Doctor Who (1963)

Season 19 Episode 22

Earthshock, Part Four

Aired Saturday 5:15 PM Mar 16, 1982 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
36 votes

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Episode Summary

Earthshock, Part Four
A massive Cyberman invasion force is determined to strike Earth. The Doctor works to defeat them… but victory may come at a terrible cost.

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  • Fallen Hero

    This is one of my favorate stories of the fifth doctor, from the fact that the Cypermen after several years in the series has came back but really on efforts of both the Doctor and Audric. Audric I'll admit isn't one of my favorate companions but I do like him, he was smart but it really was his heart that came first, and I felt he really was at his best in this episode which made this episode all the more heartbreaking.

    The action against the Cypermen was soild, one of the things that really stand out for me was for once actually seeing the doctor use a gun for once. I'll admit that was an almost surreal moment, but it really shows despite the Doctor usually against using guns or any leathal weapons doesn't mean he can't use them. And I didn't feel it hurt his character but enhanced him showing he'll act on any means necessary to resolve a situation. Personally I also felt he didn't have a choice, his friends were in trouble the Cyperman leader was trying to kill them so he did what he had to do, it was the Cyperman or them.

    However the moment of truth was with Audric as he was disarming the nukes which are enough to destroy the Earth and reprograming the ship on a different coruse of time which was the time of the dinosaurs, we see in a twist it was that very ship that caused their extinction which I'll admit was an interesting spin . But as he finished his task unfortunately one of the injured Cypermen blasted the main controls which means he has no more control of the ship and he can't use any of the pods to escape because their all gone.

    Those final minutes were just intense and heartwrenching as we see the Doctor and his two compainons in the Tardis just struggling to save him. But they are unable to since the controls have been badly damaged from the blasts of the Cyperman leader. I'll admit it was almost unreal you would usually expect the Doctor to save the day but this is one of those rare times where he actually doesn't and can't. You can just see the looks of emotion on their faces, which is that of powerlessness which all the more made it heartsinking, their doing everything they can but in the end there really wasn't anything they could do. Then we see the ship decend to earth and just that look on Audric's face just made my heart completely sink because its the kind of look where he knows he's about to die, and sure enough it happens.

    Then we once more see the emotion on their faces, two of the companions just crying, but what hurt me most of all was seeing the Doctor whom had a look of deep sadness. I'll admit it put tears in my eyes and that final image of Audric broken badge was haunting because that was the very last thing the Doctor had of his friend and the badge is broken which signified the loss.

    Farewell Audric, you were more than just a companion you were a true hero, which is why you'll be missed.moreless
  • Painful but Great

    I'm sure i'm taking the words 'Painful to Watch' the wrong way as many would associate that line with the idea that i hated this episode, and to an extent i did, but in the same way i loved it.

    I loved the character of Adric, i know not many did, but i did. He was annoying as hell but he meant well, and that's why he was so good.

    He died, the series was ruined, and now i spend my days wishing to see these episodes again.

    Great, fantastic, fabulous!

    Kinda sad on my part, but i loved them all!

    RIP Adric!moreless
Beryl Reid

Beryl Reid


Guest Star

James Warwick

James Warwick


Guest Star

Clare Clifford

Clare Clifford


Guest Star

June Bland

June Bland


Recurring Role

David Banks

David Banks

Cyber Leader

Recurring Role

Mark Hardy

Mark Hardy

Cyber Lieutenant

Recurring Role

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • Revealing Mistake: Just before the wounded Cyberman blasts the computer, Matthew Waterhouse is poking at it very gingerly, as though knowing it's about to explode.

    • Plot Hole: Not only does the Cyberdevice miraculously allow the freighter to travel through time, it also transports it to the side of the Galaxy that Earth was on 65 million years ago.

    • Plot Hole: Where are the Cybermen evacuating to… while in warp drive?

    • Continuity: When Scott returns to the TARDIS, he has two men and a woman with him. A Cyberman grabs the woman, but when they enter the TARDIS, the man is missing. Later, when they leave, the woman is gone again.

    • Revealing Mistake: Just before and when the freighter crashes into Earth, the TARDIS computer shows the freighter to be still in space and not moving when it blows up. This is fixed on the 2003 DVD.

    • Factual Error: As the freighter is approaching Earth, the continents look very much like they do today. 65 million years ago, the land masses of modern-day China, Korea and Japan would not have been in the position that they are seen here. This is corrected in the 2003 DVD release.

    • Crew or equipment visible:
      Near of the end of this episode, pay close attention to when the Doctor shoves Adric's gold laiden badge into the Cyberleader's chest from behind. Through the Cyberleader's face plate, a silver box can be seen pressing against David Bank's face. The Cyber costumes had radio microphrones in them for recording so the modulation of the actor's voices could occur in real time. The batteries for these mikes were taped to the top inside of the actors' helmets. Over time, of course, the tape would work free and the batteries would fall out of place, resulting in the silver box seen in the Cyberleader's face plate for this scene. Also, when the Cyberleader explodes, the wire attached to the small microphone can be clearly seen.

    • This episode portrays the major extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous period, 65 million years ago. Not all dinosaur species were eliminated, however, and two distinct intelligent bipedal species (the Silurians and the Sea Devils) had evolved by the Eocene period, some 20 million years later.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Tegan: You won't like Earth.
      Cyber Leader: Like or dislike does not come under consideration.
      Tegan: It will when you start going rusty!

    • Captain Briggs [about the Cyberleader]: Are they all so dedicated?
      The Doctor: Compared to some, this one's positively flippant!

    • Adric: Now I'll never know if I was right...

    • The Doctor: Emotions have their uses.
      Cyberleader: They restrict and curtail the intellect, and the logic, the mind.
      The Doctor: They also enhance life. When did you last have the pleasure of smelling a flower? Watching a sunset? Eating a well-prepared meal?
      Cyberleader: These things are irrelevant.
      The Doctor: For some people, small, beautiful events is what life is all about!

  • NOTES (3)