Episode 183 – “The Ice Warriors” – Part 04

Well, we’re more than halfway through! And as we are, let’s take a moment to luxuriate in the Doctor’s fashion sense.

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Sincerely, in this particular case, as that’s a sensible outfit.

We last saw the Ice Warriors being all threatening and getting ready to shoot Victoria. In the end they decide not to kill her and instead let her broadcast a message to the base and to the Doctor.

For reasons unclear to me, the director then decides to show a close up of an Ice Warrior as its talking. I guess they were proud of the makeup and wanted to show it off, and I will say it works better in close-up than at a distance. But the lips are stiff and barely moving, and it doesn’t quite work as well as they want you to think.

Back at the base, the Doctor uses a rotary phone dial to call up some water. Why they don’t just have a standard water dispenser or something is beyond me, but I’m guessing it’s just because it’s the future!

One of the scientists claims that Mars’ atmosphere is mostly nitrogen with very little CO2. This is exactly incorrect, as the atmosphere is about 2.7% nitrogen with about 95.3% CO2. I’m a little surprised they got it that wrong. Did we not know back then? I suppose we must not have.

Jamie is a bit MIA right now, but we do cut back to Victoria, running around through some ice caves with an Ice Warrior following her. It’s actually very well-staged and she does a decent job of hiding. Well, right up until the moment where she’s fairly well-hidden and then screams, because, you know, women, mirite?

Ah, we’re catching back up with Jamie, who’s still injured from earlier. He’s being nursed back to health by a couple of guys, and we’re going to ignore all the slash fiction possibilities here, yes? Yes.

We cut back to the Ice Warriors, talking and plotting. They have a problem similar to that of the Cybermen,which is that it’s rather hard to understand much of what they’re saying. This hissing, whispering vocal style is interesting, and not a bad idea, but it doesn’t quite work well here.

The Doctor is wandering around and runs into one of the mountain men, who offers to take him to Jamie. The other mountain man finds Victoria, who is buried under some snow next to an Ice Warrior. She’s briefly rescued, but soon she’s captured again, and the mountain man is killed. Sad.

Back at the base someone says to someone else, “You have a plan in mind, surely,” and the correct response is not forthcoming. Even sadder!

It Began in a Junkyard

53 years ago tonight, Doctor Who aired its first episode. No one paid attention, mind you, because news of the Kennedy assassination was foremost in people’s minds. Nevertheless, it was an important broadcast.

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It’s hard to believe just how long the show has been on the air and how much material has been produced. Hundreds upon hundreds of TV episodes, dozens of novels, comic books, and comic strips, video games, a pinball machine, and, of course, probably around a thousand Doctor Who-based Big Finish stories.

It’s been a heck of a ride, and with luck, I’ll still be watching it, enjoying it, and writing about it 47 years from now when the show turns 100.

Episode 182 – “The Ice Warriors” – Part 03

After a long break, here we are, back again!

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These guys look very impatient. Sorry, guys!

When last we saw our heroes…fuck, I don’t remember. I’d best pay attention to the little recap.

Oh, yes, I remember now. Victoria was being menaced and one Ice Warrior was reviving the others. Got it.

Meantime, Jamie and the Doctor are working on various issues. They consult with a woman known as Ms. Garrett. Good to see her getting some work after that bakery closed down.

Elsewhere, one of the mountain men is apparently a scientist type, and there’s a woman trying to talk him into coming down to the facility and lend a hand to fix things and save the wold. He seems uninterested.

That scene goes on entirely too long, and then we get to check in with Victoria and the Ice Warriors, who seem to be having some fun. From there we go to the Doctor, crawling around sorting through various papers. He’s trying to figure out what’s going on, and the lead scientist seems very unimpressed.

Some of the sciencey types, including Jamie, go up to where the Ice Warriors are. This doesn’t end well for them, and Victoria seems to completely melt down.

Then we have more speeches and discussion between the Doctor and the lead scientist, and I have to say at this point that, really, this is clearly one of those stories that could be taken from six parts to four and it would do nothing but improve the quality of the tale.

And we reach our cliffhanger moment with Victoria talking on a radio to the Doctor and friends as the Ice Warriors get ready to kill her.

Episode 181 – “The Ice Warriors” – Part 02

For episode two, we go animated!

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And I, for some reason, remember Trump stalking around during a debate.

I’ll say at the outset that while I haven’t always been impressed by the quality of the animation on display in these DVDs, I do like that we have it at all. It’s so much better than trying to watch the reconstructions. Though, to be fair, it’s sometimes a near thing.

The once-frozen Ice Warrior has escaped from his ice and is now wandering around menacing people and causing Jamie to interrupt meetings. Victoria seems to have been kidnapped by said Ice Warrior, because, of course, young damsels are always kidnapped by the monsters, because reasons.

The one Ice Warrior that’s on the Earth has plans to round up his colleagues and somehow take over the world. I don’t understand how. I mean, there’s a handful of them at most. Earth has weapons. Lots of weapons. I don’t see this plan working.

We briefly visit with the people outside who were caught in an avalanche, but really, there’s not much story there, at least not yet. Meantime, the Ice Warrior, who I shall call Frank, is continuing to interrogate Victoria.

One annoying thing about this story is the sound isn’t that great. Every time someone says something with an “s” sound, it’s hissed a bit. This is, of course, accentuated with Frank, but it  happens with everyone.

Speaking of Frank, he and Victoria are wandering around outside doing stuff. Meantime, there’s this beardy fellow who seems to have gone insane. I say that because he’s standing there monologuing to a mirror.

Then Frank finds his friends and announces his plans to bring them back to life!

Episode 180 – “The Ice Warriors” – Part 01

We’ve skipped over “The Abominable Snowmen”, which is fine. I’m not quite ready for them, at least not yeti.

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Oh, come now, the joke wasn’t that bad.

Yes, I know, I said I’d do “Enemy of the World” if Trump won, but that seems less funny now. So we’ve moved on to “The Ice Warriors”, which features the first appearance of…the Ice Warriors. Let’s settle in and enjoy!

Our story starts off with rather oddly-done, yet kind of neat, titles. I do like it when they play around with these sorts of things. We see some mountains and then cut away to the interior of some sort of base, where much activity is happening. This includes a computer that sounds like a Mechanoid when it talks. I find this amusing.

Apparently the world is in the grip of an ice age, with glaciers rolling across the surface of Britain, and a number of other places. They’re using some sort of “ionisers” to try and stop this. The story tries to create a sense of urgency about this, but I’m pretty sure glaciers move slow enough that this isn’t really that important to deal with today, tomorrow, or even next week.

Also, yikes, even by 1960’s Who standards these are some rather…interesting…costumes. They make the Trek civilian wardrobes look classy by comparison.

Elsewhere, some men have found something frozen inside the ice. It looks like it might be a person of some sort. Perhaps a warrior…of ice?

The TARDIS finally arrives. For some reason, it’s lying on its side and slides down a bit in the snow before stopping. Our heroes emerge, looking a bit worse for wear. I’m not sure why any of this is, but it’s amusing.

They’ve arrived near some sort of dome, which has a couple of guys sneaking out of it, apparently after stealing some food or something. The interior appears to be something so familiar to Victoria that she describes it as being like her home. Then some woman in an odd visor comes up, pins things to them, and walks off.

The Doctor detects the sound of a computer with a fault, and in his usual fashion, wanders inside and starts getting involved. Pretty soon he’s giving orders and fixing things, generally saving the day as he does.

Up on the surface, our explorers are examining their frozen man. One calls him an ice warrior. Whee! They said the title in the thing! Then an avalanche hits, and not the good kind where Cloud is involved.

Then we cut back to the Doctor, who talks about something that is, basically, global warming and its cause. This amuses me, given how long ago this story was broadcast.

Meantime, the frozen Ice Warrior is brought into the dome. There’s no way this will cause problems, I am sure.

My Thoughts on Story 037 – “Tomb of the Cybermen”

Heads-up. I’m taking tomorrow as a planned absence. If Trump wins, I’ll skip straight to reviewing “Enemy of the World”. If it’s Hillary, I’ll skip up to “Silver Nemesis”. Either way, I’ll return to normal programming afterword.

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At least with the latter’s Cybermen, I won’t need subtitles.

This is one of the best of the Troughton stories, and certainly the best prior to the aforementioned “Enemy of the World”. It’s very well-written, very well-acted, and features some truly wonderful scenes. You get some bits of high comedy, with the Doctor accidentally holding Jamie’s hand, and other moments. You also get some nicely emotional content, with the Doctor and Victoria talking about loss and family.

The story fails only on two elements. First off, the bad guys, Kleig and Kaftan, just aren’t sufficiently fleshed-out. I still don’t really understand whats going on with them and their motivations for doing what they do.

Second, the Cybermen voices. Now this is less of a problem on DVD than it as with VHS back in the day, but they’re still entirely too hard to understand. Subtitles help, but they shouldn’t be necessary. I understand what the producers were going for here, but they really processed the voices way too much.

But that said, this remains an excellent story, and one I enjoy every time I watch it.

Cast
Others
Production
Directed by Morris Barry
Written by Kit Pedler
Gerry Davis
Script editor Victor Pemberton
Produced by Peter Bryant
Executive producer(s) None
Incidental music composer Stock music
Production code MM
Series Season 5
Length 4 episodes, 25 minutes each
Date started 2 September 1967
Date ended 23 September 1967