Sunday, 18 October 2015

The Tenth Planet

It's not rocket science, it's the Tenth Planet!
Chris@KosmicKris The UKs first (and so far only) attempt at developing independent satellite launching capacity! Good choice of stock film!

Our story opens at international Antarctic base Snowcap...

...under the command of US General Cutler.
Chris@KosmicKris General Cutler, later to be shot by the Federation for holding an underground meeting!

The base is supervising the mission of the Zeus IV spaceship, running a routine probe on the Earth's atmosphere.

The Zeus IV is manned by astronauts Glyn Williams and "Bluey" Schulz.
Mark@OdysseusMW This is actually making me feel cold!
Tito's singing well known Opera ditty "the one wot Pertwee sings at the beginning of Inferno".
Thedarkeyedgirl ‏@EmmisMiddleMa So, I misread Tito, which put a whole new spin on that tweet.
The TARDIS arrives in the icy wastelands outside.

It's his hat from his very 1st story! Tell Dexeter...
Chris@KosmicKris I would like a hat like that (too soon?)
Chris@KosmicKris I love this Tardis crew! Such a shame Bill Hartnell's illness was taking hold by this time!
Mark@OdysseusMW The bit where Tito goes 'A WOMAN?!' still makes me laugh.
It's like you see his posters, he says "A WOMAN!" like that, and you almost expect him to say "I've seen them in pictures, but never seen one in real life before!"

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Accusations of stereotyping are utter nonsense when you realise Tito is in fact Welsh.
The crew of the ice station spot the TARDIS travellers...

...and bring them down into the warmth.

That's a great set when you think about it, the way the soldiers can come "up" out of the ice.

"Why don't you speak up, I'm deaf!" The Doctor's on particularly acerbic form.

"I don't like your tone, sir!"
"I don't like yours, nor your hair!"
Smashing little exchange.
Chris@KosmicKris "there's so few people - it's not like that on the telly" - a lovely piece of dialogue to cover off production limitations!
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly The 1st Doc has wandered into a 2nd Doc base under siege story.

Wow! The distant space future of 1986!

Mark@OdysseusMW ah, I miss the futuristic past of 1986!
Isaac Dakin@IWhittakerDakin if it's set in December should we count it as a xmas special?

Nah, loads of stories were broadcast in December & not even remotely Christmassy (or special!)

Genuinely brilliant that in 1966 they gave us Earl Cameron as an astronaut with no comment.
Chris@KosmicKris Such a wonderful actor - and what a fabulous interview he gives on the 'making of' feature on the DVD! A true pioneer!

Astronauts Schultz & Williams detect an unexpected object in space...

Its another planet that shouldn't even be there!

The Doctor's doing his mystic meg bit now, writing down a prediction.
Chris@KosmicKris I love this bit! Hartnell is just wonderful with that little twinkle as he writes it down!

But Hartnell being Hartnell he's written down that Cutler's card is "the Ace of Spades".

Earl Cameron gives it his best g-force acting; the other guy acts like he's got a slight itch.

The Doctor seems remarkably well informed about Mondas, doesn't he? Been there before?

This is exactly what the Doctor expected to see - Earth's twin!

UN desk jockey Wigner orders Cutler to recruit the Doctor as a sort of freelance scientific advisor.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly "Does it come with an old yellow car? Hmm?! No? Then forget it!"

Don't be distracted by the Cyber-robot hoover, look at that cute little TARDIS model in the 'snow'. Awww.
Chris@KosmicKris I love the model work - very 'B' movie feel to it.

The soldiers head up top to check out the TARDIS.

Out of the blizzard, comes a sight that chills even more than the ice...

The Cybermen make short work of the soldiers.

These original Cybermen are very much like mummies with their creepy cloth faces.

Mark@OdysseusMW apart from the oversized chest units and headlamps, I think they are the best version.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly OK, I'm just gonna admit it. This ain't my favourite Cyber story but these are my favourite Cybermen. Cloth faced zombies.
 Isaac Dakin@IWhittakerDakin the cloth faces I love you can tell there's something living under there that was organic.
Mark@OdysseusMW you can imagine more how they gradually went from human to that.
Isaac Dakin@IWhittakerDakin isn't spare parts from big finish basically a prequel to this story?

Mark@OdysseusMW yes, and it's brilliant.

Gareth Fletcher@gazzylaaa Big Finish's Spare Parts is an awesome tribute to these first Cybermen.

Cutler sets his men to work on a plan to get the astronauts back, unaware of the fate of his own personnel.

Inserts of news reports in Doctor Who? It'll never catch on.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Love the no expense spared sign stuck to the wall.

I think if they made this now, the voices would sound like Stephen Hawking i.e. they're supposed to be electronically generated. The up-and-down "sing song"-ness is supposed to be the computer stringing together pre-recorded syllables.
Is this Doctor Who's first proper "base under siege" story, with attacking aliens and a commander gone nuts?
RobotOfDeath@Mr_GWard I've always thought so.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Only other thing I can think of that comes close is first two eps of Sensorites.
Chris@KosmicKris This story needs a quisling traitor - all good base under siege stories have a traitor. 
That lead Cyberman's headpiece literally has a piece of sellotape across the front.
Mark@OdysseusMW had to make repairs on the fly!
MAW Holmes@MAW_H Here+++is one+++I+++++++madeear+++lier

You can actually see the Cybermen's eyeballs behind the gauze too.

It's a flaw really, but again you get that idea that there's really (bits of) a human in there. It has that effect, happily, but I don't think it was intended.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Chilling. Glinting reminder of their origin.

Sounds a bit like he's making it up. "We are called Cybermen, yes, Cybermen!" Like "Cybermen, yeah, that'll do."
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly He's thinking "Christ we never did decide on a name.... cyber.... er.... people? No.... erm...."

Never really took to Ben, to be honest. 

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Ben's a whiny loudmouth who spends most of time being sarcastic, affronted or self pitying. But apart from that...

Polly I can put up with, but she's a bit too posh. 

Mark@OdysseusMW she used to pull some great faces!

They both work better with Troughton, undoubtedly. By far and away their best story is The Power of the Daleks; they have to carry us across the regeneration, and do. 

The Cybermen order the scientists to fob off the UN; seems they don't fancy taking on humanity in great numbers.

We must be obeyed!

Ben tries to attack the emotionless Cyberleader angrily bends his rifle like it's made of cheap plastic.

Ben is hauled off and locked in the projector room to cool off; presumably this is Snowcap's equivalent of "Netflix and chill"?

The scientists desperately attempt to free the astronauts from Mondas' gravitational pull.

But the Cybermen have already written them off.

Ben tangles with a Cyberman...

...and is left with no alternative than to gun him down with his own weapon.

Polly finds the Cybermen's lack of compassion for the astronauts' deaths incomprehensible.

"Care? No, why should I care?" Krail responds."I do not understand you. There are people dying all over your world yet you do not care about them." BURNED.

The Doctor kicks back. "Emotions. Love, pride, hate, fear. Have you no emotions, sir?"

But Krail is unmoved. "Come to Mondas and you will have no need of emotions. You will become like us."

But that said, the Cybermen do record the Doctor's speech specially so their descendents can watch it during Earthshock.
MAW Holmes@MAW_H "If I said this whilst looking like a young vet, I bet you'd pay attention...!"
John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland Oh yes, and one the great Doctor Who moments. I love the way he addresses the Cyberman as 'sir'.

MAW Holmes@MAW_H is that the last great "Billy moment" do you think?

Cutler gets the drop on the Cybermen, with a little help from Ben.

And with that, the Cybermen invasion is repelled and the story's over! Nah, not really. 

There'll be more on the way.

Nice big chunky future phone Cutler's got there.

That's about right for the 80s, to be fair. Cutler just needs some shoulder pads now.

Wigner has ordered a rescue mission, unwittingly sending Cutler's son to his almost certain death.
Chris@KosmicKris When are we getting a Wigner spin off series - charting his decline from Space Bigwig to boozy chef at Fawlty Towers?

"Love. Hate. Fear. Have you no emotions?"
"I love Manuel!"

If Cutler thought that was the end of the Cybermen he's got several other things coming...
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly "Alright, who sneezed on the radar?"

And into part 3... a sadly "Doctor-lite" episode.

The Doctor's collapsed...

...and Polly notes that he seems worn out. You don't know the half of it!

Cutler's only concern is for his son - which he seems hell bent on prioritising over that of the rest of the planet.

Cutler's listing of the problems there was surely some of Hartnell's lines.
MAW Holmes@MAW_H only rewritten without the Billyfluffs, sadly...
He made a valiant effort with some of the pauses and his mispronunciation of Mondas, though :-D

Cutler goes the full Brig and decides to blow everything, I mean the Cybermen, up with a "Z-Bomb".
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Bombs A-Y were rubbish.

Cutler wants to take offensive action. He's going to tell Mondas to "Spack Off", Tom Baker-style

If Mondas turns into a sun "it may not affect us at all" says "scientist" Barclay. Er, I think it might, you know...
MAW Holmes@MAW_H Lucky they've got that big science brain looking at the scripts then..

With the Doctor out of action, Ben has to step up, and decides the bomb must be sabotaged to see the plan through.

While the soldiers repel the next wave of Cybermen...

...Ben crawls through the airducts in search of a good cliche.
MAW Holmes@MAW_H thinking "Who'd have thought that the Saint could also be James Bond?"
Chris@KosmicKris Considering this is Dr Who lite, it's rattling along at a reasonable pace.

To be fair, the Doctor's plan was just wait for Mondas to burn out, so getting some kip was his plan anyway!

Hartnell would only have done the 'list of problems' & ordered Ben into the air duct to do what he's doing now.
Chris@KosmicKris "Just me here on my lonesome" - Cutler's son talking about last night's DW viewing figures!

After his bump on the noggin, Ben isn't sure if his sabotage was successful. We'll soon find out...!
Everyone loves a big sci-fi countdown!
Chris@KosmicKris on screen graphics countdown! They did that on Sherlock and there were BAFTAs flying about!

End of part 3, and into the animated part 4!

The animation on this one's better than that on the Reign of Terror, I think.
MAW Holmes@MAW_H Billy's last hurrah!!! (Hope he gets some good material - oh look, they've thrown the tape in the bin...)

We're basically right back to where we were about halfway through episode 2 now.

I genuinely reckon you could do this story as a single 45 minute episode and lose nothing of import. i.e. lose the back half of part 2, all of part 3, and the 1st half of part 4 and you're down to about 50 minutes straight away.

The Doctor notes some outside influence causing his exhaustion, and besides "this old body of mine is wearing a bit thin..."
Cutler blames Ben for the fate of his son.
MAW Holmes@MAW_H whereas we all know that pushing him into following you into a military career at such an early age...

The Doctor's death is postponed when the Cybermen arrive and shoot Cutler down.

The Cybermen demand the rocket is completely disarmed, and take Polly hostage to ensure co-operation.
Polly doesn't fancy the no frills acommodation aboard the Cyber-ship...

The Doctor's rumbled that the Cybermen plan to nick Earth once Mondas blows up.
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly The Attempted Stolen Earth

"Quick, look busy!" Ben's quite the slacker for a navy man.

Ben & Barclay lock the Cybermen out & plan to sit tight till Mondas blows up. 
Chris@KosmicKris “tell you what, why don’t we dismantle a nuclear reactor - how hard can it be?”

The Doctor is taken to join Polly are aboard the Cyber-ship as it absorbs more & more energy to take back to Mondas.

The Cybermen want the humans alive... and conscious. Gulp.

Ben thinks it's a good idea to blast Cybermen with their own guns whilst stood next to a nuclear bomb.

Finally the waiting game has paid off...

...and Mondas tears itself apart.

With their power source gone, the technology keeping the Cybermen alive fails...

...causing their organic components to wither and die.

The Snowcap personnel set about saving the drifting Terry Cutler...

...meaning Ben can slip away to rescue Polly and the Doctor from the Cyber-ship.

As Ben notes the Doctor's deterioration...

...we all know what's coming. 

"It's far from being all over..."
Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Love that moment. Haunting. Wish those were his last words.
Chris@KosmicKris This is solid gold stuff from here on in! The three TARDIS crew members are brilliant - and it's a truly shocking ending!

The Doctor's suddenly in a hurry to get back to the TARDIS...

So much so that he locks Ben & Polly out!

The console looks great.
MAW Holmes@MAW_H Still think it's a pity that the animated version doesn't cut to the "live" version...

They really have done a smashing job with the regeneration scene.
John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland The special sound is amazing, really adds to the strangeness, and then the change itself...

What a bonkers, brave, inspired thing to do that was.

Mark@OdysseusMW Makes you wonder how close it is to the actual thing. Very good job with the animation.

Regeneration. Unbelievable. Just magic.

Find out what happened next in The Power of the Daleks!

Take a bow, Mr. William Hartnell. The guv'nor.
Coming Soon... The Masque of Mandragora

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