Saturday, 9 December 2017

184 The Ice Warriors: Five

EPISODE: The Ice Warriors: Five
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 09 December 1967
WRITER: Brian Hayles
DIRECTOR: Derek Martinus
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 8 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors
TELESNAPS: The Ice Warriors: Five

"Well, what good will that do? You are buried alive in the heart of this glacier. Time is desperately short. You've got no time to bargain over hostages!"

The Doctor says he is a scientist and talks his way into being let out of the airlock. He meets Varga and offers to help them under certain conditions. He tells them the ioniser is not a weapon and is reunited with Victoria. Penley is pulling Jamie on a sled to the base when they realise a bear is stalking them. The Doctor tells the warriors that the humans are worried about the ioniser causing an explosion. The Martians in turn know if the ioniser is used and the glacier melted then their engines will be flooded. The Doctor suggests the Base would have to use the Ioniser at a certain point, aware they can hear what he's saying through the communicator. Varga seizes the communicator. Clent knows they're being told to take the risk of using the Ioniser, but is still reluctant fearing a nuclear explosion from the Martian ship. The Doctor discovers that the Ice Warrior ship has an Ion drive that wouldn't explode. The Martians demand to know about the base power supply and prepare to attack with the ship's cannon. Penley and Jamie are admitted to the base but argue with Clint and are stunned by the guards using tranquilliser guns. Zondal is ordered by Varga, via communicator, to attack the base but Victoria distracts him allowing The Doctor to throw the ammonia sulphate at him and attempt to wrestle him from the firing control....

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Well my prediction in episode 3 of lots of arguing and running between the locations in the snow, while technically accurate, is downplaying quite how much I'm enjoying the last 3 episodes of this story. There are elements that are boring me, yes we get Clent and Janley are over dependant on the computer:

GARRETT: The Doctor. You heard what he said.
CLENT: Regardless of the consequences. Yes. Yes, he's telling us to take the risk.
GARRETT: But we can't give the computer the information it needs. It can't instruct us.
CLENT: Can the ioniser hold?
GARRETT: At present power it's steadily losing ground. But we dare not increase.
COMPUTER: Summary of orders to all World Ioniser Stations. The new equation originated from Brittanicus Base will be adopted to conditions prevailing in each sector. All bases will prepare to use full ioniser attack on the ice in concerted action. Zero hour in six hours exactly. Report readiness one hour.
CLENT: We can't do it.
GARRETT: But if we don't the whole plan must fail.
CLENT: But if we act and there is an explosion, apart from destroying this base the contamination could easily
GARRETT: We must state our problem to World Control, now.
CLENT: No, wait! We'll give our computer all the information we have.
GARRETT: It isn't enough.
CLENT: It may be. It may be.
GARRETT: I know what the computer will say.
CLENT: No, no, no, no, no. Let the computer speak for itself.
GARRETT: There's only one answer it can give.
CLENT: Come on, quickly. Put the situation to the computer. Do as you're told!
But in the middle of this there's an indication that Clent just might be breaking free of the computer to make his own decision by pre-empting the computer's action, putting him into conflict with Miss Garrett:

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COMPUTER: Set up all circuits to new equation and wait. Further information essential before decision can be taken. Prepare to notify World Control in event of emergency.
CLENT: Of course, the computer's right. We must be prepared, and we must wait.
GARRETT: It is the answer I expected.
CLENT: But you don't realise why it made this choice, do you?
GARRETT: Because it is the most logical answer in the circumstances.
CLENT: Of course. And because it's so logical, it can't gamble. It can't take risks.
GARRETT: That is its function. To be totally impartial. To serve the community.
CLENT: Exactly. And one more aim in its life, to survive.
GARRETT: It has given us its decision.
CLENT: It is no decision. The computer is playing for time. Now listen, all of you! We risk destruction either by a radioactive explosion or by the slow grind of the glaciers. Now there you see that the ice has advanced one hundred metres today. Now either way
GARRETT: The computer is destroyed.
CLENT: So that, by demanding a decision, we are asking it to commit suicide.
GARRETT: It can't do that!
CLENT: Then what is the answer?
GARRETT: We can escape. There's still time to evacuate.
CLENT: Perhaps you could face world opinion. I couldn't.
GARRETT: You must notify World Control eventually. The other bases will be waiting.
CLENT: I will decide exactly when. For now we do as the computer says. Prepare the ioniser and wait.
Interesting note at the end of the scene with a remark Clent makes to Walters, played by Malcolm Taylor, who was with Arden when the Ice Warrior was found:
CLENT: Well, what do you feel about all this, Walters? Bet you didn't think you'd have ice monsters and things like that to deal with when you volunteered for the job, did you? Well, did you?
WALTERS: I didn't volunteer.
CLENT: Ah, yes. Well, good man, anyway.
Conscripted? Here as a punishment? We just don't know.

However Penley and Jamie's arrival immediately sets Clent and Penley in conflict with each other bringing the personal choice vs collective need argument back to the surface:

JAMIE: Look, you've got to help.
CLENT: Yes of course, boy. Walters will take you to the Medi-Control Centre.
JAMIE: No, I didn't mean me. I meant Victoria and the Doctor. Look, they're inside the alien spaceship. You've got to help them!
CLENT: That isn't possible.
JAMIE: Well it must be. You've got to do something.
CLENT: No, we lost contact with the Doctor over an hour ago. I'm afraid there's no hope.
PENLEY: You mean hope happens to be inconvenient. You've got to stick to your precious schedule, is that it? You've got to wave your splendid ioniser about to prove that it works and never mind about human beings.
GARRETT: The computer has decided.
PENLEY: The computer? Override it. Let the ioniser wait. The computer isn't going to fall apart because it has to mark time for an hour.

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CLENT: We are marking time. We're not using the ioniser under instructions from the computer itself.
GARRETT: The spaceship may contain a reactor system that could wipe us off this island if we cause it to explode.
PENLEY: So what are you going to do?
CLENT: We obey the computer. We will wait.
PENLEY: Wait? But that's suicide. The glacier's practically on top of us.
CLENT: We still have time in hand.
JAMIE: Yes, but if the Doctor, if he's still
PENLEY: If the Doctor doesn't contact you, then what hope is there?
CLENT: There is hope.
PENLEY: Oh don't be a fool, Clent. You're not a man, you're just a machine slave.
CLENT: Don't you spit your stupid liberty in my face, Penley. We know your kind of freedom. Freedom to run away from responsibilities, from service, from moral judgement. I may be a physical coward, Penley, but you're a coward in the mind.
PENLEY: Well at least I have a mind and not a transistorised junction box. I would act, but you daren't. And so you're going to be destroyed along with your mechanical master.
JAMIE: Look, you've got to help us, man.
PENLEY: Jamie, I don't think you're....
(There's a struggle and Penley & Jamie are stunned by Walters)
CLENT: There! Now, get them out of here!
GARRETT: You'd better take them to the Medi-Control Centre. Get someone to look at the boy. Make sure there's a guard for when they come to.
WALTERS: Right. Send two guards to control.
CLENT: Penley. He's nothing.
GARRETT: Our trust is in the great computer. With its aid, we cannot fail.

The end of that sequence with the computer treated almost like a deity by Miss Garrett, gently stroking it as she says her last line>

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On the other hand I'm loving Troughton and Victoria with the Ice Warriors, that's superb stuff even if the Ice Warrior spaceship is a couple of consoles in the middle of the floor and some background flats.

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VARGA: So you are afraid of us.
DOCTOR: No, but of your ship. If the ioniser sets off a nuclear holocaust, it will all have be in vain.
VARGA: That is good. In that case you dare not act.
ZONDAL: But if you thought there would be no explosion?
VARGA: Well?
DOCTOR: Well, in that case we'd have no choice.
VARGA: You would use the ioniser.
DOCTOR: But it wouldn't harm the ship. It would release it.
ZONDAL: There would be floods.
VARGA: Our engines would be useless.
ZONDAL: We would be at your mercy.
VARGA: Why did you come here?
ZONDAL: To spy? To betray us?
VARGA: But you could not hope to escape to tell the tale.
DOCTOR: Oh, I always live in hope.
VARGA: You have some kind of communicator.
DOCTOR: You do realise, don't you, that after a certain point, my base will have to activate the ioniser regardless of the consequences?
VARGA: And destroy you and themselves as well?
What you can't see from the above conversation is that mid sentence it cuts from Doctor menaces by Ice Warriors to Clent & Garrett monitoring the conversation in the base! A nice touch from director Derek Martinus, who'd previously worked on Galaxy 4, Mission to the Unknown, The Tenth Planet and The Evil of the Daleks. He'd later return for the very first colour Doctor Who story, Spearhead from Space, which introduced Third Doctor Jon Pertwee and would also direct two episodes of Blake's 7: Trial and The Keeper.

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In fact he repeats a trick here I noticed when watching the recovered episode of Galaxy Four: he's using height a lot here at one point shooting above Zondal down toward the communication console displaying Varga's image.

Having gained the Ice Warriors' confidence the Doctor finally get the information that Leader Clent needs to use the Ioniser. The Warriors in turn obtain what they need to know from the Doctor

VARGA: Close engine room. Well?
DOCTOR: It's an ion reactor, isn't it? Hmm. It could be dangerous, but it wouldn't necessarily explode.
VARGA: True. But your friends do not know that.
DOCTOR: Now why don't you let us help you?
VARGA: We can get what we want without your help.
DOCTOR: But what else do you need, apart from escaping from the ice?
VARGA: We have had enough of your questions. Now you will give me answers.
DOCTOR: Well, I've told you all I can about the ioniser.
VARGA: That is only a toy. The base. What is its power source?
DOCTOR: Why on earth do you want to know that?
VARGA: Answer.
DOCTOR: Oh, so that's what you need, is it?
ZONDAL: Answer the Commander's questions.
DOCTOR: Fuel! Fuel for your reactor! And suppose I don't tell you?
VARGA: The girl dies now.
VICTORIA: Doctor, don't tell them.
DOCTOR: Yes, you'll find what you need at the base.
VICTORIA: You shouldn't have!
DOCTOR: But you won't find Leader Clent easy to persuade. He's a very obstinate man.
VARGA: He will listen to our sonic cannon.
ZONDAL: We must act quickly, Commander.
VARGA: Isbur and Rintan, wait for me at the entrance to the cave. Zondal, you will man the sonic gun.
VICTORIA: You won't succeed. You can't be so inhuman.
VARGA: We only fight to win.
Fortunately the Doctor has come prepared for the need to escape his Martian captors:
DOCTOR: We can try and escape with this.
VICTORIA: What is it?
DOCTOR: Ammonium sulphide.
VICTORIA: Ammonium sulphide? It's only a stink bomb.
DOCTOR: Yes, you've had the benefits of a classical education. Yes, it is what you'd call a stink bomb.
VICTORIA: What use is that?
DOCTOR: You'd be surprised. Harmless to humans, but to aliens very possibly deadly!
I am somewhat amused by the possibility of Victoria learning about stink bombs at school!

We'd previously noted Jamie's ability to read. It appears he's been putting it to good use and has read The Scottish Play!

PENLEY: I'm not exactly a man of action myself. Storr should be here now. I miss him.
JAMIE: Have you no weapons?
PENLEY: Arden's tranquilliser gun, that's all.
JAMIE: Aye, it's not much.
PENLEY: Storr was a huntsman. An expert with a bow and arrow.
JAMIE: It's no good wishing.
PENLEY: Well, I'd better carry on.
JAMIE: Aye, lead on McDuff.
Later Penley's line in the forest, when he and Jamie are threatened by a bear, brings a smile:
JAMIE: Well, the gun. Use the gun.
PENLEY: I couldn't hit the side of the mountain. I'm a scientist, not a gladiator!
Still two years ahead of the UK début of Star Trek!

This is writer Brian Hayles' third Doctor who story after The Celestial Toymaker & The Smugglers. From now on he would only write for the Ice Warriors in Doctor Who penning their three return appearances in Seeds of Death, Curse of Peladon and Monster of Peladon. Outside of Doctor Who he wrote an original story, 1+1=1.5, for the third season of Out of the Unknown. Sadly that episode no longer exists but his adaptation of Angus Hall's Deathday for the fourth season does and can be seen as part of the Out of the Unknown 7-Disc DVD Set. He also wrote two episodes of Kit Pedler & Gerry Davis' Doomwatch, The Iron Doctor and Hair Trigger, both of which exist. His last writing job for the BBC was The Moon Stallion which featured a young Sarah Sutton, later to play Doctor Who companion Nyssa. Hayles died on 30 October 1978 a few weeks prior to The Moon Stallion's broadcast.

When I was growing up and first became interested in Doctor Who (c1980/1), The Ice Warriors sat at number three in the monster pantheon, obviously behind the Daleks & Cybermen. They've slipped somewhat now: They didn't feature in the original series since 1974 whereas the Sontarans made three return appearances in classic Who after that date followed by some in the new series. Likewise original Doctor Who monsters The Autons and The Silurians have made several new series appearances. At the point I first blogged this story the Ice Warriors were easily the biggest original Who monster yet to appear in the new series. Since then they've made a long awaited return in the Mark Gatiss penned Cold War. I'm increasingly convinced I'm not quite the right audience for this newer version of Doctor Who but they didn't do too bad a job here.... except when Ice Warrior Skaldak shed his armour and was revealed to be a swiftly moving almost Alienesque creature which just didn't fit with everything else we've seen of the Ice Warriors over the years. Yes we know what we can see here is armour with little of the creature, bar it's mouth visible but somehow what was revealed on screen just didn't feel right!

Incidentally look at this and the three stories preceding it and compare the monsters in them:

Evil of the Daleks - Daleks
Tomb of the Cybermen - Cybermen
The Abominable Snowmen - Yeti
The Ice Warriors - Ice Warriors
That's FOUR of the original series greatest monsters in consecutive stories!

You won't see that many returning monsters line up one after another like this ever again. The best we get is in 1972 when the Daleks, Ice Warriors and Sea Devils, the Silurians cousins, appear in Day of the Daleks, Curse of Peladon and The Sea Devils at the start of season 9 or in Season 12 in 1975 when the Sontarans, Daleks & Cybermen appear in the Sontaran Experiment, Genesis of the Daleks & Revenge of the Cybermen.

And before anyone says something: The Master, like Davros, is a Villain, not a Monster - there's a difference!

Saturday, 2 December 2017

183 The Ice Warriors: Four

EPISODE: The Ice Warriors: Four
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 02 December 1967
WRITER: Brian Hayles
DIRECTOR: Derek Martinus
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 7.3 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors
TELESNAPS: The Ice Warriors: Four

"It's as simple as this. Someone has to get to the spacecraft, find out what sort of propulsion unit it has, and bring the information back to you!"

The Ice Warriors monitor Victoria's conversation using her as bait. They are intrigued by Clent's interest in their engines. The Doctor tells her to return to the base. Turoc is sent to fetch her. The Doctor leaves for the glacier carrying a phial of ammonia sulphate that he theorises will make life comfortable for the Martians. Turoc catches up with Victoria, securing her in his vice like claws, but her screams cause an avalanche which kills the warrior, burying him, but with his hand still firmly round Victoria's arm. Jamie wakes in Storr's house and finds he's unable to walk. Varga theorises that the human base may use a fuel supply they can use to replenish their ship. Storr leaves the house to see if he can persuade the aliens to help with Jamie, sure he can reason with them. Penley follow him but quickly looses him in the glacier caves. Instead he finds the Doctor who comes back with him to see how Jamie is. Storr finds and frees Victoria. Hearing they oppose the scientists he takes her to them but since he has no knowledge of what they seek they kill him and take Victoria prisoner again. The Doctor tells Penley that Jamie needs treatment: Penley agrees to take him to the base while the Doctor goes to obtain the information needed about the Martian spaceship. Clent is struck with indecision: The computer won't give an answer without extra information, they won't get that until the Doctor returns and time is running out as the glaciers approach the base. The Doctor enters the Martian ship but is trapped within the airlock. He refuses to answer Varga's questions so Varga starts dropping the pressure within the airlock endangering the trapped Doctor.

4z 4y

Hang on, isn't that the ending to Galaxy Four episode 3: Airlock? Character trapped in airlock with pressure dropping till they cooperate?

Otherwise, with my expectations suitably low after the last few episodes, this one worked OK. Yes there's lots of running around pointlessly in Ice Tunnels as the escaped Victoria gets captured again but this worked better for me than the first three.

There's an interesting similarity between the two main forces here: they both want to know what the other's power source is!

DOCTOR: It's as simple as this. Someone has to get to the spacecraft, find out what sort of propulsion unit it has, and bring the information back to you, or we can't use the ioniser. Now, who better than me?
We discovered why they need to know in episode 2 but to help us Clent reiterates it here:
CLENT: Look, Miss Garrett, look. The glacier moving. That's the fifth surge today. The ioniser just isn't holding it anymore.
GARRETT: But we daren't increase power beyond the minimal.
CLENT: Well, I know the risk if the spaceship explodes. Cobalt radioactivity level. We'd only replace one disaster with an even greater one.
GARRETT: But you must make a decision soon.
CLENT: No decision to be made yet. Computer can act only when given adequate information. We still don't know enough about the alien reactor.
GARRETT: But suppose we never know? Suppose the Doctor never returns?
CLENT: We'll face that if and when we have to.
GARRETT: But you must have a plan in mind, surely?
CLENT: I'm pinning all my hopes on the Doctor. He must succeed.
Varga's been given a clue by what he has overheard Victoria saying to the base that they might be interested in his ship's engines.
VARGA: You are wrong, Zondal. She must answer some questions first. Why are they so interested in our engines? Why are they afraid?
He however has his own need for information!
VARGA: We need her to draw an intelligent being from the base.
ZONDAL: To find out the kind of reactor they use.
VARGA: Yes. Without the vacuum fuel elements we are helpless.
ZONDAL: And if they have them?
VARGA: We shall take them. Is the fuel completely run down?
(A warrior nods.)
ZONDAL: If these scientists succeed in melting the ice?
VARGA: There will be floods.
ZONDAL: No hope for our engines then.
VARGA: Or for us.
It's during the middle of this season that Isbur and Rintan wander between their superiors carrying what's possibly some part of the engine system or the exhausted Vacuum fuel rods!

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Varga also shows us a feature of the Ice Warriors I don't think we've seen before or since. At the start of the scene and again at the end his head is recessed into his shell a little like a tortoise!

I mentioned in the previous episode that it's hard to know which Ice Warrior is Rintan and which is Isbur. Well towards the end of this episode they appear separately and although they're not named on-screen the novelization by Brian Hayles who wrote the TV version indicates that Isbur, played by Michael Attwell, is outside in between Varga and Zondal which would make Rintan, played by Tony Harwood, the one in the spaceship operating the console!

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Meanwhile Storr and Penley's Science vs Man argument reaches it's culmination. Rather than ask the base scientists for help with Jamie's injuries he instead goes to the Ice Warriors, those who caused Jamie's injuries in the first place!

PENLEY: Well, there's little more I can do for him. That's the last of the tranquilliser pads.
STORR: Do ye understand his illness?
PENLEY: No, and I've no way of knowing the cause.
STORR: Well, there's one way we can save him.
STORR: To befriend the aliens.
PENLEY: Oh, don't be a fool, Storr.
STORR: Oh, they'll help us. I'll talk to them. They'll understand.
PENLEY: But they're warriors, trained to kill.
STORR: Ach, only in self-defense, surely.
PENLEY: Oh, rubbish. No. We've got to get the boy back to the base.
PENLEY: For the boys sake.
STORR: Oh, ye're trying to trap me. There's no return for me to the civilisation that Clent represents. This is where I stay.
PENLEY: Do you think the aliens are any better? They killed Arden.
STORR: Ach, they were afraid.
PENLEY: They're ruthless. They place no value on human life.
STORR: Well, I'll talk to them. Someone has to.
PENLEY: We don't know what they're capable of, or why they're here.
STORR: Well, I'll ask questions first, then act.
PENLEY: It may be too late then.
STORR: We'll see.
PENLEY: No, wait, Storr. Look, you don't know what you're running into.
STORR: Now don't try and stop me. You look after the boy.
What he learns from Victoria makes him even more determined to find the Ice Warriors:
STORR: What happened?
VICTORIA: I run away and the warrior caught me. The ice fell
STORR: You ran away? But why?
VICTORIA: The warriors, they're evil. They killed Arden. I think they want to destroy the base.
STORR: They are against the scientists?
VICTORIA: I know, but they won't listen. They think the ioniser is a weapon against them.
STORR: Aye, it's true. A weapon of destruction.
VICTORIA: Only to destroy the ice.
STORR: Ach, it will destroy civilisation.
Unfortunately his prejudices and desire to strike out against those he hates ultimately lead to his doom:
STORR: My name is Storr. I'm a scavenger. A loyalist.
VARGA: You are from the base?
STORR: No, I'm against the scientists.
ZONDAL: You know nothing of their machines?
STORR: No, I don't want to. Their intentions are evil. I want to help you destroy the scientists.
ZONDAL: You. What good are you to us?
STORR: Oh, well, I know the land around here. I've lived here all my life.
VARGA: You are not a scientist, only a local native.
ZONDAL: Useless and unnecessary.
STORR: But, but I want to help you.
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By comparison Penley sets his dislike for Clent aside purely so Jamie can get the help he needs:

PENLEY: What can we do for him?
DOCTOR: Well the base is the only place he can be treated.
PENLEY: Yes I know that, but he can't get there alone.
PENLEY: That's the glacier. It's moving forward even faster.
DOCTOR: Yes. It'll flatten this place in no time at all. PENLEY: All right. I'll help you take him back.
DOCTOR: Well, that's just it, you see. I can't go. There's something I must do.
PENLEY: You don't expect me to face Clent alone? That mouth piece of the computer? He's got a printed circuit where his heart should be.
DOCTOR: He's a man with a mission. I don't think he can afford to reject you.
PENLEY: Well, that's not the point
Scottish Actor Angus Lennie plays Storr in the story. He's known for his long running role as cook Shughie McFee in the soap opera Crossroads but will be back as the pub landlord Angus in Terror of the Zygons. On the big screen he was best known for playing Ives 'The Mole' in The Great Escape which also featured original Doctor Who companion William Russell as Sorren.

1 Storr 1 Penley

Penley is played by Peter Sallis who is now famous for playing Norman Clegg in Last of the Summer Wine for many years and providing the voice of Wallace, from the Wallace and Gromit films which co-written by Doctor Who scribe and K-9 co-creator Bob Baker.

Peter Barkworth, playing Clent, was a HUGE acting name and one of the biggest guest stars secured by the series so far. He went from the Ice Warriors off to Austria to film When Eagles Dare with Richard Burton & Clint Eastwood! Click on the link and see how many other former and future Doctor Who cast members you can spot there. He appears in two episodes of Out of the Unknown: in the third season, the first in colour, he's in Get Off My Cloud where he plays Stephen. This episode is sadly missing and is of special interest to Doctor Who fans as it contains a guest appearance from The Daleks which is possibly their earliest appearance in colour! He then returns in season 4 as Dr. Philimore in the rather disturbing To Lay a Ghost.

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Clent's assistant Miss Garrett is played by Wendy Gifford. Like Barkworth she too appears in a pair of Out of the Unknown episodes. In her first appearance she plays Polly in the season one episode Time in Advance. She then returns in in the missing season 3 episode Liar playing Dr. Susan Calvin. The character of Susan Calvin previously appeared in another Out of the Unknown episode the season 2 episode The Prophet, again missing from the BBC archives, where she was played by Beatrix Lehmann, later to play Professor Emilia Rumford in the Doctor who story The Stones of Blood.

Both Gifford's Time in Advance and Barkworth's To Lay a Ghost can be seen on the Out of the Unknown (7-Disc DVD Set).

This episode is now the start of an eleven episode run through the rest of this story, three episodes, all six episodes of The Enemy of the World and the first two episodes of The Web Of Fear. It equals the run which starts with Wheel In Space Six and continues through all five episodes of The Dominators and all five episodes of The Mind Robber. Both of these are beaten by the FOURTEEN episode run made up of Invasion episodes 5-8, all four episodes of The Krotons and all six episodes of The Seeds Of Death.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

182 The Ice Warriors: Three

EPISODE: The Ice Warriors: Three
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 25 November 1967
WRITER: Brian Hayles
DIRECTOR: Derek Martinus
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 7.4 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors
TELESNAPS: The Ice Warriors: Three

"Don't you understand? They're ruthless killers and they'll stop at nothing. Now please, listen to me. There's no time to lose!"

Varga frees his four warriors from the ice: Zondal, Turoc, Isbur and Rintan. Arden and Jamie return to the base for the proper equipment. Storr won't believe Penley's tale of a warrior in the ice. They are visited by Miss Garret who tries, unsuccessfully, to get Penley to return to the base. He does however tell her to look at his notes on the Omega Factor to help with the ioniser. Zondal is ordered to locate the ship an excavate a cave as a trap. Penley's notes help the Doctor in his attempt to remedy the Ioniser. Entering the cave Arden and Jamie are shot down by the Ice Warriors. Clent cannot contact them and the Doctor is worried. Penley enters the cave after the Warriors have entered their ship and checks the bodies. Arden is dead but Jamie lives: he takes him back to the building he and Storr are living in. Victoria sneaks away from the Ice Warriors and, finding Arden's body, uses his communicator to contact the base. The Doctor is concerned when he hears what has happened but all Arden is interested in is details of the ship which leads Victoria to become hysterical. Meanwhile the Martians are training their cannon on Victoria and preparing to fire....

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This episode seems to be all about arguing.

CLENT: Well, this is all very impressive, Doctor, but don't you think it'd be simpler to use a computer?
DOCTOR: Four. What computer?
CLENT: The base computer.
DOCTOR: Six. Yes, they're useful for digital analysis, but I very rarely use them, except when I have to. There is one thing you could do for me which would be very important.
CLENT: Yes, yes, anything. What is it?
DOCTOR: Lend me a pencil.
We've got arguing about if humans are better than computers
DOCTOR: Possible? It's perfect! Well, it's nearly perfect.
CLENT: We shall see.
DOCTOR: Oh, it'll work, all right.
CLENT: The computer will confirm that, I'm sure.
DOCTOR: Computer?
GARRETT: Well, everything's checked.
DOCTOR: I resent that!
CLENT: Just normal practice, Doctor.
DOCTOR: It should be the other way round.
CLENT: We have to be quite sure. It'll only take a matter of seconds. Copy all this down, Miss Garrett, and then we can feed it through the computer and do a simulator run. I'll just go and set it up.
DOCTOR: I shall demand an apology, you know.
Arguing about science's use over human abilities:
PENLEY: You're fit enough now. To do the cooking, at least. Thanks to science.
STORR: Science! Och, it wasn't science, it was just good plain doctoring.
Arguing about being able to choose a way of life over others needs:
GARRETT: But you can't just step aside. A man like you, living like a scavenger? It's utterly wrong. Civilisation needs you.
PENLEY: Jane, I chose this existence. I chose it because I refuse to be sucked into that computerised ant-heap you call a civilisation. I'm a man, not a machine. I will not return.
GARRETT: Not even to save the world?
And when they're not arguing they're traipsing about in the snow: Miss Garrett from the base to Storr & Penley's hideout and back, Arden & Jamie from the base to the spaceship, Penley from the hideout to the spaceship and then back again with the unconscious Jamie! There's a lot of travelling in a very short amount of screen time which makes the three locations seem right on top of each other! Throw in Victoria's attempts to escape from the Ice Warriors and, as I remember it, you've got the pattern for the rest of the story!

We're missing what look like a couple of great sequence with the Ice Warriors here as Varga digs his crew out: Zondal, Turoc, Isbur and Rintan. I think this is the first non humanoid race we've seen with individual names since the Tenth Planet Cybermen.

3a 3b

The Ice Warriors then get to work creating the cave outside the spaceship which serves as one of the main sets in the rest of the tale.

We get to see the Ice Warriors sonic guns used for the first time as Arden is killed and Jamie is injured. I remember these from pictures as a youth just being a tube on the arm but here the sonic gun appears in the form of a short tube protruding from a rounded box on the arm.

3c 2 sonic

It would appear the memory I have of the sonic guns appearance comes from pictures of The Ice Warriors on their first return appearance in Seeds of Death rather than here and in particular their leader Slaar. Of course at the time I became a Doctor Who fan Ice Warriors was completely missing from the archives so there were limited visuals from this story!

Lets have a look at the Martian members of the cast and attempt to tell the difference between them! Bernard Bresslaw, appearing as Ice Warrior leader Varga, needs no introduction. He became famous appearing in The Army Game, an ITV military comedy, alongside the then future first Doctor William Hartnell. Hartnell went onto appear in 1958's Carry On Sergeant, the first of the Carry On films, and although that was the only one of the series Hartnell appeared in Bresslaw later joined the series appearing in 14 of the films frequently as a sidekick to Sid James.

4 Varga 4 IW Zondal

Varga's lieutenant Zondal looks very similar to his superior. His helmet is perhaps a little thinner and pointier but his mouth looks a lot wider than Varga's. If you see another Ice Warrior talking in this story, then it's Zondal! Unfortunately Roger Jones, who plays him, is the only Ice Warrior without and Doctor Who connections either in the past or future!

Turoc is played by Sonny Caldinez, who was previously Kemel in Evil of the Daleks. Caldinez will be the main hench Ice Warrior from now on, returning as an unnamed warrior in Seeds of Death, Ssorg in Curse of Peladon and Sskel in Monster of Peladon.

What we can see of Turoc's costume in the next episode, and in particular his helmet, is markedly different from the other Ice Warriors. Like Varga's initial helmet, seen clearly in the episode one climax, it's lacking a chin guard and does look more like a helmet belonging to a Viking, like Arden initially thought Varga was!

4 IW Turoc 4 IW Isbur Rintan

We hit a slight problem with the last two Ice Warriors: we don't know which is which! The picture on the right has both of them in, with Zondal on the left and Varga on the right. Both seem to have much smaller mouthpieces that the other two in the picture with one having larger eyes.

Tony Harwood, playing Rintan, was a Cyberman in Tomb of the Cybermen and a Yeti in Abominable Snowmen so he's been in three stories on the trot. Like Sonny Caldinez, he's back as another Ice Warrior in Seeds of Death and plays the Ice Warriors brief cameo in The War Games episode 10.

Isbur is Michael Attwell's first Doctor Who appearance. He's probably best known as Kenny Beale in East Enders but he's got a memorable return Who appearance as Bates in Attack of the Cybermen. He appears to have been in just about everything and taking a peak at his CV I realise that I can remember his Sykes in the Classic Serial Olive Twist very well (Producer: Terrance Dicks) There's a few other Who personnel involved with that too!

Saturday, 18 November 2017

181 The Ice Warriors: Two

EPISODE: The Ice Warriors: Two
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 18 November 1967
WRITER: Brian Hayles
DIRECTOR: Derek Martinus
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 7.1 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors
TELESNAPS: The Ice Warriors: Two

"Our spaceship crashed at the foot of the ice mountain. As we came out to investigate, a great avalanche of snow buried us. I will free them. Then we will return to the Red Planet!"

The Ice Warrior rises, clubs Jamie to the floor, and takes Victoria hostage. The Doctor bursts into Clent's meeting and explains his concerns about the Ice Warrior having come from another world: If his spaceship is still in the glacier and is nuclear powered it could cause an explosion when exposed to the Ioniser. Jamie then arrives and tells them the creature has taken Victoria. The Warrior tells Victoria that he is Vaaga and comes from Mars. His ship crashed here millennia ago, his warriors are still trapped in the glacier and he wants to revive them. The computer suggests Arden should investigate the spaceship: Jamie goes with him. Storr is weakening so Penley decides to return to the base for medication. Arden has difficulty getting a radiation reading on the glacier. Vaaga forces Victoria to find him powerpacks to defrost his warriors. Clent enters the room and is clubbed to the floor by Vaaga who leaves with Victoria. Penley finds Clent and is treating him when the Doctor arrives allowing Penley to leave with the drugs. Back at the glacier Vaaga uses his sonic gun to start digging the warriors out. Storr shows signs of recovery after treatment. Vaaga begins thawing his crew.

2Y 2Z

Vaaga sounds great in this and I know that Bernard Bresslaw , the actor playing him who was 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) tall, would have towered over Deborah Watling, a mere 4 ft 11¾ inches(152cm!) high, producing a good visual image as the Telesnaps show.

2a 2b
The trick of casting large actors has been used already with the Cybermen and Yeti towering over the relatively slight Troughton, it's here the idea meets it's fulfilment. Reading the book as a child I really thought the Varga/Victoria scenes were important so it's a shame that the visuals for these two episodes are missing.
CLENT: Well, that'll be just too bad. Obviously I can't release men for an extensive search outside the base.
DOCTOR: But she may be in danger of her life! You can't take that decision!
CLENT: Very well. You want an impartial opinion? I shall ask the computer.
JAMIE: Oh, not the computer.
DOCTOR: It's a waste of time asking the computer.
The base crew make me want to slap them for their reliance on the computer, but then the reliance on technology is really that's what this story is all about!
ARDEN: Well, I shall need at least one guard.
JAMIE: Well, what about me then? I could go with him.
DOCTOR: Yes, he's a capable lad.
CLENT: Well, the computer said one investigator only.
DOCTOR: That was from your staff, Jamie's extra.
GARRETT: The mission must be carried out. The computer has ordered it.

When the surviving episodes of the Ice Warriors were released on video, a short condensed reconstruction of episodes 2 & 3 was included along with a CD of the full soundtrack for these episodes. At the time of first blogging I said

Hopefully when the DVD comes out a full reconstruction in the manner of Tenth Planet 4's vhs release will be attempted.
By the point DVD was released in 2013, one of the last regular titles in the series, animation had become the standard method of dealing with missing episodes.

Things look ok at the start of the episode attempting to replicate the style of the episode credits:

2 a 1 2 a 2

Unfortunately the style of the animation looks quite crude compare to previous stories, especially The Invasion and the movement doesn't look good at all.

2 a 3 2 a 4

The closing shots of the Ice Warriors in the ice, something of a departure from what the telesnaps show aren't bad!

2 a 5 2 a 6

The Ice Warriors 2 & 3 are the only 2 episodes of the race's 22 episodes existence in Doctor Who that is missing. By contrast, until recently, only two of the Yeti's 12 episodes remain though thanks to the 2013 Web of Fear recovery that now stands at 6 out of 12. 22 Episodes from Dalek stories (totalling 81 episodes) are missing and 9 Episodes from the 41 the the Cybermen star in are also missing.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

180 The Ice Warriors: One

EPISODE: The Ice Warriors: One
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 11 November 1967
WRITER: Brian Hayles
DIRECTOR: Derek Martinus
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 6.7 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors
TELESNAPS: The Ice Warriors: One

"In two hours the ioniser will be useless. And then the glaciers will move again. Five thousand years of history crushed beneath a moving mountain of ice!"

A computer voice announces evacuation as the limping Clent, leaning heavily on his stick, enters the control room. Miss Garret protest they need Scientist Penley, but is ignored. Arden and his team, Davis and Walters, are at work at a glacier when they discover a figure trapped in the Ice. Arden has them drill it out. Clent is trying to contact Arden without success. The Tardis materialises in the ice and snow outside a prefabricated dome. Jamie thinks they're still in Tibet and have materialised further up the mountain. They hide behind the Tardis as the raggedly dressed Storr and dishevelled Penley leave the dome clutching packages of food that they have stolen. The Doctor and friends enter the dome and find themselves within a preserved Georgian mansion. Finding the control room the Doctor intervenes preventing the base's reactor from exploding. Clent collapses and is taken to the medical unit, the Doctor and friends accompanying him. Arden has dug out what looks like a man in armour: Walters dubs it an Ice Warrior. Penley & Storr watch, Storr criticising the scientists. Davis comes outside and is killed by an avalanche which injures Storr, breaking his arm. Clent sets the Doctor a problem which he easily solves causing Clent to invite him to join their staff. A reduction in plant life, due to artificial food production, has led to a reduction in carbon dioxide levels which has caused the Earth to cool entering a "second" Ice Age. Arden brings the Ice warrior into the medical unit and sets it to slowly defrost. Clent & the Doctor go to a meeting leaving Jamie & Victoria behind as the Ice falls away from the Warrior and it awakens.....

1z 1y

The first appearance of the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria gives a nice link to the previous story. Here's their parting words in the previous week's Abominable Snowmen 6:

DOCTOR: Well, that we shall never know, Jamie. What's the matter with you? Are you cold or something?
JAMIE: Oh it's all right for you in your home made Yeti kit.
DOCTOR: Yes, I suppose there is a little bit of a nip in the air.
JAMIE: A nip? A nip? Just look at my knees. They're bright blue.
DOCTOR: What a horrible sight.
JAMIE: Could you not land us somewhere warmer next time?
DOCTOR: Jamie, you never know, do you?
Unfortunately they're straight back in the cold and snow again this week and Jamie doesn't think they've moved that far at all!
JAMIE: Oh no, not again. Tibet was bad enough, but I think you've put us down just further up the mountain!
Like Tomb of the Cybermen we've got a variation on a classic movie theme: here (also influencing Tomb) it's "something frozen in the ice". Everything else is dressing round that idea.

But.... Oh dear the science in this episode makes my head hurt!

For a start there's been considerably more than one Ice Age before, Leader Clent take note!

CLENT: I present you a problem. All the major continents are threatened with destruction under the glaciers of the second ice age.
CLENT: How would you halt the ice surge and turn the climate back to normal? Forty five seconds starting from now.
DOCTOR: Oh, possible causes. The reversal of the magnetic field.
CLENT: No such change has occurred.
DOCTOR: Interstellar clouds obscuring the suns rays? An excessive burst of sunspot activity. A severe shift of the Earth's angle of rotation.
VICTORIA: Come on, Doctor.
DOCTOR: There aren't that many alternatives. Gigantic heat loss?
CLENT: I asked for an answer, not a question. Twelve seconds left.
DOCTOR: Oh. Oh, well, in that case the answer's simple. A severe drop in the carbon dioxide level in the Earth's lower atmosphere. Is that it?
I would use ionisation.
JAMIE: Well, is he right?
CLENT: Yes, he is.
VICTORIA: Oh. But I still don't understand.
DOCTOR: Well, the carbon dioxide level in the Earth's atmosphere helps retain the sun's heat. Take that gas away, and there's a sudden freeze up.
JAMIE: Oh, where does the gas go to?
CLENT: You know how efficient our civilisation is, thanks to the direction of the great World Computer. And you also know how we conquered the problem of world famine a century ago by artificial foods.
CLENT: On the land that was once used to grow the food we needed, we built up to date living units, to house the ever-increasing population.
DOCTOR: Up to date?
CLENT: Well, there were exceptions, of course. I mean, this house was classified as being of historic interest. So, the amount of growing plants on the planet, was reduced to an absolute minimum.
DOCTOR: No plants, no carbon dioxide.
CLENT: Then suddenly, one year, there was no spring. Even then it wasn't understood. Not until the ice-caps began to advance.
The explanation of Greenhouse Gasses being needed to maintain the Earth's temperature is pretty good apart from one awful error: plants don't give off Carbon Dioxide: they absorb it using photosynthesis which creates Oxygen as a by-product. Removing all the plants will cause Carbon Dioxide levels to RISE drastically. Deary me, that's a pretty elementary error, and although our understanding of Greenhouse Gasses has come on much in recent years I'm pretty certain that Photosynthesis was properly understood in 1967. I'll assume Kit Pedler, the show's unofficial scientific advisor, wasn't hanging round the Doctor Who office when this was made.
VICTORIA: Oh, Doctor, it's just like my home.
DOCTOR: I know!
1a 1b

The Georgian mansion annoys me too: was it in Brian Hayles' script or did the crew nick an existing BBC set of a Georgian Mansion as a cost saving technique and stuff it full of computer equipment?

THEN we have Arden's archaeological techniques:

ARDEN: A fantastic discovery in the ice.
CLENT: Your task was to set up movement probes in the ice, not indulge in amateur archaeology.
ARDEN: This is a man!
CLENT: Oh, congratulations. Makes a change from fossils. Now leave it and return.
ARDEN: I'm bringing the body back with me.
Dig it out the ice, fair enough, but ....
DOCTOR: You see, this fellow Arden has set the electricity so that the ice melts very slowly, allowing for the resistance.
VICTORIA: It's working quite quickly.
DOCTOR: Well, I suspect there are some impurities in the ice.
NO! You don't melt it, you stick it straight in the deep freeze to preserve it! Idiot!

I've been entertained by episodes of Doctor Who, bored by them and failed to follow them so far: this is the first time one's *really* annoyed me!

Onward onto the stuff I liked: The idea of thinking it's a trapped and preserved Viking Warrior is a good one, and similar preserved archaeology has been found in glaciers in this way.

Of course there are some problems with the body. Arden spots something while it was in s in the ice:

ARDEN: A giant among prehistoric men.
WALTERS: See the kind of armour he's got on?
ARDEN: Yes, that's rather strange. He looks pre-Viking. But no such civilisation existed in pre-historic times, before the first ice age.
WALTERS: Proper Ice Warrior, isn't he, sir?
1c 1d

Then Doctor finds something else:

CLENT: What's odd, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Well the helmet, it's wrong. When this man was frozen to death only primitive cavemen existed.
ARDEN: Well I say it's an undiscovered civilisation. Think of the implications.

DOCTOR: I say. Look at that.
JAMIE: What is it?
DOCTOR: It's an electronic connection. I'm sure of it.
VICTORIA: It can't be.
DOCTOR: Now you wait here, and don't touch anything.

Leaving Jamie and Victoria by themselves leads to one of the biggest bits of flirting yet between the Doctor's two friends!

1x 1w

JAMIE: Victoria?
JAMIE: You see how those lassies were dressed?
VICTORIA: Yes, I did. And trust you to think of something like that.
JAMIE: Well, I couldn't help thinking about it.
VICTORIA: Well, I think it's disgusting, wearing that kind of thing.
JAMIE: Oh, aye, so it is, so it is. You don't see yourself dressed like that then?
JAMIE: Oh, I'm sorry. It was just an idea.
VICTORIA: We will now change the subject, please.
Jamie definitely has an eye for Victoria!

One of the major themes of the story is introduced in this episode: over-reliance on computers to tell you what to do:

CLENT: Jolly good. Jolly good. Miss Garrett will give you some background information. You've worked with computers, I presume?
DOCTOR: Only when I have to.
GARRETT: Well, Miss Garrett is our computer specialist. She'll help you.
DOCTOR: Oh, I'll try and remember that.
GARRETT: Here we are completely computerised.
DOCTOR: Well, never mind.
GARRETT: Every decision is checked to eliminate risk of failure. Because of course, all decisions, all actions, must conform to the common good.
This will be picked up again in later episodes.

These episodes have their own special story title, writer and episode number captions, against a snowy background and accompanied by vocalisation, that appear after the title sequence. Interestingly the Episode Numbers appear as One, Two etc with no word, neither the Episode used from the Savages or Part used from Time Warrior.

vlcsnap-00001 vlcsnap-00003

Original theme makes appearance on end titles
Still at least we can see it.

Have you tried down the back of the fridge?

If you loose something it's almost always there!

Of all the stories concerning the episodes of Doctor Who "returned" to the BBC this is easily the funniest because the episodes never left the BBC at all! In 1988 BBC Enterprises were re-locating from their home in Villiers House. Prior to departure a search was made of the building and a pile of old film cans was found. Included was a missing episode of Adam Adamant lives, 4 episodes of The Ice Warriors labelled as episodes Two, and Four to Six, plus a film can for Fury from the Deep Six which sadly later turned out to have a completely different program in it. The can for Episode Two contained Episode One. At the time of it's finding The Ice Warriors became the most complete season 5 story.

Davis, who left us in this episode, is played by stuntman Peter Diamond probably due to the fall in the avalanche which causes his demise! He'd previously been in the series as a stunt double in The Rescue, Delos in The Romans, which he also fight arranged, a Morok Technician/Guard in The Space Museum, again he was the fight arranger here too a role he repeated for The Chase episode 5: The Death of Doctor Who. He next appears as a Sailor in The Highlanders before fight arranging The Evil of the Daleks episode 5. He'll return next story as an Extra in The Enemy of the World episode 1 and The Doctor/Salamander in The Enemy of the World episode while in the War Games he's a Confederate Horseman in episode three, an Alien Guard in episode 9 and the fight arranger for episode ten. His final Doctor Who work is on The Dæmons episode three as a stunt double and as the fight arranger) for episode four.

Diamond had previously been in Out of the Unknown: Sucker Bait as the first First Crewman, who I presume meets a grisly end involving a stunt! I've seen it, it's on the Out of the Unknown DVD Set but can't recall him or his character! He's also one of the few people who was in all three original Star Wars films: he's the Tusken Raider that attacks Luke in Star Wars as well as a Stormtooper and a Death Star Trooper. In The Empire Strikes Back he's the Snowtrooper Gunner that gets shot but the Millenium Falcon's gun in Echo Base's hanger and in Return of the Jedi he's the Biker Scout pushed off his Speeder Bike. He's been in everything that's ever been made for television as a stuntman too.

1e PD 1f Arden

Playing his supervisor Arden is George Waring. You can see him in Doomwatch: The Islanders as Busby and Survivors: Reunion as Walter.

There's a number of actors playing Control Room Operators in this story. Most prominent is
Monique Bryant who IMDB thinks is in all six episodes. Apparently she's also a technician in The Seeds of Death too which is something of a coincidence and sets off my "IMDB has got confused" radar warning! Apparently she's also a Woman Watching Show in Snakedance part three. Outside of Doctor Who she was in Moonbase 3 as a Technician in Achilles Heel, Castor and Pollux & View of a Dead Planet and Blake's 7 Project Avalon as a Mutoid.

1h 6 0 technicians

Other technicians in the Control Room include Kathy Fitzgibbon who had previously been an Inferno Customer in The War Machines: Episode 1. Gary Dean would return as a German Soldier in The War Games: Episode Three and a UNIT Soldier in Doctor Who and the Silurians: Episode 3. as well as playing a man in Doomwatch: Project Sahara.

It will come as a surprise to no one to find out that Roy Skelton, previously a Monoid voice in The Ark, the Cybermen voices in Tenth Planet and Dalek voices in Evil of the Daleks, is the Computer Voice. Earlier in the year Ice Warriors was made and shown he had voiced the robots in the now missing Out of the Unknown episode The Prophet.

When I first Blogged Doctor Who stories this episode was the point where we gave the VCR it's first use in the Troughton era followed by a two episode CD break for the missing episodes. Now we're on DVD for the whole story with the next two episodes being animated.