Friday, 1 June 2018

209 The Wheel in Space: Episode Six

EPISODE: The Wheel in Space: Episode Six
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 209
STORY NUMBER: 043
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 01 June 1968
WRITER: David Whitaker from a story by Kit Pedler
DIRECTOR: Tristan de Vere Cole
SCRIPT EDITOR: Derrick Sherwin
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
RATINGS: 6.5 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Lost In Time
TELESNAPS: The Wheel in Space: Episode Six

"I imagine you have orders to destroy me?"

Leo fires the X-Ray laser destroying the Meteorites. The Doctor warns the control room of the danger to the oxygen supply. Bennett slips away and is killed by a Cyberman. Jamie finds the Time Vector Generator while Zoe hacks into the Cybermen's communications frequency, discovering that they know the Doctor is aboard the Wheel. The Wheel sights an approaching Cybership. Jamie & Zoe return to the wheel and help The Doctor and some of the crew over power a controlled crewman, Flannigan, and attach a control protection device to him. The Doctor confronts the two Cybermen luring one into a trap that destroys it. Flanagan and Jamie free another crewman and spray plastic into the chest unit of the last Cyberman, crippling it, but not before it can open the airlock doors to admit the invasion force spacewalking to the Wheel. The Doctor links the Time Vector Generator to the X-Ray laser and destroys the Cybership. The neutron forcefield is activated deflecting the Cybermen into space. When the communications are fixed the Wheel contacts Earth to report the incident. Zoe takes the Doctor & Jamie back to the Silver Carrier to reclaim the Tardis. She sneaks aboard, wanting to go with them. The Doctor uses his thought pattern scanner to show her what's out there on the scanner screen: An image of a Dalek appears....

6y 6z

That was much better, some action at long last. Lovely confrontation between the Doctor & The Cybermen:

The Doctor: I suppose you've come for me?
Cyberman 1: You know our ways.
The Doctor: Yes, I hoped you realised somebody did. I imagine you have orders to destroy me?
Cyberman 1: Yes.
The Doctor: Tell me one thing, why did you order Duggan to destroy radio communication with the Earth? After all, that is why you want possession of the wheel, isn't it?
Cyberman 1: You know our ways.
The Doctor: That doesn't answer my question.
Cyberman 2: He was instructed to destroy only the transmitting complex.
The Doctor: Oh, I see, how interesting, yes, of course. And presumably your large space-ship holds your invasion fleet, and the smaller ships can only enter the planet's atmosphere by homing on a radio beam.
Cyberman 1: You know our ways. You must be destroyed.
The Doctor: Yes, I was afraid you'd get back to that.
6a 6b

The action in the airlock is great,and if you look carefully you'll see that the Cyberman trying to enter the Wheel actually has his chest unit on the traditional way up with the little dish at the bottom. The other two Cybermen have the dish at the top and use it as a weapon. Since the dish, when mounted at the bottom is the descendant of the large dish like weapons the original Cybermen use I suppose that makes sense.

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The episode starts off with Jamie and Zoe wearing the Space Suits (see episode 3 for more details) but during the Airlock scene Jamie, Flannigan and Valance are all suited up:

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I believe this is the only time all three First Men in the Moon spacesuits are seen in the show together!

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We get a brief glimpse at the end of the episode of two of the Power Station Control Panels in the Tardis! Were they there in episode 1, but not shown on the telesnaps?

This episode is the final Doctor Who appearance for Peter Hawkins. He joined the show with it's second story, The Daleks, where he voiced the Doctor's chief adversaries returning in The Dalek Invasion of Earth, The Space Museum, The Chase, Mission to the Unknown, The Daleks Masterplan, Power of the Daleks and Evil of the Daleks. He voiced Cybermen in The Tenth Planet, The Moonbase, Tomb of the Cybermen and Wheel in Space and also supplied the recording of Marc Cory heard in Dalek Masterplan 3: Devil's Planet. Outside of the television program he voiced the Daleks in both of their film appearances: Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. He would make one further appearance voicing the Daleks in the missing Out of the Unknown episode Get Off Of My Cloud, broadcast 1st April 1969 and would later be heard in Doomwatch voicing the Computer in the surviving first season episode Project Sahara which you can see on The Doomwatch DVD set.

This is also the last appearance of these Cybermen costumes, and the general look first seen in the Moonbase, although elements of them will pop up through the late 1960s and early 1970s creating some very odd variant Cybermen costumes. When the Cybermen return later in the year they will have another redesign that will define their look for the rest of the series.

For the last few months we've been counting runs of missing episodes, broken by odd episodes and the occasional complete story. Today we reach the shores of the promised land: the first of an 11 episode stretch of existing episode! We've not had a run that long since Space Museum-The Chase-The Time Meddler at the end of season 2 so it's something worth celebrating. From here on episodes, and whole stories, existing becomes the norm. We're not out of the woods yet: two stories still have missing episodes but both of them are in the next few weeks before the end of the Troughton era.

Way, WAY back in Tomb of the Cybermen episode one I presented this table showing what the archive holdings for this season were like prior to Tomb's recovery from Hong Kong:

Story
#Episodes
#Existing
Which Exist
When Found
What Were Missing
The Tomb of the Cybermen
4
0
 
 
1-4
The Abominable Snowmen
6
1
2
returned from collector 1982
1, 3-6
The Ice Warriors
6
4
1 & 4-6
all found in a cupboard at the BBC in August 1988
2 & 3
The Enemy of the World
6
1
3
always present
1, 2 & 4-6
The Web of Fear
6
1
1
returned 1978
2-5
Fury from the Deep
6
0
 
 
1-6
The Wheel in Space
6
2
3, 6
3 returned from collector in 1984
6 always present
1, 2, 4 & 5

I thought now we've reached the end of season 5 that it's worth producing an updated version of the same table to show what's changed in the 15+ years since then:

Story
#Episodes
#Existing
Which Exist
When & How Found
What Are Missing
The Tomb of the Cybermen
4
4
1-4
returned from Hong Kong 1992
 
The Abominable Snowmen
6
1
2
returned from collector 1982
1, 3-6
The Ice Warriors
6
4
1, 4-6
all found in a cupboard at the BBC in August 1988
2-3
The Enemy of the World
6
6
1-6
3 always present
others returned from Nigeria in 2013
 
The Web of Fear
6
5
1-2, 4-6
1 returned 1978
2 & 4-6 returned from Nigeria in 2013
3
Fury from the Deep
6
0
 
 
1-6
The Wheel in Space
6
2
3, 6
3 returned from collector in 1984
6 always present
1-2, 4-5

The chances of Wheel in Space once again being whole are significantly higher than most Doctor Who stories. It was sold to Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Gibraltar & Nigeria. Of these sales the last two, in 1973 and 1975, haven't accounted for their prints. In particular the station in Nigeria that bought this story was the one from which Enemy of the World & Web of Fear recovered. Quite noticeably the two other stories this station should of had, Abominable Snowmen and Wheel in Space, went unmentioned in any of the publicity at the time where you would of expected at least one Doctor Who journalist to be up on what should have been where and asked as to their whereabouts.

Episode 6 of The Wheel In Space was recorded onto 35mm film rather than the usual 625 line videotape. In 1977 this, and Enemy of the World 3, formed the sole BBC Film & Video Library holdings for season 5. Because the episode is archived on the higher definition 35mm film, rather than the 16mm prints of video recordings used to sell Doctor Who abroad, it looks significantly better than most Doctor Who episodes from the 1960s.

Wheel in Space was eventually novelised in 1988 by Terrance Dicks. Episodes 3 & 6 appeared on video as part of Doctor Who: Cybermen the Early Years with The Moonbase 2 & 4 along with some extra material including an interview with Cybermen voice artist Roy Skelton. The same episodes later all appear in Doctor Who - Lost In Time. A Soundtrack CD was released in May 2004 with narration by Wendy Padbury.

One significant feature of Wheel in Space 6 is it leads directly into a repeat of Evil of the Daleks using some footage from the cliffhanger to episode one. The first episode of Doctor Who was repeated the very next week after it's original broadcast due to power blackouts and news coverage of the day before on 23rd November 1963. However this was the first ever repeat of a full Doctor Who serial. Recently the Hand of Fear was broadcast on BBC 4 as a tribute to Liz Sladen. Knowing this story was coming up, it got me thinking.... what other Doctor Who repeats have there been over the years? Well with the help of m'learned friends on Roobarb's DVD Forum we attempted to compile a list of episodes/stories and dates. All repeats are BBC1 unless otherwise stated:

30 November 1963 An Unearthly Child Episode One only
8 June - 3 August 1968 The Evil of the Daleks Trailed in programme by Wheel in Space 6,
voice over on part 1,
only missing story ever to be repeated
9 - 30 July 1971 Spearhead from Space  
28 December 1971 The Dæmons 90-minute compilation
27 December 1972 The Sea Devils 90-minute compilation
3 September 1973 Day of the Daleks 60-minute compilation
27 December 1973 The Green Death 90-minute compilation
27 May 1974 The Sea Devils Unscheduled repeat of compilation,
replacing a cricket match
27 December 1974 Planet of the Spiders 105-minute compilation
20 August 1975 The Ark in Space 70-minute compilation
27 December 1975 Genesis of the Daleks 85-minute compilation
5 - 8 July 1976 Planet of Evil  
9 July 1976 The Sontaran Experiment Compilation
27 November 1976 Pyramids of Mars 60-minute compilation
4 December 1976 The Brain of Morbius 60-minute compilation
4 - 25 August 1977 The Deadly Assassin  
31 December - 1 January 1977 The Robots of Death two 50-minute episodes
13 July - 3 August 1978 The Invisible Enemy  
10 - 31 August 1978 The Sun Makers  
12 July - 2 August 1979 The Pirate Planet  
9 - 30 August 1979 The Androids of Tara  
5 - 8 August 1980 Destiny of the Daleks  
12 - 20 August 1980 City of Death  
3 - 6 August 1981 Full Circle  
10 - 13 August 1981 The Keeper of Traken  
2 - 5 November 1981 An Unearthly Child BBC2
9 - 12 November 1981 The Krotons BBC2
16 - 19 November 1981 Carnival of Monsters BBC2
23 - 26 November 1981 The Three Doctors BBC2
30 November - 3 December 1981 Logopolis BBC2
12 - 19 July 1982 The Curse of Peladon two 50-minute episodes
26 July - 2 August 1982 Genesis of the Daleks two 45-minute episodes
9 - 16 August 1982 Earthshock two 50-minute episodes
15 - 18 August 1983 The Visitation  
22 - 25 August 1983 Kinda  
31 August - 1 September 1983 Black Orchid  
6 - 13 July 1984 The King’s Demons  
20 July 1984 The Awakening Compilation
14 - 17 August 1984 The Five Doctors four 25-minute episodes
40781 1991 Pilot Episode Shown as part of Lime Grove Day
3 - 24 January 1992 The Time Meddler BBC2
31 January - 28 February 1992 The Mind Robber BBC2
6 March - 10 April 1992 The Sea Devils BBC2
20 November - 18 December 1992 The Dæmons BBC2
8 January - 12 February 1993 Genesis of the Daleks BBC2
19 February - 12 March 1993 The Caves of Androzani BBC2
19 March - 9 April 1993 Revelation of the Daleks BBC2 , four 25-minute episodes
23 April - 14 May 1993 Battlefield BBC2
5 November - 17 December 1993 Planet of the Daleks  
2 January - 6 February 1994 The Green Death BBC2
6 - 27 March 1994 Pyramids of Mars BBC2
13 November 1999 The Daleks BBC2, Episode Seven only,
Missing two minutes of footage;
re-edited to include material from Episode Six
13 November 1999 Doctor Who - TV Movie BBC2
16 - 30 November 1999 Spearhead from Space BBC2
7 December - 25 January 1999 The Silurians BBC2
1 - 29 February 2000 Genesis of the Daleks BBC Choice
26 June 2004 The Web of Fear BBC4, Episode One only
3 - 5 April 2006 The Green Death BBC4
13 - 20 November 2006 Spearhead from Space BBC4
27 November - 4 December 2006 The Ark in Space BBC4
18 March 2007 The Web of Fear BBC4, Episode One only
21 - 22 October 2007 The Dæmons BBC4
5 - 9 April 2008 The Daleks BBC4
9 & 10 May 2011 The Hand of Fear BBC4
21st November 2013 An Unearthly Child BBC4
28th & 29th December 2015 The Face of Evil BBC4

As you can see many stories have not had a repeat while several stories (Genesis of the Daleks!) have been aired on the BBC quite a few times now!

Friday, 25 May 2018

208 The Wheel in Space: Episode Five

EPISODE: The Wheel in Space: Episode Five
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 208
STORY NUMBER: 043
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 25 May 1968
WRITER: David Whitaker from a story by Kit Pedler
DIRECTOR: Tristan de Vere Cole
SCRIPT EDITOR: Derrick Sherwin
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
RATINGS: 6.8 million viewers
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Volume 5 (1967-1969)
TELESNAPS: The Wheel in Space: Episode Five

"So you see this isn't just an attack by an alien race on a space station. The Cybermen have another purpose. They have an over-riding ambition to invade the Earth, plunder its mineral wealth, and somehow they see a way of doing it through this Wheel!"

Hearing movement, the Doctor & Jamie hide witnessing the Cyberman removing the Bernalium rods. The Doctor wonders as to their motive: they don't seem to want to destroy the station. He works out they intend to deprive the crew of air and orders the airlocks sealed. He and Jamie are stalked by a Cybermat which he defeats by having a variable audio signal transmitted. The Cyberman inform the Planner of the Cybermats destruction. The station is attacked by more meteorites which they deflect using the laser. The Doctor suggests that the Cybermen caused the recent nova and thus the meteorites to prompt the use of the laser. The search for the necessary Bernalium would have caused a visit to the Silver Carrier and thus allowed the Cybermen to board the station and gain a foothold to invade Earth. The Doctor realises the Time Vector Generator is missing and send Jamie & Zoe to retrieve it. Jamie, Zoe & Gemma leave the control room when the field barrier surrounding it is temporarily deactivated. After Jamie & Zoe leave the wheel Gemma overhears The Cybermen deciding to poison the Oxygen supply. She informs the Doctor using the videolink but is spotted by the Cybermen and killed. As Jamie & Zoe spacewalk to the Silver Carrier they're caught in the meteorite storm.....

5y 5z

A bit of a mess really, and not helped but a barking mad plan by the Cybermen: We'll cause a sun to go Nova just to infiltrate a space station.

5i 5j

Still we see a bit more of the Cybermen and from what we can see that Oxygen supply room set doesn't look too bad.

The Doctor and Jamie's confrontation with the Cybermats looks nice but the set up of people surrounded by Cybermats has been done before and much better with Kemel's death in the previous episode!

5g 5h

The science involved in this episode, and indeed the whole story, is rather dodgy: a recent supernova, even one observed recently, wouldn't be having a physical effect on the space station yet. I find it hard to believe Kit Pedler, a noted scientist, let this go out with his name on it. David Whitaker, who fleshed the story out, does have some form in the dodgy science department, but his story telling is usually miles better than this. I can't believe the same man was responsible for Power of the Daleks and Evil of the Daleks. Whitaker passed up the chance to write the next Cyberman story, the Invasion, and his final Doctor Who serial, The Ambassadors of Death passed through the hands of several other writers before reaching the screen. He has very few television credits to his name after this point so I've frequently wondered if something was happening to him in the real world that was having an effect on his writing, but I've not found anyone passing comment on problems with the writer on this story. The only difficulties I know about were between director and producer: Peter Bryant, Producer, who felt that the director Tristan de Vere Cole broke the chain of command by regularly talking directly to writer Kit Pedler and Script Editor Derrick Sherwin instead of going through him, and was unhappy with some of de Vere Cole's modifications to the script so some of these complaints could perhaps be better directed at him instead of those credited with writing the story.

FLANNIGAN: You need a few lessons in the noble and manly arts, me bucko! All right, come on!
5a 5b

For the final time The Australian censor provides us with some brief clips of this episode from Flannigan's fight with Laleham and Vallance. At one point Flannigan is hitting one of their heads against a door so I can see why the scissors came out on this occasion!

5c 5d

This episode, and the next, were recorded on 35mm film instead of the standard 625 line videotape. Most of the other 35mm episodes survived in the BBC's film library but this one didn't.

5e 5f

Friday, 18 May 2018

207 The Wheel in Space: Episode Four

EPISODE: The Wheel in Space: Episode Four
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 207
STORY NUMBER: 043
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 18 May 1968
WRITER: David Whitaker from a story by Kit Pedler
DIRECTOR: Tristan de Vere Cole
SCRIPT EDITOR: Derrick Sherwin
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
RATINGS: 8.6 million viewers
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Volume 5 (1967-1969)
TELESNAPS: The Wheel in Space: Episode Four

"Now, now listen, listen everyone. The Cybermen are here, in this Wheel!"

The Doctor explains that the Cybermen are threatening the Wheel, but the commander Bennett will not listen to him. The Cybermen hide themselves in a box of the much needed Bernalium fuel rods as Bennett questions how they will enter the station. Laleham and Vallance spacewalk back to the Wheel bringing the fuel rods and Cybermen with them. Bill arrives to help with the repairs to the X-Ray laser. Gemma speaks to the Doctor about her concerns for Bennett's mental health. Chang goes to fetch some fuel rods and is killed by a Cyberman. A Cyberman brings Bill under it's control. The Doctor deduces the Cybermen came aboard with the Bernalium. Tanya checks to see if any of the crew are under control of an outside force: Bill Duggan who has recently entered the room stands revealed. He attacks the communication equipment but is shot by Leo. The Doctor instructs Leo & Tanya in how to build jamming devices for the Cybermen's control. As the Doctor and Jamie investigate the loading bay a Cyberman appears....

4z 4y

This is a bit more like it, the Cybermen are finally on the station and up to something, even if they don't appear that much and their crucial final shot is missing from the telesnaps - I had to borrow a frame from episode five to represent it above! But I think the damage has already been done by those first few episodes. I'm finding it difficult to care for the majority of the base crew at all. There's a few too many of them for a start.

The exception is, of course, Zoe. This is mainly because I know what's going to happen to her at the end of the story and, like Victoria staying with the Harris family in Fury from the Deep because she's unhappy about the dangers of travelling with the Doctor, Zoe's frustrations with life on The Wheel and a desire to be elsewhere are well stated here:

CORWYN: He's getting worse.
ZOE: Is he ill?
CORWYN: I don't know yet.
ZOE: Well, if he is he's chosen a rather inconvenient time, hasn't he?
CORWYN: Do you ever feel anything emotional, Zoe?
ZOE: Emotional? Do you know, that's the second time I've been asked that in the last few hours. Leo Ryan said that I was all brains and no heart.
CORWYN: Yes, it's your training. I shouldn't worry about it.
ZOE: Oh, but I do. I don't want to be thought of as a freak. Leo said I was like a robot, a machine. I think he's right. My head's been pumped full of facts and figures which I reel out automatically when needed, but, well, I want to feel things as well.
CORWYN: Good. Unfortunately the parapsychology unit at the City tends to ignore this aspect in its pupils. Some of them never fully develop their human emotions.
ZOE: You don't think I'll be like that, do you?
CORWYN: No. No, you seemed to have survived their brain-washing techniques remarkably well.
ZOE: Oh, good.
Once again Zoe's lack of emotions gets a reference and we find out that this is due to her upbringing and schooling.
BENNETT: Well, what are these Cybermen then?
DOCTOR: They were once men, human beings like yourself, from the planet Mondas, but now they're more robot then man.
BENNETT: You mean half and half?
DOCTOR: Oh no, more than that. Their entire bodies are mechanical and their brains have been treated neuro-surgically to remove all human emotions, all sense of pain. They're ruthless, inhuman killers!
BENNETT: You really expect me to believe that rubbish!
DOCTOR: It's not rubbish! They'll kill anyone who stands in their path. You've got to believe me. You've just got to!
The two Cybermen in this story have some Doctor Who connections: Jerry Holmes had an uncredited role as a Parisian man in The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve. Gordon Stothardis a regular extra at the time having already played a Robot Yeti in The Web of Fear, he'll be back in The Invasion and Mind of Evil. His Invasion appearance catches the eye of Toby Hadoke in "Running Down Corridors". He appears without disguise there and is seemingly the same actor that played Grun, the King's Champion, in The Curse of Peladon. That role is credited to Gordon St. Clair who has no other credits elsewhere and was never traced. If it's another actor appearing under a different name then that would explain it!

Peter Hawkins and Roy Skelton provide the Cyberman voices. Hawkins fulfilled the same role on all three of the Cybermen's appearances so far. Skelton worked on the first, the Tenth Planet, and we last heard him voicing the computer in the Ice Warriors.

4b 4 Chang

The first death in this episode is that of Chang, played by Peter Laird, who went onto play Greville in Sapphire & Steel Adventure Five: Doctor McDee Must Die

The second death, a typically Doctor Who negative effect over the demise of Australian Bill Duggan's, survives courtesy of the Australian Censor and can be seen on the Doctor Who - Lost In Time DVD.

4d 4e

Friday, 11 May 2018

206 The Wheel in Space: Episode Three

EPISODE: The Wheel in Space: Episode Three
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 206
STORY NUMBER: 043
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 11 May 1968
WRITER: David Whitaker from a story by Kit Pedler
DIRECTOR: Tristan de Vere Cole
SCRIPT EDITOR: Derrick Sherwin
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
RATINGS: 7.5 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Lost In Time
TELESNAPS: The Wheel in Space: Episode Three

"Logic, my dear Zoe, merely enables one to be wrong with authority"

At last, after 8 missing episodes, an episode that exists!

The white spheres each contain a Cyberman. Jamie is caught spraying quick setting plastic into the X-Ray laser. He says the Doctor told him to protect the ship. An alert is declared and side-arms issued. The Cybermen report to their Planner that phase one, the launching of the Cybermats, is complete. Phase two, their undetected infiltration of the rocket, is also complete. It is now time to institute phase three. Zoe is concerned about the Hercules 208 star in the Messier 13 cluster. Bill assesses the damage to the laser and finds a small silver creature, which is found to have eaten the bernallium stocks that power the X-ray laser. The Cybermen are informed that a star has been ionised and meteorites will strike the Wheel. Seeking replacement bernallium in the stores Kemel is cornered by several of the creatures. He sprays plastic on one but the others kill him. Zoe examines it, and the Doctor suggests X-raying it revealing a Cybermat. Bill is put on report for failing to reveal the creature's existence. Two crewmen board the silver carrier and are brought under the Cybermen's hypnotic control and instructed to take them to the wheel where they will help the Cybermen.

3y 3z

I was hoping for an improvement now the Cybermen are awake but they spend almost the entire episode sitting down talking to the Planner! Fortunately the Doctor's awake again and Troughton's back on form especially during his bedside exchange with Zoe:

DOCTOR: So what's your theory?
ZOE: Well, there's a record of the last contract with the Silver Carrier rocket. It had seven million miles to touchdown and enough fuel for twenty million. Well, it couldn't have drifted here off course in the time involved. It must have been driven and piloted.
JAMIE: Oh, a right wee space detective.
ZOE: There's only one solution. That rocket was re-fuelled in space. Provided with at least with another twelve fuel rods.
DOCTOR: Well, it's an interesting theory.
ZOE: Oh, it isn't a theory. You can't disprove the facts. It's pure logic.
DOCTOR: Logic, my dear Zoe, merely enables one to be wrong with authority!
Unfortunately he doesn't get very much further than his hospital bed all episode!

An odd exchange earlier in the episode hints at something slightly odd about the Doctor's new friend:

LERNOV: Leo, what we going to do if Bill can't repair the laser in time?
RYAN: Well, we've got the convolute force field.
ZOE: The neutron barriers won't help us. A star of this magnitude when it goes nova, deflects meteorites with a mass of two hundred tons each.
LERNOV: Two hundred
ZOE: At least.
RYAN: Aren't you ever wrong?
ZOE: Rarely.
RYAN: No, it's all a problem in solid geometry to you, isn't it. Don't you care what happens here?
ZOE: Well, of course. I'm only telling you what's going to happen.
RYAN: Just like a robot. Fact, calculations.
LERNOV: Leo!
RYAN: Proper little brainchild. All brain and no heart!
However the main news this episode is that the Cybermen are back and once again look a little different. It's not as major as their redesign between Tenth Planet and The Moonbase, which was essentially reused in Tomb of the Cybermen but nevertheless it's noticeable:

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They now have their chest units on the other way up which means the round panel, a feature derived from the gun in Tenth Planet, is now at the top of the chest. You can tell this is the previous chest unit mounted a different way: you can see the holes for the gun at the top now, but come back in episode 6 where someone doesn't quite get the message about hoe the chest units should be worn! The bodies have lost the practice golf balls and vacuum cleaner tubes from their limbs which are now replaced by stiff rods. Their fingers, previously pointed, now have flat stumpy ends. Their heads have been altered too: the eyes gain the now familiar tear drop with a similar design being added bellow the mouth.

3 Helmet 3 Hand

Most of these changes will carry over into the next couple of designs and eventually influence the 1980s redesign. They also gain a new electronic voice which, if anything, is harder to hear than the previous one. I still prefer the Tenth Planet sing song voices!

The Cyber Controller seen in the previous story is gone replaced by The Planner a collection of rods and tubes that uses the previous Cyberman voice.

3c 3 Planner

What does return from Tomb of the Cybermen are the essentially unchanged Cybermats. The scene where they en masse attack and kill Kemel is really quite disturbing and not for the first time I'm wondering if this section of an existing episode ended up on the cutting room floor of the Australian or New Zealand censors!

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The Tenth Planet spacesuits are also back for another appearance this episode. They're almost certainly in the previous episode too, but I can't be 100% certain as the telesnaps aren't clear.

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The suits are modelled on the Windak High Altitude Pressure Suit and first appear onscreen in the 1964 version of The First Men in the Moon, which Kenneth Watson, playing Bill Duggan, appears in as a journalist!

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They're used throughout this story and then are put into storage until being used for the filming of the Star Wars cantina sequence during 1976. They're probably the things that have been in Doctor Who that have been seen by the most people because they pop up in all three original Star Wars films as BoShek and Bossk's costumes!

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Back to the cast, as we get a much clearer look at several of them this episode!

Michael Turner, Wheel commander Jarvis Bennett, seems to have avoided science fiction series. I have seen him in Cry Freedom as Judge Boshoff.

3 Bennet 3 Kemel

Kevork Malikyan plays Kemel Rudkin, the victim of the Cybermats. I can see two episodes of The Professionals on his CV where he plays Hanish, Mr. X in Blind Run and a Sniper in Backtrack. He also appears as Fahid in Day Dreams, an episode of Press Gang, a series written by Future Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat.

James Mellor appears as Sean Flannigan. He later returns as Varan in the first four episodes of The Mutants and appears in the film version of Doomwatch as 1st Man

3 Flannigan 3 Vallance


Derrick Gilbert plays Armand Vallance. He'd been Z-Cars Should Auld Acquaintance Part 1 and Part 2, playing Len Wandle, which were both directed by Tristan de Vere Cole, here helming his first and as it turned out only Doctor Who story.

Amongst the uncredited crew members we have a final Doctor Who appearance for
Chris Konyils who was previously a Saracen Warrior in The Crusade 2 & 3, The Knight of Jaffa & The Wheel of Fortune plus the African ISC Officer in The Tenth Planet.

3 CK 3 Harry Fielder

And to the left of the picture, restraining Jamie, is our old mate Harry Fielder who we last saw in Enemy of the World 2 & 3 as Central European Zone guard and is next back for Revenge of the Cybermen as a Vogan. It's a first appearance for Gordon Pitt who returns in The Time Warrior Part One as Eric. Somewhere in the crew members is Ken Sedd who returns in The Invisible Enemy as a Bi-Al Member and The Leisure Hive as a Argolin Guide / Attendant. He spends a large part of his career working with and stunt doubling for Benny Hill but he also appears in Doomwatch as as an uncredited man in You Killed Toby Wren, Flight Into Yesterday, The Inquest, The Logicians and The Killer Dolphins plus credited as the Barman in High Mountain. Some of these episodes survive and can be found on The Doomwatch DVD.

In April 1984 an anonymous letter was printed in Doctor Who magazine saying there was a missing Troughton episode, featuring the Cybermen & Cybermats, in the Portsmouth area. It had become known in fan circles that David Stead had acquired a copy of Wheel in Space 3 from a dealer. He'd been trying to return it to the BBC and had indeed already spoken with them but illness and other real life events had prevented him handing it over. Stead had already been persuaded to make a video copy of the film and that had then been copied and passed round fans. One person who had seen a copy was Gary Russell, then a write for Doctor Who magazine and now script editor on Doctor Who, who wrote the "anonymous" letter to spur Stead into returning it little knowing that he already was in the process of doing so.

Wheel in Space episodes 3 & 6 appeared on video as part of Doctor Who: Cybermen the Early Years with The Moonbase 2 & 4 along with some extra material including an interview with Roy Skelton. The same episodes later all appear in Doctor Who - Lost In Time.