Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Heard: "The Tenth Planet" by Kit Pedler

Heard: The Tenth Planet by Kit Pedler, 2006 for audio version, 1966 for Limey TV broadcast, downloaded from Overdrive. 

Another audio track with partial narration from the original Dr. Who TV series.  This one was not that good.  The audio track had varying sound levels from different the actors and the narration was the loudest.  The teleplay also had a fair amount of dialogue-free action that required plenty of narration.  That narration did not play well for me.

The Tardis lands on the South Pole in 1986.  Who, Polly, and Ben land near an underground control station for spacecraft. The three are spotted and taken captive by the station's American crew.  At the same time a manned capsule mission reports some power anomalies and a strange disturbance in the universe.  Alderaan has not blow-up but Mondas has appeared.

Mondas, it turns out, is Earth's sister planet and had been away on a trip to the outer universe.  Mondas has returned, is low on power, and is populated by the Cybermen.  The capsule goes missing.  The Cybermen land, kill some guards, and announce their intentions to suck all the power from the earth to save their own dying planet.

More things happen.  Cybermen became cyberriffic by replacing everything on their human bodies.  They did not keep emotions.  They do speak like 1950s robots.  A couple more people are killed.  Dr. Who goes into a deep sleep or coma.  Polly, Ben, and the rest are left to defeat the Cybermen.  The general in charge of the station wants to launch a nuclear missile to destory Mondas.  The geneal's astronaut son was sent up to investigate the missing capsule and the general is pushing to destroy Mondas and save his son.  Conflict occurs amongst the humans.

The Cybermen are ultimately defeated.  Mondas melts like a candle - I can only imagine those cheesy special effects.  Dr. Who regenerates.

1.  I suppose the story is of note to Who fans because of the regeneration of the Dr. and the introduction of the Cybemen.
2.  There is a nice interview with the narrator, Anneke Wills, who played Polly in the show.  Wills said that the show attracted some great actors who wanted to appear in the current hit show.  The show was a lark for famous or established stage and screen names.  Overacting was encouraged.  William Hartnell, who played the Doctor, was very ill at the time.  The plot point of Dr. Who being unconscious was due to Hartnell's very poor health.
3.  Further information on the show is at:
4.  Not the novelization entitled Dr. Who and the Tenth Planet and published in 1976 (or so the internet says...).
5.  The Overdrive entry lists William Hartnell as author.  Hartnell played the Doctor.  That's a problem with the catalog records for these BBC productions.  The actual writer is often obscured or missing.
6.  The Tardis Wikipedia says Hartnell was not that ill, but was let go by new producers.  But, Wills said different.

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