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Posted September 19, 2013
If you're a fan of the Doctor Who series, chances are you've come across the Ice Warriors. Most recently, we met Ice Warrior Skaldak in the series 7 episode, "Cold War." As intimidating as a trapped Ice Warrior in an immobilized submarine may be, the Ice Warriors first appeared in the earliest years of the classic Doctor Who series, a whole bunch of them stuck on earth during a new Ice Age is ten times more frightening. Imagine watching a handful of these giant creatures lurching after you with no way to stop them -- until the Doctor that is. In this newly remastered 6 episode set from BBC DVD that's exactly what you get, a group of Warriors hellbent on reshaping the earth's climate to make it their perfect home no matter who gets in their way.
Varga, an Ice Warrior
Photo from the BBC Doctor Who website
"The Ice Warriors" first aired in 1967 but surprisingly it doesn't feel like a 1960s production. Sure, the costumes and the black and white picture let you know that you're watching something filmed in the 60s but the special effects weren't all that bad. While watching the extras included with this terrific set -- interviews with producers and actors involved in the making of the Ice Warrior episodes etc. it was mentioned that in spite of the low budget, this story turned out surprisingly well and I have to agree! The avalanches, the snow, and even the ice were a lot more realistic than the set in most of the newer Doctor Who episodes. The only thing that bothered me a little were episodes 2 and 3. The video for those episodes had been lost with only the original audio remaining, exclusively for this DVD the episodes were animated. The animation was flat and 2 dimensional so the characters looked and moved like paper dolls on the screen. I would have loved for it to have been more 3 dimensional. That said, I am so glad that the BBC included the animations in this set. It would be a shame to not be able to watch this gem of a story in its entirety.
As for the actors themselves...brilliant! Let's face it, there were bits where they flubbed their lines and the monsters bumbled things up, but I thought it led to a sort of authenticity. I don't know about you, but I think I'd become more than a little incoherent when faced with a huuuuge, scary Martian who wanted to kill me and destroy the planet! Patrick Troughton (the Doctor), Frazer Hines (Jamie), and Deborah Watling (Victoria) all had great chemistry together. Jamie and Victoria's little conversations concerning Miss Garrett's costume was hilarious. In spite of the terrible danger that the Doctor and his companions find themselves in, there's always a moment or two that elicits a giggle.
"The Ice Warriors" is a terrific set for anyone who's a longtime Whovian or someone who's just starting out. If you want to start off your Doctor Who viewing with the classic episodes, this story set is a good one! Adventure, danger, and thrills abound in this great collection from the BBC.
Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors is available now on DVD from the BBC America Shop online and other stores.
~ My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars ~
*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher/publicist for review purposes. I received no compensation. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*