"Doctor Who" The Wheel in Space: Episode 3 (TV Episode 1968) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
2 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
The first of only two surviving episodes from this story.
poolandrews4 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Doctor Who: The Wheel in Space: Episode 3 starts aboard the rocket ship the Silver Carrier where two large bubble things begin to pulsate & move, a Cyberman's hand bursts from one. Back aboard a space station known as the Wheel & Jamie (Frazer Hines) has been caught sabotaging the stations laser beam defences & placed under guard along with the Doctor (Patrick Troughton), while trying to repair the laser a crew member of the Wheel named Rudkin (Kevork Malikyan) is attacked & killed by Cybermat's as the Cybermen put their plans into action...

Episode 37 from season 5 this Doctor Who adventure originally aired here in the UK during May 1968, the seventh & final story from Patrick Troughton's second season as the Doctor & just as in the first story from the season The Tomb of the Cybermen (1968) the Doctor faces his old enemy the Cybermen. During the mass archive junking & wiping of the 70's at the BBC not much of Patrick Troughton's era as the Doctor survived, only five of his twenty-one stories exist in their entirety with some small clips surviving from other's & in some cases complete episodes still remain & in the case of the six part story The Wheel in Space episodes 3 & 6 survive while episodes 1,2,4 & 5 are thought to no longer exist. It's hard to comment on an individual episode which exists in isolation that was originally part of something bigger but I'll give it a try... The script by David Whitaker from a story by Kit Pedler is pretty convoluted & slow going, this is Episode 3 & the Cybermen have only just appeared. The Wheel in Space saw the debut of space astrophysicist Zoe Heriot played by Wendy Padbury & she would go on to become a permanent & well liked companion for the following season. When there's just one or two episodes which exist from a multi part serial like this I judge it on whether I am disappointed that I can't see the rest of it & with The Wheel in Space I'm not really, as an individual episode it didn't do much for me & I just thought it was a bit bland & forgettable but maybe as part of the whole six part story it might be better, unfortunately I'll never find out.

The Wheel in Space marked the fourth time the Cybermen had appeared in Doctor Who & the third, although not final, time Patrick Troughton had come up against them. They look different to the ones seen in the previous Cyberman story The Tomb of the Cybermen, they look alright but their mouths, eyes & some of their costume is different & not as effective. Another big change is their voices which sound very squeaky & high pitched & are far removed from the cold electronic voices heard in Tomb. I'm not keen on the Cybermats either, they look like silly metal caterpillars with glowing bug eyes & offer very little by way of threat or menace. The Wheel in Space was the first Doctor Who story to have it's music & special sounds provided by the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop.

The Wheel in Space: Episode 3 is an OK way to spend 25 minutes if your a die hard Doctor Who fan, since only two episodes from this story exist watching it on it's own in isolation is a bit pointless. There audio & visual reconstructions available but it's just not the same if you know what I mean. This episode, along with The Wheel in Space: Episode 6, can be found on the 3 disc Lost in Time DVD with various other episodes & clips from stories where less than 50% still exist.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Fun but not entirely Wheel-istic!
A_Kind_Of_CineMagic17 September 2014
Review of all 6 episodes:

This is a fun and mostly decent standard production providing tense and exciting Cybermen attacks and the arrival of a good new companion Zoe. (Previous companion Victoria having just left and featuring only in a clip at the start of Episode 1)

This story is written by David Whitaker from a story by Kit Pedler. Whitaker's script provides good dialogue and tense scenes but Pedler's plot is unremarkable and does not all make sense sadly. Some of the science is not as realistic as it could be (the meteorite sequences etc) and the Cybermen's plan is not entirely sensible or believable. It is not as awful as some would have you believe and the issues certainly do not make it a totally unsuccessful story but they do take the silver sheen off of some of this adventure as it lacks a bit of credibility and originality. It still is mostly solid, entertaining stuff. Part 5 is the least good featuring more of the silly aspects.

The Wheel in Space is largely an enjoyable romp with some excellent elements but it is unexceptional and looks weak by comparison to the truly brilliant stories preceding it in season 5. The Cybermen voices are, in my opinion, far inferior to their original voices from The Tenth Planet or from some of their later incarnations.

My Ratings: Episodes 1, 2, 3 & 6 - 7.5/10, Episode 4 - 8/10, Episode 5 - 6/10

Overall: 7.33/10

The rest of Season 5 was far better than this rather anticlimactic final story. Easily one of my top 5 Doctor Who Seasons of all time, truly fantastic quality.

Season 5 Average Rating: 9.26/10
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed