Doctor Who: The Seeds of Doom (1976) starring Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen
When two mysterious seed pods are unearthed in the Antarctic. And a crackpot millionaire commandeers one of them for his English garden. And Doctor Who and Sarah Jane are the only ones who can stop The Seeds of Doom.
I have to admit, I have a soft spot for The Seeds of Doom for multiple reasons. One is, it’s an excellent serial from the Tom Baker era. I always enjoyed Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen) as the Doctor’s companion, and this is an excellent example of why. She rescues the Doctor as often as being rescued by him. She’s intelligent, active, and brave.
Also, The Seeds of Doom was my introduction to The Doctor — sort of. When I was growing up, Doctor Who wasn’t broadcast locally. This was in the dark days before the Internet, and even cable television. But, we had books. And I first met The Doctor and Sarah via The Seeds of Doom novelization by Philip Hinchcliffe. Which lead to others, such as The Talons of Weng-Chiang, etc. And it wasn’t until many years later that I actually saw the television version. How did it hold up?
Quite well. Now, admittedly, the BBC’s budget was minimal, and the final “monster” was clearly a man in a rubber suit. But the makeup of the poor individuals slowly metamorphosing was actually quite good. And the acting is what lifts the material above the average.
Editorial review of Seeds of Doom, courtesy of Amazon.com
When scientists unearth two seed pods deep in the arctic permafrost, the Doctor and Sarah Jane rush to investigate. Soon the Doctor’s worst fears are confirmed: the pods house Krynoids, one of the most parasitic and dangerous life forms in the universe. One of the creatures has already infected a scientist and now a hideous monster is rampaging through the Base, intent on total destruction. When the second pod is stolen amidst the escalating carnage, it is transported into the hands of insane botanist Harrison Chase. From his mansion in England, the plant-obsessed Chase will allow the pod to split open. Both the ruthless millionaire and the rapidly growing carnivorous Krynoid are intent on infecting and destroying our entire world…