“The Tenth Planet” is one of the well-known “missing” stories, but it is not so very missing in comparison to some others. Unfortunately, the missing episode is the fourth, which features the first regeneration (or “renewal” as it is called in this story) from one Doctor to the next, arguably the important episode to date, certainly the one which contributed the most to the longevity of the show, I think. Think about it! I still can’t decide whether it was an act of utter desperation or sheer brilliance. Probably a little of both. Either way, I think “The Tenth Planet” was destined to be a landmark story, if not for introducing the concept of regeneration, then for the first appearance of the Cybermen.
Speaking of the Cybermen, RTD made them all silver metal because we all know that that’s the way they are “supposed” to be. Whereas I don’t disagree with that notion in theory, I do like the idea of the Cybermen “evolving” (not uncoincidentally right along with the SFX budget), but there’s really something to be said about this early look, almost like mechanical mummies. Very creepy! And you don’t have to look to closely at their cloth hoods to note a certain similarity to the mask of one Jason Voorhees, a horror icon from a later decade.
I’m not going to rehash the plot (which is available elsewhere online), except to mention the similarity in name and concept of the planet “Mondas” to Flash Gordon’s planet “Mongo.” If the BBC can animate two episodes to complete the eight-part story “The Invasion,” then I think they should be able to animate one episode to complete the four-part story “The Tenth Planet.” Maybe for the fiftieth anniversary?
"the similarity in name and concept of the planet “Mondas” to Flash Gordon’s planet “Mongo.”"
That's interesting. Decades now, and I can't recall anyone noticing that. In both case, you have a "rogue" planet that enters out star system which is somehow being PILOTED by its occupants.
Of course, this concept was also touched on in THE DALEK INVASION OF EARTH and FRONTIOS, though in both of those cases, you had aliens attempting to turn a planet into a "spaceship".
Oh yeah, and there's also THE PIRATE PLANET, though that was a bit different.
It was obvious from the start that "The Borg" on ST:TNG were inspired to some degree by The Cybermen. (Of course, like DOCTOR WHO, that show stole ideas from countless sources.) Just watched FIRST CONTACT again last night, where the Borg were made to look much more gruesome than they ever had before. It's no wonder Picard told his men to shoot to kill, "Believe me, you'll be doing them a favor."
1)Listened to this story today (Thanks, JP!). I quite enjoyed it. I agree that it would be nice if it could be release in some visual form. As it is, Anneke Wills does a good enough job narrating the story, making it into a nice "audioplay".
2)By and large the attempts at accents are OK, although Tito sounds as though he's doing a Chico Marx impersonation.
3)You have to wonder why the Cybermen bother stealing the parkas, since they reveal themselves immediately.
4)A shame Hartnell had so little to do in his last story. It's left largely to Ben to keep things moving.
5)Some fun quotes:
A fun, listenable story. What an impact it must've had back in the day!
You're welcome. Glad you liked it!
Jeff of Earth-J said:
If the BBC can animate two episodes to complete the eight-part story “The Invasion,” then I think they should be able to animate one episode to complete the four-part story “The Tenth Planet.” Maybe for the fiftieth anniversary?
Good things come to he who waits. Exactly in time for the 50th anniversary as it turns out. “The Tenth Planet” on DVD ships today!
I have introduced a co-worker and her family to Doctor Who, loaning them episodes (so far just 9th and 10th Doctors… oh, and the 8th, too), answering their questions, etc. (On this board I’m the tyro, but at work I’m the tutor.) On the 25th, six of us are going to see “Day of the Doctor” at the theater.
Remember that scene from the Deep Space Nine episode “Trials and Tribblations” in which Cisco’s crew are sitting in the bar (in the 23rd century) and someone mentions Klingons? Worf points them out and someone else (I think it was O’Brien) asks incredulously, “Those are Klingons?”
Well, yesterday I came back from lunch and showed my co-worker the “Tenth Planet” DVD. I told her that this story is significant for two reasons: the first ever regeneration and the first appearance of the Cyberman. (I’ll bet you’ve already anticipated where this story is going, haven’t you?) She had already been looking at the case for some time, but as soon as I said that she asked (just as incredulously as O’Brien), “Those are Cybermen?”
I watched episode one last night. I’ve previously read the Target paperback adaptation and listened to the audio soundtrack, so the main thing I’m interested in is how they adapted episode four to animation. It’s funny, though. I held a very definite image of Cutler in my mind’s eye, but the actor who plays him doesn’t look anything like my mental image.
On the 25th, six of us are going to see “Day of the Doctor” at the theater.
I found out that this would be playing near me ... like, 5 minutes away, at the brand new theater just up the road -- too late to get tickets. Rrrrrrrrrrrr.......
Jeff of Earth-J said:
. I held a very definite image of Cutler in my mind’s eye, but the actor who plays him doesn’t look anything like my mental image.
I was thinking the same thing.
Watched the story and some of the extras last night. One thing I had never known about was the way they gimmicked the opening and closing credits - hard to notice when you've only heard the audio. The early Cybermen work OK for the time, although they didn't always synch up the voices with the mouth movements perfectly. They actually worked better in the animated segment, I thought. The animation was well-done.
One of the extras featured a psychologist, some of the companion actors, and some writers talking about what kind of people would actually go off with the Doctor - that was interesting.
Another one featured Peter Perves, Fraser Hines and Mark Strickson discussing the role of the male companion in Doctor Who. Also interesting, but Hines looks ghastly - I'd heard he'd been ill.
This morning I watched the making-of feature. Interesting stuff. Apparently, Hartnell's departure was somewhat less "voluntary" than I'd heard - ratings had been dropping, and the move was on to replace him. The fact that he had begun to realize that his health was failing just sort of dovetailed nicely with their efforts to "convince" him to leave. He was, however, supposedly happy that an actor of Troughton's caliber was following him in the role.
Anneke Wills also claims that Hartnell was a racist, and that this came out when a Bermudan actor was cast as one of the astronauts. Unfortunately, this does not come as a surprise, given some of the other things I've heard about him. They interviewed Earl Cameron, the actor in question, who claims not to recall Hartnell being "unkind" to him personally, but he also says that he's always tried to brush that sort of thing off.
Tonight I will most likely listen to the commentary track.
The people responsible for the annimation pretty much have to guess about the staging when they match the story to the soundtrack, but as I suspected, they reconstructed the regeneration scene matched as close as possible to the surviving footage of episode four (which is so crappy that the annimation is actually an improvement).
Watched it with the commentary track and info text on last night. They only had them for the first three episodes - odd, since they've had commentary for the animated episodes in the past. I suspect the commentary was recorded before it had been decided to animate episode four.
I also watched the "reconstructed" episode four from the VHS release, using surviving footage and still photos, along with the soundtrack. Kind of Bizarre.
I see they have "The Moonbase" listed as "Coming Soon". If they ever release "The Wheel in Space", I beleive that would make all of the Cyberstories.
Earl Cameron, who played astronaut Glyn Williams in this story, has passed away at the age of 102.