Loose Cannon Production 18
The Moonbase
"But you'll kill every living thing on the Earth!"

     
BBC Production Details
Production Code: HH
Original Transmission (UK): Saturday 11th February 1967 -
Saturday 04th March 1967
Season: 4
Number of Episodes: 4
Writer: Kit Pedler
Producer: Innes Lloyd
Director: Morris Barry
 

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Loose Cannon Production Details
Production Release Date: September 2002
Episode(s) Reconstructed: Episodes 1,3
Source Material: John Cura's telesnaps
Audio recorded by Graham Strong
  There are no surviving clips for this story.
Other authentic pictures
  Composite pictures
Tape length required: UK / Australia: E180
USA / Canada: T160
     

Bonus Material

As well as the reconstruction we are able to bring you the following goodies…

 

Celebrity Introduction

We were absolutely delighted when 7th Doctor Sylvester McCoy very kindly offered to film an introduction to The Moonbase reconstruction. It was wonderful for us to have the seventh Doctor himself introduce this classic story from his second incarnation.

   

Production Featurette

Also included as part of the introduction is a short 'mini-documentary' which gives an insight into the events surrounding the production of the Moonbase. This is narrated by Sylvester McCoy.

   

Celebrity Interview

Also included on the tape is an interview with Sylvester McCoy in which he recounts some of his memories of his time as the Doctor and answers questions about Dr Who and life in general. Learn more about Sylvester's work in our Hall of Fame...

 

Special Note:  

Let's be clear about this. The BBC have released a wonderful DVD called "Doctor Who: Lost in Time" which features the surviving episodes of this story lovingly restored. There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY we will be issuing copies of these with the recon, nor (whilst we're at it) will we ever make the recon episodes available in any format other than VHS.
Loose Cannon fully support the BBC and suggest you purchase the official BBC video release to complement our reconstruction.

Support The BBC Video Releases.

     

Request a copy here
Please note recons are ONLY available on VHS quality.

LOOSE CANNON WILL NOT, AND NEVER WILL, SUPPLY RECONS FOR DOWNLOAD IN DVD OR VCD QUALITY OR EVEN ON TICKER TAPE!!!!!!


Loose Cannon Says:

The Moonbase reconstruction is a real treat. Once again we were able to negotiate access to original telesnaps for this reconstruction so the scans are crystal clear, in fact, it just isn't possible to get any clearer than this! We were surprised and delighted when Sylvester McCoy accepted the offer to provide an introduction and interview for the tape. We are very chuffed to have the 7th Doctor himself introduce a story from one of his past incarnations. Also included on the tape is a short factual introduction about The Moonbase, also narrrated by Sylvester, which gives an insight into the production of this classic Cyberman adventure. The Sylvester interview covers a host of topics both Who and non-Who related.

Synopsis:

As the travellers explore the surface, they come across a lunar base used to control the Earth's weather through a Gravitron machine. Here they find the staff are suffering from a mysterious virus leaving its victims unconscious with black lines on their hands and faces.

When the Gravitron starts to fail, the Doctor and his companions are soon suspected of sabotage, but the real culprits, the Cybermen, soon reveal themselves…

Reviews:

Review by Matthew Kresal

They say that nothing dates a story more then ideas of the future. That is certainly true of the fourth Patrick Troughton story The Moonbase. Yet once we move on from the 1960’s notions of what a 2070 Lunar base looks like there is a fairly good adventure story to be enjoyed. And now it can be enjoyed in its entirety thanks to Loose Cannon.

The reconstructions of episodes one and three are fantastic stuff. The telesnaps and publicity pictures give the visuals back to a story that needed it. To help make the recons seem even more seamless is the addition of interesting animation effects including the mouths of the Cybermen which open and close just like their surviving episode counterparts and the lightning effects from the Cybermen as well (which look surprisingly better then the ones in the surviving episodes). Then there is the introduction and interview featuring Sylvester McCoy which (as Mr. McCoy is my favorite Doctor) I absolutely enjoyed, getting the chance to see him introduce a story from a previous era. Overall I can only think of one thing to say to describe this recon “EXCELLENT!”

 

John Saltzburg

I already had the Lost in Time disc with the audio of episodes 1 and 3, but what a difference to see the LC recon. Aside from the use of the photos to tell me who is in the shot and speaking, the use of "moving still" cybermen mouths is really fun. A+ guys.

 

Review by James Topliss

Brilliant, Brilliant, BRILLIANT!!! Loose Cannon have done it again! the moonbase, a lost classic, now excellently reproduced WITH additional "goodies" such as an interesting interview with good old Sylvester.

Having seen the remaining 2 episodes allready, to see the other 2 is a long awaited pleasure. episode 1 is very well done except the scene with Polly screaming, this would have been really good if the actual screaming was earlier in the episode so as not to clash with the actual scene later in episode 2. Episode 3 is probably one of the best reconstructed episodes i have ever seen, only rivalling with Mission to the Unknown. I especially like the scenes when the cybermen are talking, very well done just like the daleks in Unknown. The other two episodes are reasonably good quality except with 4, but I have seen the state this is in before being put on the recon. I think that Pat is at his best in episode 2 talking about the "corners of the universe creating the most terrible things". Overall the recon is very good and at a high standard more so on the audio side.the story is (as it is stated) very much like the Tenth planet.

The interview is really interesting too and gives a better view of Sylvester and his aims in the Big Finish productions. Recon:10/10 Extra stuff:9/10 overall: A Big thumbs up.

 

Review by Daniel Squire

The early Cyberman stories are all fairly similar, but it's a formula that works. An isolated base under attack by an army of Cybermen bent on taking over the Earth. These are smart stories, it took more than a handfull of gold dust to kill a Cyberman in 1967 B.C. (Before Colour). I like all the B&W Cyberman stories, but I love this one. I have the BBC audio CD, The Early Years Video, and I printed up the tiny Telesnaps off the Beeb website. I stay up nights trying to figure out if I like it better than "Tomb of the Cybermen" (I think I do). You can imagine how much I was looking forward to the Loose Cannon reconstruction, and I was not disappointed!

The team have outdone themselves on this one! First let me say that I really enjoyed the introduction and later interview provided by Sylvester McCoy. At one point he mentions that it's early in the moring, it must have been because it takes him a bit to get warmed up, but once he does, he very nicely sets up what turns out to be a great recon.

This is not a standard Telesnap recon, the team have added some special effects, and made every effort to bring the two reconstructed episodes back to life. As soon as episode One began I knew I would enjoy it. The editing of the photos is superb, and subtle pans and zooms have been added to keep the sense of motion going. The audio is also first rate, I had no trouble understanding every word, and didn't need to turn the volume way up to hear it. The two existing episodes are of more than acceptable quality, and are really no better or worse than the ones on the Early Years video.

I don't want to give too much away and spoil it when it comes to the special effects, and other surprises so I'll just sum up how I feel about the entire recon by quoting one of the Cybermen and say "Clever..Clever..Clever".

 

Review by Colin Nicol

BBC Video-Cybermen the early years had the 2 remaining episodes of Moonbase, but was still difficult to follow despite the missing episodes being explained by Colin Baker.The beeb audio cd had excellent sound but no pictures.Now we have L-C Moonbase with animated stills/telesnaps making this story more understandable and a joy to watch.

10/10 yet again awarded to the L-C team. Now we have a triple bill of Moonbase and all 3 can be enjoyed thanks to L-C. Obtain all 3 and enjoy The Moonbase or you can refuse to have any and become like Cybermen and eliminate all fun and enjoyment.

 

Review by Daniel Boudreault

I saw The Moonbase with JV's The Wheel In Space and The Web Of Fear and COI's The Abominable Snowmen. One thing to be said for Joint Venture and Loose Cannon is they don't have the script text over the reconstruction as Change Of Identity does which can be distracting...

Highly recommended. Loose Cannon should be applauded for their efforts here. Great story and great reconstruction.

 

Review by Steve Hatcher

Although not as obviously great an achievement as others of the most recent Loose Cannon releases: Marco Polo; The Enemy Of the World; and The Massacre, The Moonbase represents reconstruction work of the highest calibre. The LC team have been able to produce stunningly clear images, which are well-suited to the moments which they illustrate, and which are enhanced by regular changing of picture, by a creative use of panning across and zooming in and out of the image on screen and by a judicious amount of animation (the Cybermen's mouth slits). Similarly, Graham Strong's off-air recordings of the soundtrack have never sounded better. The resulting viewing experience is probably about as close to watching the original episodes as can be achieved within the confines of the telesnap recon format.

This is an edited version of a review, which was first published in Shockeye's Snack, Bite 11, January 2003.

 

Review by Stuart Palmer

This is a great reconstruction that finally makes sense of the two existing episodes. The sound is crisp and audible and the pictures sharp, never leaving you wondering what it is you're looking at. The effects (cybermen opening their mouth flaps, lasers firing across the moon) are excellent and really help to bring the story to life and the sheer amount of camera movement adds a real flow to the narrative.

Episode three is the strongest of the four and the recon does it proud. Shame the last episode feels a little rushed, but that's the fault of the BBC, not Loose Cannon.

 

Review by Liam Copsey

So could Loose Cannon brighten my already shady views on 'The Moonbase'? Well I'm afraid not... This is obviously no fault of the LC team; you can't change the story itself (if only!), and I can say with a certain degree of conviction that the story has been well presented, with fantastic special effects that popped up now and then to increase the 'believability factor' of this production, giving it an evident polished quality.

I know that others do like this story and probably many more will once they've seen this recon, but my advice would be to start off with a production that you just know will impress, such as 'Marco Polo' or 'Mission in the Unknown'. By all means, and please do, give this recon a try, write a review and prove me wrong. The gauntlet has been thrown down - want to pick it up?

 

Review by Jeremy Morrow

Another great recon from Loose Cannon, of course. It's not the greatest story every written, and it has an almost uncountable list of scientific falsehoods in it (ie. cybermen blocking a huge hole in space vacuum with bags of flour and rice!?!). However, it's got cybermen, they're angry, they've got a big gun, and they're even poisoning your coffee! Huzzah! There are also other unforgiven elements, the most noteworthy of which is the ridiculous french researcher with a bizarre penchant for neckerchiefs!

Ridiculous holes in the plot aside, Loose Cannon have done a good job. Linking orphan episodes - very nice, bizarre drunken interview with McCoy - also very nice, nifty linking diatribe by McCoy about the space program of the sixites - very, very nice. Altogether a nice package. There's an excellent selection of telesnaps and promotional photos being worked with here - it really helps this story out a lot. Not the greatest challenge Loose Cannon have ever faced, but they need a break after the gut wrenching stuff they've done in the past. Excellent work with the composites as well. Altogether, a fine package - not their most memorable, but quite good.

 

Review by Paul Hawkins

The Moonbase was one of the first three recontructions that I requested and I have to say it's the one I am most pleased with to date. The quality of the production is brilliant and I like the way the team have even reconstructed the end credits (and story, writer, episode credits over the titles at the start!) by using the original font! Small details like that really do count. But the actual action is well done to the extent that you get a very good idea of what this story must have been like to watch in the first place - highly recommended!!!

 

Review by Alan Clarke

What a fantastic recon!
We must have been nearly ten minutes into the reconstruction of episode 3 when my eight year old son suddenly asked 'why aren't the pictures moving Dad?', he'd been that caught up in the story he hadn't noticed!

 

Review by Martin Gentile

A brilliant recon. I've read the target book, "The Cybermen" and the plots are identical. I particularly like the animated still pictures, e.g. when the cyberman is talking in a still picture, the mouth opens, or shoots a guy, and the lightening is spliced in. I wasn't too sure on the jumping sound effects in the first episode, as I wasn't sure whether they were original or not. All in all, a very good story, and a brilliant reconstruction.

 
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