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on 10 May 2012
The Doctor arrives on Earth in a future beset by a new ice-age. Scientists struggle to find a way to hold back the inexorable advance of the glaciers. Meanwhile a strange humanoid figure is discovered trapped and perhaps preserved in the ice.
I guess I was around ten when I first read this in the 1970s. I'd been far too young to catch The Ice Warriors when first broadcast in 1967. And I'd have to wait another 25 years or so to finally get my hands on the specially reconstructed edition on VHS to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Doctor Who. I hold The Ice Warriors in very high esteem, ranking it in the higher echelons of Patrick Troughton stories; it's hugely atmospheric, surprisingly arctic for the budget, well cast, funny, dramatic and a good script. The book is all those things, with a no limits effects budget and if it differs in small ways from the original production it's mainly due to what the actors brought to the characters themselves, most notably the humour and goofing of the Tardis crew in the first episode. Britannicus Base is realised better on the page. Finally that image of a full on country house, complete with lawns and terraces sheltered by an environment dome is achieved. I'd like to proclaim that this book introduced one of the great Who 'monster' races to me but I'd actually already encountered the Ice Warriors on tv via their Peladon appearances (also penned by Bryan Hayles). The book did spark a bit of interest in what glaciers were to my young mind. Previously glaciers were the bit of the dinosaur encyclopaedia that I'd been a bit dismissive of. Arden's very funny line,"Oh, not another Mastodon," wasn't in the book or I'd have certainly sympathised. I was disappointed to learn that glaciers weren't quite as sprightly as the Doctor Who variety. There are a lot of conflicts of opposites going on throughout, transforming the now familiar base under siege Troughton plot into a crackingly fascinating story; science against nature, the clash of personality between Leader Clent and temperamental scientist Penley, not to mention the mammalian v reptilian stand-off between the Humans and the Martians. Even through my rosy nostalgia haze I have to admit that at times the pseudo science jargon is sometimes a bit much and too much time is spent rationalising the science. Though in its defence it does make the science guff exceedingly convincing guff. But that's an impression that I have reading it at age 45. At age ten the main thought that was in my mind was finding more Target novelisations.
Original artwork , features on script to novel, Brian Hayles and a new introduction by Mark Gatiss.
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VINE VOICEon 7 February 2010
This isn't the first time Frazer Hines (alias Jamie McCrimmon) has narrated The Ice Warriors. In 2005, he provided the linking narration for the audio release of the television serial's soundtrack ("Doctor Who", the Ice Warriors (Dr Who Radio Collection)). Now he reads the unabridged novelisation of the story, originally published by Target Books in 1976 (Doctor Who and the Ice Warriors (The Doctor Who Library, No. 33)).

As with his voice-overs for the soundtrack releases, Hines's narration is sometimes a little over-the-top in its enthusiasm, especially at the beginning of the story when he practically shouts the book's title. He also fumbles a few lines, so that, for example, we are told about a Martian's "fierth hiss" - was there no time for a retake? However, perhaps because of Hines's familiarity with the television story, he does some good impersonations of several of the characters, including the scavenger Storr, the distinctive whisper of the Ice Warriors, and of course his famous, eerily accurate imitation of Pat Troughton's Doctor.

As for the novelisation itself, author Brian Hayles trims much of the fat from his own television scripts, especially from the later episodes, the screen versions of which are rather sluggish. Conversely, a great deal of attention is lavished upon the tense build-up of the first two instalments. As a result, material from the opening two episodes takes up the whole of the first two CDs (just over an hour each), while the remainder of the story passes by swiftly during the final two discs.

Several of the characters benefit from additional back-stories and explorations of their inner thoughts and feelings, in particular Miss Garrett (here given the first name Jan), whose characterisation on screen is decidedly uneven. A slightly different explanation is offered here by Leader Clent for the onset of the new Ice Age, perhaps in light of more recent research, and the computer is given a name, ECCO.

However, there's still no explanation as to why Arden and his fellow scientists should believe that the frozen Varga might be an early human, when even through a thick layer of ice they can see that he is green. Perhaps they think that, despite being deep frozen, the centuries-old body has got a bit mouldy!

An improvement on the original six-part serial, Doctor Who and the Ice Warriors certainly won't leave you cold - and neither will the new, lower price point.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 7 December 2015
The story The Ice Warriors was first broadcast on tv in the fifth season of Doctor Who in November 1967, and now remains one of the partly missing serials. The story was written by Brian Hayles, and was novelised by him as one of the Target range of novels in 1976. It’s a great book to read, and covers the six-part story very well in 140 pages. Interestingly, the book concentrates heavily on the first three episodes (covered in 100 pages), while the remaining three episodes, which really have a lot of action and cover a lot of ground in them, are covered in the remaining 40 pages of the book. So the story builds up relatively slowly, and then really races along towards the resolution.

The story features the Second Doctor, travelling with Jamie McCrimmon and Victoria Wakefield, but it begins in a scientific establishment, where we find people apparently trying to hold back an advance of glaciers. Elsewhere, a team from the Base are out in the terrible weather conditions, and make an unusual discovery in the ice. And outside the Base, a large blue box materialises, and out of it steps the Doctor and his friends. They soon find themselves in a race against time and the weather, and against foes who are definitely not from this world. This is the first story to introduce the famous Ice Warriors from Mars, who the Second Doctor is destined to meet again in a later story in 1969, The Seeds of Death.

The novelisation has been released in an audio format, as a reading of the novel by Frazer Hines, who played Jamie McCrimmon in the Second Doctor’s incarnation. Frazer Hines does a great job at the reading, and narrates the story and performs the other parts. He is, of course, a great hand at impersonating Patrick Troughton’s Second Doctor, and does a very engaging turn as Victoria, and plays the other parts in the story well when they are required to have dialogue. The only slight quibble I have with the audio reading by Hines is that he speaks quite fast, and sometimes the words are slightly run together in his sentences. The audio reading of the novelisation was released in 2010, and runs to approximately 4 hours, on 4 cds.

This is a great story, and it’s great to have it available in novel and audio formats, while we wait to see if the remaining episodes are ever rediscovered; a bit like the Ice Warriors, they may turn up again some day.
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on 25 February 2010
This is another enjoyable release in the range of audiobook versions of the Target range of DOCTOR WHO novelisations first published in the 1970s. DOCTOR WHO AND THE ICE WARRIORS is an adaptation of the six part adventure THE ICE WARRIORS, a story that featured Patrick Troughton in the title role back in the black and white days of 1967. This story takes place in some future Ice Age when glaciers threaten to destroy all human civilization, and only the beleaguered staff of Britannicus base can hold them in check, but the discovery and resurrection of an ancient Martian Warrior buried deep in the ice takes the story in surprising and quite unexpected directions.

Brian Hayles created a crackingly entertaining and thought-provoking little tale, which also manages to weave debates on the conflict between progress versus anarchy, science versus nature and humanity versus mechanization into the narrative. He has pretty much followed and expanded upon his own original television scripts adding much back story and character along the way and as one of the stronger, earlier stories in the original range, really expands very well on the television version, which is one of the stories that remains incomplete in the archives, although 4 episodes of it did get released on video many years ago. The audio soundtrack version is also available if you want to make a comparison.

Those early Target DOCTOR WHO books really have managed to stand the test of time as entertaining, diverting and well told stories in their own right.

FRAZER HINES (who played companion Jamie McCrimmon in the original episodes) narrates in excitable style and is generally very good indeed, playing all the roles with sometimes uncanny accuracy, and the addition of sound effects and voice treatments really help to tell the story without being too intrusive.

The packaging uses the rather brilliant original cover illustration as painted by Chris Achilleos for the original release and is such a beautiful painting it rather justifies the price on its own.

The whole release is very thoughtfully put together. This range of children's books was very strong when I was young and remains so in the audio format, and never comes across as being particularly childish. This is intelligent storytelling that doesn't talk down to its audience and as such is highly recommended.
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on 5 February 2014
Undoubtedly, this story is most renowned for its introduction of one of Doctor Who’s most famous monsters, the Ice Warriors. Despite this it is probably the weakest portrayal of them as an alien species amongst their appearances. Much of their role in ‘The Ice Warriors’ is as generic bad guys. Aspects of their society and how they function as a species are only revealed in their subsequent stories. It is not until then that we gain some understanding of their civilisation. Brain Hayles, author of the original script, improves upon this somewhat in his novelisation. There are added details concerning their martial code, especially with Zondall in the latter stages, which provide some impression of their psychological make-up. Even though the novel may benefit in this way it suffers from not having the wonderful on screen performance of Bernard Bresslaw who breathed such life and realism into Varga that Varga becomes the template for the Ice Warriors from then on.

The true focus of this story is not upon the eponymous aliens but a myriad of philosophical debates concerned with how reliant a society should become upon technology. Many of the issues surrounding this subject are re-hashed and reiterated throughout the course of the story. A lot of this material could have been cut out as it sometimes does nothing more than labour a point. The novelisation does a better job than the TV version of making this more coherent. Most of these arguments are polarised by the characters Penley and Clent. In fact much of the story develops because of the division between them. Only once they work together to things work out.

There are times when the Doctor feels a little superfluous. Often he is just filling in for Penley’s absence. There also isn’t that much for Jamie to do either. However, Victoria gets a better role to play as she facilitates information on the Ice Warriors through her interaction with Varga. This role is extenuated in the novel. Without her the reader would not be privy to Varga’s plans or his motivations.

The story seems to work better in the form of novel. It is more concise, less muddled and better paced. Some minor events are in a slightly different order, which benefits the story. This republication also possesses a short, but heartfelt, introduction from Mark Gatiss, who eventually returned the Ice Warriors to the screen.
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on 24 April 2013
Oh if only amazon/the internet were around when I was collecting Dr Who books in my youth... I suppose it would have taken away the fun of the hunt around various dusty second hand bookshops.

I've recently bought some of these Doctor Who books for my young nephew in an attempt to brainwash him into my Whovian ways.
these reprintings are quite full on in a way, you obviously get the original text and cover art (with a small picture of that story's doctor on the spine) but it now comes with analysis and a foreword which seems quite odd for novelisations of an old sci-fi tv show but no complaints here.

I chose 2 books to start my nephew on and the ice warriors was always going to be one of them; it's a brilliant story with one of my favourite villains and a classic doctor/companion combo.
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on 20 March 2013
For someone brought up in the 70s and 80s, on a staple diet of Tom Baker and Peter Davison as Dr Who, novelisations were they DVDs and of the day.
Back then there was little chance of me ever seeing Hartnell and Troughton episodes, the same was also true for many of the Pertwee shows; so Target were the only chance many of us ever got to explore the show and revisit old enemies.
The Ice Warriors were always a personal favourite and this little gem was one of the most enjoyable target editions of my youth. If you love Dr Who, do yourself a favour and invest in a copy, you won't regret it.
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VINE VOICEon 26 August 2013
Some of the original 1970s Doctor Who Target novelisations have now been published as e-books, so I am re-reading this one in light of the release of the DVD this weekend. This is not one of my particular favourites, but rattles along quite well, with some extra back story being given for a few of the minor characters. There are a number of quite well drawn human characters, while the Ice Warriors come across as quite a forbidding threat here, rather than as the reptilian soldiers the rank and filers sometimes resembled in later stories.
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on 18 February 2013
Good book I never saw
the episode but would like to its exciting and interesting

Five star
Bye bye bye
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on 3 August 2013
Classic who, great story being able to imagine the characters as the story went on was a major plus, couldnt put it down
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