So after a wait of nearly 7 years the Cybermen made their dramatic return to Doctor Who having returned only once in the 70's since 1968's The Invasion. I deliberately decided to use a rather mundane image for this story so to prevent spoiling the big reveal of the Cybermen as producer JNT made the choice to keep the return of the Cybermen a secret, even going as far as turning down the chance to do a Radio Times photo shoot. The silver giants appearance at the end of episode 1 was a pleasant shock to many and ensured that Earthshock would be remembered for more then just what happens at the end. The new look design of the Cybermen would stay for the rest of the decade, with a few subtle alterations here and there. Whilst this was the last story for Adric he would appear again in the following story but as an illusion. Unfortunately that story is shite.
For season 20 the producers decided it was time to take a trip down memory lane seeing the return of a number of villains. Stories would feature Omega and the return of the Mara from Kinda. The Black Guardian appeared again from the Key To Time season to influence a trilogy of stories and the Master would continue his new lease of life now being played by Anthony Ainley. But it wasn't only the baddies that got to return, The Brigadier would make his first appearance since the 1975 story Terror of the Zygons. Alongside him the mysterious student called Turlough would join the TARDIS crew and the lovely Nyssa would depart to try and help combat a deadly space plague.
We recently saw how the show celebrated its 50th anniversary. So how did it celebrate its 20th? With a feature length Children in Need special of course! The job fell to veteran Who writer Terrance Dicks and with actor Richard Hurndall cast to fill the hole of William Hartnell all was set for a party of a lifetime.
The Five Doctors
The Fifth Doctor, Tegan and Turlough are enjoying a peaceful break at the Eye of Orion. But as the Doctor finishes his work on the TARDIS control room someone is attacking him across time and space.......
"I am being diminished, whittled away piece by piece. A man is the sum of his memories you know, a Time Lord even more so..."
Originally Broadcast- 23 November 1983 Written by- Terrence Dicks
Ok. So this is the first time WE have had the Doctors come together to fight. But the first time this happened was 10 years prior in "The Three Doctors". With Hartnell (only appearing in brief segments on a screen due to illness) Troughton and Pertwee coming to together to save Gallifrey. Richard Hurndall was cast as the first Doctor to take the place of the late Hartnell. This was the first time a Doctor had ever been recast and still was until recently David Bradley took on the same role. Tom Baker, having only relatively recently departed, declined to take part. The unfinished Shada provided a solution as it allowed them to broadcast previously unseen footage to still have him feature. A waxwork of Tom Baker was used in the promotional material.
Veteran writer Terrence Dicks was asked to take on the task of writing the 20th Anniversary after Robert Holmes dropped out (he would later reuse his story ideas for the 1986 story "The Two Doctors"). This would be Dicks final televised contribution to the show but as a writer he would go on to create countless novelisations and novels including some for the Tenth Doctor. If ever one deserved the title of Mr. Doctor Who its Uncle Terrence. Somehow he had to juggle all the casting issues and make a decent story out of it. What a man. This story features the first mention of the Time Lords ability to grant extra life cycles of regenerations. It is used to bargain with The Master. Of course later on he would receive this when the Time Lords resurrected him to fight in the Time War. Whilst the story featured many cameos from the shows past it could have featured even more. Sgt. Benton was hoped to appear alongside the Brigadier on Earth and the Autons were originally set to take part in a scene where the 3rd Doctor would save Sarah from them when she arrived on the Death Zone. Unfortunately this was dropped very late on due to budget reasons so the rather clumsy scene where Sarah falls down a "cliff" was put in. Colin Baker could well have reappeared as a Gallifreyan guard having previously played the role earlier in the series.
Having hit the 80s the revamp on Doctor Who had given it a new lease of life helping it along to 20 years of tv goodness. Going with new writers, a younger cast and moving its broadcast days had kept interest going. Peter Davisions more sensitive and human take on the role had contrast that of the Tom Bakers bold Forth Doctor was firmly ingrained in the show but in season 21 strikes would again affect the show. Season opener "Warriors of the Deep" featured the return of the Silurians and Sea Devils but an incredibly chaotic production would ruin it. Peter Davison would finally get to face off against the Daleks (something he felt had to happen for him to truly be considered the Doctor) in "Resurrection of the Daleks" which would also see Davros return and start a Dalek civil war. In this story Tegan would depart having grown tired of the violence that follows the Doctor everywhere.
But that would mean in comes a fresh face. One of Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown.....
In the same story the mysterious Turlough would depart but I'll leave that for you to discover.
But then a story came along that would change things forever.....
The Caves of Androzani
The Fifth Doctor and his new friend Peri, an American student, arrive on the barren planet of Androzani minor. Their curiosity soon sees them stuck in a deadly game for power and time is not on their side.......
Originally Broadcast- 8 - 16 March 1984 Written by- Robert Holmes
City of Death Enjoyed it, don't really get why it was so titled, interesting time travelish mechanic and nice to see the beginning of life on Earth. Bye Tom, quite enjoyed the Time Lady partner. Is the new Doctor going to be a Time Lady, or will they still refer to her as a Time Lord?
Kinda New Doctor! Funky Intro! What the strawberry float was that?!! Shitloads of partners for the new Doctor, but really liked the story. A bit Avatar like (though obviously the other way round). Not sure about the weird trippy scenes with sleepy Australian. They were a tad mental.