As a team of humans battle to hold the glaciers of a new Ice Age in check, a crashed spaceship, buried under the ice yields up a monster. Earth becomes the target for a new Martian empire, as the Ice Warriors awaken…
The deeper dive
- The Ice Warriors was originally transmitted in November 1967, during Doctor Who's fifth season – a period famed for monster-filled adventures like The Tomb of the Cybermen and The Web of Fear.
- This is the first outing of the Ice Warriors themselves, created by Brian Hayles. They would reappear in 1969's The Seeds of Death and two Third Doctor adventures, before returning opposite Matt Smith in Cold War. As yet, the TV series has not depicted their powerful empire on Mars.
- Due to a policy of junking videotapes pursued by the BBC in the 1960s and 70s, episodes Two and Three have been reconstructed. Using detailed camera scripts and 'telesnaps', as well as off air audio recording of the soundtracks from their original transmission, the episodes have been recreated using 3D-modelled sets and animation.
See a trailer for The Ice Warriors:
Cold Fusion, the 'Making of' documentary, includes highlights from Frazer Hines (Jamie), Deborah Watling (Victoria) and Ice Warrior Sonny Caldinez, and pays particular attention to the (slightly odd) casting of film star Bernard Bresslaw in a part where no one could see his face. But the real geek-fest is Beneath the Ice, where the talented bods at Qurios talk about the detective work required to recreate the missing episodes in their entirety. Also included are episodes Two and Three from the 1998 home video release of the story. This compressed the episodes into a single, 20 minute block using the soundtrack and partially animated telesnaps, as well as a neat little excuse as to why limited audio/visual material was available.
Where did Skaldak come from? Here's your answer. Although clunkier than their 21st century counterparts, the Ice Warriors of 1967 are still a force to be reckoned with. The design ideas are lovely - juxtaposing high tech computing with a beautiful Georgian house - and the Warriors themselves tower over everyone. The verbal sparring between the Doctor and Leader Clent is fantastic, with Peter Barkworth being particularly studied in his portrayal of an unbending man trying to hold a team together. The animation itself takes a different style to of The Reign of Terror, running closer to that of The Invasion. It also follows the original camera script more faithfully, returning the most faithful reproduction of the missing episodes possible. Indeed, one does begin to forget that the episodes are animated at all…
The bottom line