Number : Season 5, serial 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 episodes.

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 alien Martian ‘Ice Warrior’; buried in the ice and they (unwisely) attempt – to thaw it out.

Whats good : Interesting future Ice-age world-building backdrop. First appearance of the Ice Warriors. Bernard Bresslaw’s Warrior, is suitably sinister and imposing.

Whats bad : It’s two episodes – 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 and screaming ALOT.

Review With Spoilers : The Ice Warriors is the third serial of season 5 – and the first appearance of the Martian 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 dotted 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 millennia.

Slightly aside from the more familiar “alien invasion-angle”, The Ice Warriorshas slightly different; “attempting to leave Earth whilst destroy it” angle. Coupled with this, is a backstory, about man’s over-reliance on computers; to make their decisions.

The Ice Warriors themselves, are making their first appearance here, in The Ice Warriors with their leader – played by Carry-On actor; Bernard Bresslaw.

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

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

The story is split into 6-episodes, which does stretch the story out a tad longer than it needs (as eit alot of Troughton more medium-farr Who). The “man’s decision making, entirely ruled-by-computer” side-angle, isn’t as developed enough – to be a useful side-plot.

As much of the story, 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 incompetent- 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”, in this; spending much of the episode crying-and-screaming or screaming-and-crying. 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

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