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Some Seeds Eventually Bloom
on 30 January 2006
This story is one of the neglected and one of the few 2nd Doctor stories that are going to make it to DVD. With most of the Patrick Troughton era missing or partly missing its suprising that he has any neglected stories but in this case he has. The story is quite tight for a 6 parter, set on a moonbase and transmat centre on Earth - The Ice Warriors (quite a seminal monster) invade the moonbase, turning off the transmats and causing havock on earth - they plan to place spores (the titled Seeds) on Earth to alter the atmosphere and make it ripe for invasion. Ofcourse everyones favourite Timelord pops up to spoil the plan, now a large number of people reading this are going to be unfamiliar with Troughtons portrayal due to most of his stories being deleted, however you'll grow to love him and the many aspects he brings to The Doctor. Troughton is funny, serious, deep and the two best things that sum him up is a phrase uttered during the commentary 'he does everything within his range' and the fact that later actors to play The Doctor regarded him as the guvnor and the man who showed another actor could play the part. You just have to see him to believe him, you'll laugh at the chase scenes and the scenes with the foam then you'll be caught in the tension of his scenes with the Slaar and as he battles an Ice Warrior with the solar equipment. The story is split into 3 sections which help the 6 parter flow, the first two parts handle the introductory and journey to the moon, the middle episodes (the best IMO) are on the moonbase and the final two move back to earth as the plot builds up to the climax. Its one of the least padded six parters and a personal favourite of mine. One other thing I must point out is the performance of Terry Scully as Fewsham - a character with many layers and one of the best one off characters.
With regards to the extra's my favourite is the commentary with companions Frazer Hines, Wendy Padbury, Director Michael Ferguson and in the later parts Terrance Dicks (I know, I was shocked when he popped up too, turns out he did uncredited rewrites on the later part of the story). All are in fine form and the comments towards Troughton are incredibly touching. The quality of the picture is also vastly improved from the poorly edited and scratchy VHS version - its just so amazing to see this type of quality in a black and white story. Theres a nice little interview with various actors who played Ice Warriors and the makeup artist. However a must for any fans is footage of effects shots from (the missing/deleted) Evil of the Daleks which shows us a quick glimpse of this epic.
To sum up I think this is perhaps the best Ice Warrior story (they seem to work more in black and white for me) and a good example of the Patrick Troughton stories that still remain. Theres not a lot of this gorgeous era remaining so I'd recomend enjoying what little is left...