Tuesday 12 July 2011

232 The Seeds of Death: Episode One

EPISODE: The Seeds of Death: Episode One
TRANSMITTED: 25 January 1969
WRITER: Brian Hayles
DIRECTOR: Michael Ferguson
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who Revisitations Box Set - Volume 2 (Seeds of Death, Carnival of Monsters & Resurrection of the Daleks)

Seeds of DEATH, not Seeds of DOOM. That's the one with the plants. Easy mistake to make though.

On Earth in the future all transport is made by T-Mat. Soon after Controller Osgood returns to T-Mat control on Moonbase the base is invaded by an alien force. Osgood sabotages the equipment and is killed. The remaining technicians are set to work repairing it by the aliens. The Doctor and friends arrive in a space museum and are being held as trespassers by Professor Eldred, the owner, when the Commander Radnor from T-Mat control arrives to request a rocket to take a team to the moon. A communication from technician Locke on the moon is received saying they're in trouble and then swiftly cut off. Locke is killed by the alien invaders: The Ice Warriors

I first saw Seeds of Death years ago while I was still at school and thought episode one was as boring as anything. I still don't think it's great: The Doctor's hardly in it and you don't see the monsters till the end. Lovely point of view shots used during the episode to avoid revealing them though. Indeed Steve Peters, playing the Ice Warrior here, was billed as "alien" in that week's Radio Times. Alan Bennion was billed as Slaar, his character's name but is never listed as an Ice Lord, the name that's stuck to the ruling Ice Warriors that we'll see in charge from this story onwards. Is that one of our old friends, the Tenth Planet spacesuits I see hanging in the museum?

Two of the cast have left us already Harry Towb plays Osgood here and returns as McDermott in Terror of the Autons where he suffers one of the series more memorable deaths. Martin Cort previously played a Voord, a Warrior, and Aydan in The Keys of Marinus, and plays Locke here.

The vast majority of this story was sitting in the BBC Film & Video Library during Ian Levine's initial visit in 1978: They held episodes 1, 2, 4, 5 & 6 with just episode 3 missing which BBC Enterprises soon supplied.

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