The Fourth Dimension
Revenge of the Cybermen
BACK TO THE BEACON
Revenge of the Cybermen was recorded back-to-back with the second story of the season, The Ark in Space. Set on the same space station, the production was able to reuse many of the same sets.
After a long absence, the Cybermen returned to the series – their first major appearance since The Invasion in 1968. In this new story, the voices of the Cybermen were provided by the actors inside the Cybermen costumes.
The Doctor, Sarah and Harry return to space station Nerva by using the Time Lords’ time ring given to them in the previous story, Genesis of the Daleks. Although they are in an earlier time period than their first visit to the space station, the Doctor explains that the TARDIS is drifting back in time to them and it eventually materialises on the station at the end of the story.
The launch of the Sky Striker rocket is represented by stock footage of NASA’s Saturn V rocket taking off.
Many of the scenes that take place in the caverns beneath Voga were filmed on location in the Wookey Hole show caves in Somerset, England.
BENEATH THE MASK
The scheming Vogan, Vorus, is played by David Collings. This is the first of three parts that he would play in Doctor Who, returning in The Robots of Death and Mawdryn Undead. He is also well known for playing the part of Silver in the TV series, Sapphire and Steel.
Peter Howell of the BBC’s radiophonic workshop was asked to enhance the story’s score provided by composer Carey Blyton. Howell’s work on Revenge of the Cybermen did not receive a credit but he would return to Doctor Who, contributing a new rendition of the theme tune as well as incidental music.
Magrik is played by Michael Wisher who had played Davros in the previous story, Genesis of the Daleks, although the audience was unlikely to recognise him as he is beneath a mask in both parts. Revenge of the Cybermen was actually made before Genesis of the Daleks and it’s likely that Wisher’s role in this story led to him being offered the part of Davros.
As well as the Cybermen, the Cybermats also make a return appearance in Revenge of the Cybermen. They previously menaced the Doctor in The Tomb of the Cybermen and The Wheel in Space, and this would be their last outing in the TV series until Closing Time. They would also appear in the Adventure Game, Blood of the Cybermen.
All four episodes of Revenge of the Cybermen have been restored and remastered and are available on DVD as part of box set containing this story and Silver Nemesis. Accompanying the four episodes is a commentary with actors Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah), David Collings (Vorus) and producer Philip Hinchcliffe. Also on the disc is the documentary, The Tin Men and the Witch which takes a look at the making of the serial.