Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors (part two)

We’re back to animation for two posts, because episodes two and three of “The Ice Warriors” are missing. The BBC wiped their copies of this serial in the 1970s. Film copies of the other four parts were uncovered when the BBC was moving out of an aging facility and somebody asked “Hey, has anybody ever looked behind this filing cabinet?” The serial was released on VHS in the 1990s with the missing episodes handled by making an edited fifteen minute “bridge” mini-episode of the key plot moments, using “telesnaps” and the original audio. In 2013, the episodes were animated by a British company called Qurios. It was one of the company’s final projects, unfortunately. They closed down in December of that year.

I really like the animation, actually, although I worried that the Ice Warrior would lose most of its impact with our son when (a) it’s a cartoon, and (b) I am having to read the alien’s dialogue from the subtitles, because our son can’t understand what it’s saying. So I’m doing the voices of Roy Skelton (the computer) and Bernard Bresslaw (the Ice Warrior) right now! But in a happy surprise, he thought the Ice Warrior was incredibly creepy. “I did NOT like him!” he told us, clarifying that he doesn’t actually like “creepy things,” despite all evidence to the contrary. After we watched this morning’s episode, he asked Mommy to tape the cardboard slipcover of the “Power of the Daleks” DVD on his wall, like a pin-up poster. I just throw those things out; this is a much nicer place for them!

The science in “The Ice Warriors” is as wonky as can be, and it was made in a time when computers were these weird and questionable things that the public didn’t understand. As I was writing the previous post, our son went upstairs to play with Legos and blocks, and he came down with a rocket that he announced “will go 100% far in space.” That makes more sense than a single expert programming the single computer which is connected worldwide and which will calculate how much ionization is needed to melt glaciers without flooding the world. Training another guy to do this would take months. This story is supposed to be set in the year 3000. Nothing dates faster than our predictions of technology and design.

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