Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Doctor Who: 039 The Ice Warriors

After the Doctor's encounter with the Yeti in Tibet, Jamie hopes they'll materialize somewhere warmer. I'm guessing Earth during the Second Ice Age is not exactly what he had in mind. :) Some scientists are attempting to warm the Earth and melt the ice and in the process accidentally uncover the frozen remains of extraterrestrial warriors that have apparently been frozen in the glacier since the First Ice Age. Thus begins The Ice Warriors, featuring the introduction of another recurring monster.

This is one of those stories where some of the episodes exist, but the BBC has not yet released them on DVD or even announced plans to do so. For the VHS release, they did a reconstruction/condensation of the the two missing episodes. For a DVD release, they may release this same condensation, or they may choose to animate the missing episodes, like they did with The Invasion or like they're doing now for The Reign of Terror: the original VHS releases for both of these featured linking narration for the missing episodes. Again, Loose Cannon comes to the rescue with a reconstruction of the missing episodes. I also watched the officially BBC bridging summary of the the two missing episodes which was pretty creative, but crammed two 25 minute episodes into 20+ minutes.

I've seen the other episodes which feature the Ice Warriors: season 6's The Seeds of Death (for which I'll be doing a Special Edition DVD review soon) and the Pertwee stories The Curse of Peladon and The Monster of Peladon. Sadly, they never returned to Doctor Who after the two Pertwee stories although they are mentioned a time or two in both the classic series as well as the revived series, most notably in The Waters of Mars (they are Martians, after all). They've also appeared in the spinoff media such as books and audio adventures, and there are persisting rumors that they may return to the screen in the revived series (after all, they brought back the Autons, Sontarans, and the Silurians who we hadn't seen in a long while). I'd like to see what modern special effects could make of the Ice Warriors.

I definitely enjoyed this serial and it was nice to see how the Ice Warriors were first introduced to the Doctor. I'd love to see the remaining two missing episodes found to make this story complete. Speaking of which, this story's return to the BBC is also interesting. The four remaining episodes were apparently stashed in the back of a cupboard of Villiers House and were found when the BBC was moving out of the facility. Another thing I thought was interesting about this story is that they changed the traditional title sequence where it displays the story name and episode number using large block letters. This isn't the first time they;ve done this, though: they did something similar for The War Machines where the titles were replaced with computer-style block letters.

With 2 of the 6 episodes of this story missing, our total missing count for season 5 is 7 and Troughton's totals are: 3 missing stories, 6 incomplete stories, and 35 missing epsiodes. Next time, Troughton plays a double role and is both the protagonist and the antagonist in The Enemy of the World.

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