Monday, July 27, 2009

XX1 - The Seeds of Death 1

Episode One of this story features what might be, at the time, the longest elapsed time before The Doctor appears in the story - 8 minutes, four seconds, by my reckoning (although this mark will be shattered very soon). Two entire settings and plot threads are started up, Osgood, who looks like he's going to be a major character, is introduced and killed before we even see the TARDIS materialize.

This episode, and, indeed, the entire story, features one of my favourite performances in Doctor Who history - that of Terry Scully as Fewsham. Some might call Scully's performance as over the top, but I don't. I think it's perfectly pitched as a man who was probably promoted to a position before he was ready, and is now being thrust into a life-or-death situation where one wrong move could mean his death. Wouldn't you be panicky in that situation? When Fewsham bellows, "I want to live!", it is entirely believable.

One of the worst jobs imaginable, though, would be at T-Mat Control on Earth. Having to wear what looks like a diaper as a uniform is one thing, but to have to listen to that droning computer announce every single dispatch and receipt from every single T-Mat cubicle from around the world would drive me batty. It certainly did in the first scene alone.

But what an ending to the episode! Of course, we all know the Ice Warriors were in this story, after the fact, and anybody who knows anything when this episode first aired could have guessed who the main villains were by the sound of the voice and the visual effect used for their weaponry, but what an impact they make when they are revealed at the end of this episode! the Troughton era was famous for not only its monsters, but its reveal of those monsters. This one doesn't disappoint.


Anonymous said...

This is currently my only experience with The Ice Warriors, and I really enjoy them. It's a shame they haven't been on in 30 years and almost certainly never will be again...

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