Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Doctor Who The Seeds of Death |
Actors: Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines, Wendy Padbury
Director: Michael Ferguson
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Cult Movies
In the late 21st century the human race has become totally dependent on T-Mat, a revolutionary form of instant travel. The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe arrive on Earth just as T-Mat is suffering a malfunction. Sinister Ice Warrio... more »
Double celebration for Troughton fans
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There should have been much to celebrate when Doctor Who reached it?s tenth anniversary in 1973 and recognizing this, the BBC pulled out all the stops for a special story (often suggested by viewers) bringing together all the three actors who had played the part of the Doctor up until that point. Its just such a shame that what was produced turned out to be the very lackluster Three Doctors!Actually made around the time of the ninth anniversary in November 1972 and first aired almost eleven months before the tenth, The Three Doctors is a hugely disappointing story in an otherwise strong season. It was pretty routine during the Pertwee era of the show to have some stories weaker than others, but it is such a shame that it was this very special adventure that drew the short straw. Inherently, the plotline itself is not bad at all, but the script and execution are woeful. The dialogue is not only cheesy but exceptionally cheesily delivered. The normally reliable Nicholas Courtney (The Brigadier) and John Levene (Benton) in particular are both made to look like bumbling pantomime characters as are the supporting cast of Dr. Tyler and Mr. Ollis. Of course, the production was plagued with problems right from the beginning as Producer Barry Letts and Script Editor Terrance Dicks explain in the very engaging commentary. Although he was very enthusiastic, ill health meant that the first Doctor, William Hartnell, was simply not up to playing a very active role in the show at all. His part was drastically scaled back and limited to filmed inserts. Patrick Troughton, the second Doctor, makes a very welcome and energetic return to the show and certainly goes a long way to stealing the thunder of the incumbent Jon Pertwee. Rewrites to accommodate the changing availability of the cast and plot could be one reason the show just doesn?t work, but there?s no real excuse for the cheapness of the production. The sets are limited to four with some bland location work in the standard gravel pit added. The set for Omega?s domain is truly dreadful, as are his Gellgaurd minions. Quite how anyone thought the design would work is mind-boggling. The time lord control center is littered with left over props from Carnival of Monsters (not yet broadcast, but recorded earlier), as are the time lord costumes. Everything else takes place in the standard Tardis or the UNIT lab sets. It?s all so gaudy and hammed up by the actors that there?s no way it can be appreciated as the classic adventure it should be. Even the normally very reliable Katy Manning (Jo Grant) is weak, but in fairness, like the two lead Doctors, she?s merely trying to cope as best she can with dreadful lines. Rather surprisingly, the better of the two releases is the earlier Troughton epic The Seeds of Death, one of the first stories to make it onto VHS in the early eighties. Made at the end of 1968/early 1969 this six-part adventure in black and white hardly holds classic status in the series canon. But surprisingly, and thanks in part to a very, very intensive clean up and restoration, the story does stand up very strongly. Well, at least in comparison to the Three Doctors anyway. Marking the second appearance of the much-loved Ice Warriors, there is enough in this story to keep viewers enthralled throughout its six episodes. True, it could have been much better had it only stretched to four, but the padding is not as obvious as other longer adventures. The most striking feature for me is the design and direction. Marking it clearly as a late sixties show, the set has some terrific touches that help the production stand out. There?s a very well put together supporting cast, even if the three regulars are a bit below par. This was intended to be Frazer Hines? (Jamie) last appearance in the show, but as it was announced during it?s broadcast that Troughton would be leaving the role of the Doctor at the end of the season, Hines was persuaded to stay on until then and leave at the same time, as ultimately did Wendy Padbury (Zoe). Hines and Padbury join Director Michael Ferguson and Script Editor Terrance Dicks to provide a hugely enjoyable commentary soundtrack, which is very insightful into the production of the story. As both teams say on both releases, it?s such a shame that neither of the two Doctors featured are around to provide their own thoughts.Both discs provide many, many extras, in the case of the Seeds of Death on an entirely separate disc. There?s some genuinely interesting features dragged from the archives, including a completely bizarre interview with Patrick Troughton recorded in 1973. There?s also a newly made mini-documentary featuring the actors who played the Ice Warriors. It?s all very enjoyable stuff, and any fan of the show will of course be delighted to add to the growing DVD collection of stories. I?m not sure how casual viewers would react to these two stories, but I hope it won?t put them off future releases."
One of the best!
Gwyn Jeffers | Elkton MD | 03/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of Troughtons best surviving stories. It is a marvelous DVD with great commentary by Wendy Padbury, Frazer Hines, Terrance Dicks etc. It is a shame that only 6 stories out of 20 in Troughtons era exist in full, but luckily we do have this story. I think the monsters are great in this, and the storyline is wonderful. This is an excellent addition to any Patrick Troughton fan, or to any Doctor Who fan!"
Troughton Rules Supreme!
Jeremy Morrow | Hamilton, Ontario Canada | 07/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
The Ice Warriors rule.
Zoe in a catsuit rules.
The Restoration Team rules.'nuff said.If you don't have this gem in your Who collection, you're nutso!!"
Great Jumping Jellybeans
Joseph J. Reinemann | Madison, WI United States | 03/29/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, so the title's not that great.
Fortunately, the DVD is.
This was one of the first Troughton episodes I remember seeing, and it was certainly an enjoyable experience. It introduces the T-Mat, Doctor Who's version of Star Trek's Transporter, and provides an interesting commentary on what happens when we get too comfortable in our lives. Not to mention that the technology became one of the few examples of continuity through most of the series. There's some great moments for the Doctor here as well, especially one scene where he is rapidly trying to prevent a "seed" from bursting by pouring just about everything in a beaker he can get his hands on as fast as he can. While some of the acting is a bit flat and the special effects were dated even when the episode was new (It's kind of hard not to giggle when someone appears on the T-Mat and the entire scene jumps a few inches to one side), the script is reasonably solid and most of the performances are quite enjoyable. Because of the technical flaws it's probably not the best story to start out with if you've never seen the series, but if you've already learned to love the second Doctor you probably won't be disapointed with this in your library."