Sunday 15 May 2011

174 The Abominable Snowmen: Episode One

EPISODE: The Abominable Snowmen: Episode One
TRANSMITTED: 30 September 1967
WRITER: Mervyn Haisman &
Henry Lincoln
DIRECTOR: Gerald Blake
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: Abominable Snowmen
TELESNAPS: The Abominable Snowmen: Episode One

High on a Himalayan mountain the explorer Edwards Travers sleeps in his tent. He is awoken by screams, and calls for his fellow explorer John. Emerging from the tent he is confronted by a furry creature that twists his rifle and throws it away as Travers flees. The Tardis has landed in the Himalayas: The Doctor is pleased to be back in Tibet and looks for The Ghanta, a holy bell left with him many years ago. The Doctor steps outside in a huge fir coat. Jamie finds a scimitar in a chest which he's taken with before mistaking the Doctor for a hairy beast when he sees him on the monitor. Victoria finds the Ghanta, but the Doctor is concerned by a huge footprint he finds outside the Tardis. The Doctor leaves Jamie & Victoria in the Tardis as he takes the ghanta to the Det Sen monastery. The Doctor is observed on his journey by a giant hairy beast. Jamie & Victoria get bored and go outside to explore. The Doctor finds the remains of Travers' campsite and John's body. Jamie & Victoria find the huge footprints and follow them. The Doctor arrives at the Monastery, now carrying Travers rucksack, and finds it seemingly deserted. He enters, standing before a Buddha statue where he's ambushed by a group of warrior Monks. Travers is with them and, seeing his rucksack, is convinced the Doctor murdered his friend causing the Monks to seize him. Their leader Khrisong imprisons him. Victoria & Jamie have followed the tracks to a cave. While inside something rolls a boulder across the exit sealing them in. Travers comes to see the Doctor accusing him of wanting to steal his discovery: He believes he is near to finding the Yeti. The Doctor suggests that Yeti attacked Travers but he says they are shy, timid creatures. The Doctor points out he hasn't the strength to do the damage Travers attacker did. Krisong, Rinchen and Sapan discuss if the Doctor is responsible for the deaths of John and 4 of their brothers when they had previously thought the Yeti responsible. Khrisong decides to put the Doctor to the test. Jamie & Victoria enter a chamber which has a pyramid of silver spheres in it but they are cornered by the creature that has returned: It is a Yeti which snaps Jamie's sword in two.

Every so often Doctor Who wanders off and successfully raids older sources for ideas. Having done "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and "Curse of the Pharoahs" in recent stories we now get onto The Abominable Snowman. That instantly implies the Himalayas giving us the setting, and when you throw a British explorer in then you've virtually got the first episode written for you. This episode sounds OK without being anything special but better is to come and fortunately we can see what it looks like as the next episode is on DVD!

Cast as the explorer Edward Travers is actor Jack Watling who already had an extensive acting CV. His daughter Debbie was already working on Doctor Who playing The Doctor's companion Victoria Waterfield.

Extensive location filming is undertaken for this story at Nant Ffrancon Pass in Snowdonia, North Wales. The area had previously served as the location for Carry on up the Khyber, also fictionally set within the Himalayas.

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