Season 5 of Doctor Who came to an end with this six part story that was written by David Whitaker, and aired from 27 April to June 1, 1968. It saw the introduction of a new companion, joining the Doctor (Troughton) and Jamie (Frazer Hines) in the TARDIS, and the return of an old enemy…
The TARDIS materializes inside a spaceship known as the Silver Carrier, there seems to be no human life aboard, and Jamie and the Doctor are attacked by some service robots. Happily the ship is drawing close to a space station known as the Wheel, and they are rescued. The crew of the Wheel are somewhat suspicious as to how the Carrier ended up so far off course, and hadn’t expended all of her resources yet. The Doctor doesn’t have any answers for that, seeing as they just arrived.
There are, however, other beings aboard the Carrier, we get our first hint of them when a Cybermat shows up on the Wheel, and begin consuming rods that are essential to the powering of an X-Ray laser, the Wheel’s defense system, which could stop an invading force cold.
The Cybermen, using the Cybermats, have disabled that threat, and begin to slowly take over the station, settling for hypnotizing the crew as opposed to the upgrading we’ve now come to expect, and plan to use the station as a beacon to guide in the rest of the Cyber fleet, and send them on towards Earth.
This is the first time the Doctor uses the name John Smith. Simply because while filling out forms, they wouldn’t accept The Doctor as an answer, to Jamie, seeing the name on some machinery, gives it as the Doctor’s name. And he’s been using it ever since. Good ole Jamie.
Helping the Doctor and Jamie, and eventually sneaking aboard the TARDIS to join them at the end of the story is Zoe (Wendy Padbury), she’s a brilliant young scientist, and I think she will be a good match for our traveling pair. I guess I’ll find out soon enough. I’m thinking at this point though, the TARDIS would have been better off installing a revolving door, as there are more companion changes going on in the original series than I thought!
The trio, stop the Cybermen attack, using a vector rod from the TARDIS to power the x-ray laser and the fleet and attacking Cybermen are destroyed, leaving the station, and the Earth safe once again, at least for another story or so…
As a warning to Zoe at the end, the Doctor shows her some of what she can expect, specifically the Daleks, but it looks like she plans to stay for a while.
The next time, we plunge into the 6th season of Doctor Who, Troughton’s last, and things start off with a story called The Dominators.