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"It's far from being all over..."
―The Doctor
The Tenth Planet
Series: Doctor Who - TV Stories
Season Number: Season 4
Story Number: 29
Doctor: First Doctor (regenerates)
Second Doctor (introduction at end)
Companions: Ben Jackson
Enemy: The Cybermen
Setting: South Pole, Snowcap Space tracking station, 1986 (December)
Writer: Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis
Director: Derek Martinus
Broadcast: 8th - 29th October 1966
Format: 4 25-minute Episodes
Previous Story: The Smugglers
Following Story: The Power of the Daleks

The Tenth Planet was the second story of Season 4 of Doctor Who, and introduced both the Cybermen and the concept of regeneration. It was the final regular appearance of William Hartnell as the First Doctor, and the first (uncredited) appearance of Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor.



The Doctor's TARDIS lands at the Snowcap space tracking station at the South Pole in 1986. The loss of a routine space mission and the appearance of a new planet in the sky herald the arrival of the Cybermen who are intent on the destruction of the Earth and the conversion of all Humans into Cybermen. Ben and Polly fight to save the world, but it is a battle that may prove too much for the Doctor.



Episode 1

The TARDIS lands at the South Pole where the 'Snowcap' space tracking station is monitoring the launch of the manned Zeus IV atmospheric testing probe in to Earth orbit. The Doctor, Ben and Polly are apprehended just as the Zeus IV space capsule is drawn off-course by an unknown force that is draining the energy of both the ship and the two pilots, Schultz and Williams.

Observing the crisis, the Doctor announces that he believes he knows the cause of the problems. However, General Cutler, the commanding officer of the Snowcap, refuses to take the Doctor seriously. It soon becomes clear though, that the force effecting Zeus IV is what appears to be a new planet which bears an uncanny resemblance to Earth.

The Doctor’s prediction that they will soon receive visitors from the new world soon comes true when a spacecraft lands outside Snowcap. A detachment of soldiers sent from the base to investigate the TARDIS are attacked and ruthlessly killed by a group of tall, robot-like creatures with blank emotionless faces.

Episode 2

The Cybermen invade the Snowcap

While everyone is distracted by their efforts to land Zeus IV safely, the alien invaders are easily able to take over the base and render General Cutler unconscious. The base personnel and Polly plead with the creatures to allow them to save the lives of the Zeus IV crew, but the aliens proclaim that the lives of the humans are irrelevant to them. They reveal that that they are known as Cybermen and were once like human beings, but gradually replaced their bodies with mechanical parts and eliminating the 'weakness' of emotion from their brains.

The Cybermen allow the Snowcap personnel to make contact with Zeus IV, but it is too late to save them as the ship is dragged further away from Earth by the new planet and explodes.

The Cybermen reveal that the new world is their home planet Mondas and that it is absorbing energy from Earth and will soon destroy it. They propose to take humans back to Mondas and turn them into Cybermen.

Ben, who has been imprisoned in the base’s cinema projection room after attempting to kill a Cyberman, rigs up the projector to blind his Cyberman guard. Ben steals the Cyberman’s weapon and kills him. Sneaking back into the tracking room, he hands the cyberweapon to the revived Cutler, who kills the remaining two Cybermen. Cutler contacts Secretary General Wigner at Space Command HQ in Geneva and is informed that his son, Lieutenant Terry Cutler, has been sent on a mission to rescue the doomed Zeus IV.

As Cutler makes plans to secure Snowcap from further Cyberman invasions, the radar technician announces that a fleet of Cyberman spacecraft have been detected and they are approaching Earth!

Episode 3

Apparently suffering from exhaustion, the Doctor collapses and is taken to the crew quarters to rest.

Polly asks Doctor Barclay for help

Cutler decides it is time to take the fight to the Cybermen, and contacts Geneva for permission to launch the powerful Z-bomb to destroy Mondas. Secretary Wigner at Geneva refuses permission, but Cutler decides to proceed anyway. Ben and Polly argue against using the bomb, Ben saying that the Doctor believed that Mondas would destroy itself anyway when it absorbs too much energy. The chief scientist at Snowcap, Doctor Barclay, is also concerned, saying that the radiation caused by the exploding planet would cause great loss of life on Earth. Unswayed by the arguments and annoyed by the interruptions, Cutler orders Ben to be imprisoned with the Doctor.

Polly manages to persuade Dr. Barclay to help them stop the bomb being launched. Barclay tells Ben how to sabotage the rocket to prevent it from reaching Mondas, but Cutler notices Barclay's absence, and going to investigate, catches Ben while he is sabotaging the rocket, knocking him unconscious.

A second Cyberman ship lands near Snowcap, but Cutler is prepared for them this time and the attacking Cybermen are repelled by the General's men using the stolen cyberweapons.

Meanwhile, the countdown to the launch of the Z-bomb has started. Ben regains consciousness but is disorientated and is unable to remember if he was able to successfully sabotage the rocket before being discovered by Cutler. The countdown approaches zero.

Episode 4

Ben deduces the Cybermen's weakness

As the countdown to launch the Z-bomb reaches zero, the engines fail on the launch pad. Cutler, enraged, threatens to kill Ben, Barclay, and the Doctor, who has now regained consciousness and returned to the tracking room. Driven mad with grief by the apparent death of his son in the Zeus V rescue capsule, Cutler is oblivious to the warnings that another force of Cybermen are attacking the base. As he is about to carry out his threat and kill the Doctor, Cutler is killed by the invading Cybermen. The Doctor is taken prisoner by the Cybermen. Earth's proximity to Mondas causes the twin planet's energy to drain, and Mondas begins to break apart. The Cybermen all collapse, their energy source destroyed. Ben rescues Polly and the Doctor. The weary Doctor returns to the TARDIS, and collapses to the floor. Ben and Polly watch as the Doctor's features begin to blur and transform into a younger man





  • Space Fatigue

Foods and Beverages

  • Polly makes several cups of coffee.


  • International Space Command is based in Geneva
  • Jodrell Bank
  • Snowcap Space Tracking Station



  • Mondas is Earth's twin planet.
  • An Earth expedition has just returned from the Moon.

Races and species

  • Cybermen are what remains of Mondas' inhabitants.



Story Notes

  • This is the first regeneration (though not called that) from William Hartnell's Doctor into Patrick Troughton's Doctor.
  • Episode 4 is missing from the BBC archives. The only known existing footage is the regeneration sequence, from a copy that was used on an entertainment news programme at the time to discuss the transition to the new Doctor.
  • William Hartnell left Doctor Who due to bad health. Upon leaving, Hartnell himself said, "If there is one man in England, who can replace me as The Doctor, it's Patrick Troughton!" Troughton took over the role of the Doctor when Hartnell regenerated into Troughton. Hartnell returned to Doctor Who in The Three Doctors in 1973 to celebrate Doctor Who's 10th anniversery. Sadly, Hartnell died in 1975.
  • The Doctor does not appear in Episode 3 as William Hartnell was unwell during the week when it was recorded.
  • Special 'computer tape'-style opening and closing title graphics were created for this story by graphic designer Bernard Lodge.
  • This is the only story to give Cybermen characters individual names (Krang, Jarl, ect). After this, Cybermen were only ever named by rank (Cyberleader, Cybercontroller, ect).
  • At the time of the serial's original broadcast, as well as the timeframe of the serial (1986), Pluto was still considered a planet and therefore the story title and dialogue referring to Mondas as the solar system's tenth planet was correct. In 2006, however, Pluto lost its planetary status, which would make Mondas officially the ninth planet, not the tenth. Note: By the newly-adopted criteria which excludes Pluto however, Mondas would technically not be considered a planet either.


  • Episode 1 - 5.5 million viewers
  • Episode 2 - 6.4 million viewers
  • Episode 3 - 7.6 million viewers
  • Episode 4 - 7.5 million viewers


  • An attempt was once made to colourise parts of this story. (This was an April Fool's joke in Doctor Who Magazine.)
  • The master copy of the fourth episode of this story was lost in 1973 after being lent out to the BBC's children's magazine programme Blue Peter for use in a feature that they were compiling about the series. (It is unknown how this episode came to be lost; the episode that was lost after being lent out to Blue Peter was actually The Daleks' Master Plan: The Traitors.)

Filming Locations

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • The eyes of the actors playing the Cybermen can be clearly seen through the eye holes. The Cybermen were like us, they are just in their cybernetic early stages .
  • As with other early Doctor Who serials set in "the future", technology and human advancement displayed in this episode, set in 1986, does not coincide with real-world development by that time, even as shown in contemporary stories such as Attack of the Cybermen, and certainly not in later revival series episodes. However, there is repeated precedent involving UNIT, Torchwood Institute, etc. to suggest that the general public was not always aware of the level of technology available on "current-day" earth.
  • A Mondas Day appears to only be a few Earth seconds. Why shouldn't it be? This could be the result of whatever cosmic force caused it to be pulled out of our solar system all those years ago, and now ultimately returned to it. But the spin speed shown would instantly destroy any Earth-like planet, as the centrifugal force would exceed its gravitational pull. Presumably, the view of Mondas shown was intended to be deliberately speeded up by the Snowcap systems, perhaps to show more clearly the way it was moving.
  • The writing credit for episode one has Kit Pedler as 'Kitt Pedler' and title music is credited to 'Byron Grainer'; for episode 3, Gerry Davis becomes 'Gerry Davies'.
  • Sometimes the Cybermen start to talk before their mouths open. They're cyborgs, and their voices don't sound like anything conceivably produced by human, or even any kind of animal vocal chords. It's possible the mouths open and close independent of speech, kind of like a Teddy Ruxpin.
  • In episode one when one of the Cybermen is shot his 'ears' flap about. Why shouldn't they? If he still has his human ears and he has been injured, they may well come loose.
  • The script requires the Cybermen to pass for human in their parkas, an effect ruined by the lamps on their heads.
  • Barclay says that he designed some of the base, and that he couldn't fit into the ventilation shaft, but it is broad enough to accommodate Geoff Capes. It is possible that an unseen portion of the shaft was narrower than that which is shown.
  • How can Earth and Mondas have identically shaped land masses, as each planet has been separately affected by continental drift for millions of years? Does anyone explicitly state that the continents have moved differently from each other?
  • It is always seen snowing in Antarctica. In fact, due to its high altitude, the Antarctic air is very dry and precipitation is rare. Although precipitation is relatively rare in Antarctica, it does vary significantly depending upon where in Antarctica you are. It is also not unusual to have white-out conditions, which can resemble snowing.
  • The Cybermen's helmets were held together with Sellotape, which can clearly be seen in this episode.
  • Obviously, the writers haven't decided yet how many hearts the Doctor has. Polly checks his pulse and finds it normal. It's mentioned in Goth Opera that Time Lords grow their second heart after their first Regenaration.
  • When the Cybermen are ambushed outside, one of them has part of his headpiece(one of the "jug handles") come loose. He has just been shot with a powerful energy weapon that would likely cause all kinds of such damage.
  • The dialogue between Cutler and the technician at the beginning of Episode 3 is slightly different from that which closed Episode 2.
  • How did the Doctor know about General Cutler's plan to launch the Z-bomb? Cutler decides to do this in Episode 3 but the Doctor was lying down ill in another room throughout the episode – but he walks into the Tracking Room and says "Your plan is foiled sir!" He obviously overheard the plan while laying there. Also, throughout this story, the Doctor has some information about what is going on - particularly, the fact that the Cybermen will appear. Presumably he gets this from the same source as his inforrmation about the Aztecs, the French Revolution etc - ie. from history files. The Z-Bomb plan could have been mentioned in those same sources. It would be an important element in Earth's history - especially if, without the Doctor, Ben and Polly's intervention, it was detonated.



DVD, Video and Other Releases

  • This was released on VHS video, with a reconstruction of the missing Episode 4.
  • Editing and reconstruction for release completed by Doctor Who Restoration Team.
  • As of January 2010 no DVD release of this story has occurred, either utilizing the reconstruction from the VHS release, or an animated reconstruction such as that executed for The Invasion.


Main article: Doctor Who and the Tenth Planet
  • Novelised as Doctor Who and the Tenth Planet by Gerry Davis in 1986. In the novelisation, the regeneration is treated differently. Instead of having the Doctor collapse in the console room as in the televised story, he regenerates with the help of a device aboard the TARDIS called a sleep compressor. After he and his companions leave Snowcap base, he enters the compressor and emerges as the new Doctor. Also, unlike the televised story, the "new Doctor" asks for a mirror as there are said to be none in the TARDIS.

See also

External links

  • BBC - Doctor Who - The Classic Series - Episode Guide: The Tenth Planet
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide - Detailed Synopsis - The Tenth Planet
  • Doctor Who: A Brief History of Time (Travel) - A Brief History of Time (Travel): The Tenth Planet
  • The Tenth Planet transcript
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 page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at The_Tenth_Planet. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the TARDIS Index File, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).

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


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