The Cybermen are out to pulverize the planetoid Voga, a small body rich in gold. As we learn here for the first time, gold is one of the only substances capable of shutting down the Cybermen, and Voga’s wealth of the precious metal was key to the defeat of the Cybermen in the “Cyber Wars” (evidently, the Cybermen are acquainted with Usenet flame-fests too). The Cybermen’s plan to destroy Voga hinges on the elimination of a manned satellite that stands sentinel near the planetoid – a satellite that will later become the Nerva space station that will preserve the human race. But the Cybermen don’t count on the arrival of the Doctor, Sarah and Harry – or on the willpower and ability of the Vogans to defend their homeworld.
Guest Cast: Alec Wallis (Warner), Ronald Leigh-Hunt (Stevenson), Jeremy Wilkin (Kellman), William Marlowe (Lester), David Collings (Vorus/Wilkins), Michael Wisher (Magrik/Colville/Vogan voice), Christopher Robbie (Cyberleader), Melville Jones (Cyberman), Kevin Stoney (Tyrum), Brian Grellis (Sheprah)
Broadcast from April 19 through May 10, 1975
LogBook entry & review by Earl Green
Review: For whatever reason, despite the fact that the team of the fourth Doctor and his two original companions made for some of the best character dynamics in the history of Doctor Who, this particular story never really excited me. For those lucky enough to have seen it in its original format of four 25-minute episodes (sadly, the original commercial video release is a “movie” comprised of all four parts edited together), you’ll remember that the first part is actually reasonably interesting and tense, with the morgue atmosphere aboard the space station building a lot of tension. But the appearance of the Vogans, with their all-too-familiar political in-fighting subplot, never fails to slow things down, and even the Cybermen themselves – in their only appearance in the 1970s (after almost too many “guest villain of the week” turns in the 60s) – don’t appear to be much of a threat to our heroes. In one scene, the Doctor and Sarah are subdued by a couple of Cybermen who seem to be giving them vicious shoulder rubs. Another detriment is Jeremy Wilkin, who plays Kellman with little or no subtlety whatsoever, practically telegraphing to the viewer that this guy is up to no good.
Other than that, Revenge Of The Cybermen has always struck me as a simply average adventure for the fourth Doctor and company.