The Ice Warriors is one of the mythic Patrick Troughton Doctor Who stories. Fans of this series know that the BBC –like many other networks worldwide-- wiped many of its tapes including many entire shows and quite a few Doctor Who episodes. Over the years, stories were reconstituted as tapes came in from various countries in the Commonwealth as well as from collectors and fans. Unfortunately, episodes 2 and 3 of story 39, The Ice Warriors, never surfaced although the soundtrack did. Whoever thought of replacing long lost segments of Doctor Who stories with animation deserves the Clever Boy award.
Even more clever was the decision to animate the missing episodes in black and white to respect the feel and appearance of the story. It works. The animation itself is a little static but it goes well with the low budget special effects and sets.
The plot is basic Doctor Who. The TARDIS lands in an alternate England where scientists are trying to hold back a second ice age. The Doctor with companions Jamie and Victoria arrive at an old mansion where scientists have set up their equipment. There is something wrong with the computer and if the problem is not discovered, ice will cover the entire area and then the entire world. Will the Doctor help and save the planet?
One of the scientists out investigating comes across a figure frozen in the ice. It ends up being thawed, being an Ice Warrior from Mars, and it sets out to free its companions to either go back to Mars or take over the world. A secondary story involves renegade civilians and scientists called scroungers who do just that.
This is a fun but not great story. Like most original Doctor Who stories it does drag on a bit. The only really annoying thing is Victoria is too much a shrill damsel in distress even for that period. There is nothing here about Troughton's Doctor stands out.
If Ice Warriors ring a bell, they also appear in The Seeds of Death, The Curse of Peladon, The Monster of Peladon, and in the Eleventh Doctor episode Cold War.
Special features for Doctor Who The Ice Warriors include a commentary track for all 6 episodes, show notes in subtitle form (DVD 1). DVD 2 has Beneath the Ice, a behind the scenes of the animated segments; the 1998 VHS version of episodes 2 and 3 where the soundtrack was played over black and white photographs from the show; a Making of the Ice Warriors; a Blue Peter episode titled Design a Monster; and the second part of the Fraser Hines profile. In other words, lots of goodies for hard core fans.
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