Doctor Who: The Seeds of Death (1969) starring Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines, Wendy Padbury
Doctor Who: The Seeds of Death – can the Second Doctor prevent an invasion by the Ice Warriors in a future where they hijack T-Mat transportation to infect Earth with a deadly fungus?
First, the TARDIS arrives on 21st Century Earth. In the future, all long-distance journeys are instantaneous by T-Mat. But the alien Ice Warriors have invaded the T-Mat relay station on the Moon …
Slaar: [hissing, labored breathing] You saw what happened to your superior. You would do well to co-operate.
Fewsham: Killing him didn’t do you any good.
Slaar: Would you do as I ask.
Fewsham: There is nothing I can do.
Slaar: You do not want to die?
Fewsham: I’m not that good enough a technician! It needs an expert!
Slaar: But you are second in command, here.
Fewsham: Yes, but…
Slaar: Then you must have certain abilities. You must know what needs to be done.
Fewsham: In theory, yes.
Slaar: Then you will do it!
Phipps: He’ll only make it worse!
Slaar: What is their status here?
Fewsham: Maintenance. Second class technicians.
Locke: There is only one person who can really put things to right, and she’s at Earth control.
Phipps: Without her, it just can’t be done!
Slaar: Who is this specialist?
Fewsham: Miss Kelly, technical coordinator. But there’s no way to reach her. T-Mat is not working.
Slaar: But you have a video link?
Fewsham: Yes, but, Osgood wrecked that, too!
Slaar: So, there is no means to communicate with Earth?
Phipps: No, you’ve cut us off completely!
Slaar: In that case, you are useless! You will all be destroyed!
The commerce of the world grinds to a halt. Then the Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe agree to investigate, and head off to the moon in an ancient rocket.
Next, on the Moon, the Ice Warriors capture the Doctor. Then he learns that they intend to use the T-Mat to spread a deadly fungus across the world.
[to the Ice Warriors]
The Doctor: Your leader will be angry if you kill me… I’m a genius!
And now, the Martian fungus begins to spread. Zoe, Jamie, and Gia Kelly attempt to strike back against Slarr and his Ice Warriors.
Soon, an Ice Warrior invasion fleet is on its way to the Moon. Back on Earth, the Doctor has a plan to destroy the Martian fungus.
Returning to the Moonrise, the Doctor confronts Solar and the remaining Ice Warriors. He must find a way of deflecting the invasion fleet that is heading towards them.
- Patrick Troughton (The Three Doctors) … Dr. Who
- Ric Felgate … Brent
- Harry Towb (The Blue Max) … Osgood
- Ronald Leigh-Hunt … Radnor
- Philip Ray … Eldred
- Terry Scully … Fewsham
- Alan Bennion (The Curse of Peladon) … Slaar
- Wendy Padbury (The War Games, The Five Doctors) … Zoe
- Louise Pajo … Gia Kelly
- Christopher Coll … Phipps
- Martin Cort (The Keys of Marinus) … Locke
- Frazer Hines (The Two Doctors, The Ice Warriors) … Jamie. The Doctor’s faithful companion, and right-hand man.
Doctor Who: Seeds of Death: Special Edition (Episode 48) (DVD)
New to DVD! Digitally re-mastered Doctor Who classic The Seeds of Death Special Edition! By the late 21st century, mankind has become totally dependent on T-Mat to transport people, food and medicines around the world. When the system breaks down, Earth is soon crippled by global shortages. Traveling to the relay station on the Moon, the Doctor and his companions discover the horrific truth: the Ice Warriors have hijacked T-Mat, and intend to claim the planet for themselves. Can the Doctor defeat the Martians before Earth is smothered in deadly fungus, and the human race is condemned to extinction?
Editorial review of The Seeds of Death courtesy of Amazon.com
An excellent script, top-notch supporting performances, and a vivid villain make The Seeds of Death an above-average Doctor Who story from the 1960s. The Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton) and his companions, the headstrong Jamie (Frazer Hines) and the intrepid Zoe (Wendy Padbury), arrive in a future Earth where all travel is done by teleportation, a system called T-Mat–but the Ice Warriors have taken over the T-Mat station on the Moon and threaten to conquer Earth. Over the course of six episodes, the Doctor infiltrates the moon base, is nearly killed by toxic bubble bath (as usual, the special effects are fairly primitive), and saves the day.
The first two episodes of The Seeds of Death really zip along; the crisp writing (by Brian Hayles) lays out the plot skillfully and the characters actually behave like intelligent human beings. After that, when long-time script editor Terrance Dicks rewrote the story (as discussed in one of the extras), the material takes a turn for the generic and the pace grows sluggish, but there’s still fun to be had. While most of the Ice Warriors are a bit laughable, Ice Lord Slaar (Alan Bennion), with his sibilant whisper of a voice, is marvelously creepy.
Not only does this story feature the hyper-intelligent Zoe, one of the leading T-Mat managers is the highly competent Gia Kelly (the excellent Louise Pajo), whose skill and authority are treated with respect throughout. A second disk of extra features includes a solid making-of doc and several featurettes about the monsters of Doctor Who, from the Daleks to the Weeping Angels. All in all, good fare from the early years of this classic science fiction series. —Bret Fetzer