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The Ice Man Cometh (possibly quite slowly),
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors [DVD] (DVD)
One of the really neat tricks of casting (and one previously employed in Tomb of the Cybermen) lies in hiring actors like Peter Barkworth, Peter Sallis and Angus Lennie on one side, and Michael Attwell, Sonny Caldinez and Bernard Bresslaw on the other; the first three, while excellent performers, all being somewhat wanting of height, while the latter owning a surfeit thereof. It makes the Martians look even more imposing and, possibly, more green.
It's a good story - possibly not quite six episodes worth of good, but definitely five - the gaps between some causes and their effects being somewhat protracted; it moves faster than the glacier, but sometimes not much faster.
For the humans, the head-on collision of Clent and Penley works very well; Clent is an appalling bully, while Penley, though much more charming, would probably drive one to distraction after a couple of days, just through a surplus of talent and principle. One of the regular pauses of the plot is for this pair to complain about or at each other (remember, Penley does *not* have a dog named Gromit...). Angus Lennie seems rather mis-cast as Stor - not quite the grizzled, reactionary pirate that the story seems to require - his rants about scientists sound pettish, rather than dangerous. Wendy Gifford is doing fine things as Miss Garret, but she has far too little of them to do.
The Warriors are at something of a work-in-progress stage; while Bernard Bresslaw and Roger Jones are clearly doing great things, there's rather more head-waving acting than the characters need, giving the impression of tortoises trying to escape their shells - a bit neurotic-looking, rather than menacing, added to which, I can't always hear what they are saying, or see which one is saying it. It's rather as if 'How To Be An Ice Warrior' is still being worked out, along with 'How To Put The Costume On' (Turloc's hat seems to be differently fashioned to the others, for instance). I'm also not completely sure what the big green men actually want - they're never going to take over the world with just five of them.
Victoria can be very annoying, can't she? In that bit where she's being chased by Turloc - which should be so scary - she keeps stopping for a long time, and then screaming before the monster's seen her - it's silly, and worse, while it could be listless direction, it looks like really bad acting. I can see the poor girl's distressed throughout most of this, but she really doesn't illicit much sympathy.
It does look good however - the space ship, the base, the computer, the Warriors, the groovy 1960s outfits and Clent's Perspex cane (oh, get off with you!), even the stock footage fits in well. I've got serious doubts about the sonic cannon, but am prepared to crush them.
And I do enjoy the animated episodes - a touch jerky perhaps, but seemingly in-keeping with the 1960s!