs into the sarcophagus, Kaftan operates the controls and seals Victoria in the sarcophagus. When Viner confronts her, she denies she did anything. Viner checks to see Victoria is still alive and when he discovers she is, he runs off to find the Doctor.
Now the operating panel is operational, Haydon plays with the control panel in the room. A wall lights up with a hypnotic pattern that puts Jamie into a trance. Haydon is fascinated with the technology and has Jamie rerun it with him as the hypnotized subject.
The Doctor shows up and frees Victoria.
Klieg is frustrated that the lab is only partially working and seeks to discover how to get it up to full activation.
The Doctor finds Jamie and Haydon experimenting and rushes to turn off the console. Before he can intervene, a Cyberman slides into view and a gun fires, killing Haydon.
The Cyberman slides out of sight again. Parry enters and demands to know what has happened. He refuses to believe Viner’s panicked explanation of a Cyberman. The Doctor deduces that the gun was at the back of the room. They mock up what Jamie did before and his belief is born out. The gun was shooting a mock-up Cyberman, and Haydon got in the way. The Doctor speculates that it must have been a weapons testing range. Victoria finds the metal caterpillar, which the Doctor identifies as a cybermat. He advises her to leave it alone. Instead, she places it in her handbag.
Toberman returns to Miss Kaftan and reports that “it is done”. Klieg confides to Kaftan that he is struggling to decode what he needs to do to get into the tomb. Kaftan assures him that logic will prevail and that time is no option. Parry and the group return. He calls the group together and decides to abandon the expedition and return to Earth. At this point, however, Hopper returns and angrily reveals that someone has sabotaged the rocket ship — no one will be leaving until he can effect repairs and no one will be allowed aboard the ship until his crew has done so. Viner freaks out again, not wanting to be left overnight. Klieg jumps on this delay to take advantage and explore the area. Shortly after he cracks the code (with a little help from the Doctor), opening the door to the tomb. Everyone except Victoria and Kaftan are to go. Victoria protests but the Doctor asks her to stay and keep an eye on Kaftan. She relents. Kaftan asks for Toberman to stay but the Doctor pretends that he will stay if it were not for the protection of Toberman. Kaftan relents. Left alone Kaftan places something in Victoria’s drink.
Klieg and his party find a vast chamber beneath, with a multistory structure containing cells of frozen Cybermen, entombed in suspended animation.
Back in the control room, Victoria succumbs to the sleeping pill that Kaftan put in her coffee and shuts the hatch.
The noise of the hatch snapping closed alerts the party in the tomb. Jamie and Viner explore to find their exit blocked. Viner returns, panicking. Klieg, in the meantime, has found a code on a console and speculates it must open the hatch. He activates more controls and the ice begins to melt. Viner watches in shock and tries to turn the console back. Klieg shoots Viner and holds the rest at bay while they watch the Cybermen return to life.
Back in the control room, Victoria has awoken. She finds the hatch closed and, when she questions Kaftan and attempts to put the hatch back in place, Kaftan pulls a gun on her. As Kaftan backs Victoria into a corner the cybermat in Victoria’s handbag revives and attacks Kaftan, rendering her unconscious, despite Victoria’s warnings. Victoria grabs Kaftan’s pistol and shoots the cybermat, but she doesn’t know how to re-open the hatch. She leaves to find Hopper.
Klieg reveals his real agenda. He and Kaftan belong to the Brotherhood of Logicians, who possess great intelligence but no power. He is certain the Cybermen will be grateful for their revival and ally themselves with him, providing that power. The Doctor confides to Jamie he expected Klieg was up to no good. The Cybermen break free from their membranes and file past the humans, ignoring them, and free their leader, the Cybercontroller, from his cell. When Klieg steps forward to take the credit for reviving them and suggesting their alliance, the Cybercontroller grabs and crushes his hand, forcing him to his knees and declaring, “You belong to us. You shall be like us.”
The Cybermen recognize the Doctor, whose involvement in prior invasion attempts is recorded in their computer records. The Doctor realises that the tombs were an elaborate trap. The Cybermen were waiting for beings intelligent enough to decipher the controls needed to free them.
Captain Hopper and his compatriot Jim Callum return with Victoria. Kaftan awakes but pretends to be out cold.
The Cybermen inform the expedition they will be converted into Cybermen in preparation for a new invasion of Earth, and Klieg will be the first. He seems pleased he is to be their leader but is worried about the process of adaptation. The Cybermen swarm the expedition.
In the control room, Hopper and Jim Callum have figured out the electronics that will open the hatch. Kaftan pulls a gun on the trio and orders them to stop. Victoria provides a decoy and Kaftan is disarmed. The tomb is opened. Hopper descends into the tomb.
The expedition have been rounded up and told that, with the exception of Klieg, they will be frozen until ready for adaptation. Captain Hopper emerges from the hatch and uses smoke grenades to distract the Cybermen while the humans make their escape. They barely manage to scramble back to the control room and shut the hatch before the Cybermen can follow. As the Doctor emerges from the hatch, he is grabbed by a Cyberman. Victoria beats him off just as the tomb is closed, leaving the Cyberman inside beating at the metal hatch. They realize that Toberman and Klieg, however, are left behind.
Toberman is brought to the Cyber Contoller, who says they will convert him for his power. Klieg sneaks up to the hatch and raps on the door.
The party topside are reluctant to open the door but the Doctor convinces them that it is Klieg or Toberman due to the softness of the noise. They swiftly open the door long enough for Klieg to escape. Klieg and Kaftan are moved into the testing range to keep them out of mischief while the others decide on their next course of action. Captain Hopper goes back to the ship.
Inside the tomb the Cybermen prepare a fleet of Cybernats to infest the control room.
Inside the testing room, Klieg pries a weapon out of the hands of the Cyberman target, an X-ray laser he calls a cyber-gun. Kaftan makes Klieg realize that with this gun he is able to control the Cybermen as well as the expedition. He agrees and says he will target the Doctor first, seeing him as a threat to him ruling over the Cybermen.
Outside, the expedition is asleep with Victoria and the Doctor keeping guard. They discuss the merits and pitfalls of not being able to remember their family. Once Victoria is asleep the group are threatened by cybermats. The Doctor manages to rig electrical cables from the control panel to create a magnetic field that disables the cybermats. As one threat is eliminated, Klieg and Kaftan step out, armed with the cyber-gun, which Klieg fires directly at the Doctor.
Jamie pushes the Doctor out of the way. Klieg hits Callum in the shoulder, and tells the others that he can still negotiate with the Cybermen. Kaftan tells him not to kill the rest of the party as they will make good experimental fodder for the Cybermen. Klieg opens the hatch and calls for the Cybercontroller.
The Cybercontroller sends the rest of the fleet back into their cell and emerges to the surface with Toberman, who is under Cyberman control.
The Cybercontroller and Toberman are stopped at the door by Klieg wielding his weapon. The Cybercontroller moves slowly, as his energy is running low. Klieg says he will allow the Cubercontroller to revitalize itself in the sarcophagus for the return of Toberman and if the Cybermen help him conquer the Earth. The Cybercontroller agrees. Before he returns Toberman, he communes with him telepathically. As the Cybercontroller goes into the revitalization room, Klieg forces the rest of the party in there too, only keeping Victoria hostage.
The Cybercontroller runs out of energy before entering the sarcophagus. The Doctor helps him in with the intention of trapping him inside. However, once in the machine the revitalization procedure kicks in remotely and the Cybercontroller is too strong for Jamie’s knots and it breaks out of the sarcophagus. Telepathically signalling Toberman, the latter reveals his true allegiances and knocks Klieg unconscious. The Cybercontroller, in turn, picks up Klieg’s cyber-gun. Kaftan refuses to open the tomb for him and as he goes to do it himself she tries to shoot him. The Cybercontroller turns and shoots Kaftan dead. The death of his mistress, along with some persuasion from the Doctor, seems to shake Toberman out of his controlled state. Toberman struggles with the Cybercontroller and hurls it into a control panel, rendering it inactive. Before the Cybercontroller was destroyed it had summoned some of the rest of the fleet which Jamie is forced into shooting. The Doctor wants to make sure the Cybermen are no longer a threat, and goes back down into the tombs with Toberman, whom he convinces to revenge Kaftan’s death. Klieg regains consciousness and sneaks down with the cyber gun while the others tend to Callum.
Once in the tomb Toberman tries to destroy the equipment but the Doctor wants to freeze them permanently. Klieg appears and forces the Doctor away from the controls, declaring that he will be the new Controller, and revives them again. Klieg sees the Doctor motioning to someone behind him and pulls a gun on the Doctor, calling for the figure to emerge. It is Jamie. Klieg intends to turn the three over to the Cybermen for spare parts.
Captain Hopper returns to explain the ship has been fixed. He is shocked to hear that the Doctor has gone back down into the tomb.
Klieg is pontificating on how he is going to rule the world but even as he says this, a revived Cyberman throttles Klieg from behind and kills him. Toberman fights and kills this Cyberman as he tries to activate the rest of his fleet and the Doctor freezes the other Cybermen, hopefully for good this time.
The Doctor and Jamie return. The Doctor ushers the others out as he reprogrammed the computer and sets up a circuit to electrify the control panel and the doors, to prevent anyone from entering the city again. As he and Jamie do this the Cybercontroller reactivates and lurches forward. The Doctor and Jamie manage to escape. Outside, the Doctor, Jamie, Hopper and Parry try to close the door with planks of wood so as to insulate themselves from the electric circuit. This proves impossible with the Cybercontroller pushing from the other side, so Toberman uses his bare hands to shut the doors, struggling with the Cybercontroller one last time. He succeeds, completing the circuit, and both he and the Cybercontroller are electrocuted and killed. Parry and Hopper return to their ship after saying good-bye to the Doctor and his companions. Jamie asks if this is truly the end of the Cybermen. The Doctor thinks so but can’t predict anything No one notices a lone cybermat, moving along the ground outside the doors to the city.