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The Ice Warriors
on 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.