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Customer Review

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Must For Fans, But Over-Hyped, November 18, 2001
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Tenth Planet [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Make no mistake: Doctor Who fans are well justified in purchasing this video. The first appearance of the wonderful Cybermen and the final regular appearance of the legendary William Hartnell is now finally available to own and the reconstruction of the missing final episode is superb. But what has been overlooked for all these years is the fact that the actual plot concocted by the talented Gerry Davis and Kit Pedler is hardly amazing. The storyline has all the requisite misunderstandings and escapes and diabolical schemes, but very little of it is executed with any real enthusiasm. Until the Cybermen arrive the first episode is surprisingly slow, with many scenes involving two incredibly dull actors portraying two incredibly lifeless astronauts in trouble. Things are not helped by a hammy performance by the actor portraying General Cutler, whose road to madness is unconvincing to say the least. While William Hartnell gives a bravura performance, he is not entirely essential to the story and is even absent from all of Part 3, which is disappointing considering it is the last complete episode of the First Doctor's era. This leaves Michael Craze, Anneke Wills and the guest cast to carry much of 'The Tenth Planet,' and the story is listless as a result.
But there are still enough good elements to recommend this video. The early Cybermen are a fascinating creation both on paper and in their conception. Sandra Reid's innovative costumes are quite impressive given DW's limited resources, and the one-time only sing-song voices created by Roy Skelton and Peter Hawkins are decidedly creepy. William Hartnell gives a dignified performance, and while his screentime is limited, he does get off a few choice lines of dialogue.
The reconstruction of Part 4 is excellent, seamlessly integrating an audio track with telesnaps, subtitles, the few clips that remain of the episode (including of course, the regeneration sequence at the end), and a few subtle visual effects that enhance the experience.
Overall, 'The Tenth Planet' is certainly worth buying, for its many DW firsts and for nostalgia. While there are many elements to the story which are underwhelming, in the end at least the combination of Cybermen and William Hartnell's last hurrah prove to be worth all the hype. As the Cybermen would (and do) say, 'Resistance -is- useless.'
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 7, 2008 5:13:47 PM PDT
I agree with your comment on this episode, however I do believe that William Hartnell was ill in real life during the filming of this episode which is why he is absent durning the 3rd part. I wish/hope they release this on DVD with part four being restored with animation like The Invasion which I think was wonderful.Overall, this is a great story; it reminds me of the Hammer series Quatermas or X the Unknown.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2009 3:23:38 PM PST
J. Bosch says:
In the book "Doctor Who - The Key to Time", Peter Haining says that Hartnell's illness caused him to miss the episode, and that it also caused the Dr Who team to quickly find a replacement. I've heard that Hartnell denied wanting to leave the show or that his illness would have interefered with him staying on as the Doctor, but Tenth Planet seems to put that argument to rest.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2013 3:20:53 AM PDT
Monty Bond says:
What puzzles me is, why does Amazon not have this title in the regular search. Normally all you have to do is Type "Doctor Who" In the search window and set it for DVD & Movies and you can find it in the very long list of Doctor Who Titles. But for Doctor Who: The Tenth Planet, you have to actually type "Doctor Who: The Tenth Planet" In order to find where you can pre-order the DVD. This is the same for Doctor Who: Terror of the Zygons, Doctor Who: The Moonbase, Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors, Doctor Who: Mind of Evil. However, Mind of Evil has since been made "Visible" In the standard search. Anyway I have preordered them all... I also read that Hartnell was very ill through the "Entire" making of the episode (He died in 1975 at the young age of 67) Thanks for the Review.
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