Say Something Nice – Doctor Who: The Tenth Planet

In an effort to find something quick that can be written as part of Daily Doctor Who, we are continuing with Say Something Nice, where I look back at each of the Doctor Who stories and pull out one or two cool things about it.

(Daily Doctor Who #220)

Read the previous entry here. Today, we continue with the second story of the show’s fourth season…

The Tenth Planet

The regular cast is the same as the last story, with William Hartnell as the Doctor, Anneke Wills as Polly and Michael Craze as Ben Jackson. Patrick Troughton appears uncredited in the final moment of the story as the new Doctor.

The serial is written by Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis, and directed by Derek Martinus.

The fourth (and final) episode of this story is missing from the BBC archives, but can be seen thanks to an animated restoration.

Say Something Nice…

(Named for Missy–aka the Master–and her catchphrase from her first full appearance in Dark Water).

The Tenth Planet is one of the most important serials in the show’s history, introducing both the Cybermen and the whole concept of regneration (though not named as such yet). The early Cybermen, specifically, look more like actual modified humans (rather than just being robots) then later designs do. Guest star Earl Cameron plays astronaut Williams, one of the earliest black characters to have a speaking part in the series, and from what I’ve heard, is the first black actor to ever play an astronaut on television.

But because we’re equal-opportunity fans here, we’re not going to only be sycophantically complimentary.

You craven-hearted spineless poltroon!

(Another cry from the Master, but not exactly a catch-phrase, this time from The Deadly Assassin)

William Hartnell’s Doctor has a minimized role in this story, and is completely absent in Episode 3 (save as an unconscious figure), which makes the story a lot less of the epic send-off to a beloved character than modern audiences would expect.

We’ve now said something nice about the entire First Doctor era! Catch you next time!

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