BBC America’s Fifth Doctor retrospective to include wrenching ‘Earthshock’ episode

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Hey, remember the ’80s? Doctor Who fans sure do. And the era in which the British sci-fi series celebrated its 20th anniversary will be revisited May 26, as part of BBC America’s monthly specials looking back the program’s 50 years and 11 Doctors.

The Doctors Revisited: The Fifth Doctor examines Peter Davison’s time in the role with the actor himself appearing along with his co-stars Sarah Sutton and Mark Strickson (Nyssa and Turlough) and current producer Steven Moffat. The presentation will include a screening of “Earthshock,” one of the most emotional episodes in all of Who-dom, then and now: “A conference to unite military powers against the Cybermen is about to take place, but the Cybermen plan to interrupt it and destroy the Earth. The Doctor must race against time to stop his enemies at any cost.”

“At any cost,” here, is not a just a figure of speech.

I think the Fifth Doctor era doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves. It contains some of the series’ best pure sci-fi storytelling, overall, and while it’s a dramatic departure in tone and special effects, there are loving nods throughout to the show’s heritage.

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Jayson Peters

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  • I agree, Peter Davison’s tenure as the Doctor is very much underrated. “Earthshock” is one of the most well-written, emotional episodes of the entire series. It also features an adventure where the Doctor isn’t completely victorious. Glad to know it’s finally getting some recognition.

  • Will BBC America squash the end credits and talk over them? We should pressure them, perhaps via Twitter, not to do this. The end credits for “Earthshock” are famous and must be played unmolested.

    • Well Ike, you were likely disappointed – despite mentioning the
      unique closing credits in the documentary portion, the credits weren’t just squashed and talked over, they didn’t even begin to appear. At all.