Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors Review -

Doctor Who DVD Review

Mania Grade: B

7 Comments | Add


Rate & Share:


Related Links:



  • Story: B+
  • Animation: C
  • DVD Special Features: A-
  • Staring: Patrick Troughton, Wendy Gifford, Peter Barkworth
  • Written By: Brian Hayles
  • Directed By: Derek Martinus
  • Original Year of Release: 1967
  • Studio: BBC
  • Series:

Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors Review

Animated Replacements?

By Kimberly McCall     September 19, 2013

For the BBC, the journey to restoring the lost Doctor Who episodes of the 1960's is far from over. Having discovered over 30 since 1970, there are still more than 100 missing from their archives. Thus, most of the Patrick Troughton years are spotty at best with only a few complete stories. 
The second Doctor traveled time and space from 1967 to 1969 introducing us to foes that would withstand reincarnations spanning decades. Among these were Daleks, Snowmen, and the Cybermen. The infamous Ice Warriors, however, first made their slithery, creepy appearance in 1967 when the Tardis crash landed during an ice age in the year 3000. This adventure, comprised of six total episodes written by Brian Hayles, aired weekly. The collection has since been mostly restored, but is still missing episodes 2 and 3. Now, armed with an in-tact audio track,  the BBC has released the DVD of all six episodes of  the tale of The Ice Warriors with full length animated reconstructions of the lost episodes.
Digitally remastered picture and sound are hardly noticeable. The transfer  still has the appearance it must have had on the BBC in 1967. The muffled dialogue and grainy picture,  however, is quickly forgotten once the story gets underway. With a drastically tiny budget, the set designers did an astounding job recreating a frozen tundra to set the scene. It was so affective, that the actors even reported feeling cold despite the normal temperature. 
The Doctor (Patrick Troughton), Victoria (Deborah Watling), and Jamie (Frazer Hines) disrupt the plans of a team attempting to slow glacier formation with a dangerous ionizer, which will (of course) destroy everything.  With an opening very akin to John Carpenter's The Thing, it is Victoria who falls into the hands of the frozen villains and the rest of the crew has 6 episodes to rescue her and save the day.
Unfortunately, we do not get to witness the rise of the frozen Ice Warrior in episode 1. He first comes back to life in the form of a Swamp Thing-esque cartoon character in episode 2. The animations falls somewhere between a motion comic and an episode of Space Ghost.  Qurios  Entertainment provided the black and white animation complete with mouth movements for script reading bloopers or stutters by the actors. The Ice Warrior, Varga (Bernard Bresslaw), was definitely cheated out of his initial scare. However, credit must certainly go to the continuity.
The DVD includes commentary, with surviving cast and crew, for each episode (including the animated ones). “Cold Fusion” is a fun “Making Of” featurette filled with interviews, stories, and glimpses at concept artwork. It is a treat to listen to an Ice Warrior talk about having to be literally screwed into his costume. The second featurette, “Beneath the Ice” is a look into the world of the animators as they both geek out and agonize over turning classic Doctor Who into a cartoon. It's clear they left no stone unturned when it came to research.  Other features on the second disk include a photo gallery, animated original trailer, and links to the 1998 BBC Video release.
Hopefully, in the years to come, we can expect more lost episodes to be brought back to their rightful home at the BBC.


Follow Mania on Facebook and Twitter. If work has you blocked out, download our app on iTunes for your iPhone and iPad.


Showing items 1 - 7 of 7
karas1 9/19/2013 5:18:52 AM

The Daleks first premiered during the 1st Doctor's tenure, in the second serial ever aired in fact.

Walker 9/19/2013 7:47:26 AM

Is the animation better than or comparable to The Invasion?  That was the first attempt to animate missing episodes. I was a bit underwhelmed by it.  Honestly, a random Adult Swim staff member could animate quicker and better.

wrrlykam 9/19/2013 10:10:51 AM

The Tenth Planet is due out in November on DVD. That will bookend my Harnell collection very nicely.

As for comparing the animation, it has been a while since I watched Invasion. I was impressed with the lip sync on IW, but over all it was OK with just one or two 'Noggin the Nog' arm movements. Even if the animation is basic is better than just listening to a sound track and a few stills.


A solid story that brought back happy memories. . It reminds me of ham and beetroot sandwiches on a Saturday afternoon and sitting watching the Doctor's adventures with my Dad. Although I didn't like having to sit and watch the football results first.

mellowdoux 9/19/2013 10:13:28 AM

 Karas is correct.

Same with The Cybermen. They appeared in the final story of the 1st Doctor (William Hartnell).

The story was "The Tenth Planet."

ObiWannaJones 9/20/2013 6:53:08 AM

I'm loving this.  I really enjoyed BBC America's look back at the Doctors. I was pleasantly surprised when they aired the Fox version of the Doctor (which I heard of but never viewed), Paul McGann. 

Unfortunately for us Dr. Who fans, BBC is going the cheap route with these DVDs to capitalize on the New World Who fascination. With technology the way it is today, there is absolutely no reason for muffled audio and grainy images.  Anybody see what Universal did with Lugosi's Dracula, tFrankenstein, and the Wolfman last year? Also, BBC could have recreated the missing episode with CGI, not a black and white Space Ghost storyboard animation. 

Walker 9/20/2013 8:40:33 AM

 With technology the way it is today, there is absolutely no reason for muffled audio and grainy images. Anybody see what Universal did with Lugosi's Dracula, tFrankenstein, and the Wolfman last year?

That is because these were recorded on film.  For a lot of Dr. Who episodes, even if they are not missing, the only thing that remains is video tape (not film).

Wyldstaar 9/21/2013 10:47:41 PM

Universal can afford to clean up their classic monsters movies because there is a huge audience clamoring for them.  The footage and soundtracks are readily available for remastering, as well.  The audience awaiting remastered Classic Era Doctor Who is fairly small.  Only the most die-hard of fans buy these DVDs, so 2entertain & BBC can't afford to spend lots of money on expensive CGI animation to replace missing episodes.  It's only since the advent of using computers to make 2D animation relatively inexpensive that they've been able to do as much as they have.



You must be logged in to leave a comment. Please click here to login.