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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 8 March 2003
This is Doctor Who at its best: imaginative, resourceful and lovingly made by all concerned. First on a long list of things to praise is the tautly written script. The first episode in particular is terse and cogent, a contrast to the careless sloppiness of quite a few other Doctor Who stories. With so many four-part stories you get the sense that there is enough material for six parts, just not the money, but here you get to see just how good the series could be when invested in with enough money to do its ideas justice. It therefore lacks the rushed tendencies of many four-part stories, but also lacks the feeling that it's been stretched to six. This is Doctor Who in the hands of a confident writer and a confident director. You can easily forget the exceedingly dodgy science.
The acting is also worthy of praise. Doctor Who has had its fair share of cheap extras in its time, going over the top and giving the series a reputation for being a pantomime. That can't be said for this particular story. The extras aren't merely people to be killed by the monsters or help the Doctor defeat them, they are people in their own right, and we get the impression that they have a history and motivations, even when they're only in minor roles. Of particular merit is the old gentleman who designed the last rocket ship before space travel was replaced by the revolutionary T-Mat transportation technology, and Miss Kelly, the feisty chief technician for T-Mat on Earth who actually manages to appear authoritative and isn't patronisingly put into a mini skirt.
Patrick Troughton, nearing the end of his tenure, looks comfortable and assured in the role. He gets to do a bit of his usual clowning, but as with the best Doctor Who stories, we are left to wonder by his performance if perhaps the Doctor isn't quite as ahead of the game as he likes to think he is. In a particularly welcome twist, it is the Doctor who gets captured by the Ice Warriors, not Jamie and Zoe, even though it looks like they're wandering into that particular clichéd plot device, as so often happens in inferior stories when they're running out of steam.
If there's one niggle, it's the Ice Warriors, who do tend to lumber about in their baggy rubber suits. Beyond that, though, the production values are far better than the original series of Star Trek, which was being made at the same time. As villains, the Ice Warriors are hardly Daleks or Cybermen, though they do manage to get a lot closer to conquering Earth here than their more popular franchise mates do on occasion. Their plan is not only quite crafty but also particular evidence of this story's resourcefulness. By sending a fungal virus to wipe us out first, the story can be restricted to sets for the moonbase, T-Mat control, a space rocket cockpit, a few exterior locations and a weather control centre. Yet it retains the feel of being an epic.
This is a two DVD set, with the six-part story on the first disc and a small mountain of extras on the second, the most interesting of which was the lost footage from The Evil of the Daleks. This is a much longer edit of some footage featured on the Tomb of the Cybermen DVD, this time with a commentary as well.
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VINE VOICEon 30 January 2006
This story is one of the neglected and one of the few 2nd Doctor stories that are going to make it to DVD. With most of the Patrick Troughton era missing or partly missing its suprising that he has any neglected stories but in this case he has. The story is quite tight for a 6 parter, set on a moonbase and transmat centre on Earth - The Ice Warriors (quite a seminal monster) invade the moonbase, turning off the transmats and causing havock on earth - they plan to place spores (the titled Seeds) on Earth to alter the atmosphere and make it ripe for invasion. Ofcourse everyones favourite Timelord pops up to spoil the plan, now a large number of people reading this are going to be unfamiliar with Troughtons portrayal due to most of his stories being deleted, however you'll grow to love him and the many aspects he brings to The Doctor. Troughton is funny, serious, deep and the two best things that sum him up is a phrase uttered during the commentary 'he does everything within his range' and the fact that later actors to play The Doctor regarded him as the guvnor and the man who showed another actor could play the part. You just have to see him to believe him, you'll laugh at the chase scenes and the scenes with the foam then you'll be caught in the tension of his scenes with the Slaar and as he battles an Ice Warrior with the solar equipment. The story is split into 3 sections which help the 6 parter flow, the first two parts handle the introductory and journey to the moon, the middle episodes (the best IMO) are on the moonbase and the final two move back to earth as the plot builds up to the climax. Its one of the least padded six parters and a personal favourite of mine. One other thing I must point out is the performance of Terry Scully as Fewsham - a character with many layers and one of the best one off characters.
With regards to the extra's my favourite is the commentary with companions Frazer Hines, Wendy Padbury, Director Michael Ferguson and in the later parts Terrance Dicks (I know, I was shocked when he popped up too, turns out he did uncredited rewrites on the later part of the story). All are in fine form and the comments towards Troughton are incredibly touching. The quality of the picture is also vastly improved from the poorly edited and scratchy VHS version - its just so amazing to see this type of quality in a black and white story. Theres a nice little interview with various actors who played Ice Warriors and the makeup artist. However a must for any fans is footage of effects shots from (the missing/deleted) Evil of the Daleks which shows us a quick glimpse of this epic.
To sum up I think this is perhaps the best Ice Warrior story (they seem to work more in black and white for me) and a good example of the Patrick Troughton stories that still remain. Theres not a lot of this gorgeous era remaining so I'd recomend enjoying what little is left...
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on 31 January 2012
1969's The Seeds of Death is a brilliant 6 part Ice Warrior tale. It's very well shot and the acting in this story is outstanding from all involved. I must admit that I felt a little dubious about watching The Seeds of Death again, I had previously watched it via the 1980's BBC video release, but it did not make much of an impression on me. However, after purchasing the 2003 2 disc special edition of this tale on DVD, I decided to sit down and give it my full attention. I'm glad I did, as this is a cracking little story, it surprised me at how fast it actually moved along. Another thing that jumped out at me was the quality of the remastered episodes themselves, very high compared to the inferior VHS release from 20 years ago. Well done Restoration Team.

What makes The Seeds of Death special for me was Alan Bennion's Slaar. His costume, voice and overall acting is perfect. I must say that the Grand Marshal as played by Graham Leaman was quite dreadful, and so it made me appreciate Alan's portrayal all the more. I don't know what it is but Alan hit the nail on the head playing Slaar the way he did. Other great actors cast by imfamous Doctor Who monster director Michael Furguson were Ronald Leigh-Hunt as Commander Radnor, Louise Pajo as Gia Kelly, Terry Scully as the cowardly Fewsham and Harry Towb as Osgood. Such a great line-up of actors was always going to create a classic, and so the performances here are inspiring.

As ever, Pat and the gang are always up for trouble, here, Pat and Frazer, getting on a bit at 3 years, show that even though they must have been exausted by now, recording continuosly for 11 months of the year, they can still throw in fine performances. Wendy Padbury's Zoe also gets a good storyline here. Zoe having much to do in aiding the defeat of the Ice Warriors plans to conquer the Earth. Although not as great in my eyes as their original outing in 1967's "The Ice Warriors", The Seeds of Death is still a fantastic action-packed and sometimes emotional serial to round-off season 6 of Doctor Who.

Great and long term Doctor Who composer, Dudley Simpson returns to score this classic serial as he had done for most of the Troughton adventures and would do so for another 10 years. I have always sung Dudley's praises as I think he is Doctor Who's greatest incidental music composer.

All 6 episodes thankfully survive for us to enjoy, having escaped the BBC's purge of classic television in the 1970's. They have been given a brilliant DVD release by the BBC, this 2 disc special edition, released as part of the 40th anniversary of the show is a fitting tribute to Troughton. Included here are all 6 episodes digitally remastered and cleaned up beautifully. There is a commentary track featuring Frazer Hines {Jamie}, Wendy Padbury {Zoe}, Michael Furguson {Director} and Terrance Dicks {script editor}, that is a lively affair with lots of cheeky banter and informative discussions. On disc 2, we have the Sssowing of the Ssseedsss documentary featuring the original Ice Warrior actors including Alan and Sonny, The Last Dalek, a 10 minute 8mm cine film from the recording of 1967's blockbuster "Evil of the Daleks" and the usual production subtitles, photo gallery and a few other little extras.

The Seeds of Death stands as the very last appearance of an alien monster in black and white, and I find it fitting that it should be the Ice Warriors that send off the Second Doctor's battles with outer space terrors. The BBC DVD release is a fantastic addition to an ever increasing range of Doctor Who serials that are becoming more and more available to collect on DVD. Highly recommended.

Many thanks for your time in reading my review, its greatly appreciated.

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on 26 September 2004
When I heard this was the next Troughton story to be released on DVD, I was overjoyed. It was one of the first Doctor Who videos I had bought as a young lad, and always stirred up fond memories for me, The ice Warriors were cool!. Anyway although I had always liked this tale of Martians and exploding pods,I had regarded this as a rather silly story as a child (Guys with underpants over their trousers spring to mind) and now felt that it was time to reappraise it. And boy was it overdue!.

'The Seeds of Death' is by far one of the best Doctor Who DVD releases so far. First of all the story itself stands up incredibley well today, it is a terribly imaginative production, with many interesting concepts and most of which are well executed. The main trio of The Doctor, Jaimie and Zoe have really gelled by this point in the series and work very well together, the supporting cast too are generally excellent with the odd exception, and the entire story is is fast-paced and atmospheric. Michael Ferguson's direction in hindsight is superb, with many lovely touch's such as the countdown sequence were the numbers are superimposed over Miss Kelly's face, or the chase sequence involving the Doctor and the Ice warriors. The Ice Warriors come across very well too, despite their general slowness and lumbering around. I can't help but love this story, it has all the ingredient's in place for an exciting, well-made adventure. Sure it is hard to igonre the silly costumes and the odd over-the-top death scene, but who cares when it's as good as this!.
This story is also very well served by it's features, which are a very neat little package. The commentary is informative, amusing and never dull. The doucumentary is light-weight, and is pretty much just the actors complaining about their sweaty costumes, but is still highly entertaining. 'The Last Dalek' feature is a fascinating look at the end sequence of 'The Evil of the Daleks' which also has an excellent ommentary by Michael John Harris and Peter Day. But the real treat on this DVD is the newly discovered New Zealand censor clips from 'The Web of Fear', which are frankly stunning and really make this particular story one you desperatley wish could be recovered in it's entireity. 'The Wheel in Space' punch-up clips don't really stand a chance against those marvellous Yeti!
All in all this is yet another fantastic Doctor Who DVD release, with plenty to enjoy in the story and features. So go buy it if you haven't already, and enjoy everything this disc has to offer.
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on 1 June 2016
The Seeds Of Death is one of the later entries to the series during Patrick Troughton's tenure as the Doctor. While I can't call this one of the best serials of the 60s, it isn't exactly bad. On the contrary, there is a lot to like here, particularly the return and effective use of the Ice Warriors and the welcome introduction of the Ice Lord. I also find it admirable that Doctor Who managed to predict the decline in interest of space travel before the moon landings had even happened. However, at the same time, I have to admit that compared to other iconic stories in the 2nd Doctor's tenure, such as The Tomb Of The Cybermen or The Invasion, The Seeds Of Death doesn't hold up. Ultimately, while this isn't a bad entry into the series, it's very forgettable and marked a time where, with the exception of The War Games, the series was starting to run out of steam.
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on 31 August 2013
This is a story that has a similar set up to 'the Ice Warriors' with a future Earth facing global catastrophe from a failure in the the technologies they've become dependant on; in 'the Ice Warriors' its the ionizer and here it's the breakdown of T-Mat. Both stories involve the Doctor and his companions pursuading the humans to embrace human judgement to overcome their dependency of that system; for instance the challenge in ignoring a super computer or using rockets over the advanced T-Mat system. Both have similar ideas, the main difference however is in the use of the Ice Warriors. In 'Seeds of Death' the Ice Warriors are an aggressive invading force deliberately targeting the Earth rather than emerging plus it features the first appearance of an Ice Lord. Unlike the slower start to 'the Ice Warriors', 'Seeds of Death' has a rather faster start and often has moments of thrilling chase and threat. It's a far more entertaining story to their debut story and even if the science may feel a little dodgy, this is easily the best story to feature the Ice Warriors. This is an undeniable classic in the Doctor Who dvd library and is a must alone for Patrick Troughton's incredible Doctor. A must buy.
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on 29 July 2006
One of the most underrated stories in Doctor Who's history is 'The Seeds Of Death'. It's very, very, very gripping and looks stunning. But, really, it'fantastic, and the amazing thing is that Wendy Padbury (Zoe) was a screamer in 'The Mind Robber', in this, she's a brave hearted, plucky asaistant, and Frazer Hines is incredible as well. One thing that outstands me is the quality opf production, direction and acting. But buy it, buy nan underrated, all-time Doctor Who classic.
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on 1 March 2003
One of the saddest things about "Doctor Who" is the number of episodes from the 1960's that are missing from the BBCs archives, at this stage more than likely for ever. The biggest casualty of this mass destruction was Patrick Troughton's second doctor. He made a total of 21 stories from 1966 to 1969, but only six survive complete - seven if you count the story that inspired this one, "The Ice Warriors", of which four out of six episodes survive.
Growing up in the 80's I remember Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy in the role, I've seen the colour episodes from Jon Pertwee and Tom Bakers era on video or on one of many screenings on satelite TV, but no-one has ever bothered much with the early black and white episodes. I'm glad the BBC are taking the stance that they are on this, releasing stories from each doctor in turn, and with the early episodes taking the time and care to restore the original prints to make the picture and sound look much better than they've looked at any time since their first broadcast in 1969. BBC TV may not have treated the series with much respect, but at least BBC Video are making a serious effort. Like all the releases before it, we get an audio commentary by four cast and crew members plus a text production notes track.
The audio commentary is interesting in that people come and go during each episode. We begin with director Michael Ferguson plus Frazer Hines (Jamie) and Wendy Padbury (Zoe) for episode one, and they are joined by writer/script editor Terrance Dicks for episode three(a familiar name to anyone who has ever read any of the Target range of Doctor Who novels!). Ferguson then disappears until episode four when Padbury and Hines disappear so Dicks and Ferguson are left to discuss the episode alone, and so it goes on. This works quite effectively, making one of the better 'Who' commentaries I've heard.
This release comes on two disks - the six part feature and commentaries on disk one, with disk two containing the extras - the main one being a 25-minute new documentary on the Ice Warriors which interviews those actors who were under the monster suits. "The Lost Dalek" feature is very similiar to that on the other Troughton DVD release "Tomb of the Cybermen", while the cesnor clips from two 'lost' episodes are depressingly short - but at least they're there and its nice to finally see a Yeti roaming the London Underground! As a result, the second disk just seems a bit empty. Nevertheless, this is another fine release from the BBC as the show enters its fourtieth anniversary. A good buy.
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on 24 April 2013
I watched this for he first time last night, I thought Id watch about half of it and the other half the day after....yeah, that didnt quite happen. After the first episode, I was hooked.

The Seeds of Death is the fifth serial of the sixth season of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which originally aired in six weekly parts from 25 January to 1 March 1969. It is distinguished as the second appearance of the Ice Warriors. This is also the last full serial out on DVD before The War Games episode which is the second Doctor's last before he regenerates.

The 6 episodes flew by when I watched it. The acting is good from all who is involved and has some great filming shots as well. The production and special effects might not be up to much compared to now, but, are very good for 1969.

Overall this is one of my favourite episodes from the Patrick Troughton era and is amazing that all of the episode is avalible.
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on 25 February 2003
The first 6 part Doctor Who story to be released on DVD. It all looks great. The restoration team have done a splendid job. The Vidfire technique has really had a good go at getting these episodes back to the just broadcast quality they would probably have looked like back in 1969.
There are a nice selection of extras including an interesting documentary featuring the actors behind the cumbersome Ice Warrior costumes from Seeds and other stories - Alan Bennion, Sonny Caldinez and the late Bernard Bresslaw.
Other extras include cast and crew audio commentary, model effects footage from The Evil of the Daleks, rediscovered censored clips from Web of Fear and Wheel in Space, a snowy Tardis cam, Photo Gallery and production subtitles.
Altogether an excellent 2 disc package from the BBC.
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