The Tenth Planet: Doctor Who: Season 4








The Tenth Planet SYNOPSIS:

The TARDIS arrives at the SOuth Pole in 1986 and the travellers seek refuge at Snowcap base currently supervising the mission of the Zeus IV spaceship. The ship detects a new planet approaching Earth. The Doctor knows this tenth planet is Mondas, Earth's former sister planet and it's inhabitants will soon be arriving on Earth.

While base personnel are distracted trying to land Zeus IV, three robotic creatures attack the guards and enter the base. They are cybermen, formerly humans who replaced their bodies with mechanical parts and removed human emotion. The cybermen explain Mondas is absorbing energy from Earth and will destroy it, all humans to be taken to Mondas for conversion to cybermen.

The three cybermen are destroyed by Ben and base commander General Cutler using using a stolen cyber gun. The latter determines to destroy Mondas with the Z bomb but this will result in Earth being saturated with radiation. Ben sabotages the missile and Cutler is killed by newly arrived cybermen.

The Doctor surmises Mondas will soon absorb too much energy and explode but is too weak and ill plan to stop the cybermen and it's up to Ben to figure a way out and get Polly and the Doctor back to the TARDIS before the old man succumbs to the weakness of old age.

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The Tenth Planet DETAILS:

Episode Broadcast Run Time Viewership (In Millions)
Episode One 8-Oct-66 23:08 5.5
Episode Two 15-Oct-66 23:15 6.4
Episode Three 22-Oct-66 23:31 7.6
Episode Four 29-Oct-66 24:02 7.5

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The Tenth Planet CAST & CREW

The Doctor:
William Hartnell (First Doctor)
Patrick Troughton (Second Doctor) (uncredited)

Anneke Wills (Polly)
Michael Craze (Ben Jackson)

Guest Stars:
Robert Beatty — General Cutler
David Dodimead — Barclay
Dudley Jones — Dyson
Alan White — Schultz
Earl Cameron — Williams
Callen Angelo — Terry Cutler
John Brandon — American Sergeant
Shane Sheldon — Tito
Steve Plytas — Wigner
Christopher Matthews — Radar Technician
Ellen Culler — Geneva Technician
Christopher Dunham — R/T Technician
Glenn Beck — TV Announcer
Roy Skelton, Peter Hawkins — Cybermen Voices
Harry Brooks, Reg Whitehead, Gregg Palmer — Cybermen

Production Staff for Serial DD:
Writers - Kit Pedler (episodes 1 & 2) & Gerry Davis (episodes 3 & 4)
Director - Derek Martinus
Script editor - Gerry Davis
Producer - Innes Lloyd
Missing episode 4

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The Tenth Planet REVIEWS


The Tenth Planet equals the end of an era. This 4 parts revolutionized TV and the program itself by coming up with the first unique way of explaining a dramatic change of lead actor. Why not just make him change into another body if he's an alien? And assured a 47 year old legacy would be on the cards by the present day. If that idea hadn't come up we probably would've seen the whole series fold by the end of the fourth season, the Doc dying fighting the daleks thanks to Bill being quite ill. Thankfully they picked the right guy the first time out for a changeover.

They also introduced another monster than would become a mainstay of the show, the cybermen. Who are not so much dreaded as dreadful here (well they're costumes are anyway) Why would anyone in their right mind want to be converted into something that looked so pathetic? Although their size and sing song voices were disturbing. What was also disturbing is the director accidentally went back to the oft to re-visited school for talentless hams for the guest artists. Can't remember much of the rest of the story apart from the Doc's first classic confrontation with the cybermen and the fact the last ever existing Hartnell episode doesn't even have him in it! The most CRAP regeneration story of them all but notable for two massive contributions to the whole legacy. Each of which gets 2.5 points 5/10


The Tenth Planet is the story that caused me and Marris to break up. It cost $24.95 on VHS and it was after viewing it that Marris decided that she no longer wanted me sticking my purple-headed custard chucker into the quivering wanting love pudding. Marris and I used to have sex about five or six times a night and reach orgasm accordingly and more often than not it would be with each other. Other times one of us would be happily asleep while the other plowed on regardless. It was actually a fun relationship cos like all relationships you find out you have far more in common with the person BEFORE you commit to going steady than what you REALLY have in common AFTER you have exchanged house keys and bodily saliva.

Now, before I purchased The Tenth Planet on VHS, Marris was a normal, well-adjusted, independent woman who had her own house, her own car, a nice garden and made noises during sex like a puppy dog being slowly squashed under a car tire. Then on the day I bought The Tenth Planet we went out and saw the Jim Carey film "Bruce Almighty" Sadly the cinema didn't take Eftpos and I didn't have any cold hard cash. Turning to the aforementioned Marris I asked her to pay for this one (not an unreasonable request I would have thought, considering I had paid for EVERYTHING ELSE when we went out - not to mention when we had take-outs in) and she did that thing all women do when they are pissed off; she made her lips go all thin and said "Okay" in that way that implies it is anything but. Tim will no what I mean cos he's now married and barely a day goes by when Liz doesn't do that to him.

After the movie (itself notable cos neither of us were holding hands by this stage) we went back to Marris's place which now seemed a lot darker and foreboding than what it was earlier that day where we both lay in bed not doing anything at all. Stupidly I asked if anything was wrong and the reply was in the affirmative. But I wasn't allowed to know what it was cos I'd just get upset. So the light was turned out and the pair of us spent the whole night wide awake and looking at the ceiling and not doing anything at all. In the morning I was told to pack my bags and leave her life forever.

She was absolutely humiliated that she was forced to pay for a movie when it is clearly the Man's position to do so. Otherwise, if she paid and then we had sex then she would feel like a cheap prostitute cos I got something and she got nothing. Naturally I pointed out that if I was paying for everything on her behalf and that was the only reason she was having sex with me then technically she IS a prostitute. After that came a lot of screaming (which only happened after one minute of silence while she pondered this and I visualized a giant chessboard with me saying "Check MATE!!") and then the screaming stopped as well cos Marris threw a curveball; "And I CAN'T BELIEVE you bought a Dr Who video for $24.95 which was only for YOURSELF!!!"

I guess she was right - despite me being the one that paid for everything when we went out; dinners, movies, coffees, ice creams, wine, petrol, condoms - I was just being selfish when I bought The Tenth Planet on VHS. But on the plus side it gave me the excuse to cut eye holes out of one of my big socks and pull it over my face and strap a dolphin torch to my head and pretend to be a cyberman. Which is probably another reason why Marris made those puppy-like noises during sex. 4 outta 10.


The Tenth Planet This is a strange ol tale. Feels like no story before it. Hardly feels like a Doctor Who story at all. The Doctor, Ben and Polly are almost superfluous to the story. The snow doesn’t look too bad either, I was surprised by that. In contrast the planet Mondas couldn’t look more like a model if they tried. And as for the space shuttle – no exterior shots means it’s hard to put into context. Very limited with sets the Tenth Planet which is a pity. The cut backs to the Spanish dude are rather amusing with the African guy in full ceremonial dress being quite bemusing to me.

We cover the gammit of backgrounds too as Gerry Davis loved to do as he rehashed the storyline out again in ‘The Moonbase’ and ‘The Wheel in Space’. One good American accent, by an American strangely enough in General Butler, one shocker by the guy who’s first to get killed by the Cybermen. Cybermen? Oh yes they are there. It’s their first story don’t you know? They have human hand, freaky eyes and socks for heads. They hold the mouth open as dialogue spews forth. Whew. But actually I liked it all I found them rather creepy. I know that’s not the common opinion of this version of the metallic men. And the Tenth Planet is Hartnell’s last. Pity he does bugger all in it. Had to be written out in episode three for health if my memory serves me correctly. His wig does star though.

Episode four recon on the BBC Video is highly recommended. Bit limited this story, few sets, few places to go. They arrive, suck power from the Earth (what the? Direct line to Hazelwood power plant? Why not shut down power across Earth? Hmmmmm), Mondas shrivels and dies and so do the Cybermen. Hartnell does his own shrivelling act at the end too. And there you have it. Some great elements, limited set, straight forward and rather dull narrative. No real characters except for strangely gunho General who wants to drop the Zee bomb on Mondas. The Zee Bomb? Give me a break. 6.8/10

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