An excellent script, top-notch supporting performances, and a vivid villain make The Seeds of Death
an above-average Doctor Who
story from the 1960s. The Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton) and his companions, the headstrong Jamie (Frazer Hines) and the intrepid Zoe (Wendy Padbury), arrive in a future Earth where all travel is done by teleportation, a system called T-Mat--but the Ice Warriors have taken over the T-Mat station on the Moon and threaten to conquer Earth. Over the course of six episodes, the Doctor infiltrates the moon base, is nearly killed by toxic bubble bath (as usual, the special effects are fairly primitive), and saves the day. The first two episodes of The Seeds of Death
really zip along; the crisp writing (by Brian Hayles) lays out the plot skillfully and the characters actually behave like intelligent human beings. After that, when long-time script editor Terrance Dicks rewrote the story (as discussed in one of the extras), the material takes a turn for the generic and the pace grows sluggish, but there's still fun to be had. While most of the Ice Warriors are a bit laughable, Ice Lord Slaar (Alan Bennion), with his sibilant whisper of a voice, is marvelously creepy. Not only does this story feature the hyper-intelligent Zoe, one of the leading T-Mat managers is the highly competent Gia Kelly (the excellent Louise Pajo), whose skill and authority are treated with respect throughout. A second disk of extra features includes a solid making-of doc and several featurettes about the monsters of Doctor Who
, from the Daleks to the Weeping Angels. All in all, good fare from the early years of this classic science fiction series. --Bret Fetzer
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 before Earth is smothered in deadly fungus, and the human race is condemned to extinction?