Saturday, March 2, 2013

TV Series Review: Doctor Who: Tomb of the Cybermen

As a head's up, tomorrow (erm, later today EST) starts webcomic review month so I guess I just won't get my last anime review of the month in (which is fine since I've had barely any time to watch a full series anyway) and I'm planning to try and post every other day so I can get through all the titles I have. Planning anyway, as you guys can tell this semester has been a bit of a ride and this blog just isn't as important as any of my classes.

In any case, this was the second Classic Doctor Who serial BBC America decided to show this year, although I missed it since the tv was otherwise occupied and this one is not streaming on Netflix (in fact, I'm not sure if any Second Doctor serials are streaming on Netflix, they only have 13 Classic serials avaiable for streaming to start with). It can be found elsewhere on the internet however, and surprisingly easy, and obviously is available on DVD for the US and I would assume in the rest of the English speaking world and elsewhere.

Doctor Who: Tomb of the Cybermen

Summary: The (second) Doctor and assistants Jamie (the kilt wearing Scotsman) and Victoria (a Victorian-era young lady) arrive on a distant planet to investigate what is believed to be the tomb of the cybermen and run into a group of archeologist doing the exact same thing. However, some of them want to do more than merely investigate the cybermen and there are many people in the group hiding secrets.

The Good: I've been told that Victoria has a really good character arc through out the show and it seems like she just joined the Doctor and Jamie the previous episode so it's interesting to see her start changing even as the serial progresses. The Doctor has some more quite moments with her which I also really like, I love it when the show contrasts his adventurous side with a quieter side that shows that he does care about the people who travel with him, and I still like Jamie as well. 

The Bad: I had a bit of a hard time keeping track of which characters were backstabbing who by the end of the episode (I think, including the Doctor and company there were three or four, maybe five, different factions?) and at one point I thought one character was actually a cyberman but either they abandoned that idea halfway through filming or they just had some really weird writing at that point. There were a few too many handwaves involving the technology for my taste ("how do we figure this out? Oh it's based on logic so it's going to be easy!") but that's hardly a new thing in the show. Again it seems like BBC America has chosen some rather solid serials to show so I don't have many bad things to say about them.

The Audio: Everything sounded fine, honestly I was so distracted by some of the costuming that I didn't really notice anything weird here.

The Visuals: I know that classic Doctor Who had a (practically literal) shoestring budget and I've seen that in the past. However, the cybermen costumes were literally the crappiest costumes I have ever seen and guys, I've been to half a dozen anime conventions where half of the cosplays there were thrown together out of someone's closet. Not to bash those outfits but those costumes that people put together for fun with no budget still look eons better than costumes from a professionally produced show which supposedly had a budget. Honestly I don't want to see any more older cybermen stories (since it sounds like this wasn't the first time they had appeared) if this is the kind of quality I'm going to get, at least the actual video quality wasn't that bad for having been discovered (if I recall correctly) in someone's private collection a decade or two back.

Based on the current pattern I'm not expecting them to show the Third Doctor classic serial until late March (right around when the new, erm, half season starts) and that I'm really curious about, like the First Doctor I've only see the Third Doctor in the The Three Doctors special and I didn't like him as much there. So BBC America, show me what you have in those archives!

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