Doctor Who (Peter Davison) – Earthshock

 

Airing from 8 to 16 of March, 1982, one of the Doctor’s (Davison) greatest enemies, the Cybermen, return in this four part story that was penned by Eric Saward. It also saw the Companion, Adric (Matthew Waterhouse) sacrificing himself at the end of the story.

The Doctor, Adric, Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) and Teagan (Janet Fielding) arrives on Earth (again). There is a bit of stress between the Doctor and Adric, as the young man feels that the companions get more respect than he does. He also insists on being returned to his home in E-Space.

The Doctor goes for a wander in some tunnels, and comes across a a scientific team looking for missing colleagues.  But they are all quick to discover that they are not alone in the tunnels…

It seems, the Cybermen have a plan to destroy Earth once and for all – they plan to crash a space freighter into the planet, an event that would destroy all life on Earth! The Cybermen are also aware of the fact that they are facing the Doctor after they recognize the TARDIS.

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The Cybermen are hidden amongst the cargo of the freighter, and are waiting for the moment to strike. Unfortunately for them, the Doctor and company arrive first and so discover whats afoot, after being accused of committing murder first, it seems some of the Cybermen have already assassinated some of the crew.

The Cyberleader activates his followers and seize control of the freighter, as the Doctor and the rest try and figure some way to stop them, but they seem almost unstoppable in their approach to Earth. Not only do they contain the freighter, but they separate the Doctor and Adric, taking over the TARDIS as Adric is left on the freighter, but a timejump moves it back in time, but still on target…

Adric works to the last moment to divert the course, applying all his mathematical knowledge, and we learn that its the freighter, not a meteor that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Adric will never know if his math was right, as a Cyberman stumbles onto the bridge moments before the crash, and the Doctor, Nyssa and Teagan can do nothing but watch the freighter strike Earth so that history can continue.

This one ends up being a fairly fast-paced and enjoyable story. It’s been a while since we’ve seen the Cybermen, and it’s nice to have them back for this story, and that to Adric’s sacrifice then you have the ingredients for a fairly memorable tale. I loved that this happened, yes Adric was getting to be a little annoying, but the story served him well, and the effect his death will have on the Doctor and the others will hopefully be felt for an episode or two…

Next time, as the Time Lord and his companions recover they go on a Time Flight.

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