The Ice Warriors – 1967 – S5 – E3/7

Ice Warrior doctor who patrick troughtonNumber : Season 5, episode 3 of 7.

Which One : Meet the Ice Warriors.

Cast : The Doctor : Patrick Troughton
Jamie : Frazer Hines
Victoria : Deborah Watling
Clent : Peter Barkworth
Penley : Peter Sallis
Miss Garrett : Wendy Gifford
Storr : Angus Lennie
Davis : Peter Diamond
Arden : George Waring
Walters : Malcolm Taylor
Voice of the Computer : Roy Skelton
Varga : Bernard Bresslaw
Zondal : Roger Jones
Turoc : Sonny Caldinez
Isbur : Michael Attwell
Rintan : Tony Harwood

Written By : Brian Hayles

Produced By : Innes Lloyd

First UK Broadcast : 11 November – 16 December 1967.

Length : 6 x 25 minute parts.

Plot : The Doctor visits an Earthbase of the future, which controls the flow of the world’s ice glaciers (by melting them) during a new ice-age. The base Scientists discover an Ice Warrior, buried in the ice and they unwisely attempt – to thaw it out.

Whats good : Interesting future Ice age background. 1st appearance of the Ice Warriors. Bernard Bresslaw’s Warrior is suitably sinister and imposing.

Whats bad : It’s 2 parts – too long. The “man-controlled-by-machines” sub-motif is under-done and less interesting – alongside the main “Ice Warrior base-attack” storyline. Victoria is reduced to simpering/screaming ALOT.

ice-warriors-doctor-who-3

Review With Spoilers : The Ice Warriors is the 3rd episode of season 5 and the first appearance of the Mars-origin Lizard race; the Ice Warriors.

The Doctor lands the Tardis, somewhere in the UK; which looks more like the Arctic Tundra. This is infact due to a future ice-age, which has taken over the Earth.

Nearby is the “Britannicus base”, which (along with similar bases around the world) controls and melts the world’s glaciers; if they threaten to engulf the mainland.

The base Scientists also happen to find and dig-up an unknown lifeform, from the ice; which turns out to be an “Ice Warrior”. The Warrior – once awakened, then sets about unfreezing it’s crew and ship, buried in the ice for a milennia.

Apart from the more familiar “alien invasion-angle”, or in this case – the aliens attempting to “leave Earth whilst destroying humanity” angle. Coupled with this, is a backstory about man’s over-reliance on computers – to make their decisions.

The Ice Warriors make their first appearance, in The Ice Warriors with their leader played by Carry-On actor; Bernard Bresslaw.

ice-warriors-doctor-who-2

“She [Victoria] has betrayed us. She must be destroyed!” Zondal

The physically-imposing Bresslaw, wisely underplays the (head) warrior; Varga – all slow movements and raspy quiet voice. This gives the Warriors – a vague and sinisterly threatening quality.

The episode is split into 6-parts, which does stretch the story out a tad longer than it needs. The “man-ruled-by-computer” side-angle, isn’t developed enough to be useful.

As much of the episode, is given over to scattered and pointless expositon about the follies of man’s reliance on technology. Although, base leader Clent (who personifies this indecision) is effectively played, as a bumbling incompetant by Peter Barkworth.

The best part of the episode, revolves around the Ice Warriors and any scene involving them. In particular, the scenes of Victoria being relentlessly persued through an ice cave by a Warrior; is as classic a Who scene – as any.

As for Victoria herself, she continues to be a tad too “Bonnie Langford-esque”, spending much of the episode crying and screaming or screaming and crying, etc. It could be understandable, being abducted and threatened by aliens but in the context of the show it quickly gets annoying.

The Ice Warriors is the Ice Warriors opening episode and their most effective badguy turn, in the series (they later changed their ways!). They look most at home, when framed amongst the ice and snow of the British Arctic setting.

🔵🔵🔵🔵⚪ (4/5)

Old Doctor Who