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Cyber-encounters for two Doctors

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Cyber-encounters for two Doctors

1975/1988 • PG • 170 mins • £29.99 • OUT NOW!

Distributor 2entertain

Directors Michael E Briant, Chris Clough

Cast: Tom Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Elisabeth Sladen, Sophie Aldred, Ian Marter

★★★ Extras: ★★★★1/2

Back in 1983, Tom Baker tale "Revenge Of The Cybermen" was the first old Who to be released on video. You might infer classic status from that, but the fact that it's taken this long to hit DVD is more fitting.

It's noteworthy for introducing an achilles heel for the Cybermen - gold. Otherwise, it's blandly competent, meat-and-potatoes action-adventure fare. The title refers to the Cybermen's plan to destroy Voga, "planet of gold". The story doesn't bear much thinking about, the bickering between Vogan factions soon becomes tedious, and the parping score sounds like a constipated elephant pleading for death. On the plus side, Christopher Robbie's hands-on-hips Cyber Leader has camp appeal; a sequence where the Doctor's turned into a walking bomb has added edge today; and the leads are reliably brilliant. Tom Baker is authoritative and unpredictable, while Lis Sladen lends the story a sense of urgency by hyper-ventilating her way through it.

Seventh Doctor adventure "Silver Nemesis" is more ambitious, perhaps too much so. The Cybermen are jostled to the sidelines by a would-be Fourth Reich (a Transit full of Nazis with cap-gun Uzis), saxophonist Courtney Pine, the Queen (well, her double), and the fanboy cock-tease of a revelation about the Doctor's true identity. The Cybermen look like dozy wimps, outfoxed by all-comers and slaughtered using a catapult. And the story's spine - Doctor returns to Earth, retrieves Gallifreyan superweapon, tricks enemies into obliterating themselves - is identical to "Remembrance Of The Daleks", which aired weeks before.

Scattered among all this are a great concept (a statue of "living metal"), some cool moments, a couple of enjoyably awful puns and one superb character: nutjob Jacobean villainess Lady Peinforte. But someone should have pruned back this dense thicket to something more manageable.

Extras: Both stories come with above-average Making Ofs. The everything-and-the-kitchen-sink nature of "Silver Nemesis" means there's plenty to talk about (33 mins), while the production team on "Revenge" regale us with tales of ghosts and sinister accidents during filming in Wookey Hole (25 mins) - there's a short local news piece from the location too.

The VHS of "Silver Nemesis" was an extended cut; here you get a whopping 22 minutes of deleted/extended scenes instead. There are commentaries on both stories (Sophie "Ace" Aldred has a keen eye for cock-ups!), plus all the usual features: info text, Radio Times PDFs, trails and galleries. But the highlight is "Cheques, Lies And Videotapes" (28 mins), an inspired featurette about the trade in bootleg VHSes in the pre-DVD age. Liable to send any thirtysomething Who fan who had a "special tape" for recording snippets of Saturday Superstore into a nostalgic reverie, it should also be fascinating viewing for don't-know-they're-born young 'uns.

Matt Smith's Doctor isn't the first to don a fez - in "Silver Nemesis" the Seventh Doctor finds one in the cellar of Windsor Castle.

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to

  • APA 6th ed.: Berriman, Ian (October 2010). Cyber-encounters for two Doctors. SFX Magazine .
  • MLA 7th ed.: Berriman, Ian. "Cyber-encounters for two Doctors." SFX Magazine [add city] October 2010. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Berriman, Ian. "Cyber-encounters for two Doctors." SFX Magazine, edition, sec., October 2010
  • Turabian: Berriman, Ian. "Cyber-encounters for two Doctors." SFX Magazine, October 2010, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Cyber-encounters for two Doctors | url= | work=SFX Magazine | pages= | date=October 2010 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=10 April 2020 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Cyber-encounters for two Doctors | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=10 April 2020}}</ref>