Earthshock part 2

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    Craig @craig

    So it’s part two and now we know who the baddies are. The Cybermen!

    The Doctor reasons that the rescue team should attack the hatch.

    After they destroy the androids the Doctor opens the hatch to reveal a bomb. The Doctor and Adric try to deactivate it.

    The Cybermen recognise the Doctor and want him destroyed.

    Remember, we’re watching this as it was first shown, one episode at a time, so NO SPOILERS for future episodes.

    Earthshock is available on DVD for only £6.49 from the BBC:

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Another episode of Eric Saward creepiness, with, perhaps, just a touch of Alien about it (the bleak freighter, the no-nonsense gender-mixed crew (including the wonderful Beryl Reid!!) the grisly deaths…

    And I never realised this before, but the Cyber-Leader and his assistant reminded me, bizarrely, of Mr Burns and Smithers from The Simpsons.


    The Krynoid Man @thekrynoidman

    I imagine that the scene where the Cybermen look at their previous encounters must have been interesting for fans since the stories they show clips from wouldn’t have been seen since their original broadcast (I’m not sure if Revenge of the Cybermen had been repeated before this).

    The Krynoid Man @thekrynoidman

    @blenkinsopthebrave I wonder if the writers of The Simpsons are Doctor Who fans?

    Anonymous @

    Now Adric has decided he doesn’t want to go home. 😆

    This time it didn’t shock me and makes some sense because that’s just Adric. Then Adric even jokes about possibly changing his mind to go home again. They both laugh and it was good to see the Doctor and Adric starting to bond a bit. It seems like the Doctor is starting to understand Adric better and that will help the Doctor not get frustrated by some of the bonehead things Adric does.

    My favorite moment is the Doctor’s look and quiet head shake when Adric daftly asks “how will they know we’re here?” while clearly visible surveillance cameras watch their every move.

    I admit the cybermen are not very intimidating yet, but thankfully they don’t remind me of Mr. Burns @blenkinsopthebrave. 🙂

    This is the first time I’ve watch a story the way it was originally broadcast. I didn’t think I would be patient enough, but I am enjoying it so far.

    Whisht @whisht

    @blenkinsopthebrave – totally with you on the “excellent”.

    In my mind, the Cybermen weren’t so camp, but there you go.
    How memory deceives (and how this particular 11 year old didn’t get ‘camp’).

    I also now want the still of the bit where he says “More power!” emblazoned on….


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    One of the great things about Who over the years is that it has attracted an astonishing array of brilliant English actors. One of those was Beryl Reid (who plays the Captain of the freighter (“You’re beginning to bore me”).

    Many people on the site might not be aware of Beryl Reid, but she was a gifted actor who did comedy and drama and everything in between. This included the central character of the 1968 Robert Aldrich-directed The Killing odf Sister George in which she played the acerbic lesbian actor involved in a fraught relationship with Susannah York’s character. And she was also played the wonderful Connie Sachs, the retired intelligence operative in the stunningly brilliant Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy with Alec Guiness. For anyone who has not seen this magisterial TV adaptation, here is Beryl Reid and Alec Guiness. It starts of slow, but bear with it, because it reveals in Beryl Reid’s performance, the very best of English acting. And…she did this in the same year that she did Doctor Who.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    No, I tell a lie–the performance above was in 1979. She played the same character in the sequel, “Smiley’s People” in 1982–the year of “Earthshock”.

    And excuse the typos above–Mrs Blenkinsop was calling me to the dinner table as I was trying to upload the video. Pathetic excuse, I know; which also reveals far too much about the Blenkinsop household.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @blenkinsopthebrave   Thanks for that link — I think I did miss part of this adaptation when it was first broadcast here — more great UK tv to watch!  Such a burden .  . . : )

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    After that cliffhanger this episode was initially watched with the open-mouthed astonishment of actually seeing the Cybermen in action again. And, yes, they are rather camp but in fairness it’s not that noticeable and is rather restrained in Earthshock. It’s only by the time we get to The Five Doctors/Attack and especially Silver Nemesis that they’re suffering from their law of diminishing returns. Here all the fruity, fist-clenching ‘Explode The Bomb!!’ malarkey kind of works.

    The little flashback sequence is another little piece of fangasm. Certainly I think it was the first time I’d actually seen the Second Doctor talking on screen and possibly Hartnell too for that matter. We’re still a year away from the Five Faces season and I wonder if it wasn’t the enthusiastic reaction to the Cybermen and the flashbacks that persuaded the Beeb to go for that. But it was also a lovely little piece of fan contextualisation, Although it also perhaps points to the increasing obsession with the show’s own past that will actually start to blight the show in the coming years.

    Another one is the casting of Beryl Reid. Sorry, @blenkinsopthebrave, for me she’s one of the low points of the story, and increasingly so over the years. It’s a foretaste of the increasingly irritating light-entertainment stunt-casting of the JNT years. Not that Reid is the worst offender. She’s OK. But her performance somehow screams ‘Look at me, loves. I’m slumming it a bit in Doctor Who dontacha know!’. Personally I think June Bland as Berger outshines her with the greater conviction she brings to the role.

    (I do concur with you on Reid in Smiley’s People though. It’s not a role I’ve ever cared for much, finding this version of Connie rather self pitying and pathetic (although that is, indeed, the point, I know) and far prefer the revitalised version we get in The Honourable Schoolboy but there’s nothing to fault in Reid’s performance. It’s more or less exactly how Le Carre had it on the page.)

    Another slight criticism is the same one that can be lobbed at this era in general — the cast of frikkin’ thousands. I get that Saward needed Scott and this troops for later in the story but it’s always struck me as un-Doctor-like for Five to bring them all along. He’s got a TARDIS full of bloody irritants as it is, so what does he do, fill it up with even more. It’s actually the reason why Davison isn’t remembered as well as he should be. He was always surrounded by far too many auxiliary characters. It’s also the reason why Androzani is remembered so fondly. Stripped down to just him and Peri, he finally gets a chance to shine as the Doctor. If it had been just him and say Tegan for more of his run, he would be far more highly regarded.

    But onwards with the Cybermen’s Greatest Hits package. We’ve done Tomb, now we’re on to Moonbase. Creepy, empty metal corridors and the glimpse of the ‘space plague’. And the sense of impending siege. And not a great cliffhanger but sufficiently carried along on the momentum built up to keep us in fingernail-chewing mode.

    Anonymous @


    Ah,  Smiley’s People….Oh, I remember. It was exciting growing up in the household, sitting down with hot choc and watching this marvellous series together as a family.

    “Don’t make ’em like this anymore,” my father would have said.

    I absolutely love the voices of the Cybermen here. They each have personalities! And their personalities are discrete and interesting. They even argue a bit.  A contrast from the previous tardis- arguing. But then stuck in a ‘small’ space with Adric would drive anyone mad and they’d “need some air.” I say this myself a lot.

    I love the exclamation!: “probe”

    “laser cover”

    And the Dr is SO arrogant and in-the-know.

    The snipping between scenes leads to tension and I like the camera super-close-ups when the Doctor is attempting to use a laser to do….something scientific….and doctor-ish.

    Interesting that the “TLs were forbidden to interfere in society.” I assumed it was conventional wisdom… not High Council Law. A bit like not sacking the PM if you’re the Governor General: not something you generally do unless you want to drink yourself to death pretty quick and have Whitlam claim not even God will save you!

    So, Tennant claimed TLs were able to jump thru time quickly without causing major havoc but I expect even they had to be aware of possible scientific ‘recriminations’ and backlashes within ‘the space-time continuum’. Oh, how I love that phrase.


    “You’re beginning to borrrre me, Mister.”  Lots of ‘misters’ spattered about within the dialogue.


    Absolutely love the theme at the end of each episode: finally we hear it with some clarity and with a big “splosh” bomb sound at the end to herald “it’s finished, now applaud, or turn off your tellys”

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