Doctor Who and the Tenth Planet was the first Doctor Who paperback I read, not only because the final episode is missing from the BBC archives, but more importantly because it deals with the Doctor’s first regeneration. Unfortunately, the regeneration does not occur until the very last scene, and what I was really interested in (Ben and Polly’s reaction to the Second Doctor’s appearance and how he himself acted) are not really dealt with until the next story. More unfortunate still, the Power of the Daleks is also among the missing (all six episodes of it, in this case!), nor was it part of the collection I acquired from Tim. Luckily the audio of the television broadcast is now available.

These days, an event such as a regeneration would likely be an end-of-season cliffhanger, but being just four weeks into the fourth season, viewers in 1966 had only one week to wait to meet the new Doctor. Another difference in comparison to later years is that nowadays, episodes might be filmed out of their intended broadcast order, giving the lead actor time to get comfortable in the role before filming the first episode so that he may “hit the ground running” as it were. But Patrick Troughton’s performance here is significantly different than it would become.

Although quite different from the First Doctor in most respects, Troughton’s performance itself is much closer to what William Hartnell might have done with the same lines. Not yet arrived is the somewhat worrisome Doctor who oftentimes feigns indecision while perhaps stalling for time. There’s no “Oh, dear! Oh, my! Oh, no, no, no…” here. Whereas his mannerisms (playing the recorder, etc.) are quite different from his previous incarnation, his approach to the matter at hand is very similar and quite serious. Troughton has not yet developed the more-or-less clownish persona for which he would become known and be remembered.

Other than that, though, the new Doctor faces the Daleks right out of the box. They seem to recognize him, which leads me to believe that although this is his first encounter with them, it’s not their first encounter with him. More than likely, this mystery is just a case of writer’s fiat, but it’s certainly easy to place this story later in the Daleks’ timeline since no specific year is given. This story reminds me very much of the Eleventh Doctor’s encounter with the Daleks and Winston Churchill during WWII (or rather the reverse I should say). It’s creepy to hear the Dalek’s intone, “I-am-your-serrr-VANT! I-am-your-serrr-VANT!” over and over again.

This is the last story featuring Ben and Polly as a (companion) duo. I really like this team; they have good chemistry together. I really must make the effort to read the three original novels featuring Ben and Polly I have in my collection (formerly Bob’s, not Tim’s this time).

NEXT: The duo becomes a trio.

Doctor, Ben and Polly
Saw the Power of the Daleks
On the planet Vulcan (but not Spock’s)
Outside the TARDIS, they met the Daleks there (AHHHH!)
Which plunged them into danger and intrigue
The Power of the Da-(leks, leks, leks, leks, leks, leks, leks)
The Power of the Daleks!

Views: 342

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I have been listening to the audio version in the car for the past two days.

Seeing the original opening sequence in the theatre: goosebumps.

This is possibly the least troublesome regeneration the Doctor has ever had.

Today, episode one would have been a season opener.

I like the way the plot set up and revealed several little mysteries: Who contacted the examiner? Who killed the examiner? Where is the third Dalek? Despite his peculiar behavior, the Doctor’s methodology is clearly designed to reveal these hidden truths.

It was a stroke of sheer genius to anticipate fan reaction and mirror it in Ben and Polly. It was also wise to have the Daleks recognize the Doctor. It doesn’t seem likely that they would, but if the Daleks recognize him, he must be the Doctor. Maybe they have some way to recognize Timelords, as Timelords recognize each other. Or maybe the Daleks have already encountered this iteration of the Doctor elsewhen along the timeline.

It’s odd that he would refer to his previous self as “The Doctor,” but that’s the Doctor for you.

I think the regeneration as a concept is a big part of why the show has lasted as long as it has.  Imagine if they'd just gone with a Hartnell knock-off, instead!

Agreed.

BBC America will be airing this in 6 weekly segments, starting this weekend.

When this popped up on my TiVo, I thought it was a mistake -- like when it told me I was going to be taping the Roger Corman FF film, when really it was the '15 version.

But no -- BBCA ran a little 4-minute preview the other day.  It's the real (animated) deal!

Roger Corman made an animated FF film?  I know about the live action one, but not the animated one.

Doctor Hmmm? said:

BBC America will be airing this in 6 weekly segments, starting this weekend.

When this popped up on my TiVo, I thought it was a mistake -- like when it told me I was going to be taping the Roger Corman FF film, when really it was the '15 version.

But no -- BBCA ran a little 4-minute preview the other day.  It's the real (animated) deal!

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Welcome!

No flame wars. No trolls. But a lot of really smart people.The Captain Comics Round Table tries to be the friendliest and most accurate comics website on the Internet.

SOME ESSENTIALS:

RULES OF THE ROUND TABLE

MODERATORS

SMILIES FOLDER

TIPS ON USING THE BOARD

FOLLOW US:

OUR COLUMNISTS:

Groups

© 2021   Captain Comics, board content ©2013 Andrew Smith   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service