Doctor Who – The Moonbase

I’m a wee bit behind with reviewing things, it seems. In the case of classic Doctor Who DVDs, my excuse is that there’s not a lot more to be released[1], so I’ve been rationing my posts to make them last longer. Does that sound plausible? No? Well, I’ve been doing other things which have cut onto posting time, so there.

Anyway, this one, first shown in February/March 1967 features the return of the Cybermen, first seen in The Tenth Planet, where by the power of creative writing, the series survived the departure of its leading man, and Patrick Troughton became what we now think of as the Second Doctor.

Accompanied by Polly (Anneke Wills), Ben (Michael Craze) and Jamie (Frazer Hines), the Doctor arrives on the Moon, where much fun is had with a moderately unlikely weather control station.  The idea is that the Earth’s weather is controlled by gravitationally altering the tides, which doesn’t make a great deal of sense, but never mind. Things are going a wee bit wrong, with people falling prey to some kind of odd space plague. The source of the trouble soon becomes clear: Cybermen are plotting to take over the base, use the gravitational wossname to do horrible things to the Earth and generally take over in the traditional manner.

It’s all good fun, though like a lot of stories of the time, shows its age in places (sexism, for a start…). Two of the four episodes are still missing, and have been recreated in animation, which like other efforts, does the job well enough.

Special features aren’t all that special. There’s a commentary on the two “real” episodes, and interviews on the animated ones. Other than that, there’s a making of documentary of the usual talking heads kind.