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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4
PHOTOGRAPHY

DOCTOR WHO: THE MOONBASE

DVD Review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS: 98 minutes, audio commentary, making-of featurette, photo gallery, production notes subtitle track, pdf materials, coming soon trailer

VIDEO:  1.33:1

AUDIO:  English 2.0 Mono Dolby Digital (main feature), English 2.0 Dolby Digital (extras)

 

STUDIO:  BBC/ BBC Home Video/ BBC Worldwide Americas/ BBC Worldwide LTD/ Warner Bros. Home Video

RELEASE DATE:  2-11-2014

The Doctor and his companions Ben, Polly, and Jamie land on the moon (in the TARDIS) near the Moonbase (in 2070 AD) which is home to the Gravitron (that controls the Earth’s tides).  They are soon accused of causing a plague which is spreading among the crew of the Moonbase, but they will all face a foe once thought destroyed with the destruction of Mondas.  The Cybermen are back with a plan to lay ruin to Earth.

 

THE MOONBASE is one of the first out of four Cybermen stories during the Second Doctor era of stories.   Episodes 1 and 3 are missing and they have been finished via animation joined together with audio that was recorded by fans when the stories first aired.   The animation is some of the finest work of any of the animation done to show what these episodes would have looked like (and I hope these lost episodes are found one day).   Combined with the surviving two episodes (2 and 4), THE MOONBASE is one of the first base under siege stories that were one of the main type of stories told during Patrick Troughton’s time as the Doctor.  The Cybermen are creepier and more menacing than they were during their debut story (THE TENTH PLANET) with a refined look which is closer to the cyborg/ robotic appearance they are well known for as one of the favorite alien bad guys of DOCTOR WHO.   Patrick Troughton is very serious during this story in part to the direction of Morris Barry (and maybe even because Patrick was working with one of the actors he admired) which creates one of the best Cybermen stories as it follows the path of teasing out the bad guys first before showing full attacks by the Cybermen.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Audio commentary for episodes 2 and 4 with actors Anneke Wills (Polly), Frazer Hines (Jamie), Edward Phillips (Scientist), and special sounds creator Brain Hodgson, moderated by Toby Hadoke

Audio commentary for episodes 1 and 3 features interviews the daughters of writer Kit Pedler (Lucy Pedler and Carol Topolski, producer Innes Lloyd (archive interview), AFM Lovett Brickford, and Cybermen actors Barry Noble, Derek Chaffer, and Red Whitehead

 

LUNAR LANDING (21 minutes)- making of THE MOONBASE featurette featuring interviews with Anneke Wills (Polly), Frazer Hines (Jamie), and Reg Whitehead, and production assistant Desmond McCarthy

 

Photo gallery features four minutes of production stills, telesnaps, and behind-the-scenes photos (some from the pre-filming at Ealing Studios)

 

PDF materials features Radio Times listings accessible via DVD-ROM/ DVD-RW drives on a computer.

Production Notes subtitle option is only available for episodes 2 and 4.

 

Also included on the disc is a coming soon trailer for THE UNDERWATER MENACE.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS: THE MOONBASE is one of the better Cybermen stories and the animated episodes (1 and 3) feature some of the best animation yet for missing Doctor Who episodes).

 

This DVD review is 2-18-2014 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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