The TARDIS lands in the South
Pole (in 1986) near the
Snowcap Base. The base is supervising
the Zeus IV space capsule when a mysterious tenth planet appears. The
Doctor and his two companions (Ben and
Polly) are escorted into the Snowcap base. The doctor (William Hartnell) knows
he is telling as he predicts the base will be attacked by aliens and the tenth
planet is the inverse of Earth. This
tenth planet is known as Mondas and it is draining the energy from Earth as the
deadly and emotionless Cybermen land to make sure the mission is carried
out. The Cybermen are cyborgs who are
much more machine than man and they have removed their emotions. General Cutler
wants to destroy the Cybermen,
but the doctor wants to reason with them.
However, the doctor, his companions, and the humans at the base must
fight to save Earth from destruction as the Cybermen have decided Mondas (their
home world) must survive at any cost.
THE TENTH PLANET is a
unique Doctor Who story where the
Doctor ends up being a supporting character and it is up to his companion Ben,
the military, and the scientists to save the day from the Cybermen in their
first appearance. The first look of the
Cybermen wasn’t my favorite as they seemed to refine it into a better look for
the second favorite Doctor Who monster, but the voice work by Roy Skelton for
the Cybermen is an interesting choice almost on the level with other Cybermen
voice work over the years. The
“Resistance Is Useless” reminds me of the Borg catch phrase “Resistance Is
Futile”, but the Cybermen used the same ideas as the Borg (just 22 years before
the Borg made their first appearance). Also
this serial marked the final appearance of William Hartnell (who was becoming
more difficult to dead with and even sick that they had to write around him for
episode three) as the Doctor and features the regeneration of Hartnell into
Patrick Troughton’s Doctor which was a risky choice to replace the main actor
that fans end up embracing over the years whenever another actor took over the
role of the Doctor. THE TENTH PLANET
does make the most out of the modest production budget and Planet 55 manages to
pull off their best animated work for the missing episode 4 (which is presumed
to be lost forever unless it ends up getting found with the other 90 plus
missing episodes of Doctor Who).
Audio commentary with actors
Anneke Willis (Polly),
Christopher Matthews (radar Technician), Earl Cameron (Williams), Alan White
(Schultz), Donald Van Der Maeten (Cyberman Shav and Gern), Christopher Dunham
(R/T Technician), and designer Peter Kindred, as moderated by Toby Hadoke
FROZEN OUT (29 minutes)- making-of
interviews with surviving cast and crew as they talk about the making of this
EPISODE 4 VHS RECONSTRUCTION
(25 min)- this is the reconstruction of the missing
fourth episode which is a combination of stills, off-air clips, and the
regeneration clip married to the audio track and it originally appeared on THE
TENTH PLANET VHS release years ago.
Photo Gallery (3 minutes)
Production Notes subtitle track
for first three episodes
WILLIAM HARTNELL INTERVIEW
(3 min)- it is an odd interview as Hartnell is
preparing for his first role after DOCTOR WHO in his dressing room because
sometimes it feels like he isn’t is all there when he gives his answers.
DOCTOR WHO STORIES- ANNEKE
WILLS (13 min)- Anneke Wills
remembers her time playing Polly with two different Doctors and she recounts a
story of how a fan recognized her 30 years after.
THE GOLDEN AGE (16 min)- Historian
examines the mythic Golden Age of Doctor Who as he compares the viewing figures
and the change of critics over the show’s long history.
BOYS! BOYS! BOYS! (19 min)-
actors Peter Purves (Steven),
Frazer Hines (Jamie) and Mark Strickson (Turlough) talk about they landed their
roles as companions, their costumes, their time as companions, and the legacy
the roles have left.
COMPANION PIECE (24 min)- a
psychologist, writers, and some
of the actors who played the Doctor’s companions over the years examine what it
is to be the time Lord’s fellow traveler and how it effects them.
BLUE PETER tenth anniversary
retrospective on Doctor Who
PDF materials for Radio Times
FINAL ANALYSIS: THE
TENTH PLANET is a different story for the First Doctor’s final story since he
takes a backseat to the action as one of his companions and the humans save the
day in what ahs become a landmark story.
The animated episode is Planet 55’s best work yet and the extras are
well produced as usual.
This DVD review is (c)11-26-2013 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted
without permission. Send all comments to
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