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The Moonbase
Series: Doctor Who - TV Stories
Season Number: Season 4
Story Number: 33
Doctor: Second Doctor
Companions: Ben Jackson
Jamie McCrimmon
Enemy: The Cybermen
Setting: The Moon, 2070
Writer: Kit Pedler
Director: Morris Barry
Broadcast: 11th February - 4th March 1967
Format: 4 25-minute Episodes
Previous Story: The Underwater Menace
Following Story: The Macra Terror
"There are some corners of the Universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things which act against everything we believe in. They must be fought."
―The Doctor

The Moonbase was the sixth story of Season 4 of Doctor Who. The return appearance of the Cybermen solidified their place as one of the series' key villains. This story was the first in Doctor Who history with sequences taking place on Earth's Moon.



The TARDIS arrives in 2070 AD on the Moon, where a weather control station under the command of a man named Hobson is in the grip of a plague epidemic - in reality the result of an alien poison planted by the Cybermen. Jamie succumbs to the plague and is contained to the infirmary leaving the Doctor,Ben to fight off a mass Cyberman attack.


Episode One

The TARDIS makes a bumpy landing on the moon in the year 2070. They go outside in spacesuits and Jamie is injured when thet fool around. They discover the Moonbase- a weather station and managing station that controls Earth's weather. It is staffed by international crew and they meet Hobson the controller. They are using a gravity machine the gravitron to control the weather. The Doctor investigates a mystery: patients have collapsed in comas and have been infected by a virus. They are moved to the sickbay .Jamie is put in the medical wing. International Space Control responds to the crisis by quanantining the Moonbase-a precaution made more valid as a patient starts to die. Soon a crewmember disappares in the food stores. Jamie soon mumbles about a phantom piper. A Cyberman appeares in the medical wing.

Episode Two

The Cyberman abducts a patient and Polly sees him. She informs the Doctor. Hobson soon notices the Moonbase's radio transmissions are being monitered. More people are infected by the virus and the Cybermen abduct them all. Hobson soon works out the Cybermen have infected the sugar in the food stores to make the virus spread. They contact base but the radio transmissions are blocked. Later in the medical wing a Cybermen appeares and advances towards the Doctor and his friends with a gun.

Episode Three

Bob a crewmember is killed and the Cyberman contacts the cyber fleet. He reveals the dead crewmembers are really zombies. More Cybermen amerge from hiding and take over central control.They want to use the gravitron to destroy life on Earth and send the zombies to the place where it is being kept.Ben, Polly and Jamie use fire extinguishers and nail vanish remover and other objects that attack plastic to fight the Cybermen. The fleet land and more arrive.

Episode Four

They destroy a relief craft and use radio controlled beams to reactivate the zombies. They are soon killed by the crew. The Cyberleader thretens if their resistence continues they will fire. They use a large cannon to fire shots at the moonbase. The gravitron is switched on and the shots bounce back. The Doctor aims the gravitron at the surface and the Cyberman on the ground float up into the air. The fleet go back into space too quickly and all the Cybermen are destroyed. Hobson repairs the gravitron and the Doctor and his companions slip away. The TARDIS scanner reveals a large claw...






Earth technology

Foods and Beverages



  • The Cybermen shoot a hole in the Moonbase, suddenly making it lose oxygen.
  • The Cybermen's chest unit appears to be made of a kind of plastic.


  • The Doctor mentions that he studied under Lister in Glasgow in 1888.

Story Notes

  • Working title: The Return of the Cybermen.
  • This is the first story in which John Levene (who later played Sergeant Benton) appears.
  • In an early edit of the script the Cybermen had names.
  • Talkback from the headphones of the crew on the studio floor is clearly audible at times during Episode 4 (the same problem as had earlier caused the opening episode of the first Dalek story to have to be remounted) - for example, a voice can be clearly heard saying "Cue" at the start of the scene where the controlled scientists are first activated by the Cybermen.
  • Alan Rowe is credited as Voice from Space Control and Dr. Evans (separate on-screen captions) for Episodes 1 and 3, only as Voice from Space Control for Episode 2 and only as Dr. Evans for Episode 4. He is billed as Voice from Space Control/Dr. Evans in Radio Times for Episode 3.
  • All of the actors playing the scientists were credited without specific role under the heading 'Others in Cast' in Radio Times.
  • Mark Heath is credited as Ralph for Episode 1, and as Scientist for Episode 3. He is billed without specific role under the heading 'Others in Cast' in Radio Times for Episode 3.
  • John Wills and Sonnie Willis, playing Cybermen, are credited without specific role under the heading 'Others in Cast' in Radio Times for Episode 1.


  • Episode 1 - 8.1 million viewers
  • Episode 2 - 8.9 million viewers
  • Episode 3 - 8.2 million viewers
  • Episode 4 - 8.1 million viewers


to be added

Filming Locations

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • Episode 2's cliffhanger involves the discovery of a Cyberman who has been hiding under a sheet in the medicentre for the last 25 minutes. When he gets off the sickbay bed, he nearly takes the whole thing with him. The Cybermen aren't the most agile of creatures.
  • The addition of Jamie to the cast leads to a sharing of lines, so Ben becomes a scientist for a story (he knows that the Gravitron uses thermonuclear power, that interferon is a viral antibody, that acetone is present in nail varnish remover, and that the spray from the fire extinguishers would evaporate in a vacuum). He is in the navy, so he may have an elementary understanding of certain scientific fields. Most people know that acetone is present in nail varnish remover
  • In Episode 2, when a Cyberman tries to zap Polly while she tends to Jamie, he misses, but she falls anyway.
  • Throughout the episode, the Gravitron is pointed at the Atlantic ocean. Many hours pass, during which the Earth would revolve on its axis until the Atlantic would be pointed away from the moon.
  • The climax of the episode seems rather far-fetched. A Cyberman is revealed to have been concealed under covers on one of the sick beds. It seems unlikely Polly or anyone else would have failed to notice an extra body in the sick bay.
  • Hobson notes they need to keep a hurricane in the Pacific Ocean. However, the Gravitron is pointed at the Atlantic and the hurricane is threatening Miami.
  • Closeups of the transparent dome from the outside only show the Gravitron, not any of the desks, controls, people, etc.
  • The examination tables in the sickbay are very light and wobble frequently. The most obvious cases are when the Cyberman takes one of the crew off one and later when he hops up off the table, almost knocking it over completely.
  • The Cybermen's spaceships look like paper plates held up by string.
  • Why bother to infiltrate the Moonbase by stealth, using the virus, when they have the means all along to capture it by force? The virus is a necessary first stage in their conversion of the Humans, and they need Humans to operate the Gravitron.
  • Why make only one hole in the dome? Maybe there's only enough power for one shot.
  • In Episode 4, why have the Moonbase crew left the Cybermen's control headgear right next to the patients in the infirmary?
  • Approximately five minutes into Episode 4, Evans is in the infirmary when the Cybermen reassert control. He gets up off of his bed and sneaks behind Sam, who's watching the door, not the beds. Sam is at the foot of an empty bed, and when the mind-controlled Evans reaches the left side of the foot of the bed (about one inch behind Sam) he then walks all the way around the bed (via the head of the bed) to get to the right side foot of the bed and hit Sam from behind. Not only is he no closer than he was on the left side of the foot of the bed, he could've just stepped one step forward to move to the right side.
  • When Evans sneaks into the Gravitron control room, he puts the cloth helmet on back to front (in the next scene it's the right way round).
  • Stars are visible from the moon during lunar day when the lunar surface would be far too bright.
  • Why did the moonbase crew not recognise the Cybermen from the events of DW: The Next Doctor, DW: The Invasion, DW: The Tenth Planet or DW: Army of Ghosts / Doomsday. (These are different variant of Cybermen, The Next Doctor and Army of Ghost / Doomsday feature the Cybus Cybermen again different. And it has been said that the Human race has a self deception as said by the Seventh Doctor in DW: Remembrance of the Daleks. Torchwood and/or UNIT most likely covered up these events. Plus, Hobson does actually say that everyone knows about the Cybermen but they believed them to have been wiped out so it's not as though they're completely ignorant as to their existence.)



DVD, Video and Other Releases

  • The two surviving episodes (2 and 4) were released on the Cybermen: The Early Years video.
  • The surviving episodes were also released on the Lost in Time DVD, along with full audio of the two missing episodes.


Main article: Doctor Who and the Cybermen

See also

External links

  • Official BBC Episode Guide for The Moonbase
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide: Detailed Synopsis - The Moonbase
  • A Brief History of Time (Travel) Guide to The Moonbase
  • Photonovel of The Moonbase on the BBC website
  • The Moonbase transcripts
Cyberman Television Stories
Original Cybermen: The Tenth Planet  • The Moonbase  • The Tomb of the Cybermen  • The Wheel in Space  • The Invasion  • Revenge of the Cybermen  • Earthshock  • The Five Doctors  • Attack of the Cybermen  • Silver Nemesis
Alternate Universe Cybermen: Rise of the Cybermen/ The Age of Steel  • Army of Ghosts/ Doomsday  • The Next Doctor
Torchwood: Cyberwoman
Season 4
The Smugglers  • The Tenth Planet  • The Power of the Daleks  • The Highlanders  • The Underwater Menace  • The Moonbase  • The Macra Terror  • The Faceless Ones  • The Evil of the Daleks

This article uses material from the "The Moonbase" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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