OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 232
STORY NUMBER: 048
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 25 January 1969
WRITER: Brian Hayles
DIRECTOR: Michael Ferguson
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
RATINGS: 6.6 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who Revisitations Box Set - Volume 2 (Seeds of Death, Carnival of Monsters & Resurrection of the Daleks)
"You saw what happened to your superior. You would do well to co-operate!"
On Earth in the future all transport is made by T-Mat. Soon after Controller Osgood returns to T-Mat control on Moonbase the base is invaded by an alien force. Osgood sabotages the equipment and is killed. The remaining technicians are set to work repairing it by the aliens. The Doctor and friends arrive in a space museum and are being held as trespassers by Professor Eldred, the owner, when the Commander Radnor from T-Mat control arrives to request a rocket to take a team to the moon. A communication from technician Locke on the moon is received saying they're in trouble and then swiftly cut off. Locke is killed by the alien invaders: The Ice Warriors!
Seeds of DEATH, not Seeds of DOOM. That's the one with the plants. Easy mistake to make though.
In many ways episode 1 of Seeds of Death does it's job setting up the situation, where all transport has been superseded by T-Mat, a form of teleportation controlled from a base on the moon and the status quo has been disrupted by the arrival of an alien force. I first saw Seeds of Death years ago while I was still at school and thought episode one was as boring as anything. I still don't think it's great: The Doctor's hardly in it and you don't see the monsters till the end. But there's some lovely point of view shots used during the episode to avoid revealing them though. Indeed Steve Peters, playing the Ice Warrior here, was billed as "alien" in that week's Radio Times. Alan Bennion was billed as Slaar, his character's name but is never listed as an Ice Lord, the name that's stuck to the ruling Ice Warriors that we'll see in charge from this story onwards.
It's amazing what odds and ends you find lying inside computers and machinery when you're trying to fix them. While Locke & Phipps are trying to fix the Moonbase communications machine they've pulled this out to get it working again and it looks rather familiar....
It's the Cerebration Mentor from The Invasion, two stories previous!
And is that one of our old friends, the Tenth Planet spacesuits I see hanging in the museum?
Three of the cast have left us already Harry Towb plays Osgood here and returns as McDermott in Terror of the Autons where he suffers one of the series more memorable deaths. He's been in loads of things but the only thing I'm sure I've seen him in The Professionals where he plays Harry Spence in Blood Sports.
Making his brief Doctor who debut, uncredited as Harvey, is stuntman Alan Chuntz. He becomes part of Derek Ware's Havoc group and regularly returns to the show. IMDB has him down as playing a Thug in The Ambassadors of Death, a Technician in Inferno, a UNIT Soldier in Terror of the Autons, a Prisoner in The Mind of Evil, Omega's Champion in The Three Doctors, a Security Guard in The Green Death, a Guard in Planet of the Spiders, a Kaled Soldier in Ravon's HQ in Genesis of the Daleks, the Chauffeur in The Seeds of Doom and Guard in State of Decay but I'm sure he's done a few more than that. He worked as a stunt adviser on Gangsters, a series that has a big influence on 80s Doctor who, and performed stunts on several movies including the Sean Connery James Bond film You Only Live Twice, The Dirty Dozen and one of my all time favourites The Italian Job.
The vast majority of this story was sitting in the BBC Film & Video Library during Ian Levine's initial visit in 1978: They held episodes 1, 2, 4, 5 & 6 with just episode 3 missing which BBC Enterprises soon supplied.