Review of The Moonbase (#33)
DVD Release Date: 11 Feb 14
Original Air Date: 11 Feb - 04 Mar 1967
Doctor/Companion: Two, Ben Jackson, Polly Wright, Jamie McCrimmon
Stars: Patrick Troughton, Michael Craze, Anneke Wills, Frazer Hines
Preceding Story: The Underwater Menace (Two, Ben, Polly, Jamie)
Succeeding Story: The Macra Terror (Two, Ben, Polly, Jamie)
I'm rather behind the curve on this one. Not only was the Region 1 release three weeks later than the Region 2 release (as has often been the case), but it also fell on the day before I left for this year's Gally. So I'm afraid I'm not exactly at the cutting edge here, but perhaps not all of my readers were in a rush anyway.
For completionist fans like me, this isn't precisely a new release. Though two of the four episodes are still missing, the existing ones have been available for quite some time as part of the Lost in Time box set, so I've actually seen half of the serial before. However, the addition of the animated reconstructions makes a big difference.
There's a great deal to be said for the black and white era when it comes to tone. Something about it transcends the dated effects and lends an extra sense of tension to all the scary bits. To say such episodes are "atmospheric" might be cliché, but it doesn't make it less true.
To my mind, the Cybermen are primarily responsible for that creepy, nerves-on-edge sensation one gets so often during The Moonbase. In only their second-ever appearance, they've already been upgraded, if you will, to look even less human. While that change might remove the audience a step from the body horror, I contend the modification to the voices—a more buzzing, mechanical sound—more than makes up for it.