Sunday 19 June 2011

209 The Wheel in Space: Episode Six

EPISODE: The Wheel in Space: Episode Six
TRANSMITTED: 01 June 1968
WRITER: David Whitaker from a story by Kit Pedler
DIRECTOR: Tristan de Vere Cole
SCRIPT EDITOR: Derrick Sherwin
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Lost In Time
TELESNAPS: The Wheel in Space: Episode Six

Leo fires the X-Ray laser destroying the Meteorites. The Doctor warns the control room of the danger to the oxygen supply. Bennett slips away and is killed by a Cyberman. Jamie finds the Time Vector Generator while Zoe hacks into the Cybermen's communications frequency, discovering that they know the Doctor is aboard the Wheel. The Wheel sights an approaching Cybership. Jamie & Zoe return to the wheel and help The Doctor and some of the crew over power a controlled crewman, Flanigan, and attach a control protection device to him. The Doctor confronts the two Cybermen luring one into a trap that destroys it. Flanagan and Jamie free another crewman and spray plastic into the chest unit of the last Cyberman, crippling it, but not before it can open the airlock doors to admit the invasion force spacewalking to the Wheel. The Doctor links the Time Vector Generator to the X-Ray laser and destroys the Cybership. The neutron forcefield is activated deflecting the Cybermen into space. When the communications are fixed the Wheel contacts Earth to report the incident. Zoe takes the Doctor & Jamie back to the Silver Carrier to reclaim the Tardis. She sneaks aboard, wanting to go with them. The Doctor uses his thought pattern scanner to show her what's out there on the scanner screen: An image of a Dalek appears....

That was much better, some action at long last. Lovely confrontation between the Doctor & The Cybermen:
The Doctor: I suppose you've come for me?
Cyberman 1: You know our ways.
The Doctor: Yes, I hoped you realised somebody did. I imagine you have orders to destroy me?
Cyberman 1: Yes.
The Doctor: Tell me one thing, why did you order Duggan to destroy radio communication with the Earth? After all, that is why you want possession of the wheel, isn't it?
Cyberman 1: You know our ways.
The Doctor: That doesn't answer my question.
Cyberman 2: He was instructed to destroy only the transmitting complex.
The Doctor: Oh, I see, how interesting, yes, of course. And presumably your large space-ship holds your invasion fleet, and the smaller ships can only enter the planet's atmosphere by homing on a radio beam.
Cyberman 1: You know our ways. You must be destroyed.
The Doctor: Yes, I was afraid you'd get back to that.
The action in the airlock is great,and if you look carefully you'll see that the Cyberman trying to enter the Wheel actually has his chest unit on the traditional way up with the little dish at the bottom. The other two Cybermen have the dish at the top and use it as a weapon. Since the dish, when mounted at the bottom is the descendant of the large dish like weapons the original Cybermen use I suppose that makes sense.

For the last few months we've been counting runs of missing episodes, broken by odd episodes and the occasional complete story. Today we reach the shores of the promised land: the first of an 11 episode stretch of existing episode! We've not had a run that long since Space Museum-The Chase-The Time Meddler at the end of season 2 so it's something worth celebrating. From here on episodes, and whole stories, existing becomes the norm. We're not out of the woods yet: two stories still have missing episodes but both of them are in the next few weeks before the end of the Troughton era.

Episode 6 was recorded onto 35mm film rather than the usual 625 line videotape. In 1977 this, and Enemy of the World 3, formed the sole BBC Film & Video Library holdings for season 5. Because the episode is archived on the higher definition 35mm film, rather than the 16mm prints of video recordings used to sell Doctor Who abroad, it looks significantly better than most Doctor Who episodes from the 1960s.

Wheel in Space was eventually novelised in 1988 by Terrance Dicks. Episodes 3 & 6 appeared on video as part of Doctor Who: Cybermen the Early Years with The Moonbase 2 & 4 along with some extra material including an interview with Roy Skelton. The same episodes later all appear in Doctor Who - Lost In Time. A Soundtrack CD was released in May 2004 with narration by Wendy Padbury.

One significant feature of Wheel in Space 6 is it leads directly into a repeat of Evil of the Daleks using some footage from the cliffhanger to episode one. The first episode of Doctor Who was repeated the very next week after it's original broadcast due to power blackouts and news coverage of the day before on 23rd November 1963. However this was the first ever repeat of a full Doctor Who serial. Recently the Hand of Fear was broadcast on BBC 4 as a tribute to Liz Sladen. Knowing this story was coming up, it got me thinking.... what other Doctor Who repeats have there been over the years? Well with the help of m'learned friends on Roobarb's DVD Forum we attempted to compile a list of episodes/stories and dates. All repeats are BBC1 unless otherwise stated:

30 November 1963 An Unearthly Child Episode One only
8 June - 3 August 1968 The Evil of the Daleks Trailed in programme by Wheel in Space 6,
voice over on part 1,
only missing story ever to be repeated
9 - 30 July 1971 Spearhead from Space  
28 December 1971 The Dæmons 90-minute compilation
27 December 1972 The Sea Devils 90-minute compilation
3 September 1973 Day of the Daleks 60-minute compilation
27 December 1973 The Green Death 90-minute compilation
27 May 1974 The Sea Devils Unscheduled repeat of compilation,
replacing a cricket match
27 December 1974 Planet of the Spiders 105-minute compilation
20 August 1975 The Ark in Space 70-minute compilation
27 December 1975 Genesis of the Daleks 85-minute compilation
5 - 8 July 1976 Planet of Evil  
9 July 1976 The Sontaran Experiment Compilation
27 November 1976 Pyramids of Mars 60-minute compilation
4 December 1976 The Brain of Morbius 60-minute compilation
4 - 25 August 1977 The Deadly Assassin  
31 December - 1 January 1977 The Robots of Death two 50-minute episodes
13 July - 3 August 1978 The Invisible Enemy  
10 - 31 August 1978 The Sun Makers  
12 July - 2 August 1979 The Pirate Planet  
9 - 30 August 1979 The Androids of Tara  
5 - 8 August 1980 Destiny of the Daleks  
12 - 20 August 1980 City of Death  
3 - 6 August 1981 Full Circle  
10 - 13 August 1981 The Keeper of Traken  
2 - 5 November 1981 An Unearthly Child BBC2
9 - 12 November 1981 The Krotons BBC2
16 - 19 November 1981 Carnival of Monsters BBC2
23 - 26 November 1981 The Three Doctors BBC2
30 November - 3 December 1981 Logopolis BBC2
12 - 19 July 1982 The Curse of Peladon two 50-minute episodes
26 July - 2 August 1982 Genesis of the Daleks two 45-minute episodes
9 - 16 August 1982 Earthshock two 50-minute episodes
15 - 18 August 1983 The Visitation  
22 - 25 August 1983 Kinda  
31 August - 1 September 1983 Black Orchid  
6 - 13 July 1984 The King’s Demons  
20 July 1984 The Awakening Compilation
14 - 17 August 1984 The Five Doctors four 25-minute episodes
40781 1991 Pilot Episode Shown as part of Lime Grove Day
3 - 24 January 1992 The Time Meddler BBC2
31 January - 28 February 1992 The Mind Robber BBC2
6 March - 10 April 1992 The Sea Devils BBC2
20 November - 18 December 1992 The Dæmons BBC2
8 January - 12 February 1993 Genesis of the Daleks BBC2
19 February - 12 March 1993 The Caves of Androzani BBC2
19 March - 9 April 1993 Revelation of the Daleks BBC2 , four 25-minute episodes
23 April - 14 May 1993 Battlefield BBC2
5 November - 17 December 1993 Planet of the Daleks  
2 January - 6 February 1994 The Green Death BBC2
6 - 27 March 1994 Pyramids of Mars BBC2
13 November 1999 The Daleks BBC2, Episode Seven only,
Missing two minutes of footage;
re-edited to include material from Episode Six
13 November 1999 Doctor Who - TV Movie BBC2
16 - 30 November 1999 Spearhead from Space BBC2
7 December - 25 January 1999 The Silurians BBC2
1 - 29 February 2000 Genesis of the Daleks BBC Choice
26 June 2004 The Web of Fear BBC4, Episode One only
3 - 5 April 2006 The Green Death BBC4
13 - 20 November 2006 Spearhead from Space BBC4
27 November - 4 December 2006 The Ark in Space BBC4
18 March 2007 The Web of Fear BBC4, Episode One only
21 - 22 October 2007 The Dæmons BBC4
5 - 9 April 2008 The Daleks BBC4
9 & 10 May 2011 The Hand of Fear BBC4

Several stories (Genesis of the Daleks!) have been aired on the BBC several time. Many have not had a repeat.

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