Saturday, 29 October 2016

134 The Tenth Planet: Episode Four

EPISODE: The Tenth Planet: Episode Four
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 29 October 1966
WRITER: Kit Pedler & Gerry Davis
DIRECTOR: Derek Martinus
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 7.5 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Tenth Planet

"What did you say, my boy? It's all over. It's all over. That's what you said. No, but it isn't all over. It's far from being all over!"

OK, we're still on DVD for this episode, but this isn't a film recording of the episode. That's missing. This episode has been animated for The Tenth Planet DVD but I'm sticking with the earlier reconstruction for the VHS, which is also on the DVD in amongst the Special Features. This takes the Soundtrack and marries it to the Telesnaps taken by John Cura, incorporating a small amount of 8mm footage plus a film clip taken from a 1973 edition of Blue Peter. I'm of the distinct opinion that where a Telesnap reconstruction is possible then it's closer to the original episode than animation.

On with the episode:

The Z-Bomb Rocket's engines fail, throwing Cutler into a rage, blaming the Time Travellers Ben & Polly and Barclay who helped them. The Doctor returns to the control room, feeling somewhat better.
Last episode had no Hartnell, who had been taking ill with bronchitis, and very little of the Cybermen. There was a distinct feeling it was poorer for both their absences. Hopefully this, the final episode featuring the First Doctor, can do better.
When contact with Zeus-5 is lost Cutler presumes his son is dead and decides to have all four of them killed.
RADAR: Sir, Cyberman ship on descent now!
DYSON: Radio dead. It's hopeless.
BARCLAY: The enemy will landing at any moment.
DOCTOR: General!
CUTLER: The enemy! The enemy! I'll tell you who the enemy is. You are the enemy. You.
RADAR: The Cybermen, sir. They must have landed.
CUTLER: You, you, you, you killed my son!
DYSON: But, sir, they've landed!
CUTLER: The only person I gave a care about in this whole world, and you killed him. So now I'm going to kill you and I'll start on you, Doctor.

Cutler's completely lost it by this point and the presumption his son has dead has driven him right over the edge. Even as the Cybermen land he's more focused on taking his revenge on those he sees have wronged him. Ultimately that costs him almost immediately....

The crew of the third Cyberman ship storm the base and kill Cutler. The Doctor tries to negotiate with the Cybermen.
KRANG: Silence. Anyone who moves will be killed instantly.
DOCTOR: We owe you our lives. That man was going to have us shot.
KRANG: Go with the others down there.
BEN: There's gratitude for you. We save their grotty planet Mondas for what.
KRANG: Saved Mondas? We do not believe you. We have seen a rocket missile aimed at Mondas.
DOCTOR: That is so. We prevented it being fired at you. We helped you. Therefore, I suggest you help us.
BEN: It's no use talking to these geezers.
KRANG: And what do you ask in return for this?
DOCTOR: Your planet is finished. It will disintegrate. We know why you came here, so why not stay and live with us in peace?
KRANG: We will confer. Keep your places. Anyone who moves will be killed instantly.

Roy Skelton continues to provide the Cybermen voices for this episode but he's assisted by Peter Hawkins who has provided the Dalek voices since their first appearance.

KRANG: We cannot talk while that missile is aimed at Mondas. It must be disarmed first.
DOCTOR: A moment, please. Are you able to disarm this rocket?
BARCLAY: Well, yes, but, er
DOCTOR: It will give us the time we need.
BEN: The time for Mondas to burn itself out, you mean?
DOCTOR: Yes, now quiet! We accept your terms. The warhead will be removed from the rocket.
KRANG: It must be removed to below ground level.
BARCLAY: Well, there's the radiation room. It's the deepest in the base.
KRANG: That will do. And to make sure you do this, we will take two hostages. That girl will go to the spacecraft. You will stay here with us. You three must go to the rocket.
DOCTOR: You must do as they say.
BEN: Look, if you want a hostage, what about me?
KRANG: You are needed to help with the warhead.

They take Polly as a prisoner to their spaceship as insurance while Ben, Barclay and two of the base crew, Haines & Dyson, deactivate the Z-Bomb. The Cybermen take control of International Space Command in Geneva.
WOMAN: Geneva calling South Polar base. Geneva to South Pole.
DOCTOR: Didn't you hear?
WOMAN: Geneva calling South Polar base. Geneva to South Pole. Geneva to South Pole. Geneva to South Pole.
DOCTOR: Hello Geneva, Geneva.
WOMAN: Secretary Wigner to speak with General Cutler.
DOCTOR: I'm afraid the General isn't here at the moment, and, er, I've been put in charge temporarily.
WIGNER: Who is that speaking?
DOCTOR: I have no time to discuss it now, sir.
WIGNER: Tell General Cutler there have been mass landings of Cybermen in many parts of the world. Who are you?
GERN: I am now Controller of the Earth. Resist us and you die. You must proceed with your second objective.
KRANG: We are proceeding according to plan.
GERN: Report to me as soon as you are ready. We must have time to evacuate.
KRANG: Unit Delta plus calling. Unit Delta plus calling. Unit Delta plus calling.
DOCTOR: I do not understand your friend, sir. Evacuate? Surely you're not going to return to Mondas now?
KRANG: We will not discuss our plans with you.
DOCTOR: What is your second objective? It's quite obvious, isn't it? The destruction of the Earth! Ben! Barclay! Do not help them. They're going to use the Zed-bomb to destroy the Earth!
Ben & Barclay observe that the Cybermen aren't entering the reactor room and figure the Cybermen are susceptible to radiation.
BEN: Quick! All look busy. Bring in number two line! Half a mo. The Doctor told us to play for time, right? And I've got an idea.
DYSON: Marvellous.
BEN: Well, you might at least hear it. I don't hear any bright suggestions coming from you two guys.
BEN: Well, any idea how strong these Cybermen are?
BARCLAY: A rough idea.
BEN: Yeah, well, they could lift a man like he was well, like he was a wrench, right?
DYSON: Yes, well?
BEN: Well, they're also pretty advanced geezers, way ahead of us.
DYSON: What has this got to do with it?
BEN: Well, that just it. With all this, why should they need us? Well, they could shift that bomb in half the time, so why get us to do it? Also, you notice they remain outside this door, looking at us all the time through the door. Well why?
DYSON: This is just a waste of time.
BARCLAY: No, wait a minute, I think I see what he's driving at. They use us because they daren't handle it themselves.
BEN: Yeah, but the point is, why? Well, you're the scientists.
BARCLAY: Don't you see, Dyson? It could that they're afraid of radioactivity.

The Cybermen are displaying the first in a long line of weaknesses. It's Radiation here, the more familiar Gold is some nine years in the future of the program in Revenge of the Cybermen and they'll be a few more in-between including Gravity, in The Moonbase, and Emotional Stimulus, in The Invasion and recently reused in The Lodger.

They test the theory on the guard outside the door gaining his weapon and refusing to further co-operate.
We'd had a little "heads up" that the reactor would feature in the plot during episode two when they talk about the moderator rods have being removed. Here it's the fuel rods that are extracted and used as weapons.

KRANG: Listen to me. This close proximity of our two planets means that one has to be eliminated for the safety of the other. The one to be destroyed will be Earth. We cannot allow Mondas to burn up. If you help, we will take you all back to Mondas with us. There you will be safe.

The Doctor too is taken to the Cyberman ship. The remaining Cybermen are lured into the depths of the base where they are killed by the radiation from the base's reactor. Returning to the control room, they find the base stormed again by yet another party of Cybermen.
We've seen a Cyberman weakness earlier in the episode but they also show a major strength here: the shear number of Cybermen that there are. Get rid of one lot and another load turn up. The base gets invaded by FOUR waves of Cybermen during the course of the story!

Hurrah for a Doctor Who script stable getting an airing from the new Cyberleader:

SHAV: Resistance is useless! Drop your weapons.
RADAR: Just look at Mondas, sir. I can't believe it!
DYSON: Fantastic! It looks as if it's melting!
BEN: It's falling to bits!
BARCLAY: The end of Mondas

But as Mondas breaks apart the Cybermen, who have drawn their power from their home planet, crumble away. Contact is re-established with Zeus-5 and Barclay prepares to bring Terry Cutler back to Earth. Ben makes his way to the Cyberman spacecraft and frees Polly and an ailing Doctor. Ben tells them it's all over to which the Doctor responds
What did you say, my boy? It's all over. It's all over. That's what you said. No, but it isn't all over. It's far from being all over!
He stumbles through the snow to the Tardis locking the door behind him. Ben & Polly hammer on the door as the Doctor sets the Tardis controls. He opens the doors to admit them just before he falls to the floor unconscious. The Tardis dematerialises as the Doctor is enveloped in light and begins to change.

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As the light fades a shorter, younger man lies on the Tardis floor.

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Wow. That's a great episode, so much better than the third. Can we swap our copy of Episode Three for a copy of Episode Four please? Lots of Cybermen in this which helps lots but the Cybermen are almost secondary here to what happens at the end of the episode. The Doctor was shown weakened during the last episode, and on his return he attributes this to the energy drain from Mondas. But this is the third such experience the Doctor has had recently after the ageing effect of the Time Destructor in Dalek Masterplan and his exposure to the Transference Process in the Savages. You'd almost feel the production staff had been planning this for sometime and dropping hints to the viewer.

The reality is quite different. Although there had been a previous plan to replace William Hartnell in the end his departure was a relatively quick affair. Producer John Wiles and Hartnell had never got on, but his plan to replace Hartnell at the end of Celestial Toymaker was vetoed by his BBC bosses and is probably a factor in him tendering his resignation soon afterwards. Hartnell's health and on set behaviour deteriorated throughout the third season of Doctor Who: he was already suffering from arteriosclerosis which was affecting his memory, and thus his ability to learn lines. New producer Innes Lloyd gained permission to replace Hartnell from a new & different set of bosses that had refused Wiles' request. Hartnell & Lloyd spoke during the filming of the Smugglers, the last story filmed in the show's third recording block, and Hartnell agreed that the time had come to leave but would return for one last story. Hartnell told his wife Heather on July 16th 1966 and the decision was announced to the press on August 6th. Following his departure he returned to the stage in pantomime, and it was there that he gave an interview which was uncovered in 2013 and placed on The Tenth Planet DVD. He undertook three further television acting roles in No Hiding Place - The Game (1967), Softly, Softly - Cause Of Death (1968) and Crime Of Passion - Alain (1970) before being approached to reprise his role as the First Doctor in 1973's The Three Doctors. William Hartnell died, aged 67, on 23 April 1975 of heart failure following a series of strokes.

So what did happen to Tenth Planet Four? For many years the myth was put about that Blue Peter lost it when they borrowed a copy for the program they did on Doctor Who's 10th anniversary in 1973. This appears to be false, the program that they lost was the BBC Film & Video library's copy of Dalek Masterplan 4. Blue Peter borrowed Tenth Planet 4 from BBC Enterprises, who were still offering this story for overseas sale at the time and was doing so through 1974 as existing paperwork shows. In 1977, when Ian Levene visited the Film & Video library, they had parts 1-3 of the Tenth Planet. The assumption is that these three episodes came to them from BBC Enterprises. What had happened to the fourth part? You can construct all sorts of theories (including Blue Peter loosing it, Enterprises not realising till later and then dumping the three remaining episodes, now useless to them for overseas sales, on the the Film & Video library) but we'll never know for sure. Because of this all sorts of rumours & hoaxes have sprung up over the years concerning this episode. The only footage that survives from the episode is the material that Blue Peter broadcast in 1973 which consists of the regeneration sequence from the end of the episode. A small amount of 8mm film of the episode was recorded by a fan pointing his camera at the television screen, and several people made audio recordings of the episode. As was common at the time, John Cura took "Telesnap" photos of the episode as a permanent record. All these were put together by the BBC during 2000 to form a reconstruction of the episode which was released on video with the remaining three episodes & Attack of the Cybermen as part of Doctor Who - Cybermen: VHS Boxset. The soundtrack was released in the BBC Missing Episodes collection, first in a special tin with The Invasion then later individually and finally in Doctor Who Collection Three: The Lost TV Episodes volume 3: 1966-1967.

Sadly Tenth Planet 4 also marks the start of a large run of episodes, 12, where the episodes don't exist:

Tenth Planet 4
Power of the Daleks 1-6
Highlanders 1-4
Underwater Menace 1
The next episode we'll properly watch then is the relatively recently returned Underwater Menace 2.

This is currently the longest run of episodes which don't exist at the BBC. The next longest run of missing episodes is 8, between Web of Fear 6 and Wheel in Space 3.

Tenth Planet was the first William Hartnell/First Doctor novel commissioned by Target books as part of their range, having previously reissued the three Doctor Who Books written in the Sixties: The Daleks & The Crusade, both by David Whitaker, and the Zarbi written by Bill Struton. It was novelised by Gerry Davis, who restored some material to the third episode which was cut when Hartnell was taken ill. The eight year old me, faced with a choice between buying either the novelization of the Tenth Planet or Dalek Invasion of Earth, neither of which I'd seen before, had a complete melt down in the WHS in Richmond! I chose Tenth Planet. Mum sneaked back and bought Dalek Invasion which I was given as a present much later. The book was One of a number reissued by the BBC 2013 and is also available for the Kindle.

So we reach the end of Hartnell's reign. In some ways it's different to any other era of Doctor Who with historical stories and more experimental science fiction tales. Towards the end of the reign you get a feeling that the Doctor Who we're more familiar with is starting to emerge. Both of my favourite Hartnell tales, War Machines and Tenth Planet appear then but War Machines is effectively a prototype Pertwee story and Tenth Planet is the template for many a Troughton tale so neither is a typical Hartnell tale, if such a thing exists. Of the Historical stories I've always like Reign of Terror, but enjoyed the Gunfighters and the Smugglers this time round. Of the science fiction tales I think, barring the two I've already mentioned, that The Dalek Masterplan and Galaxy Four are the best. The story I've changed my opinion on the most during this viewing session is The Gunfighters which I now see in a different light entirely, with Keys of Marinus & Web Planet both improved but each let down by at least one episode. Oddly the story which I think has gone down the most in my eyes is Tenth Planet. Part Three is a real let down with no Doctor and no Cybermen, and while the rest is decent it's reputation and my liking of it is more built on the number of things it does for the first time. I still love the Tenth Planet style Cybermen though! Worst story? 2 contenders and they're both boring snore fests: The Sensorites and The Space Museum. I didn't get on with The Massacre or The Crusade (and to a lesser extent Marco Polo) but I can see that those three are competent historicals whereas the other two are just so boring. Likewise although Edge of Destruction is nonsense at least there's something happening!. Best Episode? Easy: The first one, An Unearthly Child. Fabulous. Honourable mentions to both of the pioneering London location episodes: Dalek Invasion of Earth 1 and War Machines 1.

Next Week we start the reign of Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor. And what better way to launch a new Doctor than to bring your best monsters back? Join us next Saturday for The Power Of The Daleks.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

133 The Tenth Planet: Episode Three

EPISODE: The Tenth Planet: Episode Three
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 22 October 1966
WRITER: Kit Pedler & Gerry Davis
DIRECTOR: Derek Martinus
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 7.6 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Tenth Planet

"It's a doomsday weapon, Mister, and rightly primed it could split that planet in half. There are two or three at strategic positions round the globe. We have one of them and the means of delivering it to Mondas!"

The Doctor collapses in the control room and is taken to the bunk room to rest. Cutler contacts his superiors for permission to use the Z-Bomb against Mondas. They refuse but grant him permission to take what action he deems necessary against the Cybermen which he interprets as permission to use the bomb which he prepares for launch. Barclay, his chief technician objects and aids Ben & Polly in attacking the bomb. A second Cyberman craft lands at the polar base but it's crew are repelled by the base guards using their hoard of captured Cyberman weapons. The guards collect more from the Cybermen they have shot. Ben is discovered interfering with the bomb and is knocked unconscious. Coming to in the control room he can only watch helplessly as the countdown approaches zero.

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This episode has problems, and most of them are due to illness. First writer Kit Pedler was hospitalised while writing it, leading to the lion's share of the work being done by script editor Gerry Davis. Then William Hartnell was taken ill with bronchitis at the start of the week of rehearsals that preceded recording on the Saturday. This lead to the episode, which like all of Tenth Planet is rather Doctor-lite to reduce the work load on it's ailing star, being restructured to exclude the Doctor from the action, and dividing The Doctor's role between Ben & Barclay. Gordon Craig, who doubled for the Doctor in the previous story, is once again pressed into service as a substitute prone Doctor. Unfortunately the episode also has minimal involvement from the Cybermen themselves showing up for a brief attack on the base only to get mown down by the guards using the weapons from their deceased comrades. Lumping all this together it makes it such a shame that this is the last episode of this story, and the last episode of William Hartnell's reign as Doctor Who to exist.

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What Tenth Planet as a whole represents, besides being the first Cyberman story and the last First Doctor story, is that it's the start of a particular genre of Doctor Who story: The Base Under Siege. Take a small cut off outpost of humans and throw an alien menace at it. Most also feature a large central set, where most of the action takes place and most of the money is spent! In this case it's the central control room at the Bunker, with it's multi levelled design:

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The First Doctor era has been all about experimentation and variety. Right at the end it throws up a winning formula that would be used as a template for many stories, indeed some of the best stories, in the years to come.

Up until this point Cutler has just been an arrogant stubborn general. What changes things for him is when the situation becomes personal:

WIGNER: Yes. Establish contact immediately. One other thing. This is a dangerous mission. We needed for a brave man, so we asked for volunteers.
WIGNER: Your son volunteered. Cutler? Are you there?
CUTLER: Yes, sir. Yes I'm here. You've sent my son to his death. You realise that, I hope.
It's at this point his perspective on the situation goes completely
CUTLER: Now listen, men, the situation as I see it is this. We've got three major problems on our hands. One, my son has been sent up on a foolhardy mission and we've got to get him down. Two, another visit from these creatures is almost a certainty. Three, the Earth is being drained of it's energy by this so-called planet Mondas or whatever it's called.
Note the order, and thus the priority: Son, Us, Rest of Planet. A military commander thinking under clearer conditions would have that in reverse.

The lengths he will go to to save his son quickly becomes clear.

DYSON: There's nothing we can do about any of them.
CUTLER: That's where you're wrong, Mister Dyson, we can do something. We can destroy Mondas.
BARCLAY: But that's impossible.
CUTLER: Impossible is not in my vocabulary, Doctor Barclay.
BARCLAY: And just how do you propose to do it?
CUTLER: By using the Zee-bomb.
BARCLAY: You can't do that!
CUTLER: I can and I will.
DYSON: What about the radiation effects on Earth?
CUTLER: That's a risk we'll have to take.
BARCLAY: But to use this bomb you'll have to get authority from Geneva.
CUTLER: I'll get authority, fella, right now. Get me Geneva.
BEN: What is the Zee-bomb?
CUTLER: What is it? It's a doomsday weapon, Mister, and rightly primed it could split that planet in half. There are two or three at strategic positions round the globe. We have one of them and the means of delivering it to Mondas.
He will risk exposing everyone on Earth to radiation to save his son.

I think you can do some reading between the lines with Cutler from this. He's wearing a wedding ring throughout the serial which suggests to me that he is, or has been, married. I'd suggest he's been widowed and he's taken the snowcap posting in order to escape from his old life. Suddenly his son is a part of that life again and in extreme risk and that pushes him over the edge into making decisions that aren't sensible from a command point of view. of course the Z-Bomb itself appears just like that in the episode as needed, which is possibly a symptom of what was going behind the scenes.

Heading the guest cast for this story as General Cutler is Canadian Robert Beatty. Beatty knew Hartnell from several previous productions 1946's Appointment with Crime and two episodes of the Police series Dial 999 that Beatty starred in and Hartnell guested in: The Killing Job and 50,000 Hands, the later of which is available to watch on the internet and includes one Patrick Troughton, who is about to replace Hartnell in the lead role of Doctor Who! This isn't Beatty's only brush with science fiction: he's one of the very few actors from Doctor Who to appear in 2001: A Space Odyssey where he plays Dr. Ralph Halvorsen, one of the scientists at the lunar dig. Incredibly one of the other actors who's been in Doctor Who and 2001 is also in this episode! He appears in the very first episode of Blake's 7: The Way Back as Bram Foster and has not one but two roles in the Superman series appearing in Superman III as the Tanker Captain and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace as the President of the United States!

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Cutler's son, Terry, is played by Callen Angelo who's only work post Doctor Who would appear to be a recurring role in Coronation Street in 1970.

Chief Scientist Barclay is played by David Dodimead. I can see one of incoming Doctor Patrick Troughton's better known series, Paul of Tarsus on his CV but he appears to have not made any other cult television that I'm aware of.

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Dudley Jones as Dyson had also been on television with Patrick Troughton appearing as Much in Robin Hood. Gerry Davis and Kit Pedler use him again in the Doomwatch episode The Red Sky. He's got an appearance in a first season Rentaghost episode to his name which I have here on DVD somewhere.

The Radar Technician is played by Christopher Matthews. He crops up in two Space: 1999 episodes, Breakaway and Matter of Life and Death as a Main Mission Operative.

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Appearing as an uncredited Silo Technician in his episode, but easier to spot as the TV Announcer in the second episode is Glenn Beck. In addition to an appearance in the classic Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb as Lt. Kivel he's the other member of this cast to be in 2001, a prior Stanley Kubrick film, where he plays an Astronaut. In fact I can find only five actors who've been in the original series of Doctor Who who were also in 2001 and FOUR of them appear in the space of three stories! In addition to the two in this story stuntman Bill Weston, who we drew attention to as a stunt Militiaman in The Smugglers episode 4 is another astronaut and Kenneth Kendall, who was himself in The War Machines, is the BBC-12 Announcer in 2001. Odd man out Bob Wilyman appears as German / Roman Soldiers / Alien Student in The War Games episode 4 and as a British Soldier in episode 7 of the same story. Recently Burnell Tucker, the photographer at the TMA crater in 2001, made an appearance in the new series as Old Garner in The Angels Take Manhattan.

The head of Space Command, Mr Wigner, is played by Steve Plytas. A Turkish born Greek he made a career out of playing Mediterranean roles on TV and film. He too has a role in Paul of Tarsus on his CV as the Master. I spot Z Cars: Who Said Anything About the Law? immediately, where he plays Stavros Papadopoulos, because I know that's directed by Douglas Camfield! I spotted him recently in The Professionals: Blind Run where he plays a Foreign Observer. He's got a Bond to his name appearing in 1969 On Her Majesty's Secret Service as a Greek Tycoon and was a Doctor in the huge hit Batman revival. Like Robert Beatty he's also in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace where he plays a Russian General.

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Wigner's staff is made up of Ellen Cullen, the Geneva Technician, Stanley Davies, the Spanish ISC Officer and Chris Konyils, the African ISC Officer, giving International Space Command a truly international flavour, although I'm slightly unsure about wearing traditional African dress to work in Geneva. Maybe as a visiting diplomat but as someone there day in day out doing a job? Of the three only Chris Konyliss has been in Doctor Who before playing a Saracen in The Crusade and returns as a Wheel Crewmember in The Wheel in Space: Episode

There are several extras who appear as Tracking Room Technicians in every episode. Gordon Lang as was an extra in The Savages: Episode 1. Richard Lawrence returns as a Technician in Doctor Who and the Silurians episode 1, a Technician in Inferno episode 1 and a Villager in The Dæmons episodes one & two while William Gossling is a villager in episode 3 of the same story.

The Cybermen find their ranks boosted in this episode: John Haines was a Man in Bar in The War Machines: Episode 4. Bruce Wells hasn't appeared in the series proper before but was a Thal in the Dr. Who and the Daleks film. He'll be back as an Alien Guard/Union Recruit in The War Games episode three and an Ogron in Day of the Daleks episodes two to four and again in Frontier in Space episode two, three & five.

Roy Pearce is a Soldier in Snow Camouflage/Engineer #2: He's previously appeared in The Massacre 4: Bell of Doom as a Guard. He returns as a Chameleon in The Faceless Ones episode 1, the Cyberman in The War Games episode ten, an extra in Doctor Who and the Silurians episode 6, a Villager in The Dæmons episode one & two, a Solos Guard in The Mutants episode three to five, an Exxilon in Death to the Daleks parts one & two, a Courtier in part one and a Brother in part three The Masque of Mandragora. He's for three Blake's 7 first season appearances to his name as an Armed Crewman in Space Fall, a Federation Trooper in Time Squad and a scientist in Project Avalon. He's also in Davis & Pedler's Doomwatch as a Man in Invasion & Flood.

This is Director Derek Martinus' third Doctor Who story after the four part Galaxy Four and single episode Mission to the Unknown, a precursor to Dalek Masterplan. When he died in 2014 following a long illness (BBC Obituary and Toby Hadoke's Obituary in The Guardian) I dug out some of Derek Martinus' work to watch and watched Galaxy 4 episode 3: Airlock, some of Tenth Planet 1 & 2, Evil of the Daleks 2 and Spearhead from Space. While doing this a few things struck me:

Derek Martinus seems to have been handed some of the more historically important directing jobs in Doctor: he handles the first appearance of the Cybermen, Ice Warriors, Autons and Third Doctor. He handles the famous Doctor & Companion free episode Dalek Masterplan, the prelude to the grand Dalek Masterplan. And he's on hand for the departure of William Hartnell and the intended final appearance of the Daleks. In all he directs 26 episodes which puts him fifth on the all time list of Who episodes directed. The four directors above him on the list are all recognisable names to Doctor Who fans.

1 Douglas Camfield 52 38 14 73.08 26.93
2 David Maloney 45 45 0 100 0
3 Christopher Barry 43 33 10 76.75 23.26
4 Michael Briant 30 30 0 100 0
5 Derek Martinus 26 13 13 50 50
6 Barry Letts 24 24 0 100 0
7 Pennant Roberts 24 24 0 100 0
8 Richard Martin 22 22 0 100 0
9 Michael Ferguson 21 21 0 100 0
10 Peter Moffatt 20 20 0 100 0
Ron Jones 20 20 0 100 0

If we limit the episodes to the end of 1970's Season 7, the point where Martinus stopped working for Doctor Who, he'd directed the second most episodes behind, inevitably, the great Douglas Camfield:

1 Douglas Camfield 42 28 14 67 34
2 Derek Martinus 26 13 13 50 50
3 Richard Martin 22 22 0 100 0
4 Christopher Barry 20 10 10 50 50
5 David Maloney 19 19 0 100 0
6 Michael Ferguson 17 17 0 100 0
7 Morris Barry 13 11 2 85 16
8 Hugh David 10 0 10 0 100
9 Mervyn Pinfield 10 10 0 100 0
10 Waris Hussein 10 4 6 40 60

Of note in that list is relative newcomer David Maloney's 19 episodes, all in Troughton's last season.

But as you'll also see from that list over half of Martinus' 26 episodes are missing.

In terms of numbers of episodes missing he stands second behind Douglas Camfield who directed significantly more episodes during the period that episodes are missing from - 42 of Camfield's 52 episodes fall before the end of Season 7.

Douglas Camfield 52 38 14 73.07 26.92 Crusade
Dalek Masterplan
Web of Fear
Derek Martinus 26 13 13 50 50 Galaxy 4
Misison to the Unknown
10th Planet
Evil of the Daleks
Ice Warriors
Christopher Barry 43 33 10 76.74 23.25 Savages
Power of the Daleks
Hugh David 10 0 10 0 100 Highlanders
Fury from the Deep
Waris Hussein 10 4 6 40 60 Marco Polo
Julia Smith 8 2 6 25 75 Smugglers
Underwater Menace
Gerald Blake 12 7 5 58.33 41.66 Abominable Snowmen
Michael Hart 6 1 5 16.66 83.33 Space Pirates
Paddy Russell 18 14 4 77.77 22.22 The Massacre
Gerry Mill 6 2 4 33.33 66.66 Faceless Ones
Tristan de Vere Cole 6 2 4 33.33 66.66 Wheel in Space
John Davies 4 0 4 0 100 The Macra Terror
Michael Leeston-Smith 4 0 4 0 100 The Myth Makers
Bill Sellars 4 1 3 25 75 The Celestial Toymaker
Morris Barry 13 11 2 84.61 15.38 The Moonbase
Henric Hirsch 6 4 2 66.66 33.33 Reign of Terror
John Crockett 5 4 1 80 20 Marco Polo

Reordering the list by percentage reveals some surprises! 3 directors Hugh David, Michael Leeston-Smith and John Davies have their entire Doctor Who directing career wiped out by the episode junkings, but Hugh David is the only one of these to work on more than one story.

Hugh David 10 0 10 0 100 Highlanders
Fury from the Deep
John Davies 4 0 4 0 100 The Macra Terror
Michael Leeston-Smith 4 0 4 0 100 The Myth Makers
Michael Hart 6 1 5 16.66 83.33 Space Pirates
Julia Smith 8 2 6 25 75 Smugglers
Underwater Menace
Bill Sellars 4 1 3 25 75 The Celestial Toymaker
Gerry Mill 6 2 4 33.33 66.66 Faceless Ones
Tristan de Vere Cole 6 2 4 33.33 66.66 Wheel in Space
Waris Hussein 10 4 6 40 60 Marco Polo
Derek Martinus 26 13 13 50 50 Galaxy 4
Mission to the Unknown
10th Planet
Evil of the Daleks
Ice Warriors
Gerald Blake 12 7 5 58.33 41.66 Abominable Snowmen
Henric Hirsch 6 4 2 66.66 33.33 Reign of Terror
Douglas Camfield 52 38 14 73.07 26.92 Crusade
Dalek Masterplan
Web of Fear
Christopher Barry 43 33 10 76.74 23.25 Savages
Power of the Daleks
Paddy Russell 18 14 4 77.77 22.22 The Massacre
John Crockett 5 4 1 80 20 Marco Polo
Morris Barry 13 11 2 84.61 15.38 The Moonbase

Derek Martinus is the only Director with episodes missing from FIVE stories:

Galaxy Four 4 1 3 3 1, 2 & 4
Mission to the Unknown 1 0 1 - 1
Tenth Planet 4 3 1 1, 2 & 3 4
The Evil of the Daleks 7 1 6 2 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7
The Ice Warriors 6 4 2 1, 4, 5 & 6 2 & 3
Spearhead from Space 4 4 0 1, 2, 3 & 4 -
  26 13 13    

In fact of the six stories he worked on only the last, Spearhead from Space is complete.

Which bring us onto the sad fact that this episode is the final episode of this story, and indeed the final episode featuring the First Doctor remaining. The countdown at the end is somewhat ominous when you know at the end of it there are no more complete William Hartnell episodes to watch. However, as we'll see next week, there have been two official attempts at bringing Tenth Planet Four back to life!

Saturday, 15 October 2016

132 The Tenth Planet: Episode Two

EPISODE: The Tenth Planet: Episode Two
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 15 October 1966
WRITER: Kit Pedler & Gerry Davis
DIRECTOR: Derek Martinus
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 6.4 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Tenth Planet

"Emotions. Love, pride, hate, fear. Have you no emotions, sir?"

General Cutler refuses to believe what the Doctor has told him

CUTLER: That's the most fantastic story I've ever heard!
DOCTOR: I can only repeat, sir, what I have already told you. You will get visitors from that other planet.
CUTLER: Nonsense!
Disguised in the guards exterior clothing the visitors enter the base, shooting a guard that defies them with the dish like weapon usually carried beneath their chest unit. Cutler protests that they need to retrieve the astronauts in the Zeus 4 capsule.
KRAIL: They will not return.
CUTLER: Why not
KRAIL: It is unimportant now.
CUTLER: But We must get them back! When
KRAIL: There is really no point. They could never reach Earth now.
POLLY: But don't you care
POLLY: Because they're people and they're going to die!
KRAIL: I do not understand you. There are people dying all over your world yet you do not care about them.
KRAIL: You will be wondering what has happened. Your astronomers must have just discovered a new planet. Is that not so?
KRAIL: That is where we come from. It is called Mondas.
BEN: Mondas
KRAIL: Yes. Aeons ago the planets were twins
BEN: You were right
BARCLAY: But who or what are you
KRAIL: We are called Cybermen.
BARCLAY: Cybermen
KRAIL: Yes, Cybermen. We were exactly like you once but our cybernetic scientists realised that our race was getting weak.
KRAIL: Our life span was getting shorter
POLLY: But that means you're not like us. You're robots!
KRAIL: Our brains are just like yours except that certain weaknesses have been removed.
BARCLAY: Weaknesses
KRAIL: You call them emotions
POLLY: But that's terrible. You
KRAIL: There would be no need. We do not feel pain.
POLLY: But we do.

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General Cutler sounds an alarm but is rendered unconscious by the Cybermen. Ben tries to attack one with the fallen guard's machine gun but the Cyberman twist it out of shape.
KRAIL: It is quite useless to resist us. We are stronger and more efficient than your Earth people. We must be obeyed.
Ben is confined, with the Cybermen using the base's cinema projection room as a temporary cell. Attempts to rescue the Zeus 4 fail and the capsule explodes. The Cybermen begin cataloguing the base personnel for their transportation to Mondas where they will become Cybermen.
KRAIL: You must come and live with us.
POLLY: But we cannot live with you. You're, you're different. You've got no feelings.
KRAIL: Feelings? I do not understand that word.
DOCTOR: Emotions. Love, pride, hate, fear. Have you no emotions, sir?
KRAIL: Come to Mondas and you will have no need of emotions. You will become like us. POLLY: Like you?
KRAIL: We have freedom from disease, protection against heat and cold, true mastery. Do you prefer to die in misery?
POLLY: But look, surely it's possible for us not to lose Earth's energy?
KRAIL: It is inevitable.
POLLY: Then you don't mind if we all die.
KRAIL: Why should we mind?
DOCTOR: Why? Why?!
POLLY: Because millions and millions of people are going to suffer and die horribly!
KRAIL: We shall not be affected.
POLLY: Don't you think of anything except yourselves?
KRAIL: We are equipped to survive. We are only interested in survival. Anything else is of no importance. Your deaths will not affect us.
POLLY: But I can't make you understand, you're condemning us all to die. Have you no heart?
KRAIL: No, that is one of the weaknesses that we have removed.
Ben uses the projector to blind one of the Cybermen, steals it's gun and kills it. He sneaks into the control room and passes the gun to a recovering Cutler who uses it to slay the remaining two Cybermen. Regaining contact with International Space Command in Geneva they discover a second rocket had been launched to help recover Zeus 4. The pilot is Cutler's son and they must now guide this rocket back to Earth. Cutler attempts to secure the base against further incursion. The base's radar systems pick up a large number of ships: a fleet of Cybermen spacecraft is on it's way to invade Earth.

For me this episode is all about the Cybermen. I think they're fabulous here. These aren't creatures from some strange alien world, these are humans from Earth's twin who have undergone a terrifying conversion process from flesh and blood to metal and plastic.

KRAIL: We were exactly like you once but our cybernetic scientists realised that our race was getting weak.
KRAIL: Our life span was getting shorter
POLLY: But that means you're not like us. You're robots!
But it's worse than that. There is something human left inside their but even that has been tampered with, corrupted as Krail explains:
KRAIL: Our brains are just like yours except that certain weaknesses have been removed.
BARCLAY: Weaknesses
KRAIL: You call them emotions
These aren't creatures looking to destroy us either: they want to turn us into them!
KRAIL: You must come and live with us.
POLLY: But we cannot live with you. You're, you're different. You've got no feelings.
KRAIL: Feelings? I do not understand that word.
DOCTOR: Emotions. Love, pride, hate, fear. Have you no emotions, sir?
KRAIL: Come to Mondas and you will have no need of emotions. You will become like us.
Many years later the Doctor's line from that exchange is used during the story Earthshock to illustrate the First Doctor's encounter with the Cybermen.

Right from the start you know the Cybermen mean business, from the shot of the bodies lying half buried in the snow through to instantly killing the guard, viscously overpowering Cutler and bending the gun like it was rubber.

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They tower over every other member of the cast, there's a lovely bit as Krail walks past the significantly shorter Doctor & Polly.

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I think the costumes look great but even during this second week they're not holding up well with Krail's ear handles being held onto his head by clearly visible cellotape and one of the other Cyberman's tubes are flopping around disconnected. In fact it's been some time since they were last used, not just a week. Filming of the snow scenes, at Ealing, took place on August 30th 1966 while this episode was recorded at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith on September 24th, nearly a month later! In addition to the damage incurred between the two filming slots every so often, thanks to the marvels of cleaned up video, you get a shot where you can see the eyes of the actor playing the Cyberman through the mask. Although some might argue this adds to the mystique indicating something is inside the suit I think it slightly detracts from the overall replaced human body appearance. It's little wonder a make over was ordered ahead of their next appearance.

And the voices.... lots of people, my wife included, hate the original Cybermen voices but to me they sound like the Cybermen have recordings of words being spoken and their speech takes each of the individual words and sticks them together forming a disjointed pattern of speech. For something similar listen to the attempts to plug the sound fault on Abominable Snowmen part 2.

Co-Writer Kit Pedler's day job was working at the Department of Ophthalmology (anatomy, physiology and diseases of the eye) at the University of London. One of the things he had become interested in was the replacement of human limbs and organs with artificial ones: Cybernetics. Looking to replace the Star Monks in his new Doctor Who story he drew on this to create a race that had taken the idea of Cybernetics as far as it could go and replaced the whole body with mechanical parts. Thus the idea of the Cybermen was born. The Cybermen were just what Doctor who was looking for: a successful monster to go alongside the Daleks. The indications are that the BBC new they had a hit on their hands very quickly: Tenth Planet aired 8th-29th October 1966 and on the 18th November a sequel was requested. It's a good job the Cybermen were a success. Terry Nation was attempting to launch the Daleks in their own TV series. The BBC had been offered the series, on 1st November 1966, but rejected it on the 22nd November which then led to Nation trying to sell the series in the USA and the subsequent withdrawal of the Daleks from Doctor Who.

The writers play the Chekov's Gun card in this episode too, which I'd never spotted before:

BARCLAY: All right. Come in, Geneva.
WIGNER: Snowcap. What's going on? We received an emergency from you on the microlink.
BARCLAY: (stammering) It was a fault. We're ... We were looking at it now. I'm sorry about the false alarm.
WIGNER: Where is this static coming from? We can hardly hear you, even on these bands.
BARCLAY: It... It... It... well, I think it must have been the reactor. We had the moderator rods out for a time this afternoon and er, well, well that's probably it.
WIGNER: I see. Contact us if you have any further reports on this new planet.
We'll being seeing a bit more of some rods from that reactor later!

As you can see above the Cybermen in this story are named and although the names are not used on screen the actors playing the Cybermen are credited by those names on the end titles. The Cyberleader, even though he's not called that in the script, is Krail, played by Reg Whitehead. He will play Cyberman Jarl in a later episode of this story and then as a Cyberman in their next two stories, The Moonbase and The Tomb of the Cybermen, before playing a Yeti in The Abominable Snowmen.

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The online script I'm working from indicates the Cyberman guarding the prone Cutler, and not making a terribly good job of it, is Talon played by Harry Brooks. He's Cyberleader Krang in the final episode of the story. This isn't his first brush with science fiction as he plays various soldiers in Quatermass II.

By a process of elimination the Cyberman guarding Ben in the projection room is Shav, played by Gregg Palmer, who plays Gern, the Earth Controller (Cyber controller?) in episode 4. You can see what he looks like because he later appears on-screen as Lieutenant Lucke in episode 3 of The War Games. Unfortunately it's hard to get a good screenshot of him by himself as the projection room is shrouded in darkness, but in the shot of the control room Shav is on the left, Krail is in the middle, and Talon, who is just descended from the stairs, is on the right.

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Unlike in later stories the Cybermen's voices are not provided by the actor playing them. Instead voice artist Roy Skelton, who provided Monoid voices in The Ark episode 4: The Bomb, makes his second Doctor Who appearance. IMDB reckons he cameos as a control room technician in the third episode 2, but we shall see. At the end of this season he finally starts work on his most famous Doctor Who role, as the Dalek voice, in The Evil of the Daleks episode 1 before playing the Computer voice in The Ice Warriors and reprising the Cyberman voice in the Wheel in Space, both in the next season. His one appearance in Patrick Troughton's final season as The Krotons' voice in The Krotons after which he doesn't feature again until his first on-screen appearance as Norton in Colony in Space. He's Wester in Planet of the Daleks, invisible until his death when he is briefly seen, a story for which he also provides Dalek voices. He's called back to Doctor Who quickly as an emergency substitute playing James in The Green Death episode five after another actor fell ill. He's the Daleks' voice in Genesis of the Daleks before making two on-screen appearances under makes up as Marshall Chedaki in The Android Invasion and Rokon in The Hand of Fear. He's returns to Dalek voices in Destiny of the Daleks, where he also briefly plays K-9's voice too, before providing Dalek voices in The Five Doctors, Revelation of the Daleks and Remembrance of the Daleks. He's got an Out of the Unknown appearance to his name, providing Robot voices in The Prophet, which is the story who's robot costumes were reused for The Mind Robber and features The Stones of Blood's Beatrix Lehmann as Dr. Susan Calvin. Alas no recording of the episode survives so the only trace of it on the Out of the Unknown DVD Set is a series of off-screen images. Despite this mass of Doctor who work the roles which Skelton is most famous for are the voices of Zippy and George in Rainbow and when interviewed for Doctor who: Cybermen: The Early Years he can't resist signing off as his most famous creations!

Saturday, 8 October 2016

131 The Tenth Planet: Episode One

EPISODE: The Tenth Planet: Episode One
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 08 October 1966
WRITER: Kit Pedler & Gerry Davis
DIRECTOR: Derek Martinus
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 5.5 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Tenth Planet

"Pretty soon we shall be having visitors!"

A rocket launches into space. Over a shot of a control console we get some more nifty computer like graphics. Snowcap base has just taken control of the Zeus 4 space mission manned by Astronauts Schultz and Williams. The Tardis has materialised outside the base. Wrapped up in warm clothing the Time Travellers are trying to explore but hampered by the severe weather conditions. They, and especially Polly, are noticed by the guards who apprehend them and bring them inside for questioning by their commander, General Cutler. Zeus 4 is drawn off course, the Doctor believes he knows what is causing the problems but nobody listens to him. The crew of Zeus 4 find that their energy and their ship's is being drained somehow. They attempt to make a course correction using Mars as a navigation point but instead find a new planet. Observing from Earth the Time Travellers point out the planet's similarity to Earth (it looks very similar, just the other way up) The Doctor predicts that they will very soon have some visitors....

When I did the War Machines I said that I'd been keen to do two Hartnell stories since I started writing this block. That was one and this, the final First Doctor story, is the other. Just as War Machines reflects popular culture by showing us a swinging London in the sixties, Tenth Planet shows us a reflection of the space race to the moon which was in progress at the time. There's not a lot for the Tardis crew to do in this episode as the situation is set up with them as literal observers through the control room window for the majority of the episode.

A notable feature of this episode is that the role of astronaut Glynn Williams is the largest part for a black actor in the series so far and Earl Cameron delivers a great performance. I've just looked at his IMDB entry and it appears he's still with us, aged 99, and, until recently, was still working. He appeared in 2010 hit film Inception, which Liz bought a few years back so I'm going to have to watch it again to spot him! He also make a good contribution on the commentary and special features for the Doctor Who - The Tenth Planet DVD. He is one of a number of actors in this story to feature in the BBC's production of Paul of Tarsus, where he plays Simeon.

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Like many of the cast Australian Alan White, as astronaut Schultz, doesn't have any further Doctor Who connection but he was in The Prisoner episode Dance of the Dead as Dutton. The nickname used for his character, Bluey, is a common one for Australian Redheads.

The American Sergeant is John Brandon, who will go on to make a few appearances as Zeus, Archangel's Boss in Airwolf, including the superb Fallen Angel.

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Natural pedantry, and ten years working for actuaries, required me to check if the calendar for December 1986 was correct. Excel provides the solution
shows that 1st December 1986 was indeed a Monday!

Whenever I see this episode the thing that really catches my eye in the spacesuits worn by Williams & Schultz. They're modelled on the Windak High Altitude Pressure Suit, and this isn't their first or last in a dramatic production either! From a purely Doctor Who point of view they turn up again in a later story, Patrick Troughton's The Wheel in Space.

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But the first time they appear on-screen is in the 1964 version of The First Men in the Moon.

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They're probably the things that have been in Doctor Who that have been seen by the most people because they pop up in Star Wars & The Empire Strikes Back as BoShek and Bossk's costumes!

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They aren't the only reused props in this story either! The consoles along the far wall of the tracking room were previously seen in The Avengers episode The House That Jack Built

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There's a few extras in this episode who have prior or future Doctor Who form. Ken McGarvie is a Soldier in Tracking Room in just this first episode. He's been a Saxon in The Time Meddler 2: The Meddling Monk and a Saxon warrior episode 4 of the same story, Checkmate, a Cricketer/Reveller in Dalek Masterplan 8: Volcano, a Tavern Customer in The Massacre 1:War of God and finally a Man in Newsroom in The War Machines episode 4. Nicholas Edwards, the R / T Technician in the first two episodes of this story, was an Elder in The Savages: Episode 1. Sheila Knight is the Geneva Secretary and returns as the Receptionist in the first episode of Doctor Who and the Silurians before playing a Technician in the second episode of the same story.

Apparently the fake snow in this episode aggravated Michael Craze's nose, which he'd recently had operated on to remove a chip of bone, when it was thrown in his face by Production Assistant Edwina Verner. He obviously didn't bear a grudge against her for this as they got married some while afterwards! IMDB thinks that Peter Pococok stunt doubles for Michael Craze in this episode but I can't work out what for unless it's something to do with the snow scenes and his nose. He returns in episode 4 as a Soldier.

Following the success of the War Machines, Kit Pedler was proposed an idea where the Earth's energy to be being drained by Star Monks from Earth's twin planet Mondas. Gerry Davis, Script Editor, liked the idea but wasn't keen on the Space Monks and asked if Pedler could come up with a different idea for the protagonists....

Which brings us to the episode ending .... oh what an ending!

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A spaceship lands near the base. The Sergeant and Tito go outside to the Tardis, but unable to gain entry the Sergeant sends Tito back inside for cutting gear. Tall mysterious figures walk out of the snow and slay the sergeant, one of whom disguises himself in the cold weather gear the Sergeant was wearing.

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Tito and a fellow guard return before being cut down by the visitors. They have metal & plastic chest units with all covering body suits. The hands look human but the faces are a taut mask with circle for eyes and a rectangular slit for a mouth, a lamp mounted on their heads, connected to the side of the head by massive handles.

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Watching for the first time in the sixties people must have wondered who these strange unnamed visitors were emerging from the snow storm to the haunting strains of Martin Slavin's Space Adventure, a piece of music you'll be hearing much more of later.

We, of course, know who they are: The Cybermen have arrived!