Saturday 21 May 2011

180 The Ice Warriors: One

EPISODE: The Ice Warriors: One
TRANSMITTED: 11 November 1967
WRITER: Brian Hayles
DIRECTOR: Derek Martinus
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
FORMAT: VHS: Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors
TELESNAPS: The Ice Warriors: One

It's time to give the VCR it's first use in the Troughton era!

A computer voice announces evacuation as the limping Clent, leaning heavily on his stick, enters the control room. Miss Garret protest they need Scientist Penley, but is ignored. Arden and his team, Davis and Walters, are at work at a glacier when they discover a figure trapped in the Ice. Arden has them drill it out. Clent is trying to contact Arden without success. The Tardis materialises in the ice and snow outside a prefabricated dome. Jamie thinks they're still in Tibet and have materialised further up the mountain. They hide behind the Tardis as the raggedly dressed Storr and dishevelled Penley leave the dome clutching packages of food that they have stolen. The Doctor and friends enter the dome and find themselves within a preserved Georgian mansion. Finding the control room the Doctor intervenes preventing the base's reactor from exploding. Clent collapses and is taken to the medical unit, the Doctor and friends accompanying him. Arden has dug out what looks like a man in armour: Walters dubs it an Ice Warrior. Penley & Storr watch, Storr criticising the scientists. Davis comes outside and is killed by an avalanche which injures Storr, breaking his arm. Clent sets the Doctor a problem which he easily solves causing Clent to invite him to join their staff. A reduction in plant life, due to artificial food production, has led to a reduction in carbon dioxide levels which has caused the Earth to cool entering a "second" Ice Age. Arden brings the Ice warrior into the medical unit and sets it to slowly defrost. Clent & the Doctor go to a meeting leaving Jamie & Victoria behind as the Ice falls away from the Warrior and it awakens.....

Like Tomb of the Cybermen we've got a variation on a classic movie theme: here (also influencing Tomb) it's "something frozen in the ice". Everything else is dressing round that idea. But.... Oh dear the science in this makes my head hurt. For a start there's been considerably more than one Ice Age before. The explanation of Greenhouse Gasses being needed to maintain the Earth's temperature is pretty good apart from one awful error: plants don't give off Carbon Dioxide: they absorb it using photosynthesis which creates Oxygen as a by-product. Removing all the plants will cause Carbon Dioxide levels to RISE drastically. Deary me, elementary error, and although our understanding of Greenhouse Gasses has come on much in recent years I'm pretty certain that Photosynthesis was properly understood in 1967. I'll assume Kit Pedler, the show's unofficial scientific advisor, wasn't hanging round the Doctor Who office when this was made. THEN we have Arden's archaeological techniques: "I'll dig it out of the ice", fair enough, "then take it back to the base and warm it up". NO! Straight in the deep freeze to preserve it. Idiot. The idea of thinking it's a trapped and preserved Viking Warrior is a good one, and I believe similar preserved archaeological has been found in glaciers in this way. The Georgian mansion annoys me too: was it in Brian Hayles' script or did the crew nick an existing BBC set of a Georgian Mansion as a cost saving technique and stuff it full of computer equipment? I've been entertained by episodes of Doctor Who, bored by them and failed to follow them so far: this is the first time one's *really* annoyed me!

These episodes have their own special story title, writer and episode number captions, against a snowy background and accompanied by vocalisation, that appear after the title sequence. Interestingly the Episode Numbers appear as One, Two etc with no word, neither the Episode used from the Savages or Part used from Time Warrior. Yes, I know I got it wrong on every episode from the Savages to the end of the Macra Terror and labelled them as parts!

Still at least we can see it.
Have you tried down the back of the fridge? If you loose something it's almost always there!
Of all the stories concerning the episodes of Doctor Who "returned" to the BBC this is easily the funniest because the episodes never left the BBC at all. In 1988 BBC Enterprises were re-locating from their home in Villiers House. Prior to departure a search was made of the building and a pile of old film cans was found. Included was a missing episode of Adam Adamant lives, 4 episodes of The Ice Warriors labelled as episodes Two, and Four to Six, plus a film can for Fury from the Deep Six which sadly later turned out to have a completely different program in it. The can for Episode Two contained Episode One. At the time of it's finding The Ice Warriors became the most complete season 5 story.

Davis, who left us in this episode,is stuntman Peter Diamond who was in all three original Star Wars films: he's the Tusken Raider that attacks Luke in the first one. He's been in everything that's ever been made for television as a stuntman too.

Two episode CD break then we'll be back on the video

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