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Our lives are different to anybody else's. That's the exciting thing. Nobody in the universe can do what we're doing.—The Doctor
The TARDIS lands on the planet Telos, where a group of Earth archaeologists is trying to uncover the fabled Tomb of the Cybermen. The Doctor helps them get in, where they discover the creepy silent remains of the Cybermen's city.
After one of the expedition's members dies in an accident in the weapon testing chamber, the expedition leader, Professor Parry, decides that the expedition should return to Earth and be better prepared for the next expedition. Kaftan, one of the expedition's financial supporters, makes her servant Toberman sabotage the rocket so they can't get of the planet and has to explore further.
The Doctor helps them to open the way down to the tombs of the Cybermen, whereupon Kaftan and logician Klieg awaken the Cybermen from their cryogenic sleep and reveal that they are in fact there to revive the Cybermen, using their brains and the Cybermen's strength to conquer the universe.
As bad an idea as this would be, it turns out to be irrelevant anyway, as out the tomb is just a giant logic puzzle designed to weed out everyone but the smartest people, whom the Cybermen judge worthy to be turned into more Cybermen. The Cybermen punch their way out of the tombs and attack the party accompanied by little slug-like Cybermats.
The party manages to find weapons and use them to defeat the Cybermen, and the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria go on their way.
The story was thought to be lost for decades, until a complete copy was discovered in Hong Kong -- it is the only complete story of Season 5 and of the first two years of Troughton.
Also, this episode turned Matt Smith (i.e. The Eleventh Doctor) into a fan of the show.
- The Assimilator: Well guess who.
- Batman Gambit: The Cybermen plan hinges on someone being smart and curious enough to open their tomb.
- Big Bad: The domed Cyber Controller. As Cyber Leaders hadn't been invented yet, this was the first time we saw a chain of command with the Cybermen.
- The Cavalry: Captain Hopper distracts the Cybermen with some smoke bombs, allowing The Doctor, Jamie and Professor Parry to get away just in time.
- Creepy Monotone: The Cybermen.
- Dying Race: The Cybermen are dying out after Mondas' destruction. The Doctor suspects that this is why they attacked the moonbase.
- Evil Is Hammy: Klieg.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: Klieg never learns this. Well, technically he does, but it's a rather fatal lesson...
- Food Pills: And suddenly Victoria is not hungry.
- Hand Blast: Several Cybermen fire electrical bolts from their hands.
- Heel Face Turn: Toberman
- Heroic Sacrifice/You Shall Not Pass: "They will not get past Toberman."
- Hollywood Darkness: The walls are phosphorescent.
- Impossibly Lame Pun: Jamie does not appreciate the Doctor's attempts at wit.
Doctor: The power cable generated an electrical field and confused their tiny metal minds. You might almost say they've had a complete metal breakdown! [Jamie groans] I'm so sorry, Jamie.
- It's Quiet... Too Quiet
- Last Villain Stand: The Cyber-Controller tries to force the Tomb's doors open at the end.
- Only Smart People May Pass: The controls to the tomb are a giant symbolic logic puzzle. Justified, in that the Cybermen want their new race to be built from only the best - that is, people smart enough to figure out the puzzle.
- Scary Black Man: Toberman, with a surprising dose of Hidden Depths.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The eponymous tomb.
- Sequel Hook: From the ending shots, it's quite obvious that this is not the end of the Cybermen.
- Special Effects Failure: When a Cyberman picks up Toberman to throw him, the wire holding the actor up can be clearly seen.
- In turn, when Toberman picks up a Cyberman to throw him, the 'Cyberman' is clearly just a ragdoll in a costume.
- Straw Vulcan: The Logicians.
- Take Over the World: Kaftan and Klieg plan to use the Cybermen technology to do this.
- Villainous Breakdown: Klieg just can't seem to grasp that the Cybermen never will cooperate and that his plan was doomed to fail from the start. At the end, he names himself the new Cyber Controller, right before he is killed by a Cyberman.
- The X of Y
- You Fail Logic Forever: Victoria reaches the (correct) conclusion that the Doctor is older than he looks based on nothing more than the fact that he's a time traveller.
- You Will Be Assimilated: "You beeelong to Uzzz. You shall beee like Uzzz."