Monday, October 5, 2009
The Ice Warriors make an impressive entrance in this episode, firmly establishing their power and influence over everyone in this story. The miners succeed in capturing the armory and steal some laser guns (making the Queen's guard look like idiots in the process). They also seem surprisingly adept at using the wepaons that they should have, logically, no prior experience using.
Once they break into the throne room, though, and threaten the Ice Warriors with those guns, they meet their match, as the Ice Warriors, with blazing quickness, wipe out five of the six miners with a single shot. It's an impressive sequence and, after their oddball turn wearing the white cowboy hat in The Curse of Peladon, it's great to see how strong a menace the Ice Warriors really could be. I've always been a fan of the Ice Warrior gun effects, too - Mirrorlon in all its glory. However, the two times in recent memory that Mirrorlon has been used (The Mutants and this story), the camera seems to be shooting the flexible mirror material on an angle, giving the game away early that an Ice Warrior gun is about to go off.
Still, the old standby of using heat to thwart Ice Warriors (heat>ice, get it?) is used again, allowing the miners to escape from the clutches of their Martian captors in the mines. Tried and true, I suppose, but it had already been done to death in The Seeds of Death.
The real tragedy of this episode, and of Jon Pertwee's final season in general, is that most of the final battle scene is played out with Terry Walsh doubling for Pertwee because of the latter's ailing back. Pertwee used to be the man of action, and it is always a thrill to see Pertwee himself fling people around in his early days. From about Season 10 onwards, Pertwee's back had become such an issue that is rare to see him perform any kind of action sequence at all.
Posted by Steven at 3:32 PM