The TARDIS materializes in England of the future, during Earth’s next great ice age. The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria soon ally themselves with a group of scientists linked to a worldwide organization working in synch to keep the ice at bay. The base is manned by Leader Clent, a man perhaps overly dependent on logic and computers. A survey team soon uncovers a humanoid creature (which looks a bit like a human/Godzilla hybrid) frozen in a glacier.

The being is a Martian named Varga (which makes me think of artist Alberto Vargas every time his name is mentioned) and has been frozen in the glacier since the last ice age. With his home planet long dead, his plan is to revive the rest of his crew (who come across as “laryngitis monsters” on audio) and conquer Earth. This is the third “base under siege” story (scientists vs. Martians) in a row, following “The Tomb of the Cybermen” (archeologists vs. Cybermen) and “The Abominable Snowmen” (monks vs. Yeti). Other than that, once you get used to the way the Brits pronounce “glacier” (as in, if you have two windows and one of them has a broken pane, the other is glassier) you’re good to go.

The plot includes lots of good science (or good pseudo-science, anyway), and despite the little rut the plots have taken of late. While often Earthbound, this era is fondly remembered as a golden age of monsters. I think once the decision was made to bring in a new Doctor by means of regeneration, the historical aspect of the premise was largely abandoned and the producers jumped into science fiction feet first. The Second Doctor was hardest hit by missing episodes, but this story is not so terribly missing in comparison to some others. Only episodes two and three of this six-parter are missing from the BBC vaults, and the fact that the remaining episodes were not included in “The Missing Years” set makes me hopeful that the BBC may animate the two lost ones as they did with “The Invasion.”

These audio adventures have really made me appreciative of Patrick Troughton’s Doctor, and I can hardly wait until the release of the final set.

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Despite having seen so few of his stories, Patrick Troughton is currently my 2nd-favorite Doctor (after McCoy and before Baker-- no, really!).

I have to think about it, but I'm pretty sure my 1st exposure to him was "THE FIVE DOCTORS". I say this because the Pertwee stories made it to PBS for the first time just after "THE FIVE DOCTORS" (I saw Pertwee & Lis Sladen in Philly at a small convention promoting the anniversary special).  So i got to see Troughton's 2nd return to the show some months before I saw his 1st return.  And then, a year-and-a-half later (more or less), his 3rd return.  Of the 3, "THE THREE DOCTORS" is probably my favorite, if only because it's probably the best STORY of the 3, and, it features Troughton so prominently.

The other "sort-of" Troughton story, of course, is SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER, which I saw twice in theatres when it came out. I'm afraid, of the 3 Harryhausen SINBAD films, it's the one that has really gone down in my eyes over the years.  I mean, the 1st one is the most "dated" in style (I hate that word), but in the right mood it's still a wonderful "storybook" kinda movie.  The 2nd one remains a glorious cross between "storybook" story-telling and an amazing "real-world" look and feel having been made in the early 70's afforded it (almost ironic, a "real world" feel to such an aggressively "storybook" movie). But the 3rd one falls to pieces as a result of a combination of BAD writing, BAD directing and BAD acting. How did this ever get happen, when it was made back-to-back with GOLDEN VOYAGE ?

Anyway, when I first found out about Patrick Troughton, and his having been the 2nd Doctor, it immediately struck me that his character of Milantheus (a good-guy wizard for a change) may have been similar to the 2nd Doctor. Turns out, I was right... except, watching ...EYE OF THE TIGER again reveals that Milantheus is rather a bit of an IDIOT... and the 2nd Doctor never was. It's the script's fault, but Milantheus makes one of the most collosal blunders imaginable, halfway thru the film, when he captures his opposite number, who's been shrunk to doll-size. At that point, she knows next to NOTHING about the heroes's plans. But "thanks" to his totally incompetent style of "interrogation", SHE learns everything and he learns nothing. And then, because he can't help tinkering with her size-changing formula, he witlessly creates a giant bee, which proceeds to attack HIM, allowing HER to escape.

The Ice Warriors are one old series "monster" that I wouldn't mind seeing brought back.  At least they have one story intact.

3 !!!

You're right - I should have said "one Troughton story".

Got this on disc last night, but got home late, so I only watched one episode...

 

ONE:

1)The second story in a row set in an extremely cold place - they must've wanted to amortize Troughton's fur coat.

 

2)"Asia - some improvement claimed."  "They would."

 

3)A nice bit of comedy business with the TARDIS landing on it side. ""What is it? "You're on my hand!"

 

4)"You ought to get an expert in, you know."  Doctor Smartarse.

 

5)"The vibro-chair".  Sounds like either a marital aid or something that Python's Spanish Inquisition would use to extract a confession.

 

6)"Proper Ice Warrior isn't he, sir?"  Sounds it's established that "Ice Warrior" is just a name that Joe Dayplayer here came up with for them.

 

7)"It's good to know things, even when they're dead."  That's an interesting philosophy.

 

8)Hey, the little weird guy is Angus Lennie!

 

9)"We are sanctifiers."  OK.

 

10)Cliffhanger: The Ice Warrior begins to move!

 

Interesting. Bit of a slow start.

It has been over a year since I listened to the audio only version of this story, but the DVD was released yesterday (with episodes two and three animated as I had hoped) and let me tell ya: there was nothing that could have prepared me for those “far out” 1960s-style sets and costumes. Groovy, man! The female singer would not have been out of place in an episode of Star Trek, and hey… isn’t that one guy Mike Nesmith? :)

So far I’ve watched only episode one.



Jeff of Earth-J said:

It has been over a year since I listened to the audio only version of this story, but the DVD was released yesterday (with episodes two and three animated as I had hoped) and let me tell ya: there was nothing that could have prepared me for those “far out” 1960s-style sets and costumes. Groovy, man! The female singer would not have been out of place in an episode of Star Trek, and hey… isn’t that one guy Mike Nesmith? :)

So far I’ve watched only episode one.

 

 

Yeah, T posted a shot from the episode on Facebook. Funny stuff.

TWO:

1)This is the first of the two animated episodes.  The animation's OK, but I found something weird about the way the characters moved  - almos tlike they were puppets. It took a little getting used to.  I found it amuisng that the even animated the odd Hartnellism, rather than take the opportunity to edit it out.

 

2)"Well, he didn't come by Shetland Pony, Jamie."

 

3)"I trust no one, Doctor. Not  anymore.

 

4)Cliffhanger:  Varga has found the other Ice Warriors!

 

Good to get to see  these stories at last, though like many six-parters it feels a bit padded.

THREE:

1)This is the other animated episode.

 

2)I like how Clent isn't a complete hell - he has moments of almost seeming sympathetic.

 

3)"Look up my notes on the Omega Factor." 

 

4)Varga's laugh is goofy - vaguely Muttley-esque.

 

5)Victoria doesn't seem to do much besides whinge in this.

 

6)Cliffhanger: The Ice Warriors prepare to shoot Victoria!

FOUR:

1)Clent came close to admitting he liked the Doctor - he's starting to grow on me as a character.

 

2)Victoria should be more careful, using her sonic scream like that  - she's liable to start an avalanche.

 

3)Angus Lennie seems to die in everything I see him in.

 

4)Cliffhanger:  Varga threatens to explode the Doctor!

FIVE:

1)Interesting. At the end of Part Four, the Doctor said "I never answer questions until I'm addressed properly."  In the rperise at the start of Part Five, he says "I never answer questions until I'm properly introduced."

 

2)"Aye, lead on, Macduff".  It's  "Lay on, Macduff"!

 

3)OK, that's the least-threatening-looking bear ever.

 

4)"We only fight to win."  Does anyone fight to lose?

 

5)God, Victoria's yowling is annoying. 

 

6)Cliffhanger:  The Doctor struggles to keep Zandal from firing!

SIX:

1)"Well, I believe that Varga and his Warriros have a far greater fluid content than human beings."  I wonder how he came to that belief.

 

2)"I await your...punishment.. commander."  He sounds like he's looking forward to it!

 

OVERALL:  A pretty good story, if  a little draggy in parts. Not sure how they expected to conquer the Earth with just five of them.  Of course, it does have the advantage of being one that I haven't seen a hundred times.

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