The Wheel in Space


‘My head’s been pumped full of facts and figures which I reel out automatically when needed. But, well, I want to feel things as well.’ Zoe

27th April – 1st June 1968

The Memory Cheats

This is the last story to watch that I have never watched before, although I may have seen this with tele snaps and sound track and I am sure I have seen 3 and 6 before on the Troughton years. Interesting that Victoria has been the companion for the second Doctor in this run through. Before, for me, the second Doctor’s companion was always Zoe. Possibly due to the number of Zoe episodes that have survived.

The Time Space Visualiser

A couple of seconds in and the Doctor is having trouble with the fluid link. Next time he is at Halfords he really should get a couple of spares. It seems odd to go back to a ‘separated from the TARDIS’ trope in the Second Doctor Era. Ah well, I guess we should spend the whole of the episode following the robot around. I wonder what is in the mystery eggs? Jarvis Bennet is this stories most annoying character. How he got t be in charge is anyone’s guess.

We meet Zoe. She seems rather annoying doesn’t she? We slowly get introduced to more and more annoying characters and I find myself wanting them all to be killed off, one by one! Ryan has a right go at Zoe, just because she is rarely wrong. Then Duggan finds a couple of Cybermats and hides them in the cupboard in case anyone thinks he is crazy. And he is in charge of defence!

Foam again. Hyperoxide. When the Doctor is icily convinced that ‘they will find a way’ into the Wheel. It is a great second doctor moment. ‘You know our ways.’ The chilling repetition of phrases like this gives the Cybermen extra chill factor. Their spaceship however is all a bit Blue Peter. I love the ‘Cyberflap.’ Dance as the Cybermen walk through space to the wheel. It makes me think of ‘I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper’. And there is a flashback sequence!

After a really excellent season, this is the first story to drag over it’s six episodes. There are some chilling moments. Zoe is quite keen to get in on the action which following Victoria’s final story is refreshing. The Doctor and Jamie are excellent too.


Vital Statistics

Only nine reconstructed episodes and two animations to go. I feel this pilgrimage is about to get easier. There are moving images from episode 6 which will now take me to the last batch of seven missing episodes, and I can’t pretend I am not relieved. There are some during the wilderness years that I feel I have not properly connected with and I would like to get better acquainted with some of these lost gems. I have found the series much easier to watch over this season with the eleven new episodes and the missing episodes being more of a rarity.

Cliché Counter

Here we are, in the footer, with an ethnically diverse bunch of characters and a slightly unhinged Commander. At she is a woman in this story.

Notable Firsts

I cannot promise that this section of the review is going to be 100% accurate, but it is the first time I have noticed it from here on in.

The first use of the Doctor’s moniker ‘John Smith’. He sees it written down on the medical equipment, and then it sticks.

The first appearance of a Cyber Planner. This is a device that dreams up ridiculous plans for the Cybermen to follow that are so convoluted they are doomed to fail.

Innuendo Bingo

Episode 3 7:50

Casali: There it is. And beginning to emit hard gamma already.

OK so it might not actually be one, but any sentence containing the words ‘hard’ and ‘emit’ are approaching dodgy.

Catchphrase Error of the Week

They are more robot than man. Everyone knows it is, ‘He’s more machine now than man, twisted and evil.’

In the Foooter

We will lose the ability to record sound digitally and go back to using magnetic tape which squeaks your voice back to you when you rewind. What will I do with all my MP3s?

All signs will obviously be written in the futuristic ‘computer’ font.

Lava lamps will of course become an integral part of any sophisticated technology. Well, they are footeristic after all.


The 500 Year Diary

17th September 2068 am

The mercury fluid links are playing up again! Had to evacuate the TARDIS. We’ve ended up on some deserted space vehicle near the wheel in space. We suddenly change course and I bang my head. Need to lie down…..

17th September 2068 am

Just drifting in and out of consciousness… there’s something wrong here….

17th September 2068 pm

Woke up aboard the wheel. In bed. Nice to have a bit of rest actually. Given the once over by nice doctor lady. As usual suspected as saboteurs; I leave Jamie alone for a few minutes and he gets into all sorts of trouble like blowing up the gun that would have repelled the meteor shower. I suppose he was trying to stop them blowing up the TARDIS.

Met this rather clever young lady called Zoe. She was going on about logic to which I informed her allows one to be wrong with authority.

One of the crewmen has been attacked and we manage to x-ray the plastic entombed object. It’s a Cybermat. As usual, the man in charge –Jarvis Bennett – doesn’t seem to realise the danger we’re all in. If there are Cybermats here, the Cybermen can’t be too far away!

17th September 2068 pm

Will no-one listen to me? And why does nobody remember the Cybermen? Have they been deleted from Earth’s history? It’s only when Duggan kills himself destroying the communications unit that they all start to take it seriously.

The wheel controller’s gone a bit weird. He had a change of heart and released us.

Anyway off to look around. Uh oh… a Cyberman approaches!

17th September 2068 eve

Managed to avoid the Cyberman with some cunning hiding only to end up being cornered by Cybermats! Manage to destroy them.

This plot by the Cybermen is very complicated. Blowing up a star to cause meteorites to bombard the wheel so the crew use the laser cannon to use up the bernalium so they have to go to the rocket and the Cybermen are hiding in the crates that they were going to destroy anyway – so that was a bit of a risk! And once they’ve got the wheel, what are they going to do with it?

Anyway decided I need the time vector generator so send Jamie and it turns out Zoe possibly to their deaths in a meteorite storm. Oh dear. And also that lovely Gemma gets killed.

17th September 2068 night

Well manage to destroy the Cybermen’s spaceship and blast the remaining Cybermen into deep space. The wheel and Earth are safe. For now!

Manage to get some mercury to repair the fluid links and this time I have some left over! We then have a stowaway. Zoe. Need to see if she’s up for the trials and tribulations ahead as I mentally project my last encounter with the Daleks.


Artwork: The Mind Reels:

The Five Word Lords

Those crazy Cybermen, whatever next?


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