The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria arrive on Earth in the future,
to find the planet in the grip of a new Ice Age. Scientists
are struggling to hold back the progress of huge glaciers
using an Ioniser machine, but it's only a matter of time before
they are overcome. To make matters worse, a giant humanoid
creature found in the ice comes back to life...
with the recent Crusade
CD, there's little here that Who fans haven't heard
before. The four existing instalments, together with the soundtracks
for the missing second and third episodes, were previously
released in The Ice Warriors Collection video box set.
However, unlike The Crusade, which is currently available
as part of the Lost
in Time DVD collection, this CD has more validity
owing to the fact that the Ice Warriors video has long
since been deleted.
What is new, of course, is the linking narration provided
by Frazer Hines (alias Jamie), in what is his final such assignment.
As usual, the narration is unobtrusive - in fact, there are
a few occasions when we could have done with having a bit
more explanation. Listeners who have never seen this
story on video might wonder why Miss Garrett (Wendy Gifford)
suddenly mentions "The vibro-chair" (oo-er missus). The reason,
in fact, is that Leader Clent (Peter Barkworth) feels a bit
The plot is the standard "base under siege" format, complete
with overwrought commander. Surely even back in 1967 viewers
must have started to feel tired of the repetition by now,
following the very similarly structured The Tenth Planet,
The Moonbase and The
Abominable Snowmen. Here the twist is that
human society has become over-dependent on computers. Clent
won't commit to a decision without first running it past the
base's computer. Little Britain fans will love the
fact that in episode six Clent actually utters the words "Computer
says no"! However, even this twist would ultimately be repeated
in the form of the overtly logical ZoŽ in The
Wheel in Space.
What guarantees this story its place in Who history
is the debut of the Ice Warriors themselves, led by Bernard
Bresslaw as Varga. Bresslaw establishes the Martians' memorable
hissing voices, and his performance is a million miles away
from his better-known comedic roles in the Carry On...
films. At no point during this adventure do Varga's trousers
Other notable guest stars include a pre-Last of the Summer
Wine and Wallace and Gromit Peter Sallis as Penley,
and a pre-Crossroads Angus Lennie as his fellow rebel
Storr. Penley, an anti-establishment scientist, possesses
some distinctly Doctor-ish characteristics - and he also has
a Dr McCoy-ish moment, when he delivers the line: "I'm a scientist,
not a gladiator," (though Star Trek had not yet been
aired in the UK when this serial was broadcast).
scriptwriter Brian Hayles' plotting is painfully slow at times,
the advantages of experiencing this story on audio are that
you don't get to see how much the Ice Warriors' heads change
shape between episodes, nor that their appearance contradicts
several indications in the dialogue that they resemble Vikings.
release also features an interview with Frazer Hines, which
is split - rather abruptly - across the two CDs, with five
minutes of discussion appearing at the end of each disc. Best
of all is the presence of a vintage trailer for the next serial
to be transmitted, The
Enemy of the World.
its sluggish storytelling and the over-familiarity of its
plot, The Ice Warriors is still pretty cool.
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