Doctor Who fans–especially fans of the classic series (e.g., me)–will be excited to learn (as I was) that the First Doctor story, “The Tenth Planet” will be coming to DVD sometime later this year. For those not as geeky about Doctor Who as… well, me… why is this such big news? Let me number the ways!:
- It’s one of my favorite First Doctor stories.
- This was the the First Doctor’s last story.
- It introduced us to The Cybermen, who became nearly as infamous as the Daleks.
- It introduced the concept of “regeneration” when the First Doctor changed into the Second at the end.
- The fourth and final episode of the story has been missing from the BBC archives since the 1970s. Only brief clips remain of it.
- The last time the story was available was as a VHS release over ten years ago, where the last episode was reconstructed using the soundtrack (which is still extant thanks to fans of the show who diligently stuck microphones in front of their TVs every Saturday evening), photographs taken by John Cura of the show as it aired, and the aforementioned brief clips.
What’s new about this release?
- Episodes 1-3 will be cleaned up and made to look and sound all sparkly and new–at least as good as when they were first broadcast (which was in 1966, in case you were curious).
- Innovative Australian animation studio, Planet 55 Studios, has been commissioned to recreate episode 4 for this DVD release.
- There will, no doubt, be a feast of extras–documentaries, commentaries, etc.
What’s not happening with this release?
- Renaming the story. Okay, so this was never discussed (to my knowledge). But according to the story, the Cybermen live on Mondas, a twin planet to Earth, hidden within our solar system. At the time the show aired, Pluto was the ninth planet in our solar system, making Mondas the tenth (hence the title). Since Pluto has been re-classified as a dwarf planet, there are now only eight planets in the solar system, which means Mondas would now be “The Ninth Planet.” Oh well. The story is set in 1986, so I suppose they can get away with it!
- It’s not coming out soon enough!
Do you have any thoughts to share about The Tenth Planet, The First Doctor, the Cybermen, Doctor Who in general, the DVD range, or any other related topics? Let’s talk in the comments!