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VINE VOICEon 27 August 2003
Peter Davison is turning out to be the best represented Doctor on DVD with yet another classic story, this time from the beginning of his tenure. Yes, this is the infamous tale that not only brings the Cybermen back better than they ever were before, but also kills off a companion, whilst also finding time to account for the extinction of the dinosaurs.
This story starts off in the gravel pits and then leads us into the papier mache caves. So far, so ordinary. However, then the Cybermen show up, the action suddenly shifts to a deep space freighter on a course for Earth, and most of the characters die (which, as Peter Davison notes in the commentary, happens a lot in his stories).
This is a dark and exciting story, tautly written and directed. Compared to preceding Tom Baker stories, it injects a new lease of life into the stale old formula, but on its own, it works even better. I'd never seen an episode with the companion Adric in before, I just knew he was widely despised. You don't need to have seen any Doctor Who to understand the relationships going on here. The Doctor is very clearly a frustrated father figure dealing with a frustrated teenage son. The pair of them share this character arc across the four episodes that just adds to the poignant finale (though I'm not too sure about the Coronation Street-style silent credits at the end).
The extras on the DVD aren't particularly notable. There's the par-for-the-course CGI effects, which I would seriously recommend watching instead of the dire original effects in the last episode particularly. Also worth a look is the brief claymation fifth episode, which works as an alternative ending aimed clearly at Adric haters.
The documentary about this particular story is quite good, featuring the writer, the actors, and numerous science fiction commentators (most funny of which is the Tory MP blaming the Labour Government for the direness of the 1970s Cybermen stories). All in all, though, it's a great package.
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on 19 June 2017
I am very happy with this DVD.
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on 15 October 2017
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on 3 November 2017
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on 11 September 2014
If you like Dr Who like me buy this.
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on 17 April 2006
Story: 4/5 - Extras: 5/5

As I understand it, some people love writer Eric Saward's "Earthshock" and some hate it. Just to be awkward, I'm going to say that I like it, but it's not perfect.

Earthshock carries with it a bleak atmosphere not uncommon in the Peter Davison era alongside such stories as Resurrection of the Daleks and The Caves of Androzani, particularly in the death-heavy first episode, with which its sequences of caves and androids is actually a massive diversion from the real enemies - the Cybermen - who only appear at the episode's climax. I imagine that if I was watching Doctor Who in the early 1980s I'd have been pretty impressed with the revelation.

I've never found 1980s Cybermen particularly menacing, but there's no doubt that in Earthshock they do have a certain edge that they would subsequently lack in stories such as The Five Doctors. In Earthshock they really are a powerful force, breaking out of their hibernation silos in droves, murdering anybody who stands in their way and getting up to a fair amount of scheming, too. The voices may not be as chilling as they were in the late 1960s, but they're more intelligible, and it does allow the Cyber Leader to have better lines.

Other aspects are less successful. The numerous supporting characters introduced in episode one, such as Lt. Scott and his troops, become somewhat redundant once the story switches location to a space freighter in episode two (and picks up its new supporting characters in the form of the freighter's crew), none more so than Professor Kyle, the leader of the archaeological expedition, who spends the rest of the story hanging around with Nyssa in the TARDIS until she eventually gets shot. Like many stories of this era, there are too many companions - but that, of course, is all about to change.

Weaknesses notwithstanding, the plot of the story is well constructed and there's a dramatic send-off for Adric as the TARDIS crew is reduced in number by one.

Earthshock comes with a strong package of extras, including a chaotic commentary with the full TARDIS crew, a thirty minute documentary on the making of the story with numerous leading contributors, the usual on-screen production notes, a few film trimmings and bits and bobs from the TV archives, and informative on-screen production notes. Excellent.
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on 14 November 2017
Wow! Earthshock is an incredible Doctor Who episode. The Cybermen are just incredible and very strong in this episode. The Doctor, Peter Davison, puts in one of his best performances in his time as the Doctor. Tegan does quite a lot in this episode as she shoots a Cyberman in the chest. Adric, his joint best story along with The Keeper of Traken, he is incredible and his death is tragic! Nyssa is the only person who isn't great in this story. I feel she is very underused, which is sad.
Episode 1 is a little slow
The Cybermen reveal, after that time they feel a little pointless as they are just walking around for a bit
Nyssa is sadly underused
Episode 5 (ummmmm....)
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on 17 November 2014
One of the most popular stories of Doctor Who during the Peter Davison era saw the return of the Cybermen for the first time in seven years. It also saw the depature of one of his companions (which one I won't mension here) due to producers and writers feeling the show was over crowded with three companions.

Earthshock sees The Doctor, Adric, Teegan and Nyssa accidentally invloved in an archeological dig which eventually leads to them coming face to face with the Cybermen. A number on incidents eventually leads them to a spaceship where The Doctor finds himself in a huge predicment which eventually leads to the loss of one companion.

Earthshock rightly deserves its position as one of the best Fifth Doctor serials, featuring some of the best performances of the era even if the end is decisive amoung viewers. The Cybermen are show in a string light once again allowing Earthshock to rank amoungst the best Cybermen stories alongside The Tenth Planet and The Tomb of the Cybermen.
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on 7 July 2007
...if you already own the DVD - this 2007 print is exactly the same as the extant edition, except they've slipped a natty blue sleeve over the old-style box. That's not a criticism - just thought you ought to know in case you weren't going to get it because it wouldn't match yer other Who DVDs (you know what some people are like). It will - and as it's mid-price you can buy new at pre-owned rates. As for the show itself... widely held to be one of the most satisfying adventures of the critically-rehabilitated Davison era, Earthshock offers a interesting contrast between his polite, exasperated, vulnerable Doctor and the cold, supposedly emotionless Cybermen. High production values and a fabulous, truly-filmic score mean it stands up very well, and nice add-ons round out the package. Episode four was the real shock, at the time... and if you don't know why I won't spoil it here... This is part of a re-booted DVD series aimed, one suspects, at tempting new, young Ecclestone- and Tennant-era fans to sample the 'classic' era, and no bad thing for that. Recommended.
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on 29 May 2004
Now, I may be missing the point of buying the DVD of Earthsock, however it is well worth buying it for the commentary. Peter Davison and Co are in a silly mood, making laugh-out-loud comments in a cheery atmosphere. Yes, yes, it is one of the better stories of the eighties, and yes we do finally get to see the immensly annoying Adric snuff (sorry Mr Waterhouse. But that also makes the DVD worth getting), but it is the commentary that steals the show.
On a more formal note, like B sharp (joke-sorry), it is a good story, with very eighties acting and production. It is a good return for the Cybermen, and the acting is pretty much flawless all round. Except a moment when Mr Waterhouse is messing around with some controls when they are about to explode, obviously trying to keep his distance! Which reminds me, another great extra when a clay version of Adric survives the crash on Dino Earth and gets eaten-a classic!
This a good story for those of you who saw it first time round, especially at a young age, great nostaga! It is definatly worth adding to your undoubtibly huge Doctor Who collection. It will feel right at home among the other classics.
Still, that commentary, ha ha ha... etc!
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