The Moonbase

Sorry for the mucho Doctor Who posting this weekend, a combination of not feeling like doing much else and catching up with stuff I’ve watched ages ago and never got around to blogging. Anyway this will be a fairly short post.

The Moonbase was a four-part series broadcast just before I was born in 1967. It is set entirely on the Moon, at a base from which the world’s weather is controlled; the Doctor and his three companions (Ben and Polly from 1966 and eighteenth-century Jamie) arrive in time to avert the conquest of Earth by the Cybermen their second appearance after The Tenth Planet. It’s not easy to watch, because episodes 1 and 3 are lost; in the end I played the soundtrack off my Lost In Time DVD while flicking through the BBC photonovel, and then watched episode 2 and 4 directly.

I have to differ with the fannish consensus that this is better than the Cybermen’s previous outing. I found the Cybermen more difficult to understand, the plot implausible even making allowances for scientific hand-waving – the base commander ought to have been shot for his attitude to security – and the direction seems to consit of lots of actors standing around waiting to say their next line.

On the other hand, the look of the sets is pretty good; two years before Armstrong and Aldrin, they do a decent lunar landscape and setting. The incidental music is great. And Troughton is brilliant, though Ben is annoying, Jamie comatose for much of the story, and Polly is repeatedly patronised – noticeably the only female character, told to go and make the coffee, told she can’t take part in the final attack as it is “men’s work”. I don’t find myself especially mourning the two missing episodes.

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1 Response to The Moonbase

  1. bopeepsheep says:

    , as Dalek: WOULD YOU LIKE A CUP OF TEA?
    Me: no thanks
    Dalek: WOULD YOU LIKE SOME CAKE … OR DEATH?
    Me: er, cake?
    Dalek: EXTERMI-CAKE! A-HA HA A-HA HA A-HA HA!

    I am exterminated approximately 12 times a day.

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