Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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Earthshock: Part One 

In 2526, 8 Earth paleontologists and geologist were investigating a fossil find in a newly discovered case when 7 of them disappear. The only one who seems to have got out is Professor Kyle... See full summary »




On Disc

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Episode complete credited cast:
Clare Clifford ...
Steve Morley ...
Suzi Arden ...
Ann Holloway ...
Anne Clements ...
First Trooper
Mark Straker ...
Second Trooper
David Banks ...


In 2526, 8 Earth paleontologists and geologist were investigating a fossil find in a newly discovered case when 7 of them disappear. The only one who seems to have got out is Professor Kyle. She accompanies Lt. Scott and his troop of soldiers into the unmapped caves to see if they can find her colleagues. What they find however is the Doctor and his traveling companions Nyssa, Adric and Tegan who have also just arrived in the TARDIS. They're near the location where the scientific expedition was attacked and Scott suspects the Doctor. There are others in the in the subterranean structures however. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

8 March 1982 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The actor who played Trooper Marshal walked out so Jonathan Evans took over the role. See more »


When the troopers are in the caves, the two dark figures in background walk past (to the right) and one of the troopers stops and turns around. As he does this the shadow of a crewmember can be briefly seen on the left wall. This is not the dark figure's shadow because they have already walked past. See more »


The Doctor: [preparing to leave the TARDIS] Adric wants to use the computer, I want to go for a walk.
See more »


Featured in Cybermen (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

A Well Paced Adventure That Packs A Punch
12 February 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

(Note: A review of all four episodes)

It is hard to imagine the effect that Earthshock had on its original viewers back in 1982. With its plot twists now easily revealed on the art work for the VHS and now, of course, DVD versions of the story. Despite that fact Earthshock remains a well paced adventure that packs a punch for its viewers.

Earthshock features some of the better performances from the TARDIS crew of the time. Say what you will about an overloaded TARDIS with Peter Davison's fifth Doctor, Janet Fielding's Teagan, Sarah Sutton's Nyssa and Matthew Waterhouse's Adric but hear me out. For Davison and Waterhouse at least this would prove to be some of their best work in the series, particularly in parts three and four. With this being Waterhouse's final story, there seems to have been much emphasis placed on Adric and his relationship with the fifth Doctor which gives this story some distinction. While this emphasis takes away from Teagan and Nyssa, the finale of part four gives everyone a chance to show off in what is one of the series (original or new series for that matter) biggest surprise endings.

There's also a good supporting cast as well. Amongst the supporting cast are terrific performances from James Warwick, Clare Clifford, June Bland and Alec Sabin amongst others. There's also Beryl Reid as Captain Briggs of the freighter where much of the story takes place. While Reid (an award winning actress in her own right) gives a commendable performance there are certainly moments where her credibility is stretched very thin. Yet the true highlights of the supporting cast lies not in the people but in the "surprise villains" of the story: the Cybermen.

After quite a few appearances in the 1960's, the Cybermen disappeared from Doctor Who after a rather abysmal appearance in Revenge of the Cybermen. Seven years later Earthshock would reinvent and reintroduce the silver giants. In what would prove to be one of the defining moments of the series in the 1980's the Cybermen suddenly changed from the not so menacing men in suits of their previous appearance to be a truly menacing force. The "new look" Cybermen have a truly inhuman quality to them that makes them as impressive today as they were twenty-six years ago. Much of that menace is given to them by the actors (especially David Banks and Mark Hardy) who make scenes that could have potential dull like the flashback sequence in part two seem exciting (try imaging the same scene with the Cybermen from Revenge Of The Cybermen for example). At the end of the day it is a welcomed return that remains as impressive now as it was then.

While all of the above are obviously important to how successful of a story Earthshock is, in my mind the success really stems from three men who gave this story its cinematic feel: writer Eric Saward, director Peter Grimwade and composer Malcolm Clarke. Eric Saward crafted what is almost certainly his finest script for the series with fine dialogue and action combined almost perfectly. The perfect compliment to Saward's script is the direction of Peter Grimwade, who turns the script into a well paced and orchestrated action/adventure that also manages to pack an emotional punch. Last, but no least, is composer Malcolm Clarke whose music brings just the right amount of emphasis to a scene without it being either too intrusive or completely underwhelming. Together the works of these three men make Earthshock amongst the most cinematic Doctor Who stories.

Earthshock features many things. It has terrific performances, to the Cybermen (at quite possibly their best), good writing, fantastic direction and a score to beat, amongst other things. Above all it is a well paced adventure that packs a punch both action wise and dramatic wise. In short; what more can you ask for?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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