Doctor Who (1963–1989)
4 user 3 critic

Earthshock: Part Four 

The Cybermen are now in control of the ship and they have eliminated their human accomplice. The Doctor, Adric and several members of the crew are now their prisoners. Tegan finds herself ... See full summary »


Peter Grimwade


Eric Saward (by)




Episode complete credited cast:
Peter Davison ... The Doctor
Beryl Reid ... Briggs
Matthew Waterhouse ... Adric
James Warwick ... Scott
Clare Clifford Clare Clifford ... Kyle
Janet Fielding ... Tegan
Sarah Sutton ... Nyssa
June Bland June Bland ... Berger
David Banks David Banks ... Cyber Leader
Mark Hardy Mark Hardy ... Cyber Lieutenant


The Cybermen are now in control of the ship and they have eliminated their human accomplice. The Doctor, Adric and several members of the crew are now their prisoners. Tegan finds herself separated from Lt.Scott and she too is soon taken prisoner and is reunited with the Doctor who realizes just what the Cybermen are going to do: use the spaceship as a flying bomb. Scott and the other troopers make a rescue attempt. Adric tries desperately desperately to stop the ship from crashing into Earth. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This is one of the few serials in which the ending credits have been changed from the regular credits. Adric's star-shaped badge for mathematical excellence is shown broken in pieces while the credits roll in silence. It is the only story in which the main theme is not used in the credits. See more »


The two soldiers are killing the Cybermen with the Cybermen's own weapons. One complains they are running out of power and they retreat. Yet they are surrounded by fresh weapons from the dead Cybermen they have just killed. See more »


Cyber Leader: [referring to recently captured Tegan] You have affection for this woman?
The Doctor: She's a friend.
Cyber Leader: And you do not consider friendship a weakness?
The Doctor: I do not.
[the Cyberleader turns to face another Cyberman]
Cyber Leader: Kill her.
[the Doctor is shocked, but attempts to steel himself as the Cyberman approaches Tegan. She fearfully backs toward the escape pod door, Adric at her side, both trying to gauge if she can escape. The Cyberleader stares down the increasing agitated Doctor until...]
The Doctor: No!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits roll up in silence, over the remains of Adric's badge. See more »


Referenced in The Chronic Rift: Star Trek: The Next Generation (1990) See more »

User Reviews

Shock and awe - a solid gold classic.
30 September 2019 | by A_Kind_Of_CineMagicSee all my reviews

Review of all 4 parts:

This is a tremendous serial. It had a big effect on me when I watched it on original transmission and rewatching it now I am still thrilled, entertained and moved by it. Eric Saward shows his capability to produce incredible stories as a writer.

The story features the TARDIS arriving on 26th Century Earth following a signal to a cave system where some archaologists have gone missing and a military force are investigating. The Doctor and his companions come under suspicion until they are all attacked by androids, The Doctor discovers a bomb which he defuses and we then discover the Cybermen are behind it all.

This is one of the very best Cybermen stories and their involvement was a really effective surprise. The androids before that were really a distraction to stop viewers realising the threat was from Cybermen but the androids themselves are brilliant! They are simple but very effective and really well created. In fact, it is a pity they were not subsequently used.

It is not just the androids which are well produced and effective, the whole production is superb. It makes you realise there is not much excuse for the cheap, tasteless and cheesy production that would dominate seasons 22 to 24 in particular. The impeccable taste in presenting clean, simple, believable sets, settings and costumes gives huge credibility and class to this serial. The military outfits look great, the androids work brilliantly, the Cybermen look better than ever before and the freighter spaceship is excellent. Unlike the glitzy silliness of some sets and costumes, this is more like you see in films like Alien and it really gives a sheen of quality.

The plot itself is exciting and engrossing. There are plenty of thrills, a rare occasion when Cybermen have a logical seeming plan and there is darkness and drama that is really impactful. The cliffhangers are great and the ending of the final part is as dark, hard hitting and heartbreaking as any Doctor Who story has ever been.

The acting all round is top standard. Peter Davison is fantastic as The Doctor showing all the qualities you could want and acting it all really well. The companions act really well too. Adric in his final story is absolutely at his best but so are Nyssa and Tegan. They all have important roles and deliver strong performances. Guest roles are also strong. James Warwick is totally convincing as Lieutenant Scott and Beryl Reid is interesting and striking as Briggs. Other cast are all good and the Cybermen are good too.

It is noticeable that the Cybermen are more human/emotional than you would expect in their language but this is done for dramatic reasons and can be excused. The important thing I think is that the Cybermen remain totally without conscience. They may react with human pride, annoyance etc but they are at their best here in terms of their menace and conscienceless cruelty. They aim for the furtherment of the Cyber race at the expense of all others and it all works really well.

Powerful emotion, fun action, thrilling danger and compelling drama are all in great evidence in this marvelous story. It is a top 30 classic for me.

All 4 parts 10/10.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 4 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

16 March 1982 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed