Wednesday, 9 March 2022

579 Earthshock Part Two

EPISODE: Earthshock Part Two
TRANSMITTED: Tuesday 09 March 1982
WRITER: Eric Saward
DIRECTOR: Peter Grimwade
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 8.8 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Earthshock

"This one calls himself the Doctor, and does nothing else but interfere!"

The Doctor has the Troopers concentrate all their fire on one Android damaging it, forcing them to retreat. The Doctor works out that they're guarding the hatch and has the troopers attack it, which brings the androids back and allows them to be destroyed. The Doctor opens the hatch and discovers a bomb behind it which arms when he opens the hatch. The Doctor shelters the troopers in the Tardis while he to jams the control signal to the bomb. The Cybermen attempt to boost their signal's power while the Doctor disarms the bomb. The Cybermen are suspicious as to how the Earthlings deactivated their bomb. The Doctor wonders who planted the bomb. The Cybermen review the recordings from the Androids and the identify the Tardis, and that a regenerated Doctor must be present. The Doctor traces the control signal for the bomb to sector 16 in deep space and is persuaded to take the troopers with him to help hunt for those who built the bomb. The Doctor apologises to Adric for their earlier argument and offers to take him home but Adric refuses. A deep space freighter waits for it's captain as it's first officer wonders about 3 disappearing crew members and malfunctioning security scans. The Tardis materialises in the hull and the Doctor & Adric go to explore. The Captain arrives complaining about the increased security due to a red alert on Earth for a security conference and the ship gets under way. Two crew members on patrol think they see something and follow it. Someone reports to the Cyberleader that the freighter is under way and that there is worry about the missing crewmen. The Cyberleader tells him that there are intruders in the hold that will serve as scapegoats. The Doctor & Adric think they're being followed and are detected by the crew. The Doctor & Adric then hear the screams of the dying crewmen as a general alert goes off. They find the bodies, with injuries the Doctor thinks he recognises, but are then found by Ringway who tells them that on this ship we execute murderers.

You know what this is? It's the Cybermen's greatest hits!

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You've got Bombs, from Revenge of the Cybermen, Traitors, from Revenge again, disappearing crew men, from The Moonbase, and Cybermen hiding in the background keeping their presence hidden, The Moonbase again. They'll be a few more reuses of Cyber best bits to come in the next few episodes too.

The last time the Cybermen appeared in the show was in 1975's Revenge of the Cybermen and that was their first story since 1968's Invasion. So to remind us who they are we get some clips from previous Cybermen stories:

CYBERMAN: What is it?
LEADER: A Tardis.
CYBERMAN: A Time Lord. But they're forbidden to interfere.
LEADER: This one calls himself the Doctor, and does nothing else but interfere.

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For nearly 30 years I was unaware this first clip was a clip from a previous show! The Tardis being drawn on the screen is recycled from Logopolis, a previous story directed by Peter Grimwade

The Cyberscope that the Cybermen are using here is apparently built using parts salvaged from film Alien!

The second clip shows First Doctor William Hartnell speaking but just before we here him speak we see another section showing him with Polly, Anneke Wills and Cyberleader Krail, Reg Whitehead.

FIRST DOCTOR 1: Emotions. Love, pride, hate, fear. Have you no emotions then?

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LEADER: It was in this regenerated form that he confined the Cybermen to their ice tomb on Telos.
SECOND DOCTOR: I imagine you have orders to destroy me.
The clips here are not from Tomb of the Cybermen as the dialogue insinuates: Tomb was at the time missing from the archives and wouldn't return for another ten years! Instead Wheel in Space 6 supplies the footage and with Second Doctor Patrick Troughton are two Cybermen played by Jerry Holmes & Gordon Stothard/

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LEADER: And as this, he defeated us in our attempt to destroy Voga, the planet of gold.
FOURTH DOCTOR: You've no home planet, no influence, nothing. You're just a pathetic bunch of tin soldiers skulking about the galaxy in an ancient spaceship.
This is from the Cybermen's last story Revenge of the Cybermen starring Fourth Doctor Tom Baker. Christopher Robbie plays the Cyberleader seen strangling The Doctor while Lester,William Marlowe, and Stevenson, Ronald Leigh-Hunt, are in the background.

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Since Revenge of the Cybermen the Cybermen have appeared just once in a flashback in Logopolis where the Doctor sees the Cyberleader calling his name before tumbling to his doom. They had been planned to appear as a prisoner in Shada, alongside the Daleks, Sontarans and Zygons, but these scenes were never filmed. However one of the supporting artists booked to play a monster in that story, Steve Ismay, does appear in this one as a Cyberman.

CYBERMAN: I did not see any of these men in the cave.
LEADER: It appears he has regenerated again, but whatever his form, he must be found and destroyed.
The Doctor isn't the only one that's changed though, as the Cybermen too have had yet another redesign:

vlcsnap-2015-06-29-09h40m37s79 Krail Tomb Wheel Invsion Revenge Cybermen

The bodysuit is apparently a pilot's outfit recycled and resprayed. The Chest unit is a completely new design, much flatter than the boxes seen on the front of the Cybermen previously and coming up over the shoulders and round the neck. The head is obviously Cyberman, looking much like a more detailed version of the Invasion/Revenge helmet. Both of these were made for the program by Richard Gregory's firm Imagineering Seen for the only time here is a perspex jaw panel allowing us to see sprayed silver flesh underneath reminding us that the Cybermen are, deep down, converted human beings. It's almost a shame that we don't see the captured crewmen being converted into Cybermen.

As we said yesterday the Cyberleader is played by David Banks. He returns as the Cyberleader in The Five Doctors, Attack of the Cybermen and Silver Nemesis, where he's also a Member of the Audience. He played Karl in the stage play Doctor Who - The Ultimate Adventure where he also understudied The Doctor, and went on for Jon Pertwee once on 29th April 1989 when Pertwee was taken ill at the start of the first performance.

The Cyberleader is easy to pick out: he's the one with the black handles on the side of his head, a design cue inherited from the black helmet on the Revenge of the Cybermen Cyberleader.

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Today David Banks' Cyberleader is joined by Mark Hardy, who'll serve as his Cyber Lieutenant (aka the other speaking Cyberman) in 3 of the 4 eighties Cyberman stories, missing only Attack of the Cybermen, having previously been a Swampy in Power of Kroll. He's not present in the scene at the end of part one, reprised at the start of this episode, where the Cyberleader is accompanied by two Cybermen played by supporting artists.

Banks and Hardy were credited as Leader and Lieutenant for Parts One/Two of this story in The Radio Times to conceal the identity of this story's monsters.

We get our old favourite line "We must act quickly!" making an appearance in this episode:

LEADER: We must act quickly. Prepare to activate the device.
CYBERMAN: It's too soon, Leader.
LEADER: We must be prepared.
But the dialogue highlight this episode has to be the debut of the 80s Cyberleader's catchphrase!
CYBERMAN: Our signal has broken through.
LEADER: Excellent!
He doesn't just use it once this episode either!
CYBERMAN: Our deep space probes have identified the Tardis.
LEADER: Destination?
CYBERMAN: The freighter.
LEADER: Excellent! Our contingency plans can go ahead. The attack on Earth will proceed accordingly.
Just for good measure there's a third occurrence when The Cybermen know the Tardis has landed:
LEADER: Excellent.
And a fourth where we discover that someone on the ship appears to be working for the Cybermen:
LEADER: Report.
VOICE: The freighter has received full security clearance for its journey to Earth.
LEADER: Excellent.
VOICE: There is one problem. The disappearance of the three crewmembers has caused a lot of unrest.
LEADER: Get your minions to search the hold. You will find a scapegoat there.
VOICE: Leader?
LEADER: You have intruders!

You can clearly see those intruders, The Doctor and Adric, walking through the hold on the scanner at one point: How on earth does Ringway, standing right by the monitors, manage to miss them?

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Which brings us to the ship's crew and this story's principle guest star: playing Captain Briggs is Beryl Reid. People make arguments, even on the DVD that she's woefully miscast and is meant to be a Sigourney Weaver/Aliens style marine. No. They've got it wrong. She's a world weary intergalactic freighter captain, essentially an intergalactic trucker who just wants to get to Earth on time, get her bonus and avoid her fine. It might be big name stunt casting but she does a perfectly good job here and I have no complaints at all.

I'd even argue that Beryl Reid isn't a piece of John Nathan-Turner stunt casting because she had worked with director Peter Grimwade before: he was a Production Assistant on Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy in which Reid played the Circus' former head of research Connie Sachs a role she reprised in it's sequel Smiley's People. During a long career she also appeared with Third Doctor Jon Pertwee in Worzel Gummidge where she was Sarah Pigswill in Muvvers' Day. I saw her as ageing left wig activist Sylvia in The Beiderbecke Tapes and as Grandma Mole in The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole and The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole.

Reid isn't the only member of the Tinker Tailor cast to appear in Earthshock, which strengthens the argument that she was Grimwade's casting: Ringway is played by Alec Sabin who was Circus Scalphunter Fawn in Tinker Tailor.

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Playing first office Berger is June Bland who'll return as Elizabeth Rowlinson in Battlefield. She was married to BBC Producer Bill Sellars, who had directed The Celestial Toymaker.

We get to see two more crewmembers this episode, before their murder in the closing minutes. The dark haired Vance is played by Mark Fletcher and as we'll see one of his lines of dialogue proves oddly prophetic:

VANCE: You could hide an army down here and no one would find it.

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His fair haired companion is Carson, played by Christopher Whittingham. I've seen him in the Jeeves and Wooster episode The Con as the Sergeant and as George in the The 10 Percenters episode Fear.

Post battle we get to see two of the surviving troopers in The Tardis:

2 Troopers in Tardis 2 Austin

The Doctor Who - Earthshock DVD Production Subtitles tell me these are Austin, played by Nikki Dunsford and Marshall, who is Jonathan Evans. So where's Brooks, played by Steve Whyment?

Making it's first appearance is the Tardis toolkit, which the Doctor uses to defuse the bomb. It was documented in intricate detail in the Doctor Who Technical Manual and then reproduced for 1996 Paul McGann film.

The clips in Earthshock part 2 weren't the only old Doctor Who we got to see that week. The BBC's television review program Did You See...? broadcast on Sunday 14th March showed a 10 minute feature, fronted by Presenter Gavin Scott, on old Doctor Who monsters to tie in with the Cybermen's return.


The clips shown were the Dalek coming out of the water in Dalek Invasion of Earth 2, Barbara & Jenny being held in the saucer in Dalek Invasion of Earth 6,


Menoptera conferring in Web Planet 5, Cybermen in the snow in Tenth Planet 3,


The Cybermen walking down St Paul's Steps in Invasion 6, The Yeti attaching Silverman in the opening to Web of Fear 1,


The Doctor negotiating with the Sea Devils in The Sea Devils 5, Linx's reveal at the end of The Sontaran Experiments 1,


The Mandrels being led in Nightmare of Eden 4, and Marshmen emerging from the lake in Full Circle


as well as repeating the clip segment from this episode. They also showed a number of stills: The Doctor & Zygons from Terror of the Zygons, The Guardian from Colony in Space,

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Ogrons from Day of the Daleks, an Ice Warrior from The Ice Warriors,

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Axons from the Claws of Axos, a humanoid monster Krynoid from Seeds of Doom - which is itself a resprayed Axon Monster costume,

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The Doctor & Bok from The Daemons and a Yeti from The Abominable Snowmen.

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Any old Doctor Who shown on TV was treasured by fans at the time and some new clips, to go with those regularly recycled on Blue Peter (Unearthly Child, Tenth Planet 4, Fury from the Deep, 3 Doctors & Genesis of the Daleks) and the Who's Doctor Who program, were welcomed. This segment of Did You See...? is on the Earthshock DVD.

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