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Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors DVD Review

Doctor Who- The Ice Warriors DVD

Patrick Troughton carries the slow paced “The Ice Warriors.”

As Earth faces a new ice age, a group of scientists are trying to stop glaciers from melting. In their efforts to do so, the scientists discover a being encased in ice that they make the mistake of thawing out. That being? A dangerous Martian Ice Warrior. While all of this is going on, The Doctor, Jamie, and Victoria arrive on the scene. Once they discover what is happening, the Doctor and company naturally try to intervene to prevent the Ice Warriors from carrying out a disastrous plan.

With Whovians celebrating the fact that 9 lost Patrick Troughton era episodes have been recovered, now is the perfect time to watch (or re-watch) the serial adventures of the criminally underrated Second Doctor. As of today, the most recent Second Doctor DVD release is for “The Ice Warriors.” Coincidentally, “The Ice Warriors” actually has 2 lost episodes (episodes 2 and 3), but thanks to the efforts of a few supremely talented animators, the 2 lost episodes have been animated (the audio tracks of the lost episodes remain in intact). Truth be told, I absolutely love the new animated parts and find them to be one of the sole reasons to watch this serial adventure. Not only are the expressions and movements well done, but I greatly admire the fact that the animation allows for more shots and edits (something classic Who episodes tend to lack).

As for the actual story, I found it to be pedestrian and overwritten (as is the case with most 6 parters). The story would have greatly benefited from being 4 parts instead of 6 as much of the padding could have been eliminated and, more importantly, the pacing would have been better. As is, it often feels like the story is unfolding in slow motion due to the overabundance of scenes with Victoria in constant peril. The maddening amount of dialogue heavy “stand around and argue” scenes doesn’t help either.

On the plus side, Patrick Troughton is absolutely terrific here. He makes the sluggish tale bearable with some exquisite acting as the ever curious, intelligent, and sometimes panic stricken Second Doctor. Another highlight here is the all too relevant slave to the computer subplot. While the computer voice is barely audible (except in the animated parts), that storyline was easily the most intriguing thing about the entire plot.  

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 4:3. How does it look? The restoration is impressive as per usual. The animated parts are also worthy of praise.

Audio Track: Dolby Digital Mono. How does it sound? The Ice Warriors’ dialogue is a bit scratchy, but the audio has certainly been cleaned up here.  

Extras:
* “Doctor Who” Series 7, Part 2 and “Scream of the Shalka” trailers, info text, photo gallery, Radio Times Listings, and an animated version of the original trailer for “The Ice Warriors.”
* Commentary on episodes 1, 4, 5, and 6 by Frazer Hines, Deborah Watling, Toby Hadoke, Sonny Caldinez, Jeremy Davies, and Pat Heigham. Discussions include sound f/x, memories from the set and production, costumes, factoids, and several Hines jokes of course.
* Commentary on the animated episode 2 by Bernard Bresslaw, Peter Barksworth, Wendy Gifford, Sylvia James, Brian Hayles, Derek Martinus and Martin Baugh. Toby Hadoke hosts this track which contains a mixture of archival interviews and information read (or provided) by Hadoke.
* Commentary on the animated episode 3 by Toby Hadoke and Michael Troughton. This track is a nice change of pace here as it is more intimate and personal than the usual fare.
* “Doctor Who Stories- Frazer Hines Part Two”- A thoroughly enjoyable and revealing interview in which Hines talks about being mobbed by fans, making a record, read throughs, a Troughton stunt double, “The Five Doctors” and “The Two Doctors,” other acting parts, etc.
* “Blue Peter- Design-a-Monster”- Segments from the popular show involving a contest about designing a monster that can beat the Daleks.
* “VHS Links”- The recon segments from the VHS release of “The Ice Warriors.”
* “Beneath The Ice”- A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the animated episodes with Chris Chapman, Niel Bushnell and Chris Chatterton.
* “Cold Fusion”- Last, but not least is the standard making of with the usual cast and crew interviews, episode clips, stories about the production, costumes, and sets, and much more.

October 13, 2013 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , ,

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