wwhyte (wwhyte) wrote,

Who do you love? 29: The Tenth Planet

Many things to love about The Tenth Planet:

  • The Cybermen. They are eerie undead, unaffected by snow, standing still in the blizzard. They will never again feel so much like people with something removed.
  • The Cybermen's voices. Their heads loll to one side, their mouths fall open, and this strange sound emerges; all the words are normal, but the intonation is from outer space, the madness of someone trying to remember what it felt like to be alive. If they were to remake this, they should keep it exactly the same except that the Cybermen who aren't speaking should smile or frown in the background for no logical reason whatsoever.
  • The Cybermen kill the Doctor. This is quite plain in the reconstruction, although for some reason it isn't brought out in the book. They bring him and Polly to their spaceship and drain him, and it kills him. Sadly, unlike The Smugglers which was so unambitious in concept that it could focus on selling the action, The Tenth Planet knows where it wants to go but isn't sure it's allowed. With a bit more thematic clarity (and, yes, foreknowledge that Hartnell would have to take the third week off) this could have been so much more effective.
  • The TARDIS goes mad! The TARDIS is screaming as the Doctor comes back to it to die. It's not clear if he and it are friends yet, or if it's just sensing the crisis. This is a great call-back to The Edge of Destruction: the Ship as a presence, not a machine.
  • Bases, Antarctica, air vents, Americans, Geneva, Ben, Polly.
  • And goodbye to William Hartnell, stubbornly not explaining things to the end.

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