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The Tenth Planet:  The Edwardian Cricketer Media Review

The Tenth Planet: The Edwardian Cricketer Media Review

This adventure features the First Doctor, Ben, and Polly

Author: EdwardianCricketer/Monday, January 1, 2018/Categories: Blog, Book Review

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Doctor Who and The Tenth Planet, by Gerry Davis, Target 1976.

Number 62 in the Doctor Who Library. 141 pages, paperback. Cover by Chris Achilleos.

Original script by Kit Pedler, BBC 1966.


This adventure features the 1st Doctor, Ben, and Polly.



The TARDIS materializes in a frozen wasteland and the Doctor doesn’t know where or when he, Ben, and Polly have landed. Within minutes of exploring, they are captured by a humanoid patrol and are taken to an underground facility that turns out to be a South Pole tracking station.  Ben and Polly’s hopes of having returned home is dashed when they discover Snowcap is tracking what seems to be a routine return space flight in the year 2000. When things begin to go wrong, the travelers are immediately suspected.

As the astronauts’ situation worsens, a unique problem presents itself by way of a new planet appearing in the solar system as it heads towards Earth. As the Snowcap personnel try to guide the spacecraft safely home, aliens invade the base. The craft is lost and the silver robot-like beings reveal themselves to be Cybermen, a once humanoid race from the planet Mondas, the planet that has come closer to Earth and is drawing energy from Earth.

The Cybermen tell the humans they were once like humans but gradually replaced their flesh limbs and organs with cybernetic ones until only the brain was left. Emotions were eliminated and only logic remained.

In a battle, the handful of Cybermen are defeated and General Cutler, leader of the base, wants to launch a powerful missile at Mondas but the Doctor advises leaving Mondas alone, theorizing that it will absorb too much energy and destroy itself. The general ignores him but before he can carry out his plan, the Cybermen invade the world, including the base.

As tensions mount and another battle is fought, it seems the Doctor is getting older by the minute After his theory is proven correct and the Cybermen are defeated, the Doctor and crew return to the TARDIS. Only, something has happened to the Doctor. Ben and Polly find him in a couch-like arrangement with a cover over it. Pulling back the cover reveals a man who looks like nothing like the Doctor. Ben and Polly are puzzled and concerned when the stranger claims to have been renewed and that is indeed the Doctor.

And a new era begins.



I’ve never seen the televised version of The Tenth Planet and I can only assume that Davis’ novelization is faithful. Whether or not it is, on its own, the novel is kind of a slow burn. It has its fast moments but for the most part it tends to plod along. Davis writes fairly well and shows the reader as much as is necessary to tell the story.

As stories that introduce potential new adversaries, the introduction of the Cybermen has been said to have been overshadowed by the introduction of the concept of the Doctor’s renewal process. I disagree. That it was so last minute and quick, even as important as it became to the series, I think the introduction of the Cybermen was just as important. They became as constant in the second Doctor’s tenure as the Daleks were to the first Doctor’s. That their first defeat was at their own oversight and over ambition was somewhat disappointing and anticlimactic.

Overall, it’s not a bad story, just not a great one for two such pivotal moments in the series. Still, The Tenth Planet is a must read.






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