After leaving Victoria on Earth, the Doctor and Jamie find themselves aboard a drifting spacecraft. A fault in the TARDIS’ mercury fluid link creates a dangerous malfunction, which the Doctor resorts to drastic measures to stop, removing the timeship’s time vector generator and folding down its internal dimensions until it literally is a police box. The Doctor is knocked out as the spacecraft lurches suddenly, leaving Jamie on his own. When the ship comes dangerously close to space station W3, the station’s commander prepares to blast the ship out of the sky, over his crew’s objections. Jamie manages to signal the space station, which sends astronauts across to retrieve the two time travelers, who find themselves hard-pressed to explain their presence. The ship is millions of miles off course and shouldn’t have been anywhere near W3 at all. When a Cybermat appears, the Doctor realizes that the Cybermen can’t be far behind – and they’ve used the ship to smuggle themselves aboard the wheel. But what is the Cybermen’s real goal?
Guest Cast: Freddie Foote (Servo-Robot), Eric Flynn (Ryan), Anne Ridler (Dr. Corwyn), Clare Jenkins (Tanya Lernov), Michael Turner (Bennett), Donald Sumpter (Enrico Casali), Kenneth Watson (Duggan), Michael Goldie (Laleham), Derrick Gilbert (Vallance), Kevork Malikyan (Rudkin), Peter Laird (Chang), James Mellor (Flannigan), Jerry Holmes, Gordon Stothard (Cybermen), Peter Hawkins, Roy Skelton (Cybermen voices)
Notes: Portions of this episode were destroyed by the BBC in the early 1970’s; the two surviving episodes appear on the Lost In Time DVD set. This episode marks the first appearance of the Doctor’s nom de plume, “John Smith”, which would be used more frequently in the Pertwee era and would reappear in everything from the 1996 TV movie through David Tennant’s tenure. Jamie coined the name in a bit of a pinch, and perhaps as a payback, the tenth Doctor instead uses the alias “James McCrimmon” during a visit to Scotland in Tooth And Claw. Zoe joins the TARDIS crew in this story, and the end of episode six the Doctor sets up a device to replay a recent adventure with the Daleks to her, which was an inspired way to lead into a rare rerun (in this case, The Evil Of The Daleks). This marked the final appearance of the Moonbase-style Cybermen; in their next appearance, in The Invasion, they would undergo a major redesign.
Broadcast from April 27 through June 1, 1968
LogBook entry & review by Earl Green […]