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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Pat Troughton Ice Warrior Encounter, 31 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Seeds of Death [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
1969's The Seeds of Death is a brilliant 6 part Ice Warrior tale. It's very well shot and the acting in this story is outstanding from all involved. I must admit that I felt a little dubious about watching The Seeds of Death again, I had previously watched it via the 1980's BBC video release, but it did not make much of an impression on me. However, after purchasing the 2003 2 disc special edition of this tale on DVD, I decided to sit down and give it my full attention. I'm glad I did, as this is a cracking little story, it surprised me at how fast it actually moved along. Another thing that jumped out at me was the quality of the remastered episodes themselves, very high compared to the inferior VHS release from 20 years ago. Well done Restoration Team.

What makes The Seeds of Death special for me was Alan Bennion's Slaar. His costume, voice and overall acting is perfect. I must say that the Grand Marshal as played by Graham Leaman was quite dreadful, and so it made me appreciate Alan's portrayal all the more. I don't know what it is but Alan hit the nail on the head playing Slaar the way he did. Other great actors cast by imfamous Doctor Who monster director Michael Furguson were Ronald Leigh-Hunt as Commander Radnor, Louise Pajo as Gia Kelly, Terry Scully as the cowardly Fewsham and Harry Towb as Osgood. Such a great line-up of actors was always going to create a classic, and so the performances here are inspiring.

As ever, Pat and the gang are always up for trouble, here, Pat and Frazer, getting on a bit at 3 years, show that even though they must have been exausted by now, recording continuosly for 11 months of the year, they can still throw in fine performances. Wendy Padbury's Zoe also gets a good storyline here. Zoe having much to do in aiding the defeat of the Ice Warriors plans to conquer the Earth. Although not as great in my eyes as their original outing in 1967's "The Ice Warriors", The Seeds of Death is still a fantastic action-packed and sometimes emotional serial to round-off season 6 of Doctor Who.

Great and long term Doctor Who composer, Dudley Simpson returns to score this classic serial as he had done for most of the Troughton adventures and would do so for another 10 years. I have always sung Dudley's praises as I think he is Doctor Who's greatest incidental music composer.

All 6 episodes thankfully survive for us to enjoy, having escaped the BBC's purge of classic television in the 1970's. They have been given a brilliant DVD release by the BBC, this 2 disc special edition, released as part of the 40th anniversary of the show is a fitting tribute to Troughton. Included here are all 6 episodes digitally remastered and cleaned up beautifully. There is a commentary track featuring Frazer Hines {Jamie}, Wendy Padbury {Zoe}, Michael Furguson {Director} and Terrance Dicks {script editor}, that is a lively affair with lots of cheeky banter and informative discussions. On disc 2, we have the Sssowing of the Ssseedsss documentary featuring the original Ice Warrior actors including Alan and Sonny, The Last Dalek, a 10 minute 8mm cine film from the recording of 1967's blockbuster "Evil of the Daleks" and the usual production subtitles, photo gallery and a few other little extras.

The Seeds of Death stands as the very last appearance of an alien monster in black and white, and I find it fitting that it should be the Ice Warriors that send off the Second Doctor's battles with outer space terrors. The BBC DVD release is a fantastic addition to an ever increasing range of Doctor Who serials that are becoming more and more available to collect on DVD. Highly recommended.

Many thanks for your time in reading my review, its greatly appreciated.

M.B.
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