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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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

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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.....

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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!
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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?
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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

179 The Abominable Snowmen: Episode Six

EPISODE: The Abominable Snowmen: Episode Six
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 04 November 1967
WRITER: Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln
DIRECTOR: Gerald Blake
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 7.4 million viewers
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Volume Four(1967)
TELESNAPS: The Abominable Snowmen: Episode Six

"This things that's here, this evil, it will spread. It has to be stopped and I think I can do it."

The glowing substance pours from the cave down the mountainside. Travers tells The Doctor he remembers that Abbot Songsten took the pyramid up the mountain. Khrisong pursues the Abbot to Padmasambhava's sanctum where the Abbot kills him under Padmasambhava's hypnotic control. The monks turn on their Abbot, but the Doctor saves him saying that he has been controlled by Padmasambhava who in turn is under the influence of another. Travers and Ralpachan leave for the cave with the intention of destroying the pyramid. The Doctor learns from Songsten that the Great Intelligence has broken out of the cave and that the control device for the Yeti is behind Padmasambhava's throne in the sanctum. Padmasambhava summons three yeti to the monastery who pass Travers and Ralpachan on the mountainside. The Doctor gets Thomni to teach Victoria the Jewel of the Lotus prayer to protect her mind from Padmasambhava's control. Travers and Ralpachan discover the entire mountain top glowing: they can get nowhere near the cave and must return to the monastery. The monks leave the monastery, taking Songsten with them but leaving Thomni to assist the Doctor. The Doctor confronts Padmasambhava who attacks him with his psychic powers, while Jamie & Thomni attempt to smash the yeti control. Victoria tries to prevent Padmasambhava moving Yeti into the room, but can't. They enter and are about to kill the Doctor when Jamie and Thomni smash their control mechanism causing the Yeti to explode. Travers enters and shoots at Padmasambhava who catches the bullets. The Doctor instructs Jamie and Thomni to look for a pyramid which they find and destroy, blowing up the area of mountain covered by the secretion from the cave and severing the Intelligence's link to Padmasambhava allowing the old man to finally die in peace. The monks are summoned back to the monastery as the Doctor and his friends leave.

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Walking up the mountainside to the Tardis with Travers they see a real Yeti and Travers runs off after it leaving the Doctor and friends to depart.

DOCTOR: 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?

That's just brilliant, loved it, what a great climax to a superb story. I think that's my favourite Who story so far, certainly the best of the missing ones. There's not a duff performance in there.

Khrisong's death at the hands of his Abbott is a big shock! There's been so few on-screen deaths so far this story, just Travers' companion John in the first episode and Rinchen in the fifth.

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But as is made clear The Abbott is not in control of his actions and following Khrisong's dying plea for mercy for Songsten and the evident effect the death has had on him the monks take him into their care. Khrisong's death allows Ralpachan to step forward and take a larger role in the remaining episode and it's quite interesting that he gets paired with Travers who earlier deceived Ralpachan while he was on guard duty at the gate.

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Like I said in the previous episode it just sounds so good. Usually putting the telesnaps together with the soundtrack sheds light on what's happening but here it's almost easier just listening to the soundtrack as the telesnaps don't do the battle justice. In particular the telesnap of the levitated incense burner does little to convey the threat and the one shot of Jamie and Thomni smashing the control apparatus is indistinct as is the white out effect as the control spheres explode. There's also VERY few telesnaps of the Yeti this episode too: not one of John Cura's better weeks.

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There is a hint in the telesnaps that the climatic model sequence of the mountain blowing up might have been rather good though!

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Fabulous story from start to finish. Like Power of the Daleks it doesn't feel stretched to fit six episodes. The production team obviously agreed they'd got a good thing here as they commissioned a sequel immediately from the same writers, Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln, bringing back both the Yeti and Travers in three stories time. If anything that story is even better than this one! Although we don't see the Monks of Det Sen Monestary again Doctor Who would later return to Budhist themes periodically during Jon Pertwee's time as Doctor Who.

Quite rightly Abominable Snowmen was the first Troughton story to be novelised, Terrance Dicks' third novelization after The Auton Invasion and Day of the Daleks. It's either the second or third Troughton book I bought after The Cybermen (Moonbase) and, perhaps, The Ice Warriors. An audio CD of the book, as read by Patrick's son David Troughton is available, and the short clip I've heard sounds superb. The novel was reissued in 2011.

The soundtrack for the story has been released as a CD, in the Yeti Attack 2 pack with it's sequel, Web of Fear, as an MP3 CD with Web of Fear again and as part of Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Volume Four(1967)

Only the second episode of this serial, recovered in 1982, exists and that has been released as part of Doctor Who - the Troughton Years VHS in 1991 and Doctor Who - Lost In Time DVD set in 2004. However a set of prints of these was recorded to have been sent to BPTV in Jos, a city in Nigeria, in 1974 along with Enemy of the World, Web of Fear and Wheel in Space. While Enemy of the World and most of Web of Fear has been recovered from BPTV's successor in 2013 there's been comment made as the fate of the other 2 stories that they should have had. Similarly the same four stories, plus the Ice Warriors and Fury from the Deep were sold to GBC in Gibraltar in 1973 and the fate of their prints is also unknown according to Wiped! Doctor Who's Missing Episodes. So Abominable Snowmen has a better chance than most stories that it might one day be returned to the BBC. Personally I'd love to have it back, it's at the absolute top of my "most wished for returns" list.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

178 The Abominable Snowmen: Episode Five

EPISODE: The Abominable Snowmen: Episode Five
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 28 October 1967
WRITER: Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln
DIRECTOR: Gerald Blake
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 7.2 million viewers
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Volume Four(1967)
TELESNAPS: The Abominable Snowmen: Episode Five

"Doctor! There is great danger. You must take me away. Take me away. Take me away!"

Padmasambhva beckons Victoria in but she is startled when sees the Yeti gameboard. He hypnotises her, then moves four Yeti models into the area of the map showing the courtyard of the monastery. Travers regains conciousness but is still rambling about what he has seen. They hear the roar of the Yetis marauding through the monastery, as the Doctor takes a reading on his device. Rinchen is searching for Victoria when he comes across two Yeti who knock the Buddha statue down crushing him. The damage done Padmasambhva moves the Yeti back to the mountain. He takes control of Victoria and sends her out with the Ghanta to speak to the monks who he instructs to leave the monastery and for their visitors to be freed. When the Doctor is reunited with Victoria she repeatedly tells him that there is danger and they must flee. Deducing she has been hypnotically programmed he goes to see Padmasambhava, who he met on his previous visit 300- years previously when he was entrusted with the Ghanta. Padmasambhava tells him how he encountered the Great Intelligence on the astral plane before seemingly dying. However when the Doctor leaves he opens his eyes and comes back to life. The Doctor regresses Victoria hypnotically and removed the commands she's been given. Leaving her with Jamie, the Doctor and Travers journey up the mountain to take another reading. As they travel and hide from Yeti, Travers begins to feel a sense of deja vu. The Doctor realises from his reading that Padmasambhava is responsible for their flight as Travers finally remembers about the cave and the glowing substance emerging from it.

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I'm sorry if you're getting bored with me saying this every episode but I'm loving this story. It's got better for me each time I've listened to it. One of the reasons for this is the sound on the story: from the lovely echoey noise in the Monastery, the wind on the mountainside and the two different tones used by Padmasambhava it all just works nicely. Backing that up we have no music giving the story an eerie quality that no other has.The monks you'd expect to be quite similar but the main ones are easily distinguishable just from their vocal characteristics.

cast Khrisong cast Thomni

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It helps that there's an existing episode early on that shows most of what's in the story giving you a decent visual reference. About the only things you don't see in 2 are Padmasambhva and his sanctum: my vision of what they looked like was completely different to the reality of the telesnaps for this episode.

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The main creative forces behind this story are new to the show. Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln had started writing together relatively recently and this is their first joint television credit. Lincoln has had an interesting career post Who, co writing a controversial book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail that was the basis of the best selling novel The DaVinci code. One book I have (and let's name names: It's About Time volume 2) credited Haisman with creating the Onedin Line but the interweb says that was Cyril Abraham but Haisman served as a script editor on the show.

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Gerard Blake has a massive television directing CV which includes the now missing Out of the Unknown episode Liar, four episodes of Survivors, Genesis, Gone to the Angels, Spoil of War and Revenge and two episodes of Blake's 7 The Harvest of Kairos and Death-Watch. He would eventually return to Doctor Who over ten years later to take charge of the Invasion of Time in 1978. His gap between directorial assignments for the show is the largest in the original run of Doctor Who.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

177 The Abominable Snowmen: Episode Four

EPISODE: The Abominable Snowmen: Episode Four
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 21 October 1967
WRITER: Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln
DIRECTOR: Gerald Blake
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 7.1 million viewers
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Volume Four(1967)
TELESNAPS: The Abominable Snowmen: Episode Four

"Already the Great Intelligence begins to take on material form. But it demands more. It must expand!"

The Yeti fights it's way out of the monastery, with Victoria & Thomni opening the gates freeing it to avoid further injury and bloodshed. The Doctor, travelling with Jamie to the Tardis, doesn't like the eerie silence. Travers sees Songsten take the recovered control sphere from some Yeti into their cave. The Doctor and Jamie find a Yeti guarding the Tardis. As Padmasambhava communicates with the Great Intelligence, Songsten places the sphere with the others in the cave completing a circle. The glass pyramid he has brought from Padmasambhava goes in the centre and starts to glow. He leaves with his Yeti escort allowing Travers to enter the cave. Meanwhile the Doctor is considering the Yeti guard at the Tardis

Jamie: Have you thought up some clever plan, Doctor?
The Doctor: Yes, Jamie, I believe I have.
Jamie: What are you going to do?
The Doctor: Bung a rock at it.
When it fails to react The Doctor walks up to it, unscrews it's chest panel and removes the control sphere which he gets Jamie to hold as he hunts for the tracking equipment in the Tardis. In the cave Travers sees he pyramid cracks open spewing a glowing foam into the cave.

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The Doctor emerges from the Tardis with the tracking device as the sphere Jamie is holding activates. They block the Yeti's chest cavity with a rock deactivating the sphere and take it with them. In the Monastery, Thomni and Victoria are jailed for letting the Yeti go since the monks suspect them of conspiring with the Yeti. Songsten's 3 Yeti escort leaves him and returns up the mountain. Ralpachan opens the gate to Songsten who again hypnotises him to conceal his entry to the Monastery. Padmasambhava congratulates him, telling him the Great Intelligence has begun to take corporeal form. The three Yeti that were with Songsten surround Jamie & The Doctor who escape but are forced to leave the sphere behind which the Yeti retrieve. Victoria feigns illness and breaks out of her cell. The Doctor & Jamie, closely followed by a hysterical Travers, return to the monastery and are arrested on Songsten's orders. The Monks hunt for Victoria as they prepare to abandon the monastery on Padmasambhava's orders. Songsten relieves the guard on the gate, opening it as Padmasambhava moves four Yeti models to the monastery. Victoria finds her way to Padmasambhava's sanctuary where the master bids her enter:

PADMASAMBHAVA: Come in, my child. Come in. You have no alternative.
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Just fabulous again. The thing that makes this episode stand out from the others is the interaction between The Doctor & Jamie on the mountain. They're just fabulous together without anyone to interrupt them!

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A small amount of footage of the Yeti in this episode remains that was used in other programs. This can be found on the Doctor Who - Lost In Time DVD set along with some colour cine film taken at the location shoot by the story's director Gerald Blake which also features the Yeti!


A Doctor Who staple for the next few years makes it's début in this episode: Please welcome the foam machine! Any excuse and the special effects team will be pumping foam all over the set or location!

Many of the character names in this story are taken from Buddhist history & mythology. Padmasambhava was a 8th century AD guru, also known as Guru Rinpoche and gives his names to two characters here. There may be others as well, but my knowledge of Buddhism is a little limited! When Terrance Dicks novelised the story his friend, and practising Zen Buddhist, Barry Letts advised him to change some of the names.

Playing Padmasambhava, seen for the first time at the climax of this episode, is Wolfe Morris. He's got an appearance in Out of the Unknown to his name playing Smithers in the now missing second season episode Frankenstein Mark 2. His brother is the actor Aubrey Morris.

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Reg Whitehead, Tony Harwood, John Hogan and Richard Kerley are the four actors playing Yeti in The Abominable Snowmen, all of whom appeared in the previous story, Tomb of the Cybermen, as Cybermen.

Reg Whitehead has already been a Cybermen in The Tenth Planet, The Moonbase & Tomb of the Cybermen where he gets a name check when Klieg refers to the fictional "Whitehead Logic"in episode 1! In addition to the Yeti in this story he also plays the doomed explorer John in the opening moments of the first episode of this story.

It's Tony Harwood's second Doctor Who appearance here, after the Cybermen in the previous story, and he'll be back as the Martian Rintan in the next, The Ice Warriors, before playing other Martians in The Seeds of Death & The War Games as well as Flynn in The Ambassadors of Death.

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John Hogan later appears in Blake's 7as a Scavenger in Deliverance while Richard Kerley has a recurring role as Sergeant Hinds in Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)

Interestingly none of them return as Yeti in their second appearance, The Web of Fear, but another former Cyberman from the Moonbase, John Levene, is inside a Yeti there!

However amongst the extras in this story we've got Pat Gorman. He's already been in Doctor Who as an Alien Delegate in Mission to the Unknown and a soldier in The War Machines and I failed to mention him in either appearance! He's an uncredited walk on here, and we think we've found him as one of the monks in this episode: he's on the left of the first photo and in the middle of the second:

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His future credits include a Cyberman in The Invasion, a Military Policeman in The War Games, the Silurian Scientist in Doctor Who and the Silurians, a Primord in Inferno, the Auton Leader in Terror of the Autons, a Primitive, the Voice, Long, and a Colonist in Colony in Space, a Sea Devil in The Sea Devils, a UNIT soldier in The Three Doctors, a UNIT Corporal in Invasion of the Dinosaurs, a UNIT soldier at the start of the bizarre episode long chase in part 2 of The Planet of the Spiders, a Thal Soldier in Genesis of the Daleks, a Soldier in The Masque of Mandragora, a Medic in The Invisible Enemy, a Pilot in The Armageddon Factor, and as uncredited as Grogan in Enlightenment. He may well have been in more episodes: spotting Pat Gorman is a popular game amongst fans and DVD commentary participants!

Outside of Doctor Who he's been in virtually everything. So I decided to sit down with his imdb entry and pick out the things I'd seen that he'd been in. And it's a long, LONG list:

His earliest non Who appearance that I've definitely seen is The Prisoner: Hammer Into Anvil where he's a Hospital Orderly. Sadly his Doomwatch appearance as a man in Hear No Evil is missing, but I know I've seen him in Fawlty Towers: The Builders as a Hotel Guest even if I haven't spotted him. He's in the I, Claudius episode Reign of Terror as the Captain of the Guard and a pair of The Sweeney episodes, Thou Shalt Not Kill & Latin Lady as a Flying Squad Officer. I have spotted him in Porridge: The Desperate Hours as a Prison Officer who walks into the gents as Fletcher is sampling the home brew! He goes over to ITV's sci fi series The Tomorrow People as a US Marine in War of the Empires: All in the Mind & Standing Alone before staring his Blake's 7 career as a Scavenger in Deliverance, a Federation Trooper / Rebel in Voice from the Past, the Trantinian planet hopper Captain in Gambit, a Death Squad Trooper in Powerplay, two more Federation Troopers in The Harvest of Kairos & Rumours of Death, a Hommik Warrior in Power, a Helot in Traitor and back to being Federation Troopers in Games and Blake which means he's present in the climatic final scene! He's in Eric Sykes' second, 1979, version of The Plank as a Dustman. Regular Doctor who director Douglas Camfield uses him in The Nightmare Man as the Killer in episodes 3 & 4 as well as Camfield's final production Beau Geste as a Legionnaire in episodes 4 to 7. Another Doctor Who director, and Blake's 7 producer, David Maloney uses him again in The Day of the Triffids as a Blind Man in the fifth episode. He was in Doctor Who writer Robert Banks-Stewart's detective show Bergerac as a Policeman in The Hood and the Harlequin and made FIVE appearances in The Professionals: a Golfer in Killer with a Long Arm, a CI5 Agent in Close Quarters & Servant of Two Masters, a Security Man in Weekend in the Country and the Police Superintendent at inquest in Discovered in a Graveyard. He's a policeman again in The Young Ones: Interesting and modern Doctor Who executive producer Russell T Davies uses him as a heavy in the opening episode of his Children's sci-fi drama Dark Season.

And that's barely scratching the surface of what he's done!