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on 15 September 2017
I won't review the story, watch the DVD for that but I'll comment on the experience. First off, considering how old it is, the production is really quite good. It does a great job of depicting an isolated Arctic type base and it isn't half as clunky as I was expecting. The animated episodes are OK. Not the best animation in the world but they do succeed in replicating the 'feel' of the live action episodes. However, the acting leaves a lot to be desired! It is quite possibly the most 'shouty' TV drama I have ever seen. Every character seems to shout their lines which, after a while, becomes irritating.
it's also too long. I know it was the fashion back in the day to have multi episodes but it does make you appreciate the shorter 1-2 episode per story format we get these days a lot more. So, in conclusion, it's an OK watch and an interesting window into the past of Dr Who.
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on 6 January 2018
This is a classic episode as we were not only introduced to the Cybermen for the first time it would go down in history for something never before seen on television at that time to change your lead actor by a method known as regeneration, people back then weren't sure what to think but embraced the idea once they knew the new guy was still the doctor but had a new face. This was William Hartnell's last story and you can tell he is getting weary due to the fact his health had affected him quite badly so was happy when he knew Patrick Troughton was to replace him. You have 3 full episodes with the last one being animated with audio due to once again being lost or deleted by the BBC archive. This is one that has to be in your collection even if you don't have every classic doctors episodes.
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on 19 August 2017
Great story and although William Hartnell was very poorly (heart disease and dementia); he still manages to act the part of The Doctor! He came back to do the regeneration after having pneumonia😲 What a trooper!! Mondasian Cybermen look scary and menacing and the space station and launch story was ahead of it's time in 1966, before the 1969 moon landing, great story if you put up with black n' white and animated episode 4.
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on 7 February 2015
This story sadly lacks its last episode, the now famous missing Part 4, but the animation, with the option to also view the old VHS telesnap/clip reconstruction, definitely works as well as anything is going to until Part 4 one day turns up :)

As a Hartnell story The Tenth Planet is unusual as it has the "base under attack" theme that one is familiar with from watching many of Troughton's stories, but it does work well. Ben and Polly make effective companions, and the supporting cast, though limited in scope, works well.

The Doctor is absent for most of part 3 - watching the story before watching the extras, one assumes that this was a plot device to explain his exhaustion and regeneration at the end of the story. However, the interesting extra documentary explains that it was because Hartnell was ill, so his double had to stand in for the collapse scene and the later lying-in-a-bunk scene. Hartnell's lines were split between Ben and Polly, and where they were scientific the scientist at the Antarctic station. This explained the odd thing I had noted watching the story, that Ben a couple of times in talking to Polly says "the Doctor said" or "the Doctor says" things that I hadn't recalled him saying!

The cybermen have a genuine menace, for all that they wear stockings and have human hands bare. Their voices are better than they became in subsequent stories, not yet with the higher pitch, and they seem truly alien.

The DVD of extras was fascinating, the interview between Fraser Hines, Peter Purves and Mark Strickson not strictly relevant to this story, but lots of fun and of genuine interest. I did feel that there was one extra missing - on the fate of, and subsequent hunt for, the missing last episode. That seemed an odd omission.
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on 26 June 2017
Watching this was a real treat, there is something about the Cybermen that the later redesigns lacked, they are really menacing, no wonder kids hid behind the sofa!
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on 30 December 2013
Having experienced only a few B&W era Who stories, but mainly loved the colour series from Jon Pertwee onwards, I underestimated both Hartnell's and Troughton's Doctor Who stories until actually seeing them in a fresh light allowed me to re-evaluate anew and mentally file their stories within the Who canon as a whole. "The Tenth Planet" is no exception. It works as the basis of "station under siege", a nod towards the Second Doctor's era oh-so-close, but yet-to-arrive tenure when this story was transmited back in 1966. As a genuine Moonbase would be small and cramped in any era, the less room for manoeuvre in the limits of the studio-bound story with actually works to the claustrophobic advantage of "The Tenth Planet".

Forgiving any shortcomings in the original outfits is a must, and trying to view as if seeing them for the first time, the Cybermen are truly creepy creations, just as they would have been to the viewer way back in the less-enlightened times of 1966. The Daleks were one thing; this is something that not only looked humanoid, it also moved and talked. And they are not robots, they were once human. It's that same feeling I get from seeing a ventriloquist's dummy coming to life ("Dead Of Night"), then cross that with a faceless Cybernaut killer robot for good measure. (Did I say 'Cybernaut'? Quick - gloss over any similarities.) You can feel that something may be alive inside, but cannot see it to understand. Creepy.

With the then-new knowledge of how the Cybermen evolved and developed, discarding their emotions along the way, that facet alone makes for interesting exchanges in dialogue which, having been well covered in other reviews I need not repeat here. That they are doing what they are is for a reason - self preservation - and not just some kind of "let's go and invade somewhere today 'cos we can" type whim. Just surviving out there in the cold, hard Universe is something amazing, an angle that gets more and more forgotten as time and ever-more fantastical sci-fi storytelling develops. Nu-Who take note.

This is a generous two-disk set. The story itself is on disc one, and having only seen the grainy VHS before, viewing this story on DVD for the first time was a pleasant surprise. The picture quality on the three existing episodes is amazing, and have been restored as much as possible to appear as they would have done back in 1966. That this could only be done on the first three of the four episodes makes it all the more sad that the pivotal episode four is still missing as of December 2013. The final part has been put together as an animation using the original soundtrack, which is very good with a lot of thought gone into it. Just be prepared to get into it though, for the motions of characters are a little different to those seen in the first three extant episodes. As far as the Cybermen's 'past-human' cold characters go, it actually helps. The usual informative text information is here, plus entertaining commentary with Anneke Wills, Earl Cameron and designer Peter Kindred amongst others, with Toby Hadoke doing the moderating.

Also on disc one is "Frozen Out" is the 'making of' feature, and there are Radio Times listings (DVD-ROM only), a Photo gallery and a 'Coming soon' trailer. Pick of the crop for me is the 'official' episode 4 reconstruction, as featured on the VHS release back in 2000. Telesnap reconstructions are something Who fans are familiar with via unofficial fan ventures but it was the first and remains the only full-length official BBC reconstruction of its type. Sad, because if the animated episode leaves you cold, try watching this instead as the use of screengrabs from that missing episode stands up rather well and includes all clips including that all-important regeneration scene in full.

Disc two is packed with gems as well, including all that's left of the recently-recovered, only surviving interview with William Hartnell. This was when he was in pantomime after he left Doctor Who in 1966. "Doctor Who Stories focusses on Anneke Wills as Polly, from an an interview recorded for "The Story of Doctor Who" back in 2003. "The Golden Age" examines the myth of the first ‘Golden Age’ of Doctor Who. Peter Purves, Frazer Hines and Mark Strickson entertain us with recollections of ther tim in the show in "Boys! Boys! Boys!", while in "Companion Piece" is all about what bing a Time Lord’s fellow traveller means. "Blue Peter: Doctor Who's Tenth Anniversary" comes from Blue Peter. That that show's producer Biddy Baxter notoriously refused to junk any editions of her show is something Who fans have long been grateful for, as this particular item preserved that first regenration scene, after which TP episode 4 strangely disappeared. I hope it was only taken for 'safekeeping' somewhere by a fan aware of its importance and will one day be rediscovered and returned.

Footnote - after having seen the remarkable "An Adventure In Space And Time" covering William Hartnell's era, "The Tenth Planet" has taken on more than being just a Doctor Who story. It brought to a close a string of stories with an actor who it is apparent not only loved the show, but believed in it by the time his health was failing. As well as all the other reasons why this stroy is important, knowing more about the background story better made it more important to me too, and increased my viewing pleasure.
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on 18 June 2016
As some one who can into to the doctor who world late. I used to watch US sci-fi and a school friend told me about Dr who and I got hooked with Troughtons Dr Who. A mix of clown and conman. But he made the really scary monsters come alive and believable. The Hartnell doctor made the monsters have real menace. He was serious as well as dramatic and made the cliff hangers really fantastic. You just had to watch to find out what happened next week. A sad fairwell and as he was in poor health, the strain of work schedule was telling.
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on 3 May 2018
Animation is a welcome change from telesnaps. Some fans have done better than the bbc and I am surprised the bbc do not use their skills to reconstruct every single missing episode of doctor who.
I don't like telesnaps and feel animation should be employed to reconstruct the classics.

Animation has come a long way and you could scan faces from the snaps into a computer and then super impose onto life actors. They do this on many films now. Brandon Lee in the crow came alive in crow 2 using the same techniques. The bbc one it to the fans.
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on 22 February 2014
Sadly, although the restoration here is amazing, the prints of the Tenth Planet are very grainy. the Restoration Team has worked miracles to get it back to looking as good as it does here but its not as good as earlier installments from the same era.

The sound is vastly improved over previous the release on VHS

The animated episode is very good but one can't help missing that vital last episode. Whilst the animation has improved over some other efforts its not as good as The Invasion or The Moonbase.

Some good extras and interesting commentary, and its nice to see some of the actors from the show whom have never been interviewed about the show before.

The story itself is a drab end to the first era and the Doctor is missing for his last existing episode which means you don't see much of Hartnell after part two save for the animation.

An amazing find by (I believe) Richard Bignell is a short interview with Mr Hartnell some months after he left the show and is the only one known to exist. Fascinating.
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on 15 February 2015
It's taken a longer time to see this on DVD, but it's been well worth the wait. The first appearance of the Cyber-Men is genuinely creepy and unsettling. The story outline is not original, but the way in which it's told is affecting. The Cyber-Men are inhuman, but close enough to realise that they're not too far removed from us! One minor quibble (which is more of a personal preference really) is that there are live action clips of the last episode, but they stick with animation throughout. This includes the famous regeneration scene. I can't help but think that it would've worked better with the live action bits left in. Perhaps they thought it would be too jarring.
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