Production Code: DD
1 - 08/10/1966 17:50
2 - 15/10/1966 17:50
3 - 22/10/1966 17:50
4 - 29/10/1966 17:50
The TARDIS arrives in December 1986 at a South Pole Space Tracking station where the personnel, under the command of General Cutler, are engaged in trying to talk down a manned space capsule that has got into difficulty.
The Doctor realises that the problem stems from the gravitational pull of another planet that has entered the solar system and is now heading for Earth. His words are borne out when the base is invaded by a force of alien Cybermen. The Cybermen's world, Mondas, is draining energy from Earth - once its 'twin planet' - and the situation will soon become critical.
The Cybermen propose to take the humans back to Mondas for conversion into further members of their race. The humans fight back - although sabotage by Ben prevents Cutler from taking the highly dangerous step of launching a powerful Z-bomb - and Mondas eventually disintegrates due to absorbing too much energy.
All the remaining Cybermen collapse and die, having been totally dependent on their planet. The Doctor has become weak during the ordeal, and hurries back to the TARDIS...
Snowcap base personnel, Tito and Joe, are approaching the TARDIS with cutting equipment. They are attacked by alien beings and knocked down. One of the aliens turns over Tito's body to check that he is dead.
Cutler is engrossed in trying to rescue a second space capsule, this one piloted by his son, which has been sent up to try to help the first. Suddenly the radar operator reports that there are hundreds of Cyberman spaceships approaching in formation.
The countdown to the launch of the Z-bomb proceeds. Ben, who was caught trying to sabotage it by Cutler and knocked unconscious, is unable to remember whether or not he succeeded. The countdown reaches zero and the missile's rockets fire.
The Doctor returns to the TARDIS, closely followed by Ben and Polly. The ship's controls move of their own accord and the Doctor collapses to the floor. His companions enter and, before their astonished eyes, the Doctor's face transforms into that of a younger man.
The cyborgs of R.U.R.
The Avengers' Cybernauts.
When Worlds Collide.
Norbert Weiner's Cybernetics.
Bernard Wolfe's Limbo.
The Thing (the setting).
The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Krail : "You must come and live with us."
Polly : "But we cannot live with you! You're different. You've got no feelings."
Krail : "Feelings? I do not understand that word."
The Doctor : "Emotions. Love. Pride. Hate. Fear. Have you no emotions, sir?"
Krail : "Come to Mondas and you will have no need of emotions. You will become like us."
Polly : "What's happened to you, Doctor?"
The Doctor : "Oh, I'm not sure my dear. Comes from an outside influence. Unless this old body of mine is wearing a bit thin."
The Doctor : "What did you say, my boy? It's all over? That's what you said... but it isn't at all. It's far from being all over..."
Krang : [Explaining why the Cybermen should show concern for the stranded astronauts, is perceptively criticised by their leader] There are people dying all over your world, yet you do not care about them.
The Doctor : "Pretty soon we shall be having visitors."
Ben : "Visitors? What, 'ere? Well, who do you think's bringing them, Father Christmas on his sledge?"
When Mondas first appears it is vaguely said to be between Mars and Venus. Its continental land masses are similar to Earth's, and the Doctor is aware of the existence of the planet. The brains of the Cybermen are 'human', but lack emotions, and, despite having 'normal' hands, their bodies are impervious to bullets and extremes of temperature, but not to radiation. Their power source is Mondas itself.
Perhaps the last vestiges of their individuality, the Cybermen have names. Gern is the Cyberman in charge of the Geneva headquarters of the ISC, and Regos [first name or rank?] Krang controls Snowcap.
An Earth expedition has just returned from the moon. It is not indicated that this is the first time mankind has reached the moon, although the flight was very newsworthy. [This formed the first stage of the construction of a colony on the moon (see The Moonbase).] Space flights are governed by a multinational body known as International Space Command, based in Geneva [and therefore a UN offshoot].
The ISC remained in existence until at least 2070 (The Moonbase). The rocket-like Zeus spaceships appear to be the standard craft of the day. Mention is also made of Cobra missiles, and the nuclear Z-Bomb, which can be launched by Demeter rocket.
The Doctor attributes his seeming 'illness' to his body 'wearing a bit thin', perhaps accelerated by 'an outside force of some kind' [the effects of Mondas on Earth: the astronauts close to Mondas suffered from great fatigue as well]. Just before he regenerates he says 'No, I can't go through with it! I can't. I will not give in.' [indicating that he has, perhaps, clung onto his first body for too long].
Snowcap Space Tracking Station, South Pole, December 1986.
The Cybermen's helmets are held together with clear sticky tape in Episode 2.
The Doctor does not appear in Episode 3 as William Hartnell was unwell during the week when it was recorded.
Special 'computer tape'-style opening and closing title graphics were created for this story by graphic designer Bernard Lodge.
Michael Craze met his future wife, production assistant Edwina Verner, on this story; she threw some of the polystyrene 'snow' into his face as a practical joke, inadvertently aggravating an injury he had recently sustained to his nose.
Pat Dunlop contributed to the writing of this story. (He had no involvement with it whatsoever.)
Mondas's draining of Earth's energy is an attack by the Cybermen. (It is a natural process; the Cybermen aim to end it by destroying the Earth, realising that if it is allowed to continue unchecked it will eventually lead to the disintegration of Mondas - as is borne out at the story's conclusion.)
An attempt was once made to colourise parts of this story. (This was an April Fool's joke in Doctor Who Magazine.)
The master copy of the fourth episode of this story was lost in 1973 after being lent out to the BBC's children's magazine programme Blue Peter for use in a feature that they were compiling about the series. (It is unknown how this episode came to be lost; the episode that was lost after being lent out to Blue Peter was actually The Daleks' Master Plan: The Traitors.)
The writing credit for episode one has Kit Pedler as 'Kitt Pedler' and title music is credited to 'Byron Grainer'; for episode 3, Gerry Davis becomes 'Gerry Davies'.
Sometimes the Cybermen start to talk before their mouths open.
The first episode's writer's credit is to 'Kitt Pedler', and the third episode's to Pedler and 'Gerry Davies'.
In episode one when one of the Cybermen is shot his 'ears' flap about.
The script requires the Cybermen to pass for human in their parkas, an effect ruined by the lamps on their heads.
Barclay says that he designed some of the base, and that he couldn't fit into the ventilation shaft, but it is broad enough to accommodate Geoff Capes. [Perhaps it gets narrower at some points.]
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - William Hartnell
Ben Jackson - Michael Craze
Polly - Anneke Wills
American Sergeant - John Brandon
Barclay - David Dodimead
Cyberman Voice - Roy Skelton
Cyberman Voice - Peter Hawkins
Dyson - Dudley Jones
General Cutler - Robert Beatty
Geneva Technician - Eileen Cullen
Gern - Gregg Palmer
Jarl - Reg Whitehead
Krail - Reg Whitehead
Krang - Harry Brooks
R/T Technician - Christopher Dunham
Radar Technician - Christopher Matthews
Schultz - Alan White
Shav - Gregg Palmer
T.V. Announcer - Glenn Beck
Talon - Harry Brooks
Terry Cutler - Callen Angelo
Tito - Shane Shelton
Wigner - Steve Plytas
Williams - Earl Cameron
Director - Derek Martinus