121) EARTHSHOCK

8 - 16 March 1982

Average Viewing Figure: 9.3M

Plot

In the year 2526, The Cybermen plan to destroy the Earth with a bomb and then an orbiting freighter

Cast

Peter Davison (The Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Matthew Waterhouse (Adric), Beryl Reid (Briggs)

James Warwick (Scott) Clare Clifford (Kyle)Steve Morley (Walters), Suzi Arden (Snyder), Ann Holloway (Mitchell), June Bland (Berger)

Alec Sabin (Ringway), Anne Clements (First Trooper), Mark Straker (Second Trooper), David Banks (Cyber Leader)

Mark Hardy (Cyber Lieutenant), Mark Fletcher (First Crew Member), Christopher Whittingham (Second Crew Member)

Uncredited Cast

Lisa Clifton, Lynne Brotchie, Linda French, Kevin O'Brien, Miles Ross, Nikki Dunsford, Mary Eveleigh, Jennie Persiva (Troopers)

Stephen Whyment (Trooper Brooks), Jonathan Evans (Trooper Marshall), Carolyn Mary Simmonds (Female Android),

Barney Lawrence (Male Android), Jeff Wayne (First Cyberman)

Peter Gates-Fleming, Steve Ismay, Norman Bradley, Graham Cole, David Bache (Cybermen)

Val McCrimmon, John Towns, David Melbourne, Tim Goodings (Crewmembers)

Crew

Eric Saward (Writer), Malcolm Clarke (Incidental Music), Dick Mills (Special Sound), Geoffrey Manton (Production Manager)Ang

Angela Smith (Production Associate), Jane Ashford (Production Assistant), Nicholas Laughland (Assistant Floor Manager)

Keith Hooper (Film Camera), John Gatland (Film Sound), Mike Houghton (Film Editor), Steve Bowman (Visual Effects Designer)

Dave Chapman (Video Effects), James Gould (Vision Mixer), Alan Jeffrey (Technical Manager), Alec Wheal (Senior Cameraman)

Rod Waldron (Videotape Editor), Fred Wright (Studio Lighting), Alan Machin (Studio Sound), Dinah Collin (Costume Designer)

Joan Stribling (Make-Up Artist), Antony Root (Script Editor), Sid Sutton (Title Sequence), Bernard Lloyd-Jones (Designer)

John Nathan-Turner (Producer), Pete Grimwade (Director)

Uncredited Crew

Dave May (Grips), Nick Squires (Film Camera Assistant), John Crossland (Film Sound Assistant), Paul Evemy (Film Lighting)

Graham Richmond (Film Operations Managers), John Richardson, Laurie Miller, Vic Young, Ron Hewitt (Film Ops)

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Springwell Lock Quarry, Rickmansworth, Herts

  • Television Centre: Studio 8

Deaths

  • Adric [killed when the Freighter explodes]

  • Kyle [shot dead by a Cyberman]

  • Snyder [killed by the Cybermen's Androids]

  • Mitchell [killed by the Cybermen's Androids]

  • First Trooper [killed by the Cybermen's Androids]

  • Second Trooper [killed by the Cybermen's Androids]

  • Cyber Leader [shot dead by The Doctor]

  • Ringway [shot dead by the Cyber Leader]

  • Cyber Lieutenant [shot dead by Nyssa]

  • First Crew Member [killed by The Cybermen]

  • Second Crew Member [killed by The Cybermen]

  • Female Android [killed by Scott and his soldiers]

  • Male Android [killed by Scott and his soldiers]

  • Trooper Marshall [killed by a Cyberman]

  • Female Trooper [kidnapped by a Cyberman and is presumably killed later]

  • Cybermen [shot dead/killed when Freighter explodes]

  • Crewmembers [killed during Cyberman fight]

  • Troopers [presumably killed in many ways]

Production Days

  • 7 Days between Thursday 29 October - Thursday 26 November 1981

Production Errors

  1. During episode one, one of the Troopers turns around and somehow misses the shadow of one of the Androids on the cave walls, and continues on his way

  2. James Warwick changes Lieutenant Scott's accent throughout the serial

  3. During episode two, the Cyber-Leader misses a button on the console but a bleeping noise is heard anyway

  4. Both of the dead crewmembers at the end of episode two are still breathing

  5. When Tegan, Scott and the Troopers find the bodies of the dead crewmembers, a white baton can be seen behind them

  6. Why would the Cybermen cause a power failure on the freighter which would threaten the ship reaching Earth? You know the location where the Cybermen want to get to.

  7. The Doctor could easily convince the freighter crew that he is not the ship's saboteur but introducing them to the high ranking officer that he has locked away in the Tardis

  8. When Tegan, Scott, and Troopers climb the stairs, a woman can be seen reading a script in the right-hand corner

  9. When Lieutenant Scott return to The Tardis, he has two male troopers and a female trooper with him. A Cyberman emerges, grabs the female trooper and carries her away. However the following interior Tardis shot clearly shows the female trooper made it inside. She later disappears in further freighter shots when Scott, the male trooper, and herself leave the Tardis.  

  10. When the Cyber-Leader awakens the Cyberman army, various shots show that one of the two Cybermen at the front, has black painted on the helmet. This would suggest that the Cyberman is the Cyber-Leader despite the fact that the Cyber-Leader is clearly on the bridge 

  11. Two Cybermen can be seen conversing in the corridors at one point, who use emotional hand gestures repeatedly, when the Cybermen are supposedly unable to display emotions. 

  12. When the Cybermen marches The Doctor and Tegan back to the Tardis, the Cyber-Leader misses the bottom step and stumbles forward

  13. What exactly will happen with the Freighter reaches the Earth filled with 15,000 Cybermen? 

  14. The landmasses used to represent Earth 65,000,000 years ago looks rather familiar, and do not seem to represent how Earth would have looked all those years ago

  15. As Adric is typing in the third logic code into the freighter computer, he seems to know that the computer is about to explode. This becomes obvious when he pulls his fingers away repeatedly. ​​

Working Titles

  • Sentinel 

Verdict

After five adventures Earthshock really gets the Fifth Doctor tenure in full swing with a movie quality production which creates one of the most memorable, heart pounding and cult-classic stories of the 1980s. The movie quality production values are evident in the cinematography, from the dark scenes of the caves to the shadowy corridor’s scenes in the freighter, prop sets and production design. The soundtrack is the best of the best with memorable tracks such as March of the Cybermen and the short bursts of energy when the Androids appear on-screen and scenes set in the freighter corridors. The new Cybermen with their design and vocal performances are the best in the classic series. However with many tightly produced productions comes the glaring plot holes and Earthshock has a fair number of them ranging from glaringly obvious to punch-in-the-face worthy. The late edition of the Earth conference seems like a late script edition rather than a thought-out idea and the supposedly surprise reveal of the surprise villain is not even a surprise, an area Doctor Who has never been good at. Beryl Reid is a big missed opportunity, the show successfully used big film stars in the past, but Reid comes across as an unrehearsed actor who was just dumped into the studio. Big production values, a great plot and a shocking ending for both lovers and haters, mostly haters of Adric will thoroughly enjoy Earthshock no matter what. *****