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Patrick Troughton
The Seeds of Death
Second Doctor Logo


Synopsis


I'm a genius!
I'm a genius!
 It is the late 21st century and mankind is totally dependent on T-Mat, a revolutionary form of instant travel. The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe arrive to find that the sinister Ice Warriors plan to invade Earth, using T-Mat to transport deadly seed pods full of a fungus that will absorb the planet’s oxygen.

 The Doctor must race against time to defeat the Martian invaders - or condemn the human race to suffocation…

Source: BBC DVD


General Information

Season: Six
Production Code: XX
Story Number: 48
Episode Numbers:232 - 237
Number of Episodes: 6
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Production Dates: December 1968 - February 1969
Broadcast Started: 25 January 1969
Broadcast Finished: 01 March 1969
Colour Status: B&W
Studio: Ealing Television Film Studios and Lime Grove (Studio D)
Location: Hampstead Heath (London).
Writers:Brian Hayles and Terrance Dicks (Episodes 3-6, uncredited)
Director:Michael Ferguson
Producer:Peter Bryant
Script Editor:Terrance Dicks
Editor:Martyn Day
Production Assistant:Fiona Cumming
Assistant Floor Manager:Trina Cornwell
Designer:Paul Allen
Costume Designer:Bobi Bartlett
Make-Up Designer:Sylvia James
Cameraman:Peter Hall
Incidental Music:Dudley Simpson
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Brian Hodgson
Studio Sounds:Bryan Forgham
Lighting:Fred Wright
Visual Effects:Bill King and Trading Post
Title Sequence:Bernard Lodge
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Delia Derbyshire
Ice Warriors Originally Created By: Brian Hayles
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: Patrick Troughton (The Second Doctor)
Number of Companions: 2The Companions: Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon) and Wendy Padbury (Zoe Heriot) Additional Cast: Alan Bennion (Slaar), Louise Pajo (Gia Kelly), John Witty (Computer Voice), Ric Felgate (Brent), Harry Towb (Osgood), Ronald Leigh-Hunt (Radnor), Terry Scully (Fewsham), Christopher Coll (Phipps), Martin Cort (Locke), Philip Ray (Eldred), Steve Peters (Ice Warrior), Tony Harwood (Ice Warrior), Sonny Caldinez (Ice Warrior), Derrick Slater (Security Guard), Hugh Morton (Sir James Gregson), Graham Leaman (Grand Marshall)Setting: The Earth and The Moon (21st century) Villain: The Ice Warriors

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
232Episode 125 January 196923'11"6.616mm telerecording
233Episode 201 February 196924'26"6.816mm telerecording
234Episode 308 February 196924'10"7.516mm telerecording
235Episode 415 February 196924'57"7.116mm telerecording
236Episode 522 February 196924'56"7.616mm and 35mm telerecording
237Episode 601 March 196924'31"7.716mm telerecording

Total Duration 2 Hours 26 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 7.2
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (1998)65.73%  (Position = 93 out of 159)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2009)69.08% Higher (Position = 111 out of 200)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)70.71% Higher (Position = 126 out of 241)


Archives


 All six episodes exist as 16mm telerecordings. A 35mm telerecording of episode five also exists.



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Notes


This story was originally entitled "The Lords of the Red Planet".

The story that was broadcast varied considerably from the original outline pitched to the Doctor Who office by author Brian Hayles.

Although Brian Hayles is solely credited as the story's author Script Editor Terrance Dicks reworked the final four episodes as the original ending was considered to be lackluster and unworkable. Terrance Dicks did not, however, receive an onscreen writing credit for these episodes but he was co-credited on the sleeve of the VHS release.

Terrance Dicks’ rewrites also had to include last minute changes regarding the departure of companion Jamie McCrimmon. Originally Jamie was to have been replaced by a new companion called Nik by this story, but then, on learning that Patrick Troughton was due to leave the show at the end of the season, Frazer Hines postponed his departure.

Another late change saw the removal of a line in which Eldred reveals that his rocket achieved the first manned moon landing. This was altered to account for the likelihood that NASA would probably soon accomplish this feat (as in fact they did on the 20th July 1969).

This story is notable as it heralds the return of the Ice Warriors – the second of four appearances in the show. It also introduces the concept of a caste system within Martian society. There are two distinct (unnamed on screen) classes of Martians; the Ice Warriors, which were seen in the 1967 story "The Ice Warriors", and the Ice Lords. It becomes clear at the end of the first episode that all of the warriors are subordinate to the Ice Lord Slaar. Moreover, the story indicates that there is even a hierarchy within the Ice Lord class when it introduces the Grand Marshall in the final episode. This is illustrated by the fact that Slaar is seen taking orders from the Grand Marshall once the Ice Warriors had T-Mat under their control. The appearance of the Martians is also connected with this caste system. Whereas the Ice Warriors tend to wear heavy reptilian armour and large helmets, the Ice Lords tend to wear a slender and less bulky uniform with a more decorative helmet.

Patrick Troughton does not appear in episode four as he was on holiday during the recording of this episode. Tommy Laird doubled for him in shots where The Doctor is seen unconscious on the floor.

Alan Bennion plays Ice Lord Slaar - the first story where plays the part of an Ice Lord. He would return as the Ice Lords Izlyr in 1972 Third Doctor story "The Curse of Peladon" and as Azaxyr in the 1974 sequel "The Monster of Peladon".

Sonny Caldinez, who played Slaar's second in command, is the only actor to appear as an Ice Warrior in all four televised Ice Warrior stories. Sonny Caldinez also appeared in "The Evil of the Daleks" as Kemel.

Ronald Leigh-Hunt (who played Commander Radnor in this story) would return to the show as Commander Stevenson in the 1975 Fourth Doctor story "Revenge of the Cybermen".

Steve Peters, who played an Ice Warrior, was billed simply as ‘Alien’ in the Radio Times listing for episode one, so as not to spoil the surprise of the Ice Warriors' return to the show.

Model sequences of the Earth and the Moon are used as a backdrop to the story title, writer and episode number captions at the start of each episode.

Episode five is another rare instance of an episode being captured on 35mm film rather than videotape. Even more unusual for the time, Director Michael Ferguson made use of out-of-sequence recording for all six episodes, most notably on episodes two and three. Michael Ferguson, previous involvement was directing "The War Machines" three years before.

While matter transportation technology first appeared in Doctor Who in the 1965/66 First Doctor story "The Daleks' Master Plan", it was called ‘particle dissemination’. This story calls it ‘T-Mat’, and subsequent stories would settle on the name ‘Transmat’ to describe the technology, which would come to be used within Doctor Who much as transporters are used in Star Trek.

The Astral Map, first seen in the 1965 First Doctor story, "The Web Planet" appears in a Eldred's museum of space flight, though it is not referred to as such.

Zoe Heriot's leather outfit was primrose yellow in colour. Actress Wendy Padbury was allowed to keep it as an addition to her own wardrobe after recording of the story was completed.

This story was released on VHS and Betamax in 1985 in an omnibus format (the first BBC Video release not to feature Tom Baker as The Doctor). This story is one of three omnibus releases that never had an episodic VHS re-release (the other two being "The Time Warrior" and "The Talons of Weng-Chiang").

In February 2003, an unedited re-mastered, version was released on DVD. The story was chosen to represent the Patrick Troughton era as part of the Doctor Who fortieth anniversary releases.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first Doctor Who story to be written by Terrance Dicks.

 The first Doctor Who story released by BBC Video not to feature Tom Baker as The Doctor


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
The Doctor and Ice Warriors
The Doctor and Ice Warriors

The TARDIS lands in the 21st century in what The Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon and Zoe Heriot, soon discover is a space museum. They learn from Professor Eldred, who runs the museum, that a matter transmission system, called T-Mat which allows people and objects to travel instantly anywhere on Earth, has replaced all other forms of space transport - thus making his contribution to space travel, via more conventional rockets, more-or-less redundant.

Unfortunately T-Mat has recently become unreliable. Even though the system is controlled from Earth a vital relay centre is on the Moon. Scheduled transmats have fallen behind schedule and even though a technician has been sent to the Moon, to find out what is going wrong, he has not reported back and T-Mat has gone off-line altogether. Commander Radnor and Gia Kelly - who is the technical brains behind the operation - are under immense pressure to get the system working again. They have no way of contacting the Moon or travelling there without the T-Mat system and so they have no choice but to seek the assistance of Professor Eldred.

What no one on Earth realises is that the T-Mat relay station, on the Moon, has been taken over by a group of Martian Warriors led by a high ranking Martian called Slaar. The Martians plan to turn the Earth into a new Mars by spreading special seeds over the Earth which will alter its climate, and they intend to use T-Mat to carry out their plans.

The Doctor and Professor Eldred
The Doctor and Professor Eldred

On arriving at Professor Eldred’s space museum Commander Radnor and Gia Kelly are initially unable to persuade Professor Eldred to give them a rocket – even though they know that he secretly been building one that could be used. Eldred is eventually persuaded to let Commander Radnor use the rocket after news reports of widespread famine, caused by vital shipments not getting through, and when The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe volunteer to fly it. The rocket is launched and after a few problems, reaches the Moon. While in transit The Doctor is able to make contact with the T-Mat relay station. However, it turns out to be a technician called Phipps - who had managed to escape from the Martian invaders by hiding in a Solar Power room. When he describes the invaders to The Doctor he and Jamie recognise their description as the Ice Warriors.

On arriving The Doctor goes off to locate Phipps, leaving Jamie and Zoe to refuel the spaceship. The Doctor discovers that Phipps had managed to kill one of the Ice Warriors and that they intend to use the T-Mat as part of their invasion of Earth. What they don’t know is the Ice Warriors have managed to force other technicians to repair the T-Mat which is now working again – albeit only to receive transmissions from the main control centre on Earth. Gia Kelly notices that T-Mat is functioning again and so uses it to travel to the Moon along with two technicians. She manages to fix the T-Mat, so it is fully functioning again. The Ice Warriors then emerge and kill her two technicians and take Gia Kelly prisoner. But it is not long before The Doctor and Phipps manage to rescue her. However, in escaping they are forced to split up and The Doctor is captured by two Ice Warriors.

The Doctor with Professor Eldred, Gia Kelly and Commander Radnor
The Doctor with Professor Eldred, Gia Kelly and Commander Radnor

Back at the spaceship Zoe discovers that the rocket's motors are so badly damaged, by the landing, that they cannot return to Earth except by T-Mat. Jamie and Zoe therefore make their way to the Solar Power room where they meet Phipps and Gia Kelly. On learning of The Doctor’s capture they decide to use the maintenance tunnels to reach the temperature controls and so make the station uncomfortably hot for the Ice Warriors.

Meanwhile the Ice Warriors start to send the Martian seed pods to Earth. The Doctor is curious as to what the pods are for but when he gets a chance to inspect one it swells up and bursts in The Doctor's face causing him to collapse. On Earth the pods are arriving in different cities around the world where they explode dispersing into the atmosphere a white powder. Slowly, a strange white fungus begins to spread around the world.

As The Doctor starts to come around, from his experience with the pod, Slaar orders that the still unconscious Doctor is placed into a T-Mat chamber and transported into space. The Doctor though is rescued by Phipps and Jamie before the T-Mat controls are activated. Zoe manages to change the temperature and the Ice Warriors collapse – but not before one of them is transported to Earth. Its task is to capture a weather control station, in London, and render the weather control machinery inoperative so as to ensure good conditions for the growth of the fungus.

Ice Lord Slaar
Ice Lord Slaar

Assuming they have defeated the Ice Warriors, and with the news of the spreading fungus, The Doctor, Jamie, Zoe, Gia Kelly and Phipps return to Earth. A technician called Fewsham decides to remain on the Moon, and with the temperature returning to normal, the Ice Warriors retake the T-Mat relay station. It appears though that he is helping the Ice Warriors. However, Fewsham secretly switches on a view-screen so that everyone at the T-Mat control on Earth can hear Slaar announce that the Martian fleet is homing in on a signal that they are broadcasting from the Moon. When Slaar realises what Fewsham has done he has him killed. However, it is too late as The Doctor has managed to obtain a recording of the homing signal. Commander Radnor arranges for a satellite to be sent into space that will transmit a duplicate of the Martian homing signal – and so prevent the Martian fleet arriving as intended.

The Doctor also analyses the spreading foam and discovers it can be dispersed with water. When they try to contact a nearby weather control station, so as to make it rain all over Earth, no one answers. Jamie and Zoe therefore go and investigate. However, at the weather control station, they find the equipment sabotaged and then they realise that there is an Ice Warrior guarding the building. When The Doctor finds out that an Ice Warrior had been seen earlier heading for the weather control station, he follows. There, The Doctor creates a solar energy transmitter, based on the one Phipps had used before they had arrived on the Moon, to destroy the Ice Warrior. He then repairs the controls so that rain can be created.

With the foam dispersing The Doctor returns to the Moon via the T-Mat so as to put Slaar's own homing signal out of action. Whilst tampering with the device he is captured by Slaar. But Slaar realises that he is too late when it is discovered that the Martian fleet has followed the wrong signal and so they have gone too close to the Sun. With the entire Martian fleet destroyed Slaar is furious and orders The Doctor to be killed but before his order is carried out Jamie arrives via T-Mat. In the confusion, caused by his sudden and unexpected arrival, The Doctor manages to grab an Ice Warrior's gun arm and point it at Slaar who is killed. Jamie then kills the remaining Ice Warrior.

With the Ice Warriors defeated, and with rain falling across Earth, The Doctor and his two companions slip quietly away back to the TARDIS – leaving Gia Kelly and Professor Eldred arguing about the future use of rockets and T-Mat.

 
Phipps Hides
Phipps Hides
I'm a genius!
I'm a genius!
Jamie and Zoe Being Pursued
Jamie and Zoe Being Pursued
The Doctor with Solar Lamps
The Doctor with Solar Lamps
 
Zoe and Jamie
Zoe and Jamie
The Doctor
The Doctor
An Ice Warrior
An Ice Warrior
A Seed Expands
A Seed Expands




Quote of the Story


 'Your leader will be angry if you kill me; I'm a genius!'

The Doctor



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Video
VHS
The Seeds of DeathJuly 1985BBCV 2019Photo-montageReleased in an omnibus version Released on VHS and Betamax
Video
VHS
The Seeds of DeathJuly 1987BBCV 4072Photo-montageVHS only re-release Released in an omnibus version
Video
DVD
The Seeds of DeathFebruary 2003BBCDVD 1151Photo-montage
Video
DVD
The Seeds of DeathMarch 2011BBCDVD 2956Part of the 'Revisitations 2' box set Released along with "Carnival of Monsters" and "Resurrection of the Daleks"
Audio
CD
The 50th Anniversary CollectionDecember 2013Photo-montageOriginal Television Soundtracks


In Print

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)PublisherAuthorCover ArtRemarks
Novel
Novel
The Seeds of DeathDecember 1986Target No. 112Terrance DicksTony MaseroISBN: 0-426-20252-X
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (An Adventure in Space and Time)Issue 48
Doctor Who Monthly - Article/FeatureIssue 47 (Released: December 1980)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArchiveIssue 274 (Released: February 1999)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 312 (Released: January 2002)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 314 (Released: March 2002)
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of FictionIssue 473 (Released: June 2014)
Doctor Who DVD FilesVolume 115 (Released: May 2013)

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Photo Gallery


The Doctor and Companions

 
Patrick Troughton
The Second Doctor

   

Frazer Hines
Jamie McCrimmon
 
Wendy Padbury
Zoe Heriot
   




On Release

Original VHS and Betamax Video Cover
Original VHS and Betamax Video Cover

BBC
VIDEO
Re-released VHS Video Cover
Re-released VHS Video Cover

BBC
VIDEO
DVD Cover
DVD Cover

BBC
VIDEO
Revisitations 2 DVD Cover
Revisitations 2 DVD Cover

BBC
VIDEO
   
The 50th Anniversary Collection Cover
The 50th Anniversary Collection Cover

BBC
AUDIO



In Print

 
Target Book Cover
Target Book Cover

Target
NOVEL
 
   


Magazines

Doctor Who CMS Magazine (An Adventure in Space and Time): Issue 48
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (An Adventure in Space and Time): Issue 48

CMS
Doctor Who Monthly - Article/Feature: Issue 47
Doctor Who Monthly - Article/Feature: Issue 47

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 274
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 274

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 312
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 312

Marvel Comics
   
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 314
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 314

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 473
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 473

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 115
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 115

GE Fabbri


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