Doctor Who – The Tenth Planet, 1966
The Tenth Planet was the second story of Doctor Who’s fourth season. Despite being the second story in season four’s running order it was the first story to be recorded, as The Smugglers had been carried over from the previous season. First broadcast in 1966 in four weekly parts it marked a significant moment in Doctor Who history.
William Hartnell’s departure and his replacement had already been announced but we would have to wait until the end of episode four before that historic scene. Despite being announced as the second doctor Patrick Troughton would not be credited in the story despite his brief appearance at the end of episode four.
This story marked the very first appearance of the Cybermen who would go on to become one of the show’s most popular adversaries.
The “Tenth Planet” in the title is a reference to a fictional lost planet in Earth’s Solar System. Around the time of production, the Solar System was generally thought to consist of nine planets, prior to the redesignation of Pluto as a minor planet.
All four episodes of this story featured a specially designed graphics sequence for the opening titles and closing credits. Designed by Bernard Lodge, they were intended to resemble a computer printout. In the opening credits of the first episode.
Many years ago, Earth’s twin planet, Mondas, drifted away to the edge of space. As it’s inhabitants grew weak, their scientists created spare parts for their bodies. Their limbs and organs were slowly replaced by metal and plastic. Emotions were removed. The Cybermen were the result.
December 1986. The Tardis crew materialise at the Snowcap space tracking station in Antartica. When a routine space mission begins to go wrong the base personnel’s suspicions are roused. The Doctor advises them that the space capsule is being affected by the gravitational pull of another planet — a tenth planet in the Earth’s Solar System.
It’s not long before The Doctor and his companions are not the only new arrivals at the tracking station. The Cybermen have arrived with a plan of their own. Their intention is to destroy the Earth and take the remaining humans to Mondas where they are to be converted to Cybermen.
As The Doctor and his companions join the fight to save the world, is this one battle too many for the ageing Timelord?
With the Cybermen defeated The Doctor summons the strength to return to the TARDIS but his body is failing him
William Hartnell – The Doctor
Patrick Troughton – The Doctor
Michael Craze – Ben Jackson
Anneke Wills – Polly
Harry Brooks, Reg Whitehead, Gregg Palmer – Cybermen
Roy Skelton, Peter Hawkins – Cybermen Voices
Written By: Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis (episodes 3&4)
Script Editor: Gerry Davis
Producer: Innes Lloyd
Original Transmission Dates: 8th – 29th October 1966