Monday, July 27, 2009

XX3 - The Seeds of Death 3

Mention must be made at this point about the score for The Seeds of Death, as provided by Dudley Simpson. Simpson was in the midst of perhaps his best work in the series' history, well before he ever became the series' main composer in 1970. The Seeds of Death was only Simpson's third score in as many years, but his work on his previous two serials, The Evil of the Daleks and The Ice Warriors, was seminal.

That strong work continues in The Seeds of Death, his first of three consecutive scores to close out the Patrick Troughton era. Armed with little more than a set of tympani, a snare drum, and a phasing unit, Simpson's themes for the Ice Warriors when they march around the moonbase is evocative, and the chase theme that takes up a nice chunk in the middle of this episode is superb.

The afore-mentioned chase sequence is padding of the highest order (but really, what chase scene isn't?), but at least it's entertaining to watch. Patrick Troughton certainly seems as if he's having fun in the role...but I sense as if he's almost having too much fun in the role. Troughton had decided to relinquish the title role in between his second and third production, and, while he still quite clearly has enthusiasm for the role, I'm sensing there's a certain gravitas lacking from his later episodes compared to, especially, the monster-filled fright fests of Season 5.


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