Thursday, 7 August 2008

The Tenth Planet

I've just seen this for the first time (still recuperating from guts issues) and all I can say is - wow. This is a taut thriller with some great perfomances and, to my mind, a tragic descent of a hard but reasonable man into madness - through love.

And the Cybermen are so human in this, you know there is a decaying human skull under the cloth, and their voices give the impression of wanting to hold onto something - musical, tuneful, something almost beautiful. Mondas - the satire of earth, with its progeny that are very similar to us. IN this, at least, they are almost logical, whereas in later serials they develop concepts of revenge, anger, delight and even fear (watch the Cybermen trying to escape from the exploding mineral stuff at the end of Attack of the Cybermen).

There is a fair amount of crap to do with Z bombs and radiation but really - this is fantastic television. William Hartnell is great and although Part IV is done as telesnaps and clips, the regeneration is just brilliant. With him being out of part III too, something is building up - like Logopolis, but more subtly. You get a powerful sense of confusion and fear: he is old, he's been in that body for hundreds of years (unlike his later selves), he knows nothing else, he's never regenerated before and the process perhaps looks and feels like death. The strangeness of the moment is the same, for the only time, for the Doctor and the audience. What a moment, when the show's original star hands over to Patrick Troughton. It brought a lump to my throat 42 years later.

1 comment:

Matt M said...

I've got the audiobook, and the Cyber voices are too distracting - much prefer the lower (though harder to understand) Troughton era ones.

Best regeneration, for my money, is the Davidson - Baker (Colin) one.