Many thanks to Ian Redman (@ianrdw) for getting in touch and supplying us with a review of last week's DoctorWhoBar.Earthshock is a remarkable story. Broadcast in the penultimate slot of Peter Davison's first season, it features the shocking (no pun intended) return of some old foes...
We open the story in... a quarry. Alright, quarries aren't the most exciting places (especially when they're used as much as they have been in Doctor Who!), but the acting and direction (the latter superbly executed by Peter Grimwade) makes this occasion something else, something special. An exploration team is missing, and the situation's not looking good. As the mystery deepens, something happens which must have made viewers in 1982 jump through the roof. We meet the story's adversaries. Silver men, with emotionless faces and handle-like features above. Go on Peter, I'll leave this one to you: "Cybermen!"
The climax of the story is certainly its most effective aspect. I won't reveal exact details, in case anyone reading this hasn't seen the story. But I will say that it must have been as shocking (if not more) as the return of the Doctor's cybernetic foes. Although there was precedent for it back in 1982, I believe this is the most memorable example. Doctor Who - and its main characters - will never be quite the same again...
The Doctor Who Bar viewing of this story on 26 March 2011 was (as always) a hugely enjoyable experience. The Bar opened at 7pm GMT and the story started at exactly 7-30pm. A number of topics were covered in the Tweets that followed, ranging from plot twists to plot holes, from Troopers to Cybermen and from Matthew Waterhouse to Beryl Reid. I really ought to not Tweet quite as much as I did - I've gone over the Tweet limit during the last two viewings, and haven't been able to see them through to the end!!
I massively enjoyed the discussion I was able to participate in, and I can't wait for the next opening of the Doctor Who Bar!
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