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Customer Review

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cold as ice, 30 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors [DVD] (DVD)
The Ice Warriors, originally broadcast in November and December 1967, is a solid, if unremarkable story. It boasts one of the strongest casts of this, or indeed any era of Doctor Who, with Peter Barkworth, Peter Sallis and Bernard Bresslaw all giving good performances, but at six episodes it does feel a little drawn out. It's perhaps a testament to this that the 1997 VHS recon of episodes two and three condensed the missing 50 minutes down to about 15 and it didn't feel that anything vital had been left out!

This release does give us the chance to see the missing parts two and three in full though, as they've been animated by Qurios. Unlike the animation for Reign of Terror, Qurios attempted to replicate the feel of the television originals (camera angles, length of cuts) as closely as possible, and in this they've succeeded very well. The characters look good, but the major problem is their arms, which tend to flap about in a very unconvincing manner, somewhat like Captain Pugwash. This is noticeable on many occasions, particularly at 14:53 in episode 3. When Arden is killed and he raises his arms above his head, this looks pretty poor.

So, it's a good effort in places and it does give a feel of the original episodes, but in future I'll probably either stick to the VHS cut-down recon (rather annoyingly stuck on disc 2) or the Loose Cannon recons.

Disc 1 also has the usual high quality production subtitles and an entertaining commentary, moderated by Toby Hadoke. Hadoke has been one of the great pluses of the last few years of the DVD range, both on the comms and as presenter of various documentaries. He teases thoughts and remembrances, on the four existing episodes, from the likes of Frazer Hines, Deborah Watling and Sonny Caldinez.

For the two animated episodes, there's something different. On episode 2, a number of people connected with the production who either couldn't make the commentary or have passed away are represented by audio clips. And several contributors who had given print interviews in the past also have their say, with their words being read by actors. This works really well and it's a shame it hasn't been attempted before, as a commentary made up of interviews from Patrick Troughton or Jon Pertwee would have been interesting. There's a few more Troughton releases to come though, so maybe it's a possibility?

The second animated episode features a discussion between Toby and Patrick Troughton's son, Michael, who has written a very interesting biography of his father. The interview touches on the book as well as more general reminisces on the brilliant, but elusive Patrick Troughton. It's good to know that they had so much to talk about that a forthcoming release will feature more from the two of them.

Disc 2 has a decent making of, Cold Fusion, as well as a look at the making of the animated episodes, Beneath the Ice. The VHS cut-down recon, part two of Doctor Who Stories: Frazer Hines and a nice piece of archive footage from Blue Peter complete the set.

So whilst The Ice Warriors isn't the strongest 2nd Doctor story, any story with Patrick Troughton is well worth watching, and although the animated episodes aren't without their flaws, they do the job quite well.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 Aug 2013 00:27:15 BDT
I agree with your view on the animation.It was done much better on "The Invasion" and a am puzzled why they did a poorer job second time round.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Aug 2013 16:23:41 BDT
The now defunct Cosgrove Hall did the animations for The Invasion, whilst Qurios did the The Ice Warriors. Planet 55 are the other studio that have produced animations - for Reign of Terror, Tenth Planet and the forthcoming Moonbase.

This explains why there's not a great deal of continuity between the releases. And even the later releases from Planet 55 should look different from Reign, as the fast-cutting in those episodes, which seemed to upset so many people, were designed to hide gaps in the animation.

Posted on 10 Oct 2013 15:18:52 BDT
Get review again giving new fans a little trivia & the review had this reader interest throughout.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Oct 2013 18:02:26 BDT
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Location: South Wales, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 350