One of those stories whose reputation has gone through more changes than most within fandom over the years, The Tomb of the Cybermen became best known via Gerry Davis’ retelling in the 1978 novelisation – so perhaps it wasn’t too surprising that when the story was recovered in 1992, it never quite lived up to expectations.
Davis plays around with the original script quite a bit in his book version, and there are elements which were scripted but not realised fully on screen which get their due here (notably Toberman’s reactions during the fourth episode). Michael Kilgarriff adopts various different tones for the characters, so you’re never unclear who’s who – there’s more than a slight Scots accent for Jamie, and Klieg and Kaftan are quite close to the original version. Professor Parry, though, has lost his Welsh accent.
Simon Power’s score and sound effects add to the mix as ever, although there’s the occasional oddity – the Cybermat approaching Kaftan is described as being silent in the text, but it’s beeping here in the background, just as it was in the original television story.
Verdict: Both Matt Smith and Neil Gaiman (in the new DWM) cite this story as key, and this budget restriction-free retelling brings Telos to vivid life. 8/10