Doctor Who - Seeds of Death [VHS]
The Doctor (Patrick Troughton), Jamie and Zoe travel to a moon relay station to find out why T-Mat, a form of instant travel, has broken down. There they discovers a race of Ice Warriors, planning to use T-Mat to carry seed pods to earth which will produce a deadly fungus to suck the air dry of oxygen. The Doctor has to foil the Ice Warriors' plan, avoiding the deadly pods along the way.
Top Customer Reviews
In its favour, this 1969 story brings back the monstrous Martians following the success of their first appearance in the previous season's The Ice Warriors. There aren't many of them in evidence - we only ever see three regular warriors on set at any one time - but they look superb, with none of the ill-matching headpieces that were seen during their previous serial. The troops are joined by a new rank of Martian, in the guise of the Ice Lord Slaar (Alan Bennion), who looks sleeker but, complete with Judge Dredd style helmet, no less formidable than his underlings.
The human cast fare less well in the costume department. By the end of the 21st century, according to this story, humans will be donning outfits that give the unfortunate appearance of wearing underpants on the outside of their trousers. Another less than successful design element is the Martian seed pods, which are clearly nothing more than balloons.
Brian Hayles' script, like the subsequent The Space Pirates (which has just been released on audio CD) cashes in on the then extremely topical subject of manned space flight. The TARDIS crew materialise in a space museum, and later on they go to the moon in a rocket - something that humans had yet to achieve at the time of transmission. Watch out for Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury stretching their faces to simulate the effects of G-force!
Despite its flaws, The Seeds of Death has plenty going for it - including yet another excellent performance by Troughton.
Doctor Who's success stemmed from the conviction of the actors who ignored the low budget and immersed themselves, and subsequently the viewers, in the excellent storyline(s). This yarn is a case in point.
It scared me as a child watching the original transmission, and drew me in as an adult viewing with a fresh perspective.
Pop it on, forget the blockbuster special effects productions for a moment, and enjoy!