The TARDIS and its travellers find themselves on Earth during a new major ice age, with human scientists trying to find a way to halt the encroaching glaciers, but a discovery in the moving ice is about to up the ante as an alien menace is awakened!
The Ice Warriors was a six-part serial that aired from 11 November to 16 December, 1967, and was written by Brian Hayles, who definitely seemed to have a handle on Troughton’s Doctor as the puckish fellow seems to be having a very good time throughout this story.
Jamie (Frazer Hines) initially thinks they’ve just moved up further the mountain and are still in Tibet, but this is proved quickly wrong, when he, the Doctor and Victoria (Deborah Watling) find themselves outside an enclosed dome, that is protecting Brittanicus Base, which is preparing evacuation procedures to escape the glacier, while the scientists, who only do things under the orders of the base’s computer, are deadlocked over using an ioniser, which may stop the glacier, or may simply destroy them all.
When a group of scientists who were exploring the glacial front come across a body in the ice, they think it’s a primitive human, perhaps a Viking, because of his helmet design, that was flash frozen. They bring the body back to the base, and begin to melt the ice with an electrical impulse, whatever is within also has electrical interfaces, and it causes the ice to melt quicker than expected, releasing, and reviving the warrior within, who menaces both Jamie and Victoria!
We learn over the next episode, as Victoria is held prisoner by the Ice Warrior, that he, and his compatriots, still within the ice, along with their ship, came from Mars, planning to conquer Earth, as their planet is dead, but were trapped in the last ice age.
When the Doctor learns that their engine system is also ionic, that causes some serious problems, because if the ioniser is used, it may destroy the ship, and the explosion could be large enough to wipe out Brittanicus base as well! As the Doctor begins to realize there may be no stopping the Ice Warriors, he and one of the scientists, Penley (Peter Sallis) ignore the computer and prepare to fire the ioniser in an all or nothing gambit!
The Martian ship is destroyed, the advance of the glacier is halted, and Brittanicus Base is saved!!
I quite liked this one, and was delighted to find that 4 of the 6 episodes were still intact, and I didn’t have to sit through a reconstruction, as this would have been upsetting, because it was a really fun and delightful story, and as mentioned previously, there is so much to watch on Troughton’s face, and his mannerisms as the Doctor, that it would have been tragic not to see him act and react against the towering Ice Warriors!
I have to say, I’m enjoying Jamie and Victoria as his companions as well, though, thanks to the time period, Victoria isn’t given as much to do as later travellers would.
Still, good fun!
Next time, we confront The Enemy of the World!