Saturday, 30 December 2017

187 The Enemy of the World: Episode Two

EPISODE: The Enemy of the World: Episode Two
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 30 December 1967
WRITER: David Whitaker
DIRECTOR: Barry Letts
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 7.6 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Enemy of the World
TELESNAPS: The Enemy of the World: Episode Two

"I don't know where you stand, Mister Kent, but you and this Salamander are obviously on opposite sides. That at least is clear. But which side is good? Which side is bad? And why should I interfere?"

Bruce is taken in by the Doctor and leaves. The Doctor takes Jamie's advice and accepts the assignment. Astrid, Jamie & Victoria travel to the Central European Zone to meet the sympathetic controller Denes and to infiltrate Salamander's inner circle. At the research centre Benik is questioned about if he saw Salamander leave for Europe. Benik tried to speak with Salamander. Salamander talks to Denes about extinct Volcanoes in his territory and how he has a food record of predicting which may come to life. Farriah tells Salamander he has a call. Denes leaves but Fedorin stays behind talking with Salamander. Jamie & Victoria wait in a park: Astrid joins them and gives Jamie the card he needs to get into Salamander's palace. Fedorin talks with Farriah who reveals she is Salamander's food taster. Jamie arrives throwing Salamander's communication box over the balcony which explodes. The grateful Salamander admits Jamie to his guards. When he protests that he's here with his girlfriend Salamander says he'll find her a job too. He fetches Victoria, but they are seen with Astrid by the guard captain. Astrid meets with Denes. Salamander produces accusations against Fedorin blackmailing him into killing Denes in return for Fedorin succeeding him. The palace is shook by a volcanic eruption proving Salamander's predictions. Denes arrives and accuses Salamander of being responsible for the disaster. Bruce arrests Denes: Fedorin will be a witness against him.

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The flavour of this story is becoming more like a James Bond spy story than Doctor Who with secret infiltrations and plotting but no monsters. The story is enjoyable enough so far as Troughton relishes his dual roles but this episode lacks the visual spectacle of the first featuring no location work or the vehicle action seen there.

KENT: What news of Denes? We must keep him posted as to what is happening.
ASTRID: It's all right. We've contacted and we've arranged to meet.
KENT: Be careful, he's pretty well known.
ASTRID: Oh, don't worry. I suggested that we meet under a disused jetty by the river.
DOCTOR: Disused Yeti?
KENT: No, no, no, no. Jetty, jetty. Er, anything else to tell us?
The disused Yeti joke only serves to remind us that there's no monsters in this story. It's one of just three in the Troughton era to have this distinction, one per season. The other two are The Highlanders and The Space Pirates, neither of which I'm particularly fond of! Oddly they form a nice symmetrical pattern being Troughton's second tale, the middle of his middle season and and the penultimate story of his last season!

The Yeti line also makes me think that I'd rather be watching the next story, one of my all time favourites!

Making his Doctor who début in this episode is Milton Johns as Benik. Johns always does slightly sinister and obsequious really well but here the sinister is turned well up.He'll be back as Guy Crayford in The Android Invasion, also directed by Barry Letts, and Kelner in The Invasion of Time. He's one of a number of Doctor Who actors to appear in the Star Wars films playing an Imperial Officer in The Empire Strikes Back. MY DVD collection also has his appearances in Yes Minister: The Economy Drive as Ron Watson and The Professionals as a Clerk in No Stone.

Toby Hadoke interviews him in Who's Round 136 and 137, the only episodes of the podcast where both participants are in collar and tie! Johns also takes part in the Who Talk Enemy of the World commentaries for episodes 5 & 6, making up for the sad lack of them on the BBC DVD.

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Also joining the cast this episode is Carmen Munroe who plays Farriah. She's since gone on to extensive acting fame, including Shirley Ambrose the wife in Desmond's, but I believe she is here the first female black actress in Doctor Who. She's also another entry on the "Doctor Who actors who have appeared in Play School" list! Carmen Munroe appears on episodes 3 & 4 of the aforementioned Who Talk commentary CDs.

It is *slightly* confusing having characters with the name Farriah and Ferrier (Astrid) in the same story!

This episode, and the next, feature Ian Hines, the brother of Fraser Hines who plays Jamie, in the role of a guard. He's not the only relative of a cast member to pop up as a guard in this serial as we'll see in episodes 4, 5 & 6. Ian Hines returns as a White Robot in the Mind Robber. Having misidentified him last time round, I'm now led to believe that it might be him menacing Fedorin who then gets jumped by his cousin!

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The Central European Guard I thought was Hines, in the second picture, someone has identified as being Andrew Andreas. He was in Dalek Masterplan 10: Escape Switch as an Egyptian Warrior and returns in The War Games: Episode Three as a German Soldier.

But wait! Who's that on the left of the picture as the other guard? On his Doctor Who début it's long serving supporting artist Harry 'Aitch Fielder! IMDB claimed his first appearance was in episode 1 but there's no guard there. Apparently he's in episode 3 as well but is reputedly harder to spot (he isn't: once I knew he was there I found him easily!) after this story he's back as a Wheel Crewmember in The Wheel in Space, a Vogan in Revenge of the Cybermen, a Guard in The Seeds of Doom, a Guard in The Deadly Assassin, the Second Assassin in The Face of Evil part one (he gets on the commentary for that DVD!), a Titan Base Crewman in The Invisible Enemy part one, a Levithian Guard in The Ribos Operation, a Guard in The Armageddon Factor part two, a Tigellan in Meglos part one and a Security Guard in Castrovalva part one. His Blake's 7 appearances include an Armed Crewman in Space Fall and Cygnus Alpha, a Scavenger in Deliverance a Federation Trooper in Weapon, Trial, Voice from the Past (where he's also a rebel), Children of Auron, Games, Warlord and Blake meaning he was present at the final climatic scene! I first knew him as Harry the Security Guard in CBTV but he's been in everything from when I was growing up! Aitch is on Facebook, has a website recalling the many productions he's been in and has adapted it into a rather good book.

Australia Geography time: Salamander's research centre is said to be in Kanowa, which is born out in the script and a sign seen outside the building. I've not been able to find a place of this name, despite enlisting some help from friends in Australia. However what I find on the internet suggests that this is a misspelling of Kanowna, Western Australia, an abandoned gold mining town about about 20 km east of Kalgoorlie and about 250 miles away from Cape Arid where the Tardis landed in part 1.

Interestingly in part one Troughton appears to say Kanowna when giving Salamander's speech!

The Kanowa location is said, by Donald Bruce, to be less than 200 miles away from where he saw The Doctor impersonating Salamander - which implies that the office is more than 100 miles, probably more than 150 miles, away from where they are at the moment. Episode one hints that that Kent's office is close enough for Astrid to fly to Cape Arid by helicopter quite quickly. Ian Marter's novelization suggests that Kent's offices are in Melville, WA a suburb of Perth which is slightly further away.

For some years the location that served as the location of the Kanowa research centre was in doubt. An existing blurry telesnap, thought to be a still was all people had to go on. The return of the episode has changed that though:

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As we can see above there's actually *TWO* different shots of the location. See the branch in the first shot? That's actually moving over the picture giving it the feel this is actual filmed footage. But look at the positioning of the sign - it moves from shot to shot in relation to the road, indicating it's been added into a photo that was filmed with someone waving a branch in front of it. But these images have allowed the real life location to be identified: it's Dungerness Nuclear Power Station in Kent, later to be used as the location in The Claws of Axos. Here's a clear long shot of the buildings in question now.

It was always known that Walpole Park in Ealing had been used as a location in this story and it appears in this episode with the footage being used as a back projection behind the park bench Victoria, Jamie and Astrid sit on. At one point you can see Jamie walking towards the bench in the background, hence the need for actual shoot at the location rather than using a static photo.

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But there's another location used as the backdrop for the disused jetty! Where's that?

Saturday, 23 December 2017

186 The Enemy of the World: Episode One

EPISODE: The Enemy of the World: Episode One
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 23 December 1967
WRITER: David Whitaker
DIRECTOR: Barry Letts
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 6.8 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Enemy of the World
TELESNAPS: The Enemy of the World: Episode One

"It's just so astonishing, You are Salamander"

The Tardis materialises on a sea shore. They are observed by a group of men from a hovercraft who report what they see to Astrid. They defy her orders and attack but the Tardis crew are rescued by Astrid in her helicopter under orders from her boss Giles Kent. The helicopter is damaged and leaking fuel so she takes them to her nearby Bungalow where the Doctor treats her wounds. She tells him that the men have mistaken the Doctor for someone they hate. He resembles Salamander a would be world dictator. She wants to take the Doctor to see Kent. The thugs from the hovercraft arrive and a fire fight ensues killing one of them, while the other two die trying to escape in the helicopter. Giles Kent is amazed at the resemblance between the Doctor and Salamander. Kent leads a resistance against Salamander. He has been tracking men on his staff who have died. Salamander has tried to kill Kent too. Kent wishes for the Doctor to enter a research centre posing as Salamander. The Doctor refuses but they learn Salamander's security Bruce is coming forcing the Doctor to assume the identity of the dictator.

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Nothing wrong with that at all, enjoyed it a lot!

Welcome to another entry in the story sub genre "The Doctor's Double".

DOCTOR: Oh, that's, that's comforting, anyway. What is it that you want me to do?
ASTRID: Let me take you to the man I work for, Giles Kent. He'll explain everything you want to know.
DOCTOR: I don't think so, Miss Ferrier. No, I'm sorry.
JAMIE: Can we not just listen, Doctor? There's no harm in that.
DOCTOR: There's a great deal of harm in it. You don't suppose Miss Ferrier saved our skins for our sakes, do you? Now what is it you want us for?
ASTRID: You resemble very closely a man who's determined to be dictator of the world. A man who will stop at nothing.
VICTORIA: A dictator? Like Napoleon?
DOCTOR: Who is he?
ASTRID: Salamander.
DOCTOR: Salamander?
ASTRID: I know it's surprising. Let me take you to Giles Kent.
Part of the plot with The Massacre, where Hartnell's Doctor failed to meet his double the Abbot of Amboise, was not knowing if the Abbot was the Doctor or not. Here *we're* certain who's the Doctor and who's Salamander, but the likeness is played on as a central element of the plot as Kent gets the Doctor to pose as Salamander. And the stakes have been upped too: while Hartnell's double was a powerful cleric, Troughton's is a would be world dictator. You don't get to see much of Troughton's second alter ego here, just a few brief pre filmed inserts.

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Amusingly, when I originally did this story on the blog, I ended up talking about a story featuring the Doctor's double just as the new series was in the middle of a 2-parter story featuring a double of the Doctor! (The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People)

Enemy of the World features a number of firsts for Doctor Who and possibly the most important is in the director's chair. The story of how Barry Leopold Letts (the middle name will become important later) became first an actor and then a director has been told perfectly well elsewhere: Who And Me: The Memoir of Barry Letts is well worth a read. Four more stories follow directing under his own name (Terror of the Autons, Carnival of Monsters, Planet of the Spiders and Android Invasion) plus an extra stint standing in for Douglas Camfield when the latter was taken ill during the studio recording of Inferno. He's most famous though as the producer of Doctor Who for the first half of the Seventies, and then served as Executive Producer for Season 18, John Nathan-Turner's first as producer.

It's interesting that Barry Letts makes his Who début in this story and in the next one his script editor and great friend Terrance Dicks joins the show as assistant script editor!

Barry Letts throws the kitchen sink at part one of this episode: around half of it's on location at Climping Beach near Littlehampton, a location later reused in Terror of the Zygons. The telesnaps fail to provide for us The Doctor's shear joy at splashing in the sea!

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The main cast were unable to be present for all the days of location filming so they were doubled by Peter Diamond, Richard Halifax and Sarah Lisemore.

We get a hovercraft on location at the beach, and a helicopter too which both add to the feeling that no expense has been spare.

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The helicopter as well as appearing on screen is also used to obtain the truly impressive shot from the perspective of the passengers as it takes off which again isn't 100% captured by the telesnaps!

There's been some discussion over the years about the date of this story: 2017, 50 years in advance is generally banded about but up until now there's been little proof of that. This episode provides some, with the registration plate in Astrid's helicopter giving the following information:

I believe there's something in the story later on to even more closely date it!

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When we listened to Evil of the Daleks Episode Four I commented on Jamie's ability to read. Well it appears as if he can tell the time too because as he's about to land one on the thugs a wrist watch is clearly visible:

Due to something that happens later on in the story it's necessary to establish how the locations in this story relate to each other geographically. Unlike "darkest Mummerset" of the Pertwee years a lot of the setting in this story are real place that we can fix in relation to each other.

The Tardis lands on a beach which one of the thugs confirms to Astrid is on Cape Arid. Cape Arid is a National Park in Western Australia. Astrid's not far away when she's contacted: She calls up a map of the area instead of saying something like "oh you're nearby". The set she's in resembles that used for Kent's office so I'm guessing they're part of the same premises.

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She gets to the Cape quickly enough to intercept the thugs. She then flies the Doctor and friends to the beach house, which is later established, by Donald Bruce, to belong to either her or Kent. The beach house is a short distance from the beach because the thugs are able to traverse the distance in the hovercraft in not much longer time than it takes Astrid to fly them there in the damaged helicopter. It might seem a coincidence that Astrid/Kent have a beach house just close to where the Tardis happens to land but actually, as the story goes on, there may be a good reason for it.....

Bill Kerr is the chief guest star in the serial, appearing as Giles Kent. He's famous for appearing in Hancock's Half Hour, but was jettisoned when the series made the transition from radio to television. He's been in several films including the Dam Busters and Gallipoli.

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However Kent's assistant Astrid, who I assume is also meant to be Australian, is played by a South African, Mary Peach with no trace of any accent. There are other Australians in the cast but none of them feature in the Australian segments!

Peach gets a lovely little scene with the Doctor in her beach house where she tries to assert WHAT he's a Doctor of:

ASTRID: Oh, you're a doctor?
DOCTOR: Well, not of any medical significance.
ASTRID: Doctor of law? Philosophy?
DOCTOR: Which law? Whose philosophies, eh?
ASTRID: Oh, I see. You're determined to be mysterious.
ASTRID: Doctor of science?
DOCTOR: Septic spray. That should be right.
ASTRID: A Doctor of Divinity, then?
DOCTOR: You'll run out of doctors in a minute. Now, you haven't told us your name yet.

You can hear Mary Peach interviewed on the Who Talk Enemy of the World commentaries for episode 2, which were produced due to their absence from the BBC DVD.

Playing one of the thugs, Curly, is Simon Cain who will later reappear as a Silurian in The Silurians episodes 4-7. He also has several Carry On films to his name: fans of the series can do worse than to buy a copy of Carry On Confidential by Andy Davidson.

1 Curly SC 1 Rod RMcC

Bearing in mind the thugs aught to be Aussies it's interesting to find that another of them, Rod, is played by a Kiwi Rhys McConnochie. Irony is stretched further when I see that he appears in two Australian Cricket dramas as Englishmen: Plum Warner in Bodyline and Mr Justice Slade (Justice Slade????? Oh that is funny - the Prison in Porridge was Slade Prison) in Howzat! Kerry Packer's war.

This episode was broadcast two days before Christmas 1967. For many years this episode, and most of the rest of the serial were considered lost with only episode 3 surviving in the archives. In recent years it became clear that the fate of the prints sold to Nigeria was uncertain and missing episode hunter Philip Morris tracked this story, and the following the Web of Fear, down to a TV station in the city of Jos. Their return to the BBC was announced on 11th October 2013, but rumours of their existence had been in circulation for some time beforehand.

Once the episodes were in the hands of the BBC it became clear that Enemy of the World 1 was the first to be recorded on the BBC's 625 line PAL standard rather than Enemy of the World 3 as had been believed for some years. Previously Doctor Who had been broadcast off of 405 line video tape but this enhancement produced far better picture quality for those with a TV set capable of receiving it. BBC2 adopted the 625 line standard at launch in 1964 but it took BBC1 a further few years to convert to it. The BBC continued to transmit BBC1 using the 405 line standard all the way to 1985! Nowadays the 625 line standard is referred to as 576i (576 lines interlaced) The discrepancy in the two numbers is caused by the remaining 49 lines being used for other data like a time-code and teletext. No 405 line videotapes for Doctor Who survive, but many of the 625 line tapes do as we shall eventually see. But till the end of the Troughton era episodes will survive either as 16mm telerecordings or 35mm broadcast prints. Once Pertwee and colour arrive things will get much more complicated.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

185 The Ice Warriors: Six

EPISODE: The Ice Warriors: Six
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 16 December 1967
WRITER: Brian Hayles
DIRECTOR: Derek Martinus
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 7.5 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors
TELESNAPS: The Ice Warriors: Six

"Surrender or die! Surrender now or I will blast your base to fragments!"

The Doctor struggles with Zondal but he manages to fire the weapon before collapsing. Varga demands Clent's surrender but Clent negotiates with him for face to face talks. Walters struggles under the pressure and goes to smash the computer before Miss Garrett stuns him. The Doctor begins work on modifying the Martian sonic cannon.

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Varga, Isbur and Rintan arrive at the base and start to talk with Clent. Walters starts to regain conciousness and aims a weapon at Varga but is killed by a warrior. Varga demands the fuel from the reactor. Miss Garrett is forced to run the Ioniser down to a safe level. The Doctor has modified the sonic cannon to affect liquids theorising that the Ice Warriors have a higher water content than humans. Penley awakens in the sickbay and leaves. Making his way to the control room he sees the warriors within and raises the temperature and humidity levels making things very uncomfortable for them even before the Doctor fires the sonic cannon at the base forcing their retreat. The Doctor destroys the sonic cannon controls for the ship before he and Victoria leave. When they return to the base Penley overrides the computer's decision and activates the Ioniser at full power forcing back the glacier and destroying the Martian vessel.

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GARRETT: Only a minor explosion. We're safe!
DOCTOR: Oh. Goodness me!
PENLEY: Set all circuits to automatic, Miss Garrett, and tie in with the World Ioniser instrumentation. Clent, will you check these readings with me? And you've a report to prepare, haven't you?
CLENT: Yes, yes, yes, I have. Penley, you are the most insufferably irritating and infuriating person I've ever been privileged to work with.
PENLEY: Thank you.
CLENT: Can't write a report though, can you? Something I've got to do for you. Well don't worry, it's something that I've been trained to do.
PENLEY: Without the computer?
CLENT: Now, Penley, I've always written my own speeches and my own reports.
PENLEY: Are you going to include? Well, where's the Doctor?
The Doctor and his friends however have made their exit while everyone is distracted.

That's not a bad final episode. Liked that a lot!

We found out last episode that Walters didn't volunteer for the job. Here, as the base comes under attack he snaps:

WALTERS: Well why can't we do it, sir? It's our only chance for survival.
GARRETT: You know the computers decision and its reasons.
WALTERS: I know all about that. But it doesn't exactly give much thought to us, does it?
GARRETT: The computer thinks of everything, considers all the facts.
WALTERS: And it's supposed to come up with all the answers, isn't it? Well, a fat lot of good it's doing us now. Wait, it says, wait! With glaciers on the one hand, and warriors on the other! Well, what price your computer now.
CLENT: Walters!
WALTERS: What we need is someone like Penley, or that Doctor. Somebody who can think. Not with a machine. And what good's your precious computer done anyway? Nothing! Nothing but trouble! And it's time somebody put a stop to it.
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This leads to Miss Garrett stunning him leaving him out cold on the floor.

There's an unfortunate moment of comedy when the Ice Warriors enter the control room as both Rintan and Isbur hit their heads on the top of the door frame and have to bend under it to enter the room. Varga however maintains his dignity! But once you get over it the stakes and the immediacy are upped by having the Ice Warriors confront Clent on his own ground: , since he's now on the floor with a tranquillizer gun to hand, inadvertantly leads to his death at the hands of the Ice Warriors.

CLENT: Well now, gentlemen, you said no traps and we for our part have made utterly sure, that there are no traps
VARGA: I made no promises. I merely warned you not to trick me.
GARRETT: How can we help you?
VARGA: I will tell you what I want and you will give it to me.
CLENT: Oh, come now, Varga. That's not the way to talk. We're both of us in a very difficult situation and at times like this it beholds us both to proceed with mutual respect and, because the whole world could be
It's at this point Walters regains conciousness and since he's now on the floor with a tranquillizer gun to hand attempts to attack the Ice Warriors with fatal results for him.

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VARGA: So much for your word.
CLENT: That was, that was not planned.
VARGA: I have one major requirement. The mercury isotopes for my ships reactor. You will give them to me.
CLENT: But we don't use mercury isotopes.
VARGA: The Doctor stated that you had them here.
CLENT: Well, he was wrong. We have none.
VARGA: You are lying.
CLENT: What good will it do me?
VARGA: Tell me what will happen if we halted your reactor in order to remove the fuel elements we need.
GARRETT: You can't do that!
CLENT: That reactor gives us light, heat and power.
GARRETT: And it powers the ioniser.
VARGA: So that without it, you would be completely helpless.
CLENT: In Arctic conditions like these we'd soon perish.
VARGA: Whereas we would not.
CLENT: You'd be wasting your time. This reactor does not use mercury.
VARGA: I do not believe you.
CLENT: But you must.
VARGA: There is only one way to find out. Where are the reactor controls? Tell me now.
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The Ice Warrior intrusion is halted by a combination of Penley making the conditions in the base very uncomfortable to the Ice Warriors (We'll be seeing that trick used against them again!)and the Doctor setting the modified sonic cannon on them.

DOCTOR: Well, primarily it affects fluids.
VICTORIA: What good is that to us?
DOCTOR: Well, I believe that Varga and his warriors have a far greater fluid content than human beings. There.
VICTORIA: If it works, what happens?
DOCTOR: That's just it. I don't know.
VICTORIA: Oh now look, Doctor.
DOCTOR: But I do know that whatever effect it has on the scientists, it'll have a far greater one on the warriors.
VICTORIA: Well, how's that?
DOCTOR: Well, apart from the fluid question, their helmets will trap and intensify the soundwaves.
VICTORIA: You mean, it'll knock them out and leave the scientists a bit dizzy. Well, is that it?
DOCTOR: Well, that's what I'm hoping, but there is just a vague risk that it'll kill everybody. Clent and Penley included.
VICTORIA: And Jamie? No, no, no. It's too dangerous!
DOCTOR: It's a risk we must take, Victoria!
DOCTOR: Now, cross your fingers. Here we go.
Humans are themselves 60% water so how high a percentage are Ice Warriors?

In the end it all comes down to the argument of whether to use the Ion Cannon or not and, in turn do the humans take the initiative to act without orders from the computer.

DOCTOR: Up you get. Come along, Miss Garrett. There you are.
GARRETT: Oh, the ioniser. They made me disconnect it.
DOCTOR: Then it must be switched on again immediately.
GARRETT: I don't take orders from you.
CLENT: Miss Garrett, if we are to obey Computer Control, it must be reconnected. Do so, please.
GARRETT: Yes, of course.
DOCTOR: Clent, their spacecraft is powered by an ion reactor.
CLENT: Well, that means we dare not use the ioniser at full force. That's our last chance gone.
PENLEY: Why, for heavens sake?
CLENT: Because of the risk, man. You know what would happen.
DOCTOR: Of course there's a risk, but it's a risk we must take. It's the only way!
PENLEY: Exactly.
CLENT: The computer says no!
PENLEY: The computer
CLENT: Is our supreme advisor.

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PENLEY: And what sort of advice is that. Do nothing?
GARRETT: We must obey!
PENLEY: And be destroyed? Has the computer considered that?
CLENT: The computer considers everything.
DOCTOR: But that's why in this case you cannot rely on its judgement!
GARRETT: We trust the computer. It is our strength and our guide.
DOCTOR: Not this time.
JAMIE: Well, why not?
DOCTOR: Because Jamie, the computer is faced with an insoluble problem. Either way it risks destroying itself and this it cannot do. It must play safe.
JAMIE: Aye, but if it does nothing that's just as bad.
DOCTOR: I'll explain to you another time, Jamie.
PENLEY: There's only one way out.
CLENT: What?
PENLEY: We must over-ride the computer.
GARRETT: You can't do that!
PENLEY: We must. This is a decision for a man to take, not a machine. The computer isn't designed to take risks, but that is the essence of man's progress. We must decide.
CLENT: But if you do that you'll soon ruin the world plan. All the ioniser bases must act together through World Computer Control! If we act too soon it's as bad as being too late!
PENLEY: Yes, I know that, but the other bases haven't got a glacier right on top of them and apart from that what about these ice warriors? If they live they threaten our entire civilisation.
DOCTOR: A decision must be taken, and quickly!
CLENT: I can't.

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GARRETT: I daren't.
DOCTOR: Penley, it's up to you.
PENLEY: Well, Clent?
CLENT: I reserve the right to consult the computer.
PENLEY: Go ahead.

Unfortunately the computer can't cope with the decision so we're treated now to it spinning round madly as it malfunctions.
DOCTOR: Well, Penley?
PENLEY: We will use the ioniser at full strength to turn back the glacier. Miss Garrett, inform World Control.
JAMIE: But the spaceship, if you release it from the ice?
PENLEY: At full strength the ioniser will melt rock.
Even then Clent has a last moment panic about what they're doing while Penley trusts his judgement!
CLENT: Instrument readings on the glacier face show a steady rise in temperature. Now near to maximum.
JAMIE: Well, how will we know?
GARRETT: The instruments on the ice face have the highest heat and shock resistance known to man. When they cease to function, everything about them will be destroyed.
CLENT: You're wrong! You're wrong! We'll all be killed!
PENLEY: It is a risk I willingly take.
Yeah, that wasn't too bad an episode but you could see the "Humans triumph by making a decision over the computer" coming a mile off. There's a lot of mucking about and repetition in this story as a whole, I wonder if it might have worked better as a four parter rather than a six? Victoria gets a fair bit to do, being captured by Varga and escaping only in episode 6. It's worth noting that in four stories she's been orphaned, kidnapped twice and possessed once so her time as a companion has been pretty traumatic so far!

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In the larger Doctor Who picture the story serves as a decent introduction to The Ice Warriors who stand out as being much more organic than the Daleks or Cybermen. They would be back the following year to menace The Doctor again in the Seeds of Death.

The Ice Warriors was novelised by it's author Brian Hayles and was the third Troughton story to see print. Almost every Doctor Who hardback in my local library advertised it on the back but they didn't have a copy so I was very keen to find it in paperback in the shops. To this day I'd swear it's better than the TV story. An Audiobook version is currently available. The Ice Warriors was released on Video in November 1998 for the show's 35th anniversary. The set contained all four surviving episodes, a partial telesnap reconstruction of the 2 missing ones, a cd of the soundtrack of both missing episodes, a documentary on the missing episodes and the sole surviving episode of the Underwater Menace. I was at this point getting increasingly keen to see Web of Fear part 1 so was annoyed that wasn't used instead of Underwater Menace. A Soundtrack CD of all 6 episodes was released in August 2005 with narration by Fraser Hines and have since been re-released as part of Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Volume Four(1967)

At this point in the first run of the blog I commented:

We've done well so far this season: 9 of the 16 episodes exist. Sadly only 4 episodes exist of the remaining 24 in the season.
That number, thanks to the complete return of Enemy of the World and near complete return of Web of Fear, now stands at 13 out of 24. The immediate future moves on-screen a lot more than it does the last time we were here!

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!