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"Nobody in the universe can do what we're doing..."
―The Doctor
The Tomb of the Cybermen
Series: Doctor Who - TV Stories
Season Number: Season 5
Story Number: 37
Doctor: Second Doctor
Companions: Jamie McCrimmon
Victoria Waterfield
Setting: Telos, the future
Writer: Kit Pedler & Gerry Davis
Director: Morris Barry
Broadcast: 2nd September - 23rd September 1967
Format: 4 25-minute Episodes
Previous Story: The Evil of the Daleks
Following Story: The Abominable Snowmen

The Tomb of the Cybermen was the first story of Season 5 of Doctor Who. It is currently the earliest Second Doctor serial to survive in its entirety.



The TARDIS arrives on the planet Telos where an Earth archaeological expedition, led by Professor Parry, is attempting to uncover the lost tombs of the Cybermen. With a lot of help from the Doctor the archaeologists enter the tombs. There, one of the party, Klieg, reveals himself and his business partner, Kaftan, to be planning to revive the Cybermen.

He wants to use their strength, allied with the intelligence of his own Brotherhood of Logicians, to create an invincible force for conquest. It transpires however that the tomb is actually a giant trap designed to lure humans suitable for conversion into further Cybermen - a fate that almost befalls Kaftan's assistant Toberman.

After fending off an attack by Cybermats - small but dangerous cybernetic creatures - the Doctor eventually defeats the revived Cybermen, led by their Controller, and reseals the tombs. The Controller is apparently destroyed in the process.



Episode 1

An Earth expedition makes a shocking discovery

The Doctor and Jamie show their new travelling companion Victoria Waterfield the inside of the TARDIS, though she scarcely believes it can travel through time and space. 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, and 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. 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 Kaftan, who is accompanied by her giant manservant Toberman and her colleague Eric Klieg. The Doctor, now that he knows that the Cybermen are involved, decides to accompany the group. He uses a small device to check that the doors are now safe, and Toberman's great strength swings them open. Entering the darkened inner chamber, they find a control panel with a series of levers and switches and a large, hidden doors and a sealed hatch. 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.

In the control room, the Doctor gives Klieg the clue he needs to reactivate the controls to restore power to the base. Victoria, Viner and Kaftan come across a chamber with a sarcophagus-like box facing a projection device that was apparently used to revitalise the Cybermen (see Revitalising unit). 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. The Doctor shows up and frees Victoria. In another room, Jamie and Peter Haydon find a small silver caterpillar-like object on the floor. When Haydon operates the control panel in the room, a wall lights up with a hypnotic pattern that puts Jamie into a trance. Before the Doctor can intervene, a Cyberman slides into view and a gun fires, killing Haydon.

Episode 2

The tomb

The Cyberman slides out of sight again. The Doctor deduces that the room is a testing range, and that a gun at the back was shooting a mock-up Cyberman, and Haydon got in the way. Victoria finds the metal caterpillar, which the Doctor identifies as a cybermat, and advises her to leave it alone. Instead, she places it in her handbag. Parry now 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.

Klieg believes he has found the logical sequence to open the hatch, but fails again, until the Doctor surreptitiously presses a few additional buttons, helping him along. Leaving Kaftan and Victoria behind, the others descend down the hatch. They find a vast chamber beneath, with a multistorey structure containing cells of frozen Cybermen, entombed in suspended animation. Back in the control room, Kaftan has drugged Victoria's coffee and shuts the hatch. Klieg, in the meantime, has activated more controls in the tomb and the ice begins to melt. Klieg shoots Viner when the latter tries to stop him, and holds the rest at bay while they watch the Cybermen return to life. Klieg reveals his real agenda. He and Kaftan belong to the Brotherhood of Logicians, who possess great intelligence but no physical power. He is certain the Cybermen will be grateful for their revival and ally themselves with him, providing that physical power.

Back in the control room, the cybermat in Victoria's handbag revives and attacks Kaftan, rendering her unconscious. Victoria grabs Kaftan's pistol and shoots it, but she doesn't know how to re-open the hatch, so leaves the city to find Hopper. Down in the tombs, the Cybermen 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, the Cybercontroller grabs and crushes his hand, forcing him to his knees and declaring, "You belong to us. You will be like us."

Episode 3

The Cybermen recognise 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. The expedition will be converted into Cybermen in preparation for a new invasion of Earth and Klieg, to his horror, will be the first.

In the control room, Hopper and Jim Callum have figured out the electronics that will open the hatch. Hopper descends into the tombs, 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. Toberman, however, is left behind. 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. There, Klieg prises a weapon out of the hands of the Cyberman target, an X-ray laser he calls a cyber-gun. Outside, the expedition is threatened by cybermats released by the Cybermen below. The Doctor manages to rig electrical cables from the control panel to create a magnetic field that disables the cybermats. Even as one threat is eliminated, Klieg and Kaftan step out armed with the cybergun, which Klieg fires.

Episode 4

The Cybermen's secret weapon

Klieg hits Callum in the shoulder, and tells the others that he can still negotiate with the Cybermen. Klieg opens the hatch and calls for the Cybercontroller. The Cybercontroller climbs up, accompanied by Toberman, who, unknown to the others, has been partially cyberconverted and under Cyberman control. The Cybercontroller moves slowly, as his energy is running low — in fact, most of the Cybermen have been ordered back to their tombs to conserve power. Holding the cybergun on the Cybercontroller, Klieg says he will allow it to be revitalised in the sarcophagus if the Cybermen help him conquer the Earth. The Cybercontroller agrees. Unfortunately, a revitalised Cybercontroller is too strong and 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 cybergun and kills Kaftan when she tries to block its return to the tombs.

The death of his mistress, however, seems to shake Toberman out of his controlled state. Toberman struggles with the Cybercontroller and hurls it into a control panel, apparently killing it. The Doctor wants to make sure the Cybermen are no longer a threat, and goes back down into the tombs with Toberman and Jamie. Klieg regains consciousness and sneaks down with the cybergun while the others tend to Callum. He forces the Doctor away from the controls that will refreeze the Cybermen, declaring that he will be the new Controller, and revives them again. Klieg intends to turn the three over to the Cybermen for spare parts, but even as he says this, a revived Cyberman throttles Klieg from behind and kills him. Toberman fights and kills this Cyberman and the Doctor freezes the other Cybermen, hopefully for good this time. Hopper's crew have repaired the ship and they can leave at any time. The Doctor ushers the others out as he sets up a circuit to electrify the control panel and the doors, to prevent anyone from entering the city again. The Cybercontroller, however, is still alive, and lurches forward. Outside, 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. No one notices a lone cybermat, moving along the ground outside the doors to the city…




  • The Doctor has a book with a picture of a Cybermat in it, but is unfamiliar with them. There are two sizes of Cybermat.
  • The Cybermen have been frozen for 500 years, and they are familiar with the Doctor.
  • Telos has a rarified atmosphere and is the (currently) home planet of the Cybermen, though they did originate on Mondas.

The Doctor

  • The Doctor says he is 450 years old. He tells Victoria he has to try hard to remember his family; discounting the presence of Susan Foreman earlier in the series, this is the first time on-screen reference has been made to the Doctor having a family, a theme later to be touched upon in the 2005 revival.
  • The Doctor says that he 'perfected' the TARDIS, which appears to land like a spaceship: 'Something came down over there.'
  • The Doctor is unusually manipulative in this story; it is only because of his intervention that the expedition is able to get into the base, and he is also indirectly responsible for opening the hatch.

Story Notes

  • In this story the cybermats were remote controlled and pull back and go designs.
  • This story had the working titles of; The Ice Tombs of Telos and The Cybermen Planet.
  • This serial was believed lost in 1978 (when the BBC's film archive was first properly audited, although it is absent on earlier 1976 listings) until film telerecordings of all four episodes were returned to the BBC by the Hong Kong television company ATV (formerly called RTV) in late 1991. The serial was released, to much fan excitement and with a specially recorded introduction by director Morris Barry, on VHS in May 1992.
  • Toberman was originally intended to be deaf, hence his lack of significant speech; his hearing aid would foreshadow his transformation into a Cyberman. These elements were included in the novelisation.
  • Actress Shirley Cooklin (Kaftan) was married to producer Peter Bryant.
  • This is the earliest Patrick Troughton era serial, and the only serial featuring Deborah Watling, to exist in its entirety.
  • Peter Bryant, who had previously been assistant to Gerry Davis and been newly promoted to script editor on the preceding story, was allowed to produce this serial in order to prove that he could take over from Innes Lloyd as producer later on in the season. Bryant's own assistant, Victor Pemberton acted as script editor on this serial, but left the series after production of the serial was finished, deciding that he didn't want to be a script editor. When Bryant's eventual promotion to producer came, Derrick Sherwin would become script editor.
  • Shirley Cooklin's character in this serial, Kaftan, was written especially for her by Gerry Davis.
  • In the remastered DVD release, the wires holding up the Cyberman that Toberman throws are clearly visible.


  • Episode 1 - 6.0 million viewers
  • Episode 2 - 6.4 million viewers
  • Episode 3 - 7.2 million viewers
  • Episode 4 - 7.4 million viewers


  • The only surviving copy of this story is slightly edited. (The prints in the BBC's archives are complete and unedited.)

Filming Locations

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • In episode one, the Doctor and Jamie hold one of the tomb doors closed with their feet.
  • The Cybercontroller uses a visible harness to lift Toberman over his head.
  • Toberman returns the favor in episode four by spinning a dummy Cybercontroller.
  • The Cybermen retreat into their tombs backwards, the film having been reversed.
  • Kaftan and Klieg are locked in the weapon testing room, complete with deadly weapon. (The room features a psychedelic target that can hypnotize humans, with a 'subliminal center you're trained to see', which is not a very Cyberman sort of thing.) (There's no explicit reason Cybermen wouldn't make use of a subliminal center. Their brains remain largely human.)
  • The Doctor's plan to lock the Controller in the revitalizing cabinet would appear sound were it not for the fact he decides to switch on the apparatus which will return the Controller to strength. (The equipment will only lock and restrain the occupant if it is switched on. He knows the Controller will eventually get out. It is simply a delaying tactic.)
  • Earlier, when the rocket's fuel pumps were sabotaged, Hopper said that it would take three days to repair them, working non-stop. Then at the end of the story, after far less time than that has passed, he walks in and blithely says, "Well, the fuel system's OK. We can blast off any time"! He may be using a different day time. Also, he may be using the 'Scotty Method' of telling your captain something will take longer than it actually will, so he'll think you're amazing.
  • When the archeological team discovers their rocket has been sabotaged and are distressed at the possibility of spending three days on Telos, no one even considers using the Doctor's ship to escape, or at least to hide in. In the end of the story, they seem surprised that the Doctor even have a ship, despite their reaction in the beginning to "something coming down over there."



DVD, Video, and Other Releases

DVD Releases

Released as Doctor Who: The Tomb of the Cybermen, this was the first of the releases for 2002 and marked the first photomontage cover art by Clayton Hickman which replaced the generic photo cover art of earlier releases from this point on.


NTSC - Warner Video E1181


  • The UK DVD release was rated PG, due to a mistaken attribution of "some mild sex, nudity"
  • The American DVD cover mistakenly credits the writing of this story to Robert Holmes. This happened due to a previous DVD release cover being used as a template.
  • The DVD contains a VidFIREd clip from the story as an Easter Egg. This was included as a test in order to determine how successfully the VidFIRE process would survive MPEG-2 encoding.



Video Releases

Released as Doctor Who: The Tomb of the Cybermen, the video was rushed to release after its recovery from Hong Kong at the end of 1991.


PAL - BBC Video BBCV4772
NTSC- Warner Video E1181

Notes: The video includes a special video interview with director Morris Barry, speaking about its recent recovery.


Main article: Doctor Who and the Tomb of the Cybermen

Script book

  • In August 1989, Titan Books published the scripts for the serial as part of its Doctor Who: The Scripts line of books.

See also

External links

  • Official BBC Episode Guide for The Tomb of the Cybermen
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide: Detailed Synopsis - The Tomb of the Cybermen
  • A Brief History of Time (Travel) Guide to The Tomb of the Cybermen
  • The Locations Guide to Doctor Who - The Tomb of the Cybermen
Cyberman Television Stories
Original Cybermen: The Tenth Planet  • The Moonbase  • The Tomb of the Cybermen  • The Wheel in Space  • The Invasion  • Revenge of the Cybermen  • Earthshock  • The Five Doctors  • Attack of the Cybermen  • Silver Nemesis
Alternate Universe Cybermen: Rise of the Cybermen/ The Age of Steel  • Army of Ghosts/ Doomsday  • The Next Doctor
Torchwood: Cyberwoman
Season 5
The Tomb of the Cybermen  • The Abominable Snowmen  • The Ice Warriors  • The Enemy of the World  • The Web of Fear  • Fury from the Deep  • The Wheel in Space
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at The_Tomb_of_the_Cybermen. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the TARDIS Index File, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).

This article uses material from the "The Tomb of the Cybermen" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

ST Expanded

Up to date as of February 07, 2010

The Star Trek Expanded Universe Database is for fanon and related content. See for the canon Star Trek wiki.

This article has a
real-world perspective.

"The Tomb of the Cybermen" is the first episode of Star Trek: Daedalus's third season, and introduces the Cybermen. (Part One of Two)



Background notes

  • From the Doctor and Donna's perspective, this story, and the whole of the third season of Star Trek: Daedalus, occurs between the Doctor Who episodes, "Midnight" and "Turn Left".



Guests and recurring


2008; 2378; Andorian; captain's log; cloister bell; Cybermen; USS Daedalus; Nordsk Prime; phaser; psychic paper; sickbay; sonic screwdriver; TARDIS; temporal rift; temporal shield; transphasic nebula; tricorder; Vulcan; Vulcan (planet)

External links

  • Coming soon

This article uses material from the "The Tomb of the Cybermen" article on the ST Expanded wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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