The Seeds of Death

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‘Your leader will be angry if you kill me. I’m a genius’ The Doctor

25th January – 1st March 1969

The Memory Cheats

A bit like with One Direction fans today, all Doctor Who fans that were around in the 1980s know the meaning of the word ‘hiatus’. Roy had recorded much of the 1985 series of Doctor Who on videotape for me; we didn’t get our first video until the following summer. During the eighteen month gap between season’s 22 and 23 I watched the whole of Colin Baker’s first full season and this story. I rented Seeds of Death and watched it in 25 minute segments. I loved it and watching it still brings back memories of this early foray into watching Doctor Who on video tape.

Time Space Visualiser

‘Bombay Tokyo shipment activated. Bombay sending now. Tokyo receiving now. Dispatch completed. New York to Moscow delayed. Moonbase clearance awaited…….’ And so begins this tale. Is that the same moonbase that The Cybermen attacked? It’s not the first use of teleportation in a Doctor Who story but it is a pivotal point of the story here. I would have loved this as a child.

The first of the cast members I recognise is Victor off of Corrie.We finally see a seed of death and it blows up in the doctors face apparently killing him. Well it is a seed of death don’t you know and it isn’t even the end of the episode. I want foam and gurning! The seed arrives in London to shouts that the T Mat is working they all rush up to the materialised seed and instead of getting excited that someone has sent them a balloon attached to a fancy pump from 90s furniture store The Pier they say, ‘it’s alive!’ Should Zoe really have just stood there in front of the disco lights while Fewsham tried to save her?

They all wearing underpants over their trousers. And they all carry briefcases! I think this is the subtext message that says ‘I am in charge.’ First it was Osgood and now Sir James Gregson, but he can’t be bothered to hold it for very long. The monster was last seen heading for the weather control station they conclude. Happily he pauses in front of a big sign and looks at it. It says weather control station! And happily the door is unlocked. And the weather control unit is soo sophisticated.

Interesting use of light in the story. The cockpit of the rocket and the T Mat Centre on the moon all have a great array of disco lights. Do you know how to use the computer? Asks Jamie when Zoe wants to contact Radnor to tell him about the rain. Well it is really complex but after I wave my hand around I just, well, kind of talk to it. The body count is huge.

The Doctor running to the weather station at the end of episode 5 is the best running on the spot acting since Susan in the Daleks. Though quite what the jeopardy is when the third balloon bursts in his face is I am not sure. He survived the first two. You know you are in a good Second Doctor story when he is surrounded with wires.

You don’t often see the Doctor actually killing creatures but he gets straight on with disposing of the Ice Warrior in episode 6 without much worry. But it is all death in this story as the Doctor kills the Ice Lord and sends the rather idly voiced Ice Marshall off to the sun. Is that an astral map I see just as the travelers head back in to the TARDIS. Odd the Doctor doesn’t seem to even notice it.

They say familiarity breeds contempt. Not with this story. I have seen it many times and I still love it. The Ice Warriors are a bit rubbish, and the temperature at which the Ice Warriors are killed at over 40 degrees would also have made life quite tricky for the humans. It is also basically the same story as the previous Ice Warrior tale but the regulars and the direction make this enjoyable for me, even if it maybe only because of the nostalgia of watching it in those early video days.

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Innuendo Bingo

Episode 5 12:45

Radnor: How soon can you get one up?

Cliche Counter

Miss Kelly is fab even if she is a bit of a cliche. Sexy, scientific woman and all that. Great hairstyle.

Episode three is basically just running through corridors and let’s Jamie have a quick sexist outburst exclaiming ‘women’ as Zoe tells him which corridor to run down.

Foam! ‘Will the Doctor be alright with all that foam?’ asks Jamie, rocking, drinking milk.

In the Footer

We will have a teleport system that transports us and all the imports and exports of food, goods and emergency supplies, with no back up planning all performed via a capsule the size of a photo booth loading the grain supplies for a whole country would be fun and yet we still carry around an old leather briefcase. And you can kill an ice warrior with a solar flare produced from a power source that you plug into a 70s 3 way adapter off of Woolworths. (A round pin plug too!)

Notable Firsts

The first character called Osgood in Doctor Who. And he has a briefcase. He doesn’t last long unfortunately but he dies a hero.

The first trip into space for the regulars in a rocket.

Unprovoked Angry Retort of the Week.

Zoe: But I thought T Mat had broken down.

Miss Kelly: Not any more I repaired it.

Yeah! Shut up Zoe!

Vital Statistics

Episodes watched so far: 237 out of 826.

If all of televised Doctor Who so far were the song Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, Freddie Mercury would be singing the first ‘carry’ from the line ‘Carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters.’ at the end of the fourth verse.

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 The 500 Year Diary

19th January 2040 am

Look! A space museum! Hoped it wasn’t the same one as before….

Find out about T-Mat which according to this Professor Eldred has superseded space travel by rocket. Sounds like a good idea, although perhaps they should have thought about a back-up plan. Turns out that would have been a good idea as T-Mat is broken and Commander Radnor and Miss Kelly try and persuade the Professor to get his rocket going, but he’s having none of it.

Meanwhile, the Earth’s population begins to starve – have they got rid of storage in this century? Oh dear… the seeds of death are sown.

 

19th January 2040 pm

We agree to man the rocket which they prepare in super quick time. Happily, Zoe has total recall so she will remember everything; however, flying a rocket is child’s play – well, once you get over the G-Force.

Everything seems to be going fine until the homing beacon on the moon cuts out. We’re either going to crash or drift endlessly in space!

 

19th January 2040 eve

Thankfully, we make contact with a Mr. Phipps whose signal allows me to make a rather dodgy landing. Leave Jamie and Zoe to take care of things whilst I destroy T-Mat and deal with the Ice Warriors who have taken over the moonbase. See Miss Kelly there. So they repaired T-Mat – so the whole rocket thing was a waste of time!

End up getting chased around the base by Ice Warriors. Luckily, they’re quite slow. This moonbase is better than the one with the Graviton – it’s got a hall of mirrors. Eventually, I’m cornered and about to be shot, but I declare my genius which gets their attention and I get taken to their leader.

A Mr. Fewsham is helping the aliens to secure his own survival. I do manage to persuade him to cause a distraction whilst I go and look at what they are intending to send down to Earth. A seed. It expands. It blows up in my face!

 

19th January 2040 night

Out of it. Vaguely remember being taken out of the T-Mat cubicle, but that’s about it.

 

20th January 2040 am

Wake up. Thankfully the heat has affected the Ice Warriors and knocked them out. Remarkably this has had no effect on us!

We T-Mat back to Earth. Fewsham was supposed to follow us back on a time delay, but he was lying as his final brave act was to alert us to the Martian’s homing signal. Poor man. He’ll never see his actions hopefully cause their defeat.

Discover that the seed pods will eventually change the atmosphere of Earth to be like Mars. Fortunately, after some… er… rigorous testing… discover that the fungus can be destroyed by water. Need to go to the weather control centre, but those pesky kids have gone on ahead of me! As I reach the centre, I’m overwhelmed in the foamy fungus!

 

20th January 2040 pm

Zoe opens the door to let me in and escape the fungus although not sure why she found it so funny!

Manage to fix the damage done by an Ice Warrior to the control centre and cause the rain to fall.

Just the Martians on the moon to deal with. Have to destroy their homing signal. In the end only manage to disrupt it, but enough to send them towards the sun. Was about to get shot, but Jamie saves me and we deal with the final Ice Warrior.

Leave them to it at T-Mat control as we heads off again with Jamie complaining about the heavy rain and saying I have no more idea than the man on the moon!

Artwork BBC DVD Cover: The Seeds of Death

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The Five Word Lords

(N)Icelord, shame about the Warriors!

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