THIS STORY TAKES
PLACE BETWEEN THE TV
AND THE NOVEL
"DREAMS OF EMPIRE."
'THE ICE WARRIORS'
VHS VIDEO & CD SET
The Doctor, Jamie and
Victoria arrive on
Earth in the far
future to find that
the planet is in the
grip of a second ice
scattered across the
that threaten to send
the world back into
When a huge
armoured figure is
discovered buried in
the ice, a force more
deadly than the ice
floes is unleashed.
With power at the
outpost sinking to
levels, it falls to the
Doctor to try to save
humanity – not only
Warriors, but from
the barely checked
powers of the
'TWO' AND 'THREE' ARE
The Ice Warriors
11TH NOVEMBER 1967 - 16TH DECEMBER 1967
The Ice Warriors are one of Doctor Who’s most notorious alien races but somehow, up until today, I had managed to see (or hear) every single episode of Doctor Who save for for the original Ice Warriors serial. Now, thanks to the release of the BBC Video Collector’s box set, I can finally hold up my hands up and say “I’ve seen ‘em all!”
Borne of the same year as the Yeti, the Ice Warriors would make an immediate impact on viewers, putting a brand new spin on the done-to-death science fiction cliché of ‘Martians’.
Inspired by a news report about a woolly mammoth found preserved in a Russian glacier, Bryan Hayles set his serial in the far future (the year 3,000 I believe), where - thanks to
mans’ ingenious idea of getting rid of most plant life - the excess carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere has blocked out the sun and caused a second ice age. A team of scientists, charged with halting the flow of a dangerous glacier, find a single Martian – Varga - entombed in the ice and set him free…
Sadly, TWO and THREE (as the episodes are incongruously titled) are both still missing from the BBC Archives, but the Restoration Team have once again done a fantastic job in bridging the gap with a fifteen-minute reconstruction of the missing episodes; they have
even worked the missing episodes into the narrative as being an ‘interruption of service’ caused by the events of the story! By virtue of this, we can actually see Varga as we hear that rasping voice for the first time in TWO. Originally intended to appear far more cyber-netic, the Martians ended up being realised as reptilian humanoids and, interestingly, the ones that we see in this story (who are christened ‘Ice Warriors’ by the scientists, note -
it is not the name of their species) are all ‘regular’ Ice Warriors – even Bernard Breslaw’s Varga, who seems to be their leader.
I have to say though, I was not all that impressed with this story. There are some good things about The Ice Warriors – Miss Garrett and the rest of the women’s costumes, for example! – but I didn’t find that the story lived up to all the hype. In fact, it’s by far my least favourite story of the season. Varga and his men want to conquer the world, so the Doctor uses the scientists’ glacier-stopping ioniser to blow up their spaceship... and that’s about it.
There are some great performances in here, though; and not only from the regulars. We
have an unusually sinister looking Peter Sallis (Last of the Summer Wine) playing the amiable scientist Penley (with a drawn on beard? I’m still not sure); Peter Barkworth as the chief scientist, Clent; and also Angus Lennie (who I instantly recognised from Terror of the Zygons) as Storr. Moreover, some of the stock footage of the snow and the glaciers looks brilliant; they could get away with using tons of stock footage in the monochrome days and it would still look great!
All in all though, The Ice Warriors is not a patch on The Seeds of Death or the subsequent Peladon stories but, if for nothing else, this story is worth watching for the short skirts and unique TARDIS landing!
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2009
E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
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