Thursday, 21 April 2011

150 The Moonbase: Part Two

EPISODE: The Moonbase: Part Two
TRANSMITTED: 18 February 1967
WRITER: Kit Pedler
DIRECTOR: Morris Barry
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Lost In Time
T ELESNAPS: The Moonbase: Part Two

Welcome to the 150th episode of Doctor Who!

Polly enters and sees the Cyberman leaving. She screams which summons the Doctor & Hobson. Hobson refuses to believe it's a Cyberman, he knows they were all killed when Mondas was destroyed. He gives the Doctor 24 hours too find the source of the infection. The Graviton keeps wandering off course and Hobson is called by his superiors. He wants to deactivate the Graviton to find the fault but his superiors won't let him. While the Doctor collects samples from the base Polly is knocked out by a Cyberman in the sickbay which ignores a terrified Jamie, who still believes he can see the Phantom Piper, and takes another crew member away. In control they detect another pressure drop in the base. The Graviton fault is traced to some damaged equipment on the surface: Jules & Franz are sent outside to fix it but are ambushed by Cybermen. Polly makes coffee for the base staff, one of whom is instantly taken ill. The Doctor deduces the virus is found in the sugar as only some of the crew are being taken ill. The Doctor then realises that the sickbay hasn't been searched: A Cyberman has been hiding in there on one of the beds and now stands revealed.

Cracking episode that. We know the Cybermen are there but the base refuse to believe the story so the Cybermen then spend the whole episode popping up here and there abducting crew members. Yes the Cyberman hiding in Sickbay at the end is a tansy bit silly but .... I watched this episode late one night and Liz actually watched it with me. She thought it quite good but thought the start of the title looked like someone's bottom and that the cameraman was fixated on Jules & Franz's bqacksides as they climbed up through the airlock!

The episode does have one of the series all time greatest lines in it as The Doctor talks to Polly in sickbay:
There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things which act against everything we believe in. They must be fought!
Jamie was a last minute addition to the Tardis crew at the end of the Highlanders with subsequent scripts having to be amended to accommodate him usually with him steeling lines from one of Ben or Polly. Here he spends most of this episode asleep in sickbay. Is that to avoid having to invent new dialogue or has he appropriated Ben's role, who now has little to do in this episode, and that's the reason Polly watches over him. Have we acquired the phantom piper at the expense of loosing Ben hallucinating about Davy Jones?

Anyway the Cybermen are back and they've been redesigned: The lamp is shrunk so it now sits embodied in the Cyberman's forehead and used as a weapon to fire electric bolts that stun. With the lamp shrunk into the head the handles connecting it have shrunk accordingly. The mask is replaced by a faceplate keeping the same features as before. The chest unit has shrunk with the large dish like weapons now becoming a rod that slots into the bottom of the chest unit, which has a small dish embedded in the bottom of it. These are probably the most identifiable 60s version of the Cybermen appearing virtually unchanged in another story and heavily modified in a third.

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