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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Giant Leap ...
`The Moonbase' is a welcome addition to the `Doctor Who' DVD range, not only because it's an enjoyable 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 challenged them; the Patrick Troughton era is defined here - a `base under siege', monsters that would become legendary and the thoughtful and...
Published 6 months ago by Number13

3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
it was ok but the animated sections lack that human touch
Published 1 month ago by Mr. F. Turner

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Giant Leap ..., 14 April 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Moonbase [DVD] (DVD)
`The Moonbase' is a welcome addition to the `Doctor Who' DVD range, not only because it's an enjoyable 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 challenged 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 homeless after the destruction of Mondas in `The Tenth Planet'. With no major weaponry of their own they want to seize the `gravitron' to use it against Earth. Fortunately the base is commanded by the level-headed Hobson (Patrick Barr), and it's bad luck for the Cybermen that the Doctor happens to turn up at just the right time ...

The Second Doctor was almost defeated not by monsters but by the BBC policy of wiping tapes; many of the best Troughton-era stories were missing or had large gaps from missing episodes. So what's it like watching a story where half the episodes are animated replacements? The animators have quite a challenge to capture the look and spirit of Patrick Troughton's expressive face; the results are far better than early reconstructions such as `The Invasion' and it tells the story well. We should not expect Hollywood textured animation on a small budget, and I enjoyed watching this reconstruction.

Patrick Troughton is brilliant as the Doctor (as expected). According to the DVD commentary he was asked to tone down the comic side of the character by director Morris Barry during filming. It's difficult to know how significant any change really was because most of his earlier episodes are missing (and one of those stories does if we're honest have its comic aspects); but here, just a few stories into the role he is certainly the familiar Second Doctor - a friendly genius, slightly wistful, still humorous, and always ready to take on evil whatever the danger.

Companions Polly (Anneke Wills), Ben (Michael Craze) and Jamie (Frazer Hines) each get their moments in the story with three very good performances. However, Ben and Jamie were almost sharing the duties of a single character, as Jamie McCrimmon was an unexpected addition for Kit Pedler to write in (as the commentary explains, after Frazer Hines' success in `The Highlanders' saw him join the regular cast).

Polly's creation of `Polly Cocktail' solvent as a weapon is a good scientific device for the character, and a believable weapon against the part-plastic Cybermen; she also shares the hazards of a direct attack on the silver giants. Ben is a classic British man of action and intelligent with it, operating the gravitron in this emergency. Jamie's unexpected late inclusion in this story sees him spends half the time semi-conscious in the sickbay. But this has a memorable twist - Jamie imagining a Cyberman to be the dreaded phantom piper of the Clan McCrimmon, coming to take the dead warrior (himself!) cleverly combines fear 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. Kit Pedler wrote a base-under-siege story where tension builds for two episodes before the showdown with the Cybermen begins; there are some now-famous lines, good situations and characterisation and some ambitious low-gravity `moon-walking' two years before anyone had seen it for real. Broadcast at the height of the `space race' this moonbase adventure must have been a thrillingly topical vision of future possibilities - plus monsters!

Two large sets - the lunar surface and the Gravitron control centre - provide a good backdrop for the action and the model work mostly works; the cyber ships do have obvious wires attached, but that's a small point. The combination of background music, sound in the Moonbase and silence in the vacuum beyond adds `atmosphere'. Then there are the Cybermen - they have `evolved' greatly since their first appearance in `The Tenth Planet'; this is the story where the famous metal-cased Cyberman head was created and the first time we hear those menacing electronic voices replacing the earlier `sing-song' voices. I was quite surprised to hear Cybermen say "Clever, clever, clever" and "your stupid Earth brains"! The Cybermen may have removed positive emotions like love and compassion, but it appears they can still be sarcastic and have characteristics like pride, contempt and desire for revenge. That evil combination made them formidable regular enemies for the Second Doctor in several classic adventures.

`The Moonbase' is not the best `Cybermen' adventure ever, but it's an enjoyable story with some classic moments. 4*

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. This is a good idea for these recreated episodes but it would have been even better to have the interviews as an extra alternative to commentary.
`Lunar Landing' is a quite short (20 minute) but well made `making of' feature, with entertaining anecdotes from cast and studio crew members.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...restored print is exemplary; bright, defined and accented with depth...", 20 Jan 2014
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Moonbase [DVD] (DVD)
With the cancellation of DOCTOR WHO avoided mid-way through SEASON FOUR courtesy of television's most audacious conceit to date (regeneration), the series had entered into the most challenging period of its production. Would viewers accept the same character with a new face? With familiar companions (Polly and Ben) and the most iconic of alien enemies (Daleks), the transition was a triumph, and resulted in the lead actor's almost immediate ascension.

It may have only been his fourth story as the Second Doctor but Patrick Troughton's performance is preciously defined in DOCTOR WHO - THE MOONBASE (1967), establishing the characterisation for the remaining 17 stories of his tenure. He's ebullient, creative, and manipulative but always seeming to be undermined at every turn, and, strangely, human.

In re-viewing this four-parter, is it any wonder that former DOCTOR WHO lead actor, Matt Smith cited Troughton as his favourite and template (with additional characteristics commandeered from Michael Crawford's SOME MOTHER'S DO HAVE `EM's Frank Spencer) for his Eleventh incarnation.

Directed with precision and flare for both the horror and technical, Morris Barry's skill is evident throughout DOCTOR WHO - THE MOONBASE, guiding and, by all accounts, restraining Troughton's ambition to deliver a lighter and more whimsical character. This `tough love' approach by Barry ensures that across the four episodes the `base-under-siege' threat of the Cybermen is relentless, gripping you around the throat like the eponymous silver hand. Today, it may be regarded by viewers are pedestrian, dull or even predictable - effectively, television-by-numbers - but its capability for linear, substantial story-telling (without the gimmicks of "timey-wimey" novelty and inconsistence character flashbacks) cannot be challenged.

Firstly, the quality of the DVD's restored print is exemplary; bright, defined and accented with greater depth probably more than the original broadcast. Such is the extensive clean-up for the first time the clarity is such that the clear Perspex piping (read: `ears') across the Cyber helmets can be seen as being an intricate design detail.

With episodes one & three `missing', BBC WORLDWIDE engaged Planet 55, in association with Pup Ltd., to animate the content. And, when compared to the first attempts, in 2006, to animate the DOCTOR WHO CLASSIC SERIES for Troughton's DOCTOR WHO - THE INVASION (1968), it is meritorious.

Superbly atmospheric (the `deletion' of a Cyberman at the hands of Ben & Jamie with `Pollycocktail'), appreciative of Morris Barry's original camerawork & `period' styling, technically precise with an adroit level of weight, detail (even the underside of the Moonbase swivel chairs have working mechanisms) and clarity that warrants the animated episodes to be re-watched again.

Like the actor's own malleable & hawkish jowl and idiosyncratic `ticks' & gesticulations (the rhythmic playing with his fingers as he under goes contemplation like a time travelling Sherlock Holmes, the Second Doctor's "illustration" is equally expressive and diligently observed.

Furthermore, a number of the re-created scenes deliver a `depth of field' variation that gives a true suspicion of perspective that adds value to the animation content. It may be a minor contribution to the animation but, for me, it is expedient.

A remarkable piece of work, and along with a re-mastered audio track (courtesy of Mark Ayres) of which DOCTOR WHO fans should be both grateful and, ironically, animated about.

And with the COMING SOON trailer previewing Troughton's 1967 four-parter, DOCTOR WHO - THE UNDERWATER MENACE, I hope that the same animation techniques are used to complete the two episodes that remain `missing' from the BBC Archives too.

The additional DVD VAM (`Value Added Material') is, as you would expect for an animated release (i.e. financial resources focussed on recreation of the `missing' content), marginal and that is acceptable.

The `...making off...' documentary, LUNAR LANDING, is succinct but nonetheless informative. With contributions from Anneke (Polly) Wills ("...we were struck how quickly the Cybermen were back. They must have been popular. The time scale was immensely fast...I like the original Cybermen costumes...") ("...Patrick Troughton knew that he'd met his match with Morris Barry. He wasn't going to have any clowning around. His [Troughton's] costume and his performance were toned right down..." "Morris Barry was the only one who could do that. It was interesting..."), Reg (Cyberman) Whitehead ("...we never dreamt that it would come back so quickly..."), Frazer (Jamie) Hines (" do fancy joining the TARDIS crew for a year or so...") and production assistant Desmond McCarthy ("...when we saw the very graining pictures coming from the Moon [during the 1969 NASA Moon landing] our set was very similar even better...") the documentary rattled along entertainingly.

The PHOTO GALLERY demonstrates that even as the four-parter was unfortunate to having been transferred from Riverside Studios with its capacious studios to the limiting confines of Studio D's Lime Grove that quality of the set design (or recording) was not undermined, and with the `location' filming at Ealing Studio (representing the Moonscape) the behind-the-scene photographs demonstrates that for a story to be thrilling and gripping an over-bearing reliance on back-projection (or today's CGI) is not required.

Moderated by Toby Hadoke, the Studio Commentaries are truly special. Taking a break from the normal format, the animated episodes are accompanied with a combination of archive interview material (featuring the Series Producer, Innes Lloyd) and newly recorded recollections from the story's author's, Kit Pedler, relatives.

Commentary for episode one highlights:

On aiming to add a scientific depth to DOCTOR WHO, Innes Lloyd: A scientist to write it who could provide us with the real information, so I contacted Kit Pedler. A creative mind; a very wide view of science and came up with Cybernetics. But he needed a guiding hand as a writer and Gerry Davies helped.

On his vision for DOCTOR WHO monsters, Innes Lloyd: I was also looking for an alternative to the Daleks, and so that's how the Cybermen came up.

On her Father (Kit Pedler), Carol Topolski: He had a genuine concern especially about `social irresponsibility' in science but he had a fiendish imagination about how humanity was going. He actually built the World's first artificial Retina in Canada in the 1960's.
Toby Hadoke: A man `out of his time'?
Carol Topolski: Yes. He became an Ecologist. He was prepared to put his money where his worth was. He even built a Nuclear Bomb - without the Plutonium - in the garage.

On his gravestone reading "A Man Of Ideas", Carol Topolski: It summed him up. Constantly curious and challenging ideas. He looked outside the box.

Commentary for episode three highlights:

On the production, AFM (Assistant Floor Manager), Lovett Bickford: All very good fun but the pressure to get everything in the can! Morris Barry was a modest talent. Patrick Troughton was the best actor (of all the Doctors).

On the Cybermen costumes, actor Derek Chaffer: The worst costumes were the first ones (DOCTOR WHO - THE TENTH PLANET). So confining. Claustrophobic.
Reg Whitehead: Chaffing, smelly, and the most uncomfortable costumes that the BBC has ever made. Impractical.

Overall, DOCTOR WHO - THE MOONBASE is a remarkable release from BBC WORLDWIDE and, thankfully, over due in its release. Why `thankfully'? The development of animation techniques to capture the creative essence, palpably values and the inherent filming restraints of the period (to animate a 1960's programme with PIXER-styled animation would be inappropriate) have been considerable since its first DOCTOR WHO DVD outing (DOCTOR WHO - THE INVASION). Ironically, I would like an option to view the animation with applied `film scratches', `electronic drop-outs' and `film-judder' to experience the quintessential black-and-white era from which some of the most riveting adventures derive.

So, with the animation format being creatively honed, what's the next for the treatment (other than DOCTOR WHO - THE UNDERWATER MENACE)? With two of its four episodes missing and the `illustrations' of Troughton, Hines, Craze and Wills already `in the can', DOCTOR WHO - THE FACELESS ONES?
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88 of 104 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.

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A strong release for an atmospheric tale..., 5 Mar 2014
P. Sanders "prhsuk" (Belfast) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Moonbase [DVD] (DVD)
I was reluctant at first to buy 'The Moonbase'. I am grateful that other stories with missing episodes have been completed with animation, but often found the animated episodes dragged - not through any fault of the animators, just that it's more entertaining to see the real actors in actual episodes. And with only two out of four episodes in existence, it means half of this story in animated.

I needn't have worried. This is the best animation so far - the animated episodes zip along nicely, are well-made with excellent visual characterisation and most of all are creepily atmospheric.

Extras-wise there is a nice making-of documentary and commentaries that include interviews with various folks involved (or their relatives).

As for the story itself, it's a simple but effective tale where atmosphere covers any plot-holes and dodgy science. There are several classic moments: episode 2 ends with one of the best cliffhangers of the Troughton era (even with a wobbly bed!) And the Cybermen's attack on two crewmen on the moon's surface is surprisingly brutal

'The Moonbase' as a sequel to 'The Tenth Planet' not only cemented the Cybermen's role as a recurring menace, but also consolidated the claustrophobic "base-under-siege" storyline that was really introduced in that tale, and would become a Troughton era staple. It also sets up the notion of Cybermen as ragged groups of survivors trying to regain power, a role they often played in classic Who.

It's also pointed out in the making-of that this was the story where much of Troughton's earlier clowning was really dialed down by the director and the Troughton character we recognise today really cane together.

A lot of people mock the sexist "Polly is sent to make coffee in a crisis" element of the story, but it's worth noting that she is the strongest companion here - Jamie spends most of the story unconscious and Ben wanders about the base looking for things to do (the two boys are also having to split dialogue between them as the writers try to find ways to cater for a larger TARDIS crew). Polly gets to help save the day and use her brain so she comes out of this story very well overall.

A pleasant, chilling surprise.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Clever, clever, clever", 18 Jan 2014
Mr. D. K. Smith (South Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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 Listen first, watch later., 6 Oct 2014
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Moonbase [DVD] (DVD)
Moonbase is one of the creepiest Who serials - eerie synth sounds running through each episode creates a claustrophobic edginess. Superb as a soundtrack (ripping the audio and listening on a tablet), the imagination replaces cardboard sets and dodgy tin men (and child-like animation for missing episodes) with glorious galaxies and hi-tech wizardry. My enthusiasm for the early Doctors started with the soundtracks to the 'lost episodes', now I prefer listening rather than watching.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Some things in the Universe Must be Fought, 14 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Moonbase [DVD] (DVD)
The second Cybermen story, first in the Patrick Troughton era and its a classic base under seige story, one of the hallmarks of Doctor Who Seasons 4 and 5.

Shame 2 episodes are still missing but they've been well animated and synched up to the existing soundtracks.

Very good and highly recommended.
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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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2 of 3 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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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Return of the Cybermen, 21 Jan 2014
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Moonbase [DVD] (DVD)
Heading for Mars, the Doctor and his companions Tom, Polly and Jamie are brought down with a jolt onto the Moon in 2070. Unable to resist the opportunity to explore, the Doctor and his companions are soon bouncing across the Lunar landscape. Miscalculating one of his hops, Jamie falls over the lip of a crater and lies unconscious and heavily concussed close to the Moonbase of the title.
With a fourteen-man crew of scientists, technitions and engineers, this is the station which now controls the Earth's weather using a gravitational pump to guide weather-systems and create more favourable conditions.
Several of the crew, beginning with the base's Doctor, have been incapacitated by an unknown illness and the remaining eleven are hard-pressed to perform their duties adequately.
Unknown to anyone, Cybermen who survived the destruction of Mondas in "The Tenth Planet" have landed on the Moon and infiltrated the Moonbase, intending to convert its crew and use the gravity pump to decimate the Earth in preperation for colonization.

Although included on the "Lost in Time" DVD as surviving episodes and soundtrack, this version is the latest of the part-animated, part-film releases and, in my opinion at least, these work remarkably well. Since they were not intended as audio-plays, the soundtrack only versions can be difficult to follow but the animated episodes are the next best thing to having a completely surviving adventure.

The extras are fairly standard, commentaries on the animated episodes, interviews and "making of" feature. There are also the usual T.V. listings, subtitles and Photo Gallery as well as a trailer for the upcoming release of "The Underwater Menace" and while this may not be as eagerly anticipated as the "Web of Fear", it's still unexpected and welcome. We must be very close to the last of the classic Doctor Who releases, so we should make the most of them. Personally, I don't think that the B.B.C. will keep to their statement that they will only animate and release the early Doctor Who adventures which have at least half of their surviving episodes but we'll see.
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Doctor Who - The Moonbase [DVD]
Doctor Who - The Moonbase [DVD] by Morris Barry (DVD - 2014)
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