Earthshock part 4
3 August 2015 at 23:34 #41512Craig @craigEmperor
The Cybermen have taken over the ship and are turning it into a flying bomb headed straight for Earth. They plan to wipe out the planet in order to kill some galactic dignitaries. They also want the crew to stay on board, for scientific research purposes.
After one of the biggest surprises in Who’s history with the reveal of the Cybermen at the end of part one, we end with a, quite literally, Earth-shattering conclusion.
And it IS shocking, even today.
And for those who were asking why we got a lesson about the dinosaurs in part one, you get your answer in the finalé. There’s nothing like foreshadowing.
This is the only episode ever to end without the theme tune being played over the end credits. In respect.
We all have our defining moments. Those moments when we are “Excellent”!9 August 2015 at 11:28 #41687JimTheFish @jimthefishTime Lord
Thought it was looking a bit unloved in here after the Great Database Massacre of 2015.
This is probably one of the single best episodes of the BG show in my opinion. Doesn’t put a foot wrong at all and I think it’s Davison’s finest hour. From his ‘small beautiful moments’ speech to the race against time in the TARDIS, to the look on his face as he realises his failure, he was just brilliant here. There was no question after this that he was indeed the Doctor — Baker’s not inconsiderable shadow that hung over the previous stories not utterly dispelled. And a decidedly different sort of Doctor too. Could you imagine that kind of ending with the previous Doctor? I just can’t see it. The Whoniverse changed with that story and it regained a greater sense of uncertainty, of fear, and of genuine danger.
I thought @thekrynoidman was spot on in his now-lost summation of Adric. That’s exactly what was being aimed for. But unfortunately I just don’t think had anything like the acting chops to carry it off. I think the idea that he was a better fit for Baker is right too. But more than that, I think Adric really needed Lalla Ward’s Romana to fire off too. He needed the snotty, cleverer, bigger sister character to slap down his arrogance.
(Davison’s performance perhaps more than any other Doctor was not suited to a multi-companion set-up. It cried out for the (non-sexual) intimacy of a single companion — a Sarah-Jane or a Romana– and to swamped by the over-full TARDIS. The JNT approach would have actually worked better the other way around, maybe. The Sixth Doctor would maybe have been more bearable with a larger team around him and Davison would have flourished with just him and Peri.)
But Adric does have a good final story and great pains have obviously been taken to make him less of a Truckle than usual. And it does work more or less. Certainly at the time, the silent credits over the broken star was highly affecting. Now it just seems rather on the mawkish side. Perhaps a soundtrack of Champagne corks and streamers in the TARDIS might be more fitting.
Having said that, it’s often struck me that Adric is one character that might benefit from perhaps a one-off return — as an utterly embittered villain — maybe cannibalising Cyber parts — and somehow surviving the crash and hell-bent on revenge for being abandoned at the dawn of time.9 August 2015 at 14:57 #41688The Krynoid Man @thekrynoidman
What happened to the other posts?10 August 2015 at 07:15 #41703Arbutus @arbutus
@jimthefish Yes, I had posted something similar before the massacre. Davison really shone in this. I liked him best when he was quietly intense, taking verbal shots at his enemies and being a man of action. Being surrounded by the squabbling Team Tardis definitely did not bring out the best in him!
I love your idea for Cyber-Adric. Fan fiction, anyone?10 August 2015 at 07:26 #4170410 August 2015 at 14:20 #41710janetteB @janetteb
@thekrynoidman True. You defend Adric and your post gets exterminated. I had read the discussion and there were some excellent posts. IT was nice to read something positive about Adric. I had essentially stopped watching the originals by the time Tom Baker left. I never warmed to any of the Davison era assistants, or Davison himself for that matter. He wasn’t bad just a tad ordinary in the role. I think he would have really benefited from a companion whom he could have worked with rather than three that he was working against.
But enough gripes. It is hard to talk about Earthshock without dwelling upon that ending. I recall the final episode of Earthshock back in the day and at the time I thought that Who would never be the same again. I was shocked by the ending but also excited because they had the courage to follow through with the threat and actually kill a major character. We know the Doctor cannot die but until this episode we also knew that a well established companion could not die either. This story gave the series a fresh sense of actual danger. I would like to see AGWho take that plunge some time too.
The story itself is tightly scripted and moves along at quite a pace. I guessed in the first episode that we were going to find out what caused the extinction of the dinosaurs but feared to say so because it might sound too much like a spoiler though I am sure we all assumed the same. The dino discussion screamed “smoking gun” or is that “Chekhov’s duck?”
Thus far the Davison stories which we have watched have been better than expected. I really must make time to watch Caves of Androzani.
Janette10 August 2015 at 16:29 #41712Arbutus @arbutus
@janetteb I was going to say that I find Caves very similar in the way that it plays to Davison’s strengths, even more so than here, in fact. I agree that the ending of Earthshock stunned me, years ago, and I couldn’t quite believe that they weren’t going to retro-engineer it, in some manner. Of course, I thought that the first time I encountered regeneration as well, at the end of the Tom Baker era. Wrong on both counts! 🙂27 August 2019 at 09:01 #68030HCGosling @hcgosling
This was definitely one of the most heartbreaking and emotional stories. Mainly because throughout parts 1’2 & 3 it plays out like a normal story. But in part four of course we don’t just see the departure of one of my favourite companions (Adric) we also see the destruction of him. This shows that doctor who is changing. It’s learning how to emotionally effect us. This also shows how much of a child Adric actually was. He was always trying to impress the doctor with his intelligence. But of course he goes a little bit out of his depth and can’t prevent the inevitable. What are your views on this?
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