Sue: It’s just the two of us again, just the way it should be.
Me: You should probably tell Gary to avoid any Doctor Who conventions for a while. Just until the fuss dies down.
The Seeds of Death takes place in the future. You can tell it’s the future because the guest cast are wearing underpants over their plastic jumpsuits. And that includes Commander Radnor.
Sue: He’s definitely shagging his colleague in the catsuit. Maybe I should start going to work in a cat suit.
Me: What is it with you and catsuits all of a sudden?
Conflict rears its ugly head when Osgood chides Fewsham for pressing the wrong button on his giant console.
Sue: If they were any closer, they’d be snogging. Is this guy conducting an office romance, too? Is everybody permanently horny in the future?
Me: I bloody hope so.
Sue: I’m not sure about the direction. That was a focus pull, but without the pull. But at least some effort is being made to come up with some interesting compositions. The print looks gorgeous, too.
The Moonbase has been invaded!
Me: So which monster is it?
Sue: Is it the Silence?
Me: No. And besides, the Silence aren’t a species (although you try telling that to Character Options).
Sue: Is it the Master?
Me: Try again.
Sue: Is it the Yeti?
Me: The Yeti?! The Yeti don’t even talk!
Sue: They could have evolved between stories. I’m still waiting for the final part in the trilogy.
Me: I’m disappointed that you haven’t recognised the aliens yet.
Meanwhile, the Doctor and his companions have arrived in a deserted museum.
Sue: Oh, it’s a space museum. Haven’t we been to a space museum before? Didn’t the Moff have a space museum, once? What is it with this programme and ****ing space museums?
The aliens turn out to be…
Sue: Oh look – it’s the Ice Warriors!
Me: It’s too late now!
Sue: That one looks different. Maybe they have evolved, after all.
The Ice Warriors murder another member of the Moonbase’s staff, and Sue laps it up.
Sue: That was pretty good. Stick the next one on.
As Earth slides into chaos, Gia hopes the T-Mat fault will correct itself.
Sue: Has anyone tried turning it off and back on again? That usually works.
Even the TARDIS can’t help them this time.
Sue: I like the way they keep dissing the TARDIS. The script is going to great lengths to explain just how ****ing useless it is.
But as luck would have it, the museum’s crotchety curator has a rocket up his sleeve.
Sue: So this guy has been building a rocket in secret? A rocket that can actually carry people, not a tiny one that fits in his pocket? That seems unlikely. Where has he been building it? His back garden?
ZA-685 is primed and ready to go.
Sue: He really needs to work on his spaceship’s name.
As Eldred and Radnor bicker over the rocket, the Ice Warriors are kicking arse on the Moon. With their big arses.
Sue: The Ice Warriors definitely have the biggest arses in Doctor Who, closely followed by the Yeti. I’m surprised they can get through half the doors on this base.
When an Ice Warrior fails to notice a Moonbase staffer named Phipps, even though he’s hiding in plain sight, Sue lets rip.
Sue: How did he not see him?! That wasn’t bad peripheral vision – it was bad vision full-stop! I’m sorry, but that was badly directed. The high-angle shot looked great, but he should have seen Peter Purves’ brother hiding there, for heaven’s sake.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention that Sue is convinced Phipps is played by a Purves, and his character is almost certainly a distant relation to Steven Taylor. Seriously.
Sue: I don’t like the music. It’s a racket. Is it that Dudley bloke again? He needs to tone it down a bit.
Eldred’s rocket with the silly name takes off for the Moon with the Doctor and his companions on board.
Me: It’s very Thunderbirds.
Sue: Yes, they do look like puppets, especially with their hands flailing around in the air like that. Is that supposed to be zero gravity, or are they just mucking about?
As the rocket heads for the Moon, its homing beacon is accidentally switched off when Phipps contacts Earth. In this version of the future, a single fault can result in catastrophe, so the episode ends with the Doctor and his companions floating aimlessly around in space.
Sue: Pretty much business as usual, then.
Sue: Stop chatting with them on the radio and put the bloody homing device back on! I mean, come on!
As soon as they arrive on the Moon, the Doctor and his friends are immediately thrust into danger.
Sue: The Doctor is jinxed in this story. Every time he tells someone they’ll be okay as long as X doesn’t happen, X happens almost immediately. He should keep his big mouth shut.
The Doctor and his companions split up to avoid being captured by the Ice Warriors.
Sue: I hate monsters you can run rings around. It doesn’t matter how good they look if they can’t move properly.
When the Doctor is captured by the Ice Warriors, he fears for his life. “Your leader will be angry if you kill me!” he cries. “I’m a genius!”
Sue: He can’t be a genius if these lumbering idiots can catch him.
Jamie is becoming increasingly agitated by the Doctor’s absence.
Sue: Jamie is a big moaning kid. Every single week he has a strop about something. When is he going to leave?
The Ice Warriors don’t know how the Doctor arrived on the Moon.
Sue: How did they fail to notice the large rocket landing right next to them? What kind of invasion force is this? Are they blind?
The Ice Warriors reveal their secret weapon – seedpods. Of death. The Doctor examines one and, to Slaar’s delight, it explodes in his face. The Doctor is overtaken by fumes and falls to the floor.
Sue: These seedpod bombs seem to have a range of about two feet. How long is it going to take the Ice Warriors to send a seed to every human on the planet? It’ll them take years!
Fewsham is told to T-Mat a seedpod to Earth. It starts to expand…
Sue: It’s all gone a bit ssssilly now.
Me: Stop it.
Sue: Like I said, it’s going to take them forever to invade the planet like this. Please tell me this isn’t their plan, Neil.
Another seedpod bursts and another poor bastard buys the farm.
Sue: Only another seven billion people to go.
Sue suddenly realises that the Moonbase has been turned into a large Amazon depot. A large Amazon depot… of death!
Sue: Do they get an email receipt when they send a pod? “Your deadly order of death has just been dispatched.”
As soon as someone who looks a bit like Patrick Troughton is taken away to recover, Sue knows exactly what to expect.
Sue: I wonder where Patrick went on holiday this week. I hope it was somewhere nice.
Back in London, the seeds have already reached the outer atmosphere.
Sue: You know, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this before.
Me: Yes, I know. It was called Fury from the Deep and we watched it about a month ago.
Sue: It’s good, though. This story has a lot going for it. The guy playing Fewsham is great – he’s very intense and believable. And the direction is, on the whole, very good, bar the odd mistake. There’s a definite sense of scale, and some wonderful shots. Does Michael Ferguson direct many more?
Me: Not nearly enough, sadly.
Sue: That should have been the cliffhanger when they transported the Doctor into space. That would have been a great place to end the episode.
Zoe and Phipps enter the Moonbase’s control room.
Sue: They may as well have a setting on that thermostat wheel that says ‘Kill Ice Warriors’, it’s so obvious.
An Ice Warrior starts butchering people left, right and centre, although he miraculously avoids injuring any of the guest cast.
Sue: I’ve just realised that Eldred looks a like a giant turtle with that body warmer of his. Maybe he’s secretly working for the Ice Warriors, after all.
The Ice Warrior wanders off, killing even more personnel off-screen.
Sue: Clump, clump, clump. Bloody hardboard floors.
The Martians’ deadly fungus now covers the entire world.
Sue: Are they trying to turn the planet into a big foam party?
Me: I think they’re terraforming London into Ibiza.
Sue: This is great, but the music ruins it. It can’t have been scored to the visuals because it doesn’t fit the action at all. I wish we could turn it off; it’s the only thing that spoils it.
And then, as Zoe turns up the heat, Phipps gets caught in the crossfire.
Sue: They’ve killed Peter Purves’ brother! Noooooo!
Sue: Why doesn’t Zoe move out of the way? Is she rooted to the spot with glue? Just run away! You know how rubbish they are when it comes to lumbering after you.
Meanwhile, the Doctor is waking from a dream…
Sue: Ooh, the Doctor just said Victoria’s name in his sleep. I wonder how Zoe would feel about that. It’s like David Tennant mooning after Rose in front of Martha all over again.
Me: Except this happened first.
Sue: I know!
Zoe is thrilled to see the Doctor back in action.
Sue: (As Zoe) Hello, Doctor! How are you? Did you go anywhere nice? My, don’t you look nice and brown. And you’ve let your hair grow, too. Look at your sideburns – they’re MASSIVE!
The Doctor, Zoe, Jamie and Gia T-Mat back to London, but Fewsham decides to stay.
Sue: He’s worried about his annual appraisal. Suggested room for improvement: stop colluding with alien invaders. And grow some balls while you’re at it.
An Ice Warrior has entered a Weather Control Station.
Sue: This series is obsessed with changing the weather, but given that it’s made in England, I suppose that makes sense.
And then Fewsham redeems himself by broadcasting the next phase of the Ice Warriors’ plan back to Earth.
Sue: Yay! Fewsham came good in the end! I knew he would.
He is promptly killed for his troubles.
Sue: Aww, that was a bit sad.
The Doctor heads for the Weather Control Station.
Sue: The director is pushing the boat out again, but sometimes he over-reaches himself. That scene with the Doctor running on the spot was terrible!
When the Doctor arrives at the weather station, he’s overwhelmed by foam, and the episode ends with Patrick Troughton gurning at an expanding seedpod.
Sue: That was a great cliffhanger – funny and scary at the same time.
Sue: They are so proud of the last five minutes of episode five, they’re playing it to us again. Oh, hang on… Wait a minute, this is interesting.
She’s noticed that the recap includes Jamie and Zoe, who have been edited into the action we saw last week/five minutes ago.
Sue: Have we ever seen that before? The same scene played out from another character’s perspective, I mean. That’s very clever. It makes the whole thing feel fresh and different.
When Zoe nearly slips on the weather station’s metal floor, Sue tuts.
Sue: Didn’t the BBC have Health and Safety Compliance back in 1968?
Me: What do you think?
And then we are treated the show’s second best example of unintentional laughter in the middle of what is supposed to be a moment of high drama.
Me: Look at that! Wendy Padbury has completely lost it!
Sue: Bless her.
As the Doctor tries to make it rain in England, Sue can’t stop worrying about the rest of the world.
Sue: Who’s sorting out this mess in Oslo? Maybe there’s another version of the Doctor fixing things for them over there. That would be nice. I must say, though, Patrick Troughton is on top form this week. He gets all the best lines. He seems to be enjoying himself. He must be pleased that he’s working his notice.
Me: Actually, if I’m not mistaken, it was during the transmission of this story that the public were told Troughton was going to hang up his hats and leave.
Yes, Sue knows we are nearing the end. You try avoiding the question, “How many are left?” every single night.
Sue: At least he chose to leave. It was his decision and they didn’t do a Hartnell on him. So I’m happy about that.
The Doctor arrives on the Moon to foil the Ice Warriors’ plans, but he’s captured instead.
Sue: Do the Ice Warriors need the Doctor to work the T-Mat for them because their stupid hands can’t flip the switches? They haven’t thought this through.
The Doctor’s plan finally bears fruit and the Martian fleet is sent on an unexpected detour into the sun. As the Grand Marshal gives Slaar a right earful (mirroring Osgood and Fewsham’s sexual tension in the first episode) Sue can’t help but laugh.
Sue: And by the way – you’re fired!
The Doctor and Jamie overcome the remaining Ice Warrior in what turns out to be an action-packed finale.
Sue: Why does Jamie shout “Brigadoon!” when he attacks something?
Me: He doesn’t. He’s crying “Creag an tuire!”
Sue: Oh. Well that makes perfect sense, then.
The Ice Warriors have been defeated, but the Doctor and his companions do a runner before the authorities can organise a ticker-tape parade in their honour.
Sue: (As the voice of the base’s computer) And they all lived happily ever after.
Sue: The music spoilt it. Everything else was pretty good. Good plot, great acting, interesting direction, and Patrick Troughton was on top form. I think they’ve got this ‘base under siege’ thing down pat, now.