Monday, July 27, 2009

XX6 - The Seeds of Death 6

One of the reasons that The Seeds of Death was made was to try and recoup the cost of production of the Ice Warrior costumes that were made for their debut in the previous year's recording block. Another reason, though, it seems, was to showcase the BBC's latest toy - the foam machine. This device also debuted in the previous recording block during Fury From The Deep, and it features heavily in the final three episodes of The Seeds of Death, providing acres of foam for Patrick Troughton and several extras playing guards to fall down in.

I like the creation of the new rank of Ice Warrior, Slaar (colloquially referred to as an Ice Lord), for this story. It gives the Ice Warriors more of a voice - literally and figuratively - as not only does Slaar stand out from his minions in rank and stature, but his voice is less like a hiss, which made the Ice Warriors difficult to understand at times in their previous adventure. The disadvantage of this, of course, is that the other Ice Warriors are reduced to non-speaking thugs, just as the Cybermen were in The Invasion when Tobias Vaughn was thrust into the spotlight.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I've come to think that Season 6 was considered the laziest and worst season in Patrick Troughton's run as The Doctor, but, if those accusations are true, I find them unjustified. The Seeds of Death brings together two notable aspects of the Troughton era into one cohesive package - an attack on an isolated outpost (as seen in several previous Troughton adventures), and and attack by a strange alien force on the Earth (a la The Web of Fear and The Invasion). It's a story that closes that part of the Troughton era in style, as the last two stories of the 1960s would be very different from what we've seen before.


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