Friday, September 16, 2005

'The Moonbase'

4 episodes: 2 surviving

Aren't there a lot of stories beginning with 'The'? The alphabetical list that pops up every time I start naming a post is getting enormous now...

Often held up as a straight rewrite of 'The Tenth Planet', this has enough going for it to stand scrutiny on its own merits. True, the claustrophic, isolated setting - here on the Moon instead of the Antarctic - is similar, as is the Cyber force trying to gain control of it, Polly making coffee etc., but the setting works well and the Cybermen here are very impressive. Much more metal than before, the cloth suits gone, and with less restrictive outfits and weaponry, they seem more threatening - and this is greatly helped by the new voices, the singsong intonation replaced with a flat metallic monotone that truly suits them. As the first and third episodes are missing, filled in by audio soundtracks on the DVD, it is slightly hard to get into the action; but there is plenty to enjoy, with a couple of interesting supporting characters in the shape of Hobson and Benoit, good use of the Cyber-controlled humans, clever strategy by the Cybermen and a strong performance from Patrick Troughton as the Doctor tries to look after his companions, foil the Cybermen's efforts and prevent Hobson from throwing him off the Moon!


Episodes watched: 92
Episodes still to watch: 630

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