Doctor Who: The Seeds Of Death (Special Edition) - DVD Review
By Jeff Swindoll Jul 2, 2012, 13:45 GMT
By the late 21st century, mankind has become totally dependent on T-Mat to transport people, food and medicines around the world. When the system breaks down, Earth is soon crippled by global shortages. Traveling to the relay station on the moon, the Doctor and his companions discover the horrific truth: the Ice Warriors have hijacked T-Mat, and intend to claim the planet for themselves. Can the Doctor defeat the Martians ...more
The second outing of the Ice Warriors finds them getting their plans foiled by Doctor Number two. Not that he’d be around but two more serials. That first adventure with the warriors suffers from two lost episodes but this one could suffer from having to stretch the proceedings out for six.
The TARDIS brings the Doctor (Patrick Troughton), Jaime (Frazer Hines), and Zoe (Wendy Padbury) to Earth in the 21st Century, where they learn that human society is now reliant on T-Mat - a matter transmitting device that beams people and freight instantly to destinations all around the globe.
The system, overseen by a Commander Radnor (Ronald Leigh-Hunt) and his assistant Gia Kelly (Louise Pajo), is currently malfunctioning and the travellers agree to pilot an obsolete rocket, designed by an old-timer, Professor Daniel Eldred (Phillip Ray), to the Moon relay station to investigate. When they arrive they discover some old enemies, the Ice Warriors, have taken over the base and have sinister plans for Earth using the T-Mat and Martian seed pods.
A society relying too much on a technology and things going to hell when it stops working - that would never happen…. Okay, maybe the Doctor Who scribes had something going on there since I get twitchy when my internet connection goes down.
Clownish Doctor Patrick Troughton was nearing the end of his tenure in two more adventures. This one would see the return of some old enemies, the Ice Warriors. His first encounter with them is missing two episodes and this one would sow those villains and introduce different kinds of Ice Warriors.
We can probably wish for a T-Mat system, but it seems a bit farfetched that humanity has abandoned all travel for it – well it is infallible right? Of course, the Doctor doesn’t even trust the TARDIS to take a short trip to the moon. There’s enough story to keep the narrative moving, which can usually play havoc with these longer episodes. The soap suds fungus may be a bit silly, but the hissing, reptilian Martians probably scared the wee ones.
The Seeds of Death is presented in fullscreen. It’s a mix of old and new, the old being designated by an asterisk. Special features on disc one include a commentary with Hines, Padbury, director Michael Ferguson, and script editor Terrence Dicks*, a pop-up trivia text*, and a 1 minute coming soon trailer. Disc two has the 28 minute “Lords of the Red Planet” history of the Ice Warriors, the 24 minute “Sssowing the Ssseeds,” interviews with cast and crew*, the 3 minute “Monster Master class” interview with Ferguson, the 16 minute “Monsters Who Came Back for More,” a photo gallery*, the 1 minute “TARDIS Cam no. 6*,” and the Radio Times Listing on DVD-ROM. Some things have been moved to other releases that appeared on the 2004 DVD. The “Last Dalek” more fittingly goes to the Resurrection of the Daleks SE and the newly discovered footage appeared on the 2004 “Lost in Time Collections” that had newly discovered bits from the Troughton and Hartnell eras.
A little of something old, something new, and a blue police box make for a fun adventure with Troughton and company. Since many of his best episodes are incomplete or lost to history, it’s always great to see him again. Maybe it would’ve been nicer if they have done an episode that may not have gotten an initial release, but the new special features are a nice addition.
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Further Reading on M&C
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