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77 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Master Class - {Based on Official Review Disc}
Oh wonderful, another classic Patrick Troughton serial complete at last on DVD, albeit with animated episodes 1 & 3. This is a classy tale, no end, and I am just grateful that although it has been released on DVD as part of the Lost in Time DVD box set, the beeb have put up the funding to animate and thusly complete this classic Cyber serial. I have been aided in my...
Published 3 months ago by The Real M.B.E. Of Tooting

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good to have it on DVD...
... but the animation is of quite poor quality, something akin to King Rollo than the likes of the earlier 'The Invasion'.
Published 1 month ago by Tombstone


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77 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Master Class - {Based on Official Review Disc}, 23 Dec 2013
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Moonbase [DVD] (DVD)
Oh wonderful, another classic Patrick Troughton serial complete at last on DVD, albeit with animated episodes 1 & 3. This is a classy tale, no end, and I am just grateful that although it has been released on DVD as part of the Lost in Time DVD box set, the beeb have put up the funding to animate and thusly complete this classic Cyber serial. I have been aided in my review of this story by virtue of the review discs doing the rounds. The first thing to note when writing one of these things is to firstly concentrate on the story in hand, then the DVD, so, let's begin with The Moonbase.

The success of 1966's The Tenth Planet was instrumental in birthing this sequel. Tenth Planet, when aired in the cold October of 66 did something to the viewing audience. It changed them. The true horror of de-humanised medicine had never been made so explicit onscreen, but those 4 episodes had really re-invigorated the programme and no doubt continued to ensure that it was a success. Here, we land 85 years later, in 2070, and our setting changes from the South Pole Tracking station in Antarctica, to The Moonbase, on the Moon {of course}. There are patent similarities in both stories, instead of General Cutler, we have Hobson, both are gruff base leaders who initally suspect the Doctor of all the current trouble. Then, as ever, the plot unfolds as the Cybermen make their appearance and try to take control of the base, leaving everything hanging on the Doctor's ingenuity.

Funnily enough, if it ain't broken, don't fix it. Tenth Planet works beautifully, and it's twin sister Mondas, sorry Moonbase, works just as well even though they are one and the same. I think the reason the Moonbase is a bigger success, rating and audience wise, to the Tenth Planet is the Cybermen themselves. They look fantastic here, the re-design is brilliant. They look horrible and truly menacing. Lovely. Their speech patterns are also different, much easier to understand and alot more atmospheric. Overall, I think the new-look Cybermen are the real success here, it's no wonder they didn't change their look one iota when they returned for season 5's classic opener The Tomb of the Cybermen.

Another ingredient of the success of the Moonbase is of course Patrick Troughton. What an actor. To come into a show that is 3 years old and just totally reinvent it but not at the same time takes class, and only an actor of Troughton's class could be relied upon to provide it. Here, a mere 4 stories in, he truly comes into his own as the Second Doctor. All his trademark mannerisms are on display. The humour, intelligence, manipulation etc etc. It's no wonder the Cybermen were the most popular villains for Troughton's era, he bounces off their humourlessness beautifully.

The same can't be said of the companions. Poor Frazer Hines was knocked out for 2 and a half episodes due to scripting difficulties and even when he does find his feet, the lines provided are hardly centre-stage. Mike Craze's Ben, also, is not the centre of attention here, as by episode 3 Jamie's robbing most of his lines, cheeky git!!! However, sexism aside, this is probably Anneke Will's Polly's strongest tale, barring The Highlanders. She shares some lovely scenes with Troughton and takes control of the latter half of the adventure. Polly cocktail, ha!!!

Overall then, this is a worthy tale, some great direction from Morris Barry, especially the stuff on the Moon's surface, and a brilliant cast of actors, look out for Patrick Barr's Hobson in particular, contribute to a first rate knock-out adventure in the year 2070.

Now then, the part of the review you no doubt have been waiting for, the DVD. Well, let me start by saying that the animation is a thing of beauty. Times have changed and lessons have been learnt. No more "Reign" style cutting, the pacing is much more authentic to the original 67' production and the level of detail creepy. The boys and girls at Planet 55 have obviously paid attention to the fans and adjusted their production methods to try and re-create as close as possible, this missing Cyber classic.

The 22 minute Lunar Landing doco is as usual an informal sit down with some old mates. Anything with Anneke Wills in is always entertaining and when you throw in Frazer Hines, you're on a winner. A great 22 minutes that rounds out the story in style. Thrown in as usual is a photo gallery and some production subtitles. All good and very comprehensive.

All in all then, the Moonbase is very lucky to be receiving this animation treatment. It was pretty well served by it's DVD release back in 04' but as usual with these latest DVD's, the quality only gets better and the standards of the day back then have been vastly exeeded I'm glad to say. Buy this DVD purely for Troughton if anything else, it's a classic that we can now all enjoy complete. And that is just fantastic.

Many thanks for taking the time to read my review of The Moonbase, it's greatly appreciated.

M.B.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cybermen on the moon!, 5 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Moonbase [DVD] (DVD)
I enjoyed `The Moonbase' so much! I've been waiting for this story to be complete and to come out on DVD for a long time. And it all came true as much as I hoped in the same way as `The Tenth Planet'.

I had already seen and heard this story before in two respects. First I'd seen the two surviving episodes of this story - Episodes 2 and 4 - from the 'Lost in Time' DVD collection. Secondly I'd listened to the audio soundtrack CD release with linking narration by Frazer Hines of all four episodes. But somehow, and I don't know about you, the story didn't feel complete altogether since half of the story was lost and I couldn't watch it in full viewing altogether. I feel the same way as I do about 'The Power of the Daleks', 'The Evil of the Daleks' and many other lost stories incomplete with few existing episodes.

But in the wake of 'The Invasion', I found that missing black and white episodes of `Doctor Who' could now be complete with animated ones. It took a while for it to happen, but lately we've had more and more `Doctor Who' stories from the 60s now complete with animated episodes to fill in the gaps. These include stories such as 'The Reign of Terror', 'The Ice Warriors' and 'The Tenth Planet'. This is the latest story now to be complete with animated episodes filing in the gaps and now we can see all four episodes of this story in full and can be guided by the animation of what could have occurred in each of the missing episodes.

Knowing the story full well, I knew what to expect from this. The TARDIS arrives on the moon in the Earth year 2070, and the Doctor and his friends Polly, Ben and Jamie step out on the moon surface to explore. They come across a moonbase that contains a gravitron device containing the weather on Earth. They met the crew who are slowly popping off one by one as they get infected with mysterious veins on their hands and faces. The crew led by Hobson (Patrick Barr) have no idea why this is happening. The Doctor himself is intrigued as well. It isn't before long that the Cybermen turn up marching in full force and the moonbase is under siege.

This is a great Cyberman story to feature Patrick Troughton as the Doctor. This is Doctor 2's first encounter with the Cybermen following the last time in `The Tenth Planet' and is the fourth story of his tenure. Patrick's Doctor is really good in this. He's not the clown that he appears to be from before as he's toned it down at the insistence of director Morris Barry. Patrick's Doctor has a clear idea of what's going on at the moonbase and is deadly serious when it comes to dealing with the menace. His famous speech in `Episode 2' is a standout when he says `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!' Patrick's Doctor is a joy to watch in this and it's great to see him so reassuring as ever. That moment when he asks Hobson whether his men ever searched in the sick bay for any Cybermen and the Doctor becoming tense was a gripping moment to watch. The Doctor really helps Hobson and the moonbase crew with help from his friends in rebelling the Cybermen, making it an exciting action adventure in `Episode 4'.

It was great to see the Doctor's companions - Polly, Ben and Jamie (played by Anneke Wills, Michael Craze and Frazer Hines). I must admit I don't know Polly and Ben that very well since most of their stories are lost in the mists of time. But it's great to be watching them in this and `The Tenth Planet' since they've both now been completed and get to have more adventures with them compared to their once limited amount on DVD.

Polly is great in this as she helps out in the moonbase when she's tending to Jamie or describing the Cyberman to Hobson that just took one of the sick crewmen. I don't know about Polly's seeming to be usually making coffee for everyone at the moonbase. But at least she comes up with the solution of weaknening the Cybermen with nail vanish, plastic or something like that as it emphasises Polly using her resources and intelligence.

Ben's great to watch in this too as he gets to be the action hero wanting to sort out the Cybermen. I like his relationship with Polly as they seem to be gelling well together and there's a potential romance between them. Ben doesn't like Hobson's attitude when they're being threatened to get off the moon. Ben is a real cockney sailor and gets to show a real rough tough edge to his character as well as showing a hint of compassion in the mix.

Jamie I feel is poorly used in this story. Since Jamie was a new addition to the TARDIS team, he doesn't get to do much since the writer Kit Pedler hadn't thought about him or written him into the story. So Jamie gets injured and becomes sick and has to lie on a bed tended by Polly with his wounds. He occasionally wakes up and sees a Cyberman calling him a `Phantom Piper' before dropping off again in anguish. So not a great story for Jamie in this one I'm afraid.

The Cybermen are great in this too. I love how they're animated in `Episode 3' when they threaten the Doctor and company in sick bay stating `Stand back. Stand back from that door.' I love it when their mouths open and close when they say the lines, much like in a similar style to the new series Cybermen when their mouths glow blue on and off when speaking. Their voices are brilliant as they do sound very electronic, harsh and got a bit of edge to them much like how the new series Cybermen sound like. Their designs are also brilliant too making them look more robotic as how Cybermen should be in my opinion. They're a great improvement to the `Tenth Planet' ones which to me were awful and very primitive.

I love it when the Cybermen march down on the moon surface advancing to attack the base in full force. They look so beautiful and metallic when watching them on the moon surface in `Episode 4' of the story.

The rest of the guest cast include Patrick Barr who's memorable as the base commander Hobson, and Andre Maranne playing Benoit (who I know very well for playing Andre in the `Fawlty Towers' episode `Gourmet Night', so it was great to watch him in this).

The special features on this DVD are rather limited, but they're good to watch.

There's the flagship documentary `Lunar Landing' focusing on the making of `The Moonbase' with interviews from Anneke Wills, Frazer Hines, Reg Whitefield (who plays a Cyberman in this), etc. There's a commentary on `Episodes 2 and 4' from Anneke Wills, Frazer Hines, Edward Phillips (who played one of the scientists in the story) and Brian Hodgson (sound designer for the story). There's a series of interviews acting as a commentary soundtrack on `Episodes 1 and 3' moderated by Toby Hadoke which includes Kit Pedler's daughters Lucy and Carol; producer Innes Lloyd, assistant floor manager Lovett Bickford (who would later direct `The Leisure Hive'), and Cyberman actors Barry Noble, Derek Chaffer and Reg Whitehead.

There's a photo gallery for this story, a Radio Times listings PDF and a info-text commentary option to watch during the story. There's an exciting `coming soon' trailer for `The Underwater Menace' which must be now complete with animated episodes since it's a four part story. Don't know when that's going to come out, but it sounds very exciting.

I'm very happy `The Moonbase' is now complete on DVD. I've waited for this a long time with animated episodes to complete the story. Now `The Moonbase' can now be enjoyed to watch in its entirey with the Doctor, Jamie, Polly and Ben against the Cybermen.

One word of warning - `DON'T TAKE THE SUGAR IN YOUR COFFEE!!!!'

The next adventure for the Doctor, Polly, Ben and Jamie is 'The Macra Terror'.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Clever, clever, clever", 18 Jan 2014
By 
Mr. D. K. Smith (South Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Moonbase [DVD] (DVD)
Broadcast in February/March 1967, The Moonbase is a creepily effective story with a setting that, at the time, was pure science fiction as it wouldn't be until 1969 that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldin would actually set foot on the Moon.

Some four months after their debut in The Tenth Planet, the Cybermen (after receiving a considerable makeover) are back for a rematch. They look sleeker, but also less human and more robot-like. There's no denying that Troughton-era Cybermen are iconic - but the clumsy, cumbersome Tenth Planet Cybermen had a certain menace which none of the later incarnations had.

Like The Tenth Planet, Gerry Davis and Kit Pedler's script is concerned with an isolated outpost staffed by an international group of scientists who find themselves menaced by the Cybermen. And also like the previous story there are some fairly broad stereotypes here, but then Davis and Pedler tended always to write for Doctor Who this way, they weren't particularly interested in in-depth characters - for them the concepts, and the monsters, were the most important thing.

Four stories in, Patrick Troughton is assured and confident as the Doctor. The recent recovery of Enemy of the World and Web of Fear have only served to strengthen Troughton's reputation. Is he the best Doctor? Tom Baker still casts a huge shadow over the series, but Troughton at his best (and he has some fine moments here, particularly the "they must be fought" speech) is a pleasure to watch, managing to mix both humour and steel in a way some other Doctors failed to do.

A year ago, Planet 55's first Doctor Who animations were showcased on The Reign of Terror. Those two episodes had many things to recommend them - but also various flaws. The most serious was a tendency for certain characters - particularly Hartnell's Doctor - to look totally different from one angle to the next. Their next effort - The Tenth Planet - was much better and The Moonbase is better still.

For me, these are easily the best Doctor Who animations yet seen. Character likenesses are all very good, and crucially they do not change when the angle switches. There's a few minor niggles - because nothing can ever be perfect - but overall this is a wonderful effort and really helps to bring the story to life. If anybody already has the Lost In Time set (which contains the two existing episodes) and is wondering if this DVD is worth the money, then I would say, definitely, yes.

Extras-wise, the two surviving episodes have a commentary track with Anneke Wills, Frazer Hines, Edward Phillips and Brian Hodgson. Anneke and Frazer are always good value and help to make this an enjoyable 50 minutes. The two animated episodes have a mixture of new and archive interviews with Kit Pedler's daughters Lucy Pedler and Carol Topolski, producer Innes Lloyd, AFM Lovett Bickford, Cyber voice artist Peter Hawkins and Cyberman actors Barry Noble, Derek Chaffer and Reg Whitehead. This varied collection of contributors allows us to hear some new insights into the programme as well as shining a light onto the life and career of Kit Pedler.

Production subs on the two existing episodes, a coming soon trailer, the usual photo gallery and a making-of documentary - Lunar Landing - round off the extras package.

A strong story which has now been completed with two very good animated episodes, The Moonbase is an early Troughton adventure that is well worth your time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One Giant Leap for Cyberkind ..., 14 April 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Moonbase [DVD] (DVD)
`The Moonbase' is an essential addition to your `Doctor Who' DVD collection, not only because it's a great story, but because it's a key point in the life of the show. This is the moment the Cybermen returned and the Second Doctor found his serious side to challenge them; the Patrick Troughton era is defined here - a `base under siege', monsters that would become legendary and the thoughtful and determined Doctor who would take them on. "There are some corners of the Universe which have bred the most terrible things ... they must be fought!"

From their base on the Moon in 2070, a multi-national team use artificial gravity to control Earth's weather. In this story the Cybermen are effectively refugees from the destruction of Mondas; with no major weaponry of their own they want to seize the `gravitron' to use it against Earth. Just their bad luck the base is commanded by the unflappable Hobson (Patrick Barr), still worse luck for the Cybermen that the Doctor happens to turn up at the right time, again ...

The Second Doctor was almost defeated not by monsters but by the BBC policy of wiping tapes; the best Troughton-era stories were missing or had large gaps. So what's it like watching a story where half the episodes are animated replacements? Thanks to Planet 55, it's great fun. The animators have caught the look and spirit of Patrick Troughton's expressive face perfectly, this goes for the other characters too, very good work in a story with a large and diverse cast of actors as the Moonbase crew. Episode 3 contains lots of action, I couldn't watch this without regretting the loss of the actual video, but again the animators have done a fine job. With animation of this quality and correct `feel' for the show, it would be great to see releases of the best stories where animation would have to depict most or even all of the action - how about `The Highlanders' or `The Abominable Snowmen'?

Patrick Troughton excels as the Doctor, apparently he was asked to tone down the comic side of the character by director Morris Barry and the result is the Doctor familiar from `Tomb of the Cybermen' and `Web of Fear' - clever, likeable, slightly wistful but always ready to take on evil and with no moral dilemmas about doing so. Three companions might be a crowd for the writer to handle, but when all three are good characters it's no problem for the viewer. Polly (Anneke Wills), Ben (Michael Craze) and Jamie (Frazer Hines) each get their moment in the story. Polly's creation of `Polly Cocktail' as a weapon is a clever scientific idea for the character, even if she does get the idea from nail varnish. Ben is there as the action hero, though there is one line to Polly you will cringe at - maybe it was in character for a sailor from 1966 to be that sexist! Jamie was an unexpected character that Kit Pedler had to write in (after Frazer Hines' success in `The Highlanders') and spends half the story semi-conscious. If this was a way of cutting down the number of active companions, it's well handled - Jamie imagining a Cyberman to be the phantom piper of the McCrimmons, coming to take the dead (him!) cleverly combines fears from the 18th and 21st centuries.

The regular TARDIS crew are joined by a large multi-national cast as the crew of the Moonbase, with some faces familiar from films and TV of the period - showing that `Doctor Who' could always attract quality actors and wasn't a wobbly joke as its dreary critics would have you believe. If `Doctor Who' had small budgets, it had some excellent scripts and `The Moonbase' is one of them. Kit Pedler wrote an exciting story where tension builds relentlessly for two episodes before the showdown with the Cybermen begins; there are some now-famous lines, good situations and characterisation and lots of real science within the fiction. Look out for solvents, cool liquids boiling in reduced pressure, lasers, gravitational deflections and escape velocities and some very believable low-gravity `moon-walking' two years before anyone had seen it for real.

Two large sets - the lunar surface and the Gravitron control centre - provide a convincing backdrop for the action, the model work mostly works and the combination of background music, sound in the Moonbase and silence in the vacuum beyond adds `atmosphere'. Then there are the Cybermen - they have taken a `giant leap' since `The Tenth Planet'; this is the story where the classic look of the Cybermen was created, which was still similar when I saw them first in `Revenge of the Cybermen' in 1975. That later story has been criticised for giving the Cybermen `emotional' speech and gestures, but look at `The Moonbase'. These Cybermen say "Clever, clever, clever" and "your stupid Earth brains" and make `no chance, forget it' hand gestures. It looks like the Cybermen aren't as free of emotion as they claim - they just removed all the positive ones, and in so doing created the Doctor's best enemies.

Take `one small step' to the Moonbase - it's a five star leap out of the archives.

Thanks for reading.

Special DVD Features:
The commentary for surviving episodes 2 and 4 is excellent; Anneke Wills and Frazer Hines especially bring a great sense of fun to the audio. Animated episodes 1 and 3 have commentary replaced by interesting interviews including those with writer Kit Pedler's daughters and some of the Cybermen actors, a good idea.
`Lunar Landing' is a quite short (20 minute) but well made `making of' feature.
Finally, there's a trailer for `The Underwater Menace', next up for a restored release - nothing in the world can stop it now ...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dr Who The Moonbase, 3 Mar 2014
By 
Mr. David Harvie "david harvie" (Glasgow uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Moonbase [DVD] (DVD)
Nice to see Mr Patrick Troughton,s Dr Who being released,it is a shame that some episodes are lost or missing,i was growing up in his time as Dr Who.

Great story with the Cybermen invading a Moonbase.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great classic story, 3 Mar 2014
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This one is a great story, with Pat T and his companions on fine form. Animation on this one is one of the best from the DVD series to date. Well worth buying.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love, 28 Feb 2014
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I can't believe I've been able to buy and watch this classic doctor who. I'm a doctor who so it's one more for my collection
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic bit of Cyber action, 22 Feb 2014
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Definitely recommended if you're a fan of either the Cybermen or Patrick Troughton's take on the Doctor, just a shame that two of the episodes are still missing from the BBC archives but the animation for these is very good and far preferable to telesnap reconstructions.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The animated episodes are well intergrated., 22 Feb 2014
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While the two original episodes were available in the "Lost Words" box set, it is good to see this story in full with well executed monochrome animated episodes for the missing material. Thanks BBC. Worth the money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Cybermen return - finally!, 17 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Moonbase [DVD] (DVD)
Troughton's first run-in with the silver giants, all looking a lot better after their redesign after the clunky- but loved by me! - original shown in Hartnell's final story "The Tenth Planet". Although the story is one that would often be seen in Troughton's era, the "base under siege" plot, this is one is pretty well done, with lots of tension and good performances from all the regulars and guest performers alike. Troughton is starting to find his feet as the Doctor from here on in, and there is less flipancy or overt humour from him, but the imp is still there along with the mercurial quality and solid scientific background that made him one of, if not, the best (IMHO) of the original Doctors.

With the two missing episodes nicely animated to the original soundtracks, this story is a welcome addition to any Who fan's collection - or for the casual viewer that likes the old black and white dramas with good actors over the age of 21!
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Doctor Who - The Moonbase [DVD]
Doctor Who - The Moonbase [DVD] by Morris Barry (DVD - 2014)
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