Which One : The Yeti.
Cast : The Doctor : Patrick Troughton
Jamie : Frazer Hines
Victoria : Deborah Watling
Professor Travers : Jack Watling
Padmasambhava : Wolfe Morris
Songsten : Charles Morgan
Khrisong : Norman Jones
Rinchen : David Grey
Thonmi : David Spenser
Sapan : Raymond Llewellyn
Ralpachan : David Baron
Written By : Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln
Produced By : Innes Lloyd
First UK Broadcast : 30 September – 4 November 1967.
Length : 6 x 25 minute parts.
Plot : The Doctor visits a Tibetan Monestary, in 1930. A place he had visited before and he finds the monks under siege by giant Yeti; controlled by a malevolent alien intelligence.
Whats good : The Yeti. The first appearance of the possessed Padmasambhva. Travers. The UK location cleverly doubles for the Tibetan foothills.
Whats bad : It is at least 2 episodes – too long.
Review With Spoilers : The Abominable Snowmen is the 2nd episode of season 5 and features the first classic turn by the Yeti – in the first of two bridged episodes (this and “The Web Of Fear“).
The Tardis materialises, in 1930’s Tibet; Where the Doctor discovers a monastery he has visited before. The monks are scared and under-siege by huge clawed Yeti. The Doctor senses a malevolent presence, controlling the Yeti; which turn out to be super-strong robots.
The Abominable Snowmen marks the first appearance of the cult monster; the Yeti. Surprising that they are so fondly remembered after only 3.5 appearances – in this, The Web Of Fear, The War Games(cameo) and The Five Doctors.
They are at their most effective, stomping about on the UK stand-in Tibetan foothills; in the dark and murdering people in thei camps – as they sleep. Or harrassing the monks at the local monastery.
“They’re here! Somewhere on these mountains.The Yeti! The Abominable Snowmen!” Travers
Most of the effectiveness of The Abominable Snowmen, resides in parts 1,2,3 & 6. Whilst the overall adventure, feels a little too stretched out for a 6-parter and would benefit from a few chops to make it a sprightly 4-parter instead.
There is a great deal of expositional dualogue which takes place in the Monastery. At times it feels like The Abominable Snowmen has been specifically dragged out to fit 6 episodes, when it feels more like a 4-parter.
Apart from the Yeti, the controller; The Great Intelligence – masquerading as the Monastery leader; Padmasambhava. Is chillingly effective here, presented as an individual with a weird face. This makes for a chilling cliffhanger, at the end of part-4.
Victoria/Deborah Watling’s dad Jack – makes an appearance here. As Professor Travers, who is on a scientific expedition to hunt down a real Yeti and mistakes the Doctor’s party for a rival outfit. Travers features again, as an older Professor in The Web Of Fear
So despite a by-the-numbers story which maudles – a bit too long on excessive dialogue. The real stars here are the Yeti, such a simply designed but effective monster. Ready to take it’s (rightfully earned) place in the “Monster Era” of Patrick Troughton’s reign.