Doctor Who – The Ice Warriors

While we wait for the 50th anniversary special, not to mention the regeneration at Christmas, it’s a good time to catch up on the classic Doctor Who DVDs, which are, sad to say, rapidly approaching the end. Soon, every complete story will have been released. But it’s not quite the end. It’s been a while since The Invasion was released with two episodes recreated in animated format, and it seemed that this experiment was not going to be repeated. But it has indeed been done again, so at least some of those gaps can be filled in. In this case, four of the original six episodes are intact, and two have been animated.

This one was first shown in November/December 1967 and stars Patrick Troughton as the Doctor, Frazer Hines as Jamie and Deborah Watling as Victoria. The TARDIS arrives in a polar landscape, which turns out to be England. There’s a new ice age, and some mumbleworthy[1] technology is holding back the glaciers. There’s the usual human problems making things worse, but what really messes things up is the alien in a block of ice. He’s been frozen there for a very long time, but soon thaws out and starts causing trouble. The alien is a Martian, dubbed an ice warrior because of his location and generally aggressive attitude.

Can the Doctor and his friends save the base, and indeed the world? Well, of course they can…

Like a lot of stories of the time[2], the pace seems very slow, and six episodes a bit too much for the actual content, but it was enjoyable enough. There are far too few Second Doctor episodes available, so make the most of what we can see.

In addition to the usual commentary, photo gallery, production subtitles (not included on the animated episodes) and so on, the special features include:

  • Cold Fusion The usual “making of” recollection thingy.
  • Beneath the Ice Documentary on the animation process
  • VHS Links When The Ice Warriors was released on video tape, short narrative pieces with still images were used to stand in for the missing episodes. These are included to stop anyone complaining about the animation. Well, I presume that’s the reason.
  • Blue Peter – Design a Monster Clips from the long-running BBC children’s show featuring a competition.
  • Doctor Who Stories – Frazer Hines (Part Two) More of an interview with Frazer recorded for the Story of Doctor Who.

[1] My new word for dubiously described sciencey bits
[2] This isn’t unique to Doctor Who, of course

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  1. Pingback: Doctor Who – Terror of the Zygons | Losing it

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