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Customer Review

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So, we meet again...Doctor!, February 9, 2004
This review is from: Doctor Who - Earthshock [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Earth, 2526. Following an argument with Adric, who's tired of being teased, made fun of, not taken seriously, and who wants to go back to his home planet, the Doctor goes out to a cave full of fossilized dinosaurs in the walls.
Meanwhile, soldiers under Lieutenant Scott enter the caves investigating the deaths of seven paleontologists and geologists, led by Professor Kyle, the survivor, who says the expedition was beset by faults and sabotage. However, some troops become casualties of two shadowy and sleek androids whose weapons turn their victims into organic puddles.
The Doctor is accused of being the murders of Kyle's colleagues, but then the androids attack. They're defeated, but the Doctor traces their controllers to a freighter, whose captain, the irascible Briggs, is anxious to reach Earth to deliver a cargo of 15,000 silos and get a bonus. But the Doctor and Adric are accused of murdering two crewmembers and sent to the bridge. There, they discover that there have been brief power losses aboard the ship, and later, the controller of the androids. Look at the video cover for the answer.
The Cyberleader and the Doctor get into an interesting discussion on the weakness and strengths of emotions, and in my current state, I find myself siding with the CyberLeader.
Cyberleader: I see Time Lords have have emotional feelings. Surely a great weakness in one so powerful.
Doctor: Emotions have their uses.
Cyberleader: They restrict and curtail the intellect and logic of the mind.
Doctor: They also enhance life! When did you last have the pleasure of smelling a flower, watching a sunset?
Cyberleader: These things are irrelevant.
Doctor: For some people, small beautiful events is what life is all about.
The Cyberleader ruthlessly demonstrates that the Doctor's concern for Tegan is a weakness and that he can bend the Doctor to his will by simply threatening to kill her.
Many things succeed in this story, as the scene of Cybermen bursting out of their metal silos, the shot of them marching in unison at the cliffhanger of Episode 3, accompanied by a musical synthesizer march. This redesign of the Cybermen has them in the silver fighter pilot-like outfits, which marks the debut of the contemporary Cybermen, and the portrayal of the CyberLeader and CyberLieutenant by David Banks and Mark Hardy. Another is the way the Doctor immobilizes a Cybermen in a door like a fly caught in amber.
Some flaws include the Cybermen's jaws, which are transparent and one can see the actors' mouths moving beneath. Another is a scene in Episode 3, where Scott examines the dead freighter crew. Down below, a woman can be seen reading the script! Also, when Scott is contemplating which of two Cybermen to kill in Episode 3, his targets can be seen talking to each other, using chatty hand gestures. So unlike rational Cybermen!
This was the third and last time a companion was killed off in the series history, the first two being Katarina and Sara Kingdom in the no-longer complete Dalek Master Plan (1965). Matthew Waterhouse (Adric) was so upset that he refused to speak to producer John Nathan-Turner for a few weeks. Adric has been considered the worst Doctor Who companion, but that's hardly Waterhouse's fault. It has to be said that Adric's character was poorly written and developed and Waterhouse did his best. Waterhouse does have cameo appearances in two other Peter Davison stories.
Despite the flaws and it being a simple action-adventure story, Earthshock works due to the return of the snazzily designed Cybermen and the unexpected death of Adric.
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Location: Narita, Japan

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