Friday 20 May 2011

179 The Abominable Snowmen: Episode Six

EPISODE: The Abominable Snowmen: Episode Six
TRANSMITTED: 04 November 1967
WRITER: Mervyn Haisman &
Henry Lincoln
DIRECTOR: Gerald Blake
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: Abominable Snowmen
TELESNAPS: The Abominable Snowmen: Episode Six

The glowing substance pours from the cave down the mountainside. Travers tells The Doctor he remembers that Abbot Songsten took the pyramid up the mountain. Khrisong pursues the Abbot to Padmasambhava's sanctum where the Abbot kills him under Padmasambhava's hypnotic control. The monks turn on their Abbot, but the Doctor saves him saying that he has been controlled by Padmasambhava who in turn is under the influence of another. Travers and Ralpachan leave for the cave with the intention of destroying the pyramid. The Doctor learns from Songsten that the Great Intelligence has broken out of the cave and that the control device for the Yeti is behind Padmasambhava's throne in the sanctum. Padmasambhava summons three yeti to the monastery who pass Travers and Ralpachan on the mountainside. The Doctor gets Thomni to teach Victoria the Jewel of the Lotus prayer to protect her mind from Padmasambhava's control. Travers and Ralpachan discover the entire mountain top glowing: they can get nowhere near the cave and must return to the monastery. The monks leave the monastery, taking Songsten with them but leaving Thomni to assist the Doctor. The Doctor confronts Padmasambhava who attacks him with his psychic powers, while Jamie & Thomni attempt to smash the yeti control. Victoria tries to prevent Padmasambhava moving Yeti into the room, but can't. They enter and are about to kill the Doctor when Jamie and Thomni smash their control mechanism causing the Yeti to explode. Travers enters and shoots at Padmasambhava who catches the bullets. The Doctor instructs Jamie and Thomni to look for a pyramid which they find and destroy, blowing up the area of mountain covered by the secretion from the cave and severing the Intelligence's link to Padmasambhava allowing the old man to finally die in peace. The monks are summoned back to the monastery as the Doctor and his friends walk up the mountainside to the Tardis with Travers. He sees a real Yeti and runs off after it leaving the Doctor and friends to depart.

That's just brilliant, loved it, what a great climax to a superb story. I think that's my favourite Who story so far, certainly the best of the missing ones. Like I said in the previous episode it just sounds so good. There's not a duff performance in there. Fabulous. The production team thought so as evidenced by a sequel being commissioned immediately. The Doctor Who series would later return to Budhist themes periodically during Jon Pertwee's time as Doctor Who.

Quite rightly Abominable Snowmen was the first Troughton story to be novelised, Terrance Dick's third novelization after The Auton Invasion and Day of the Daleks. It's either the second or third Troughton book I bought after The Cybermen (Moonbase) and, perhaps, The Ice Warriors. An audio CD of the book, as read by Patrick's son David Troughton is available, and the short clip I've heard sounds superb. A reissue of the novel itself is due shortly.

The soundtrack for the story has been released as an CD, in the Yeti Attack 2 pack with it's sequel, Web of Fear, and as an MP3 CD with Web of Fear again.

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