Episode 235 – “Seeds of Death” – Part 03

So our space madness continues. In this episode we learn that space stations of the future will have, for some reason, a lot of mirrors.

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But of egoists, I assume.

Our crew have finally made it to the t-mat station. The Doctor goes on a run for a bit and eventually convinces the Ice Warriors that he’s valuable. Meantime, Jamie and Zoe are wandering around doing things and stuff. They eventually rendezvous with the t-mat repair crew that’s also come up from Earth.

We also learn that the Ice Warriors are preparing the titular seeds of death to be sent to Earth for…reasons. I’m not entirely clear on it, though clearly it isn’t to set up humanity with their own supply of dank Martian weed.

I do find it odd the way they keep saying, “t-mat” as though it’s a proper name.  Like “T-mat has been fixed”, instead of “the t-mat system has been fixed”. Very odd.

We’re also told that foods are running out in cities and millions are facing starvation. Ok, then. But…I mean, it’s been, what, a day? Two days? Surely it can’t be that bad, that quick, stupid quotes about power outages and missing meals not withstanding.

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Episode 234 – “Seeds of Death” – Part 02

And so our heroes end up on a rocket…into space!

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And, in the process, are forced to listen to Nickleback.

There are some interesting visuals during this episode, particularly during the scenes where the space mission is being launched. I quite liked the use of projections and overlays, and the one that looked quite a bit like a QR code amused me.

The story continues along at a crisp pace, as our characters try to get back to the Moon so they can get the T-mat system back up and going. The Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe charm their way into a rocket, but while they’re en route, the T-Mat system “mysteriously” comes back online. It is, of course, an Ice Warrior trap.

If I have to complain about something, it’s the way the rocket launch, and mission to the Moon, are handled. I mean, this was 1969, yeah? The year we actually went to the freakin’ Moon. Real space missions were happening, they could have made this all just look a tiny bit more convincing.

But that aside, a generally good part of a generally good story!

Episode 233 – “Seeds of Death” – Part 01

We begin our latest adventure with the Doctor and friends in a familiar pose.

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Typical.

I mean, ok, this isn’t actually the first few moments of the story. No, instead we get to see various technicians minding the store at a transmat (think of the transporters from Star Trek), station. Well, two stations, actually. One is on Earth, one is on the Moon.

Trouble ensues, of course, in the form of the Ice Warriors, making their first re-appearance.

It must be said that this first episode flows very nicely. It introduces an easily-understood dilemma, presents at least a partial solution, and gives us some wonderful scenes; and not just the ones with the Doctor and his friends. No, pretty much every character feels quite authentic, which is a testament to the writer’s abilities.

It also accomplished that rather rare feat (at least for me at this point), of making me completely lose track of time! I was actually surprised when it ended. Well done!

My Thoughts on Story 039 – “The Ice Warriors”

It’s late and I’m tired, so we’re going to make this fairly short.

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Cry all you want; it changes nothing.

Basically, I like this story. It’s good, but not great. Runs a little long in parts and could’ve benefited from being four or five parts rather than six. There’s some filler, but not too much. Those Ice Warrior outfits are great from a distance, and it’s good that we’ve gotten to see more of them as time went on.

There.

Cast
Others
Production
Directed by Derek Martinus
Written by Brian Hayles
Script editor Peter Bryant
Produced by Innes Lloyd
Executive producer(s) None
Incidental music composer Dudley Simpson
Production code OO
Series Season 5
Length 6 episodes, 25 minutes each
Episode(s) missing 2 episodes (2 and 3)
Date started 11 November 1967
Date ended 16 December 1967

Next time: “Enemy of the World”

Episode 185 – “The Ice Warriors” – Part 06

Here’s the end of this! It’s a pretty good story overall, but I won’t be sorry to see it go, at least in part due to these guys.

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“We’d like to leave you thessssse copiesssss of Watchtower.”

Things are hitting the fan back at the base. Stuff is falling over and it’s all very exciting in a kind of mildly boring way. And we’re reminded that the Ice Warriors really do not benefit from close-up shots.

The Ice Warriors come to the base, and there’s some effort at negotiation, but it doesn’t end well, and soon there’s a bit of confrontation. We also get a lot more of the Ice Warriors in closeup and talking, which…man, I wish they’d stop that.

We’re then reminded that the Doctor and Victoria are still in this story. The camera flashes back to them at the Ice Warrior ship. They make their escape and head toward the base, where the Ice Warriors are continuing to be menacing in a rather dull way. This part of the story really is lagging entirely too long.

Oh, and the story has remembered that Jamie is kicking around, too. Well, not so much kicking as lying on a table, but still. He’s in a medical bay along with one of the other men. That man gets up to go do something while Jamie just lies there. Excitement!

But then things finally reach a bit of a conclusion when that guy goes off and activates the heaters. Moments later the Doctor fires off a blast from the weapon the Ice Warriors have, hoping to bluff them into a settlement. This isn’t especially effective, and the Doctor and Victoria make their way back to the base while the Ice Warriors go back to their ship.

I don’t quite understand the bad programming that went into the computer at this base being unable to destroy itself. It’s really kind of silly.

Some things happen and in the end, the Ice Warriors are defeated and the people at the base breathe a big sigh of relief. All is well, and we can move on to our next story, which is one of my personal favorites!

Episode 184 – “The Ice Warriors” – Part 05

Yep, it’s time to chill with the Ice Warriors some more!

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

This is one of those episodes where I watched most of it, and then had time to start blogging. Such is life.

This is a decent enough episode. There are some fun moments where the Doctor first meets up with the Ice Warriors, and some other interesting moments at the base. Much of this episode is padding, but to the credit of the writers, it doesn’t feel like padding.

All that aside, I’m amusing myself currently by pretending that I think the Ice Warriors are actually puppets made by Gerry Anderson. It would explain much. Also, the Doctor did the, “Squish, squish, sweetie-darling” thing and that’s just hilarious.

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!