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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4


DVD review by David Blackwell


DETAILS:  93 minutes (four episodes), audio commentary, production notes subtitle track, making-of documentary, featurette, episode 4 VHS reconstruction, photo gallery, PDF materials

VIDEO: 1.33:1

AUDIO:  English Mon (story), English Stereo (extras)

Subtitles: English SDH


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

RELEASE DATE:  11-19-2013

Original UK Transmission Dates:  10-8-1966 to 10-29-1966 on BBC One

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 more than 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 documentary features interviews with surviving cast and crew as they talk about the making of this story

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 Dominic Sandbrook 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 Listings


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 feedback@enterline-media.com


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