The Abominable Snowmen – 1967 – S5 – E2/7

yeti-doctor-who-web-fear-abominable-snowmanNumber : Season 5, episode 2 of 7

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.

Doctor-Who-Yeti

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.

abominable-snowman-doctor-who-3

“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.

🔵🔵🔵⚪⚪ (3/5)

Old Doctor Who