Wednesday 25 May 2011

184 The Ice Warriors: Five

EPISODE: The Ice Warriors: Five
TRANSMITTED: 09 December 1967
WRITER: Brian Hayles
DIRECTOR: Derek Martinus
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
FORMAT: VHS: Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors
TELESNAPS: The Ice Warriors: Five

The Doctor says he is a scientist and talks his way into being let out of the airlock. He meets Varga and offers to help them under certain conditions. He tells them the ioniser is not a weapon and is reunited with Victoria. Penley is pulling Jamie on a sled to the base when they realise a bear is stalking them. The Doctor tells the warriors that the humans are worried about the ioniser causing an explosion. The Martians in turn know if the ioniser is used and the glacier melted then their engines will be flooded. The Doctor suggests the Base would have to use the Ioniser at a certain point, aware they can hear what he's saying through the communicator. Varga seizes the communicator. Clent knows they're being told to take the risk of using the Ioniser, but is still reluctant fearing a nuclear explosion from the Martian ship. The Doctor discovers that the Ice Warrior ship has an Ion drive that wouldn't explode. The Martians demand to know about the base power supply and prepare to attack with the ship's cannon. Penley and Jamie are admitted to the base but argue with Clint and are stunned by the guards using tranquilliser guns. Zondal is ordered by Varga, via communicator, to attack the base but Victoria distracts him allowing The Doctor to throw the ammonia sulphate at him and attempt to wrestle him from the firing control....

Well my prediction in episode 3, while technically accurate, is downplaying quite how much I'm enjoying the last 3 episodes of this story. There are elements that are boring me, yes we get Clent and Janley are over dependant on the computer, referred to here as "the great computer" and almost treated like a deity! We get that Penley and Clent have clashed and there's a personal choice vs collective need argument going on. But it feels like we hear the same thing every episode. On the other hand I'm loving Troughton and Victoria with the Ice Warriors, that's superb stuff even if the Ice Warrior spaceship is a couple of consoles in the middle of the floor and some background flats.

When I was growing up and first became interested in Doctor Who (c1980/1), The Ice Warriors sat at number three in the monster pantheon, obviously behind the Daleks & Cybermen. They've slipped somewhat now: They didn't feature in the original series since 1974 whereas the Sontarans made three return appearances in classic Who after that date followed by some in the new series, which were likewise made by The Autons and The Silurians. The Ice Warriors are easily the biggest Classic Who monster yet to appear in the new series though.

Incidentally look at this and the three stories preceding it and compare the monsters in them:

Evil of the Daleks - Daleks
Tomb of the Cybermen - Cybermen
The Abominable Snowmen - Yeti
The Ice Warriors - Ice Warriors

That's FOUR of the original series greatest monsters in consecutive stories. You won't see that many returning monsters line up one after another like this ever again. The best we get is in 1972 when the Daleks, Ice Warriors and Sea Devils, the Silurians cousins, appear in Day of the Daleks, Curse of Peladon and The Sea Devils at the start of season 9 or in Season 12 in 1975 when the Sontarans, Daleks & Cybermen appear in the Sontaran Experiment, Genesis of the Daleks & Revenge of the Cybermen. And before anyone says something: The Master, like Davros, is a Villain, not a Monster - there's a difference!

No comments:

Post a Comment