Doctor Who: The Tenth Planet (and the First Regeneration)

The episode “The Tenth Planet” marks an important turning point in the history of Doctor Who – and not only because it introduced the Cybermen who would feature perennially throughout the show’s history. This was the last episode with William Hartnell. Doctor Who seems to be rather unique in having discovered a way to change the actor playing the show’s central character and offer an explanation in terms of the show’s mythology, rather than trying to pretend that nothing is different. This more than anything else must be the secret to the show’s longevity, and whatever one’s feelings about Doctor Who, it is surely appropriate to admit that it is a brilliant idea and one that has proven highly successful.

The episode “The Tenth Planet” begins with a concept which is echoed in the recent movie (which I have not seen) Another Earth. A new planet, with land masses resembling Earth’s, is detected in the solar system. The Doctor seems to know quite a bit about what is going on, saying that Earth had a twin a long time before, called Mondas.

From the outset, the Cybermen were used on the show to explore the concept of the cyborg, and the idea of human beings transforming themselves to eliminate emotion. Such themes would later be explored on Star Trek (from Spock’s mostly logical and emotion-free existence to Data’s desire to have human emotions) and Star Wars (which famously had Obi-Wan Kenobi refer to Darth Vader as “more machine than man”) as well as in subsequent episodes of Doctor Who (e.g. Earthshock).

"Um, "I am the door..." seems pretty clear "I am the way, truth, life..." seems ..."

Heaven’s Open Borders
"You say:"He tells us that we will be judged by the measure we use to ..."

Heaven’s Open Borders
"I'm not sure why envisioning the God of the Judeo Christian tradition as a liar ..."

The Truthfulness of the Creator is ..."
"It's always an interesting question as to why some "take offence" and develop a "holier ..."

Misunderstanding Right vs. Wrong

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment