Home Video

Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors (1967) - Blu-ray Review

{2jtab: Movie Review}

Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors - Blu-ray Review

<div style="float:left">
<script type="text/javascript"><!--
google_ad_client = "pub-9764823118029583";
/* 125x125, created 12/10/07 */
google_ad_slot = "8167036710";
google_ad_width = 125;
google_ad_height = 125;
//-->
</script>
<script type="text/javascript"
src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js">
</script></div>{/googleAds}

3 stars

With a series as long-running as Doctor Who, one finds it increasingly rare that there can be anything new offered to fans.  That’s just what The Ice Warriors is though.  Long thought a loss cause for fans and their collections due to the deletion of Episodes Two and Three from the story, BBC has finally released the Doctor’s (played by Patrick Troughton) arctic adventure using black-and-white animation to tell the story of the missing chapters.

The third serial of the fifth season originally aired November and December 1967 and, while not nearly as entertaining as some of the other Troughton adventures, is a must-own for purists.  The Doctor and his companions – Victoria (Debra Watling) and Jamie (Frazer Hines) – offer their support to a science team with preventing an ice age at some point in the near future.

The problem is that the team has unearthed an alien – Varga (Bernard Bresslawand) – and accidentally awoken him from his frozen slumber.  After taking a hostage, Varga confesses that there are other warriors in the ice.  He wants to rescue them and fly his ship home but needs a component from the machine working to save earth from its own deep freeze in order to pilot it.  Supernatural science fiction chaos ensues as the Doctor must work diligently to save everyone.

This is not the sharpest Doctor Who adventure.  There’s little threat to the characters and, other than saving their asses and acting like they have all the time in the world to do it in, there’s very little motivation.  Time is ticking but you wouldn’t be able to tell from the intrusions of former science members Penley (Peter Sallis) and Clent (Peter Barkworth), who oppose the plan due to the use of technology that threatens the planet’s orbit.

Written by Brian Hayles, the actual Ice Warriors become staples of Doctor Who making appearances in four more serials, including one as recent as 2013.   Unfortunately, their debut just isn’t that exciting.  The problem with this serial lies in its inability to create a sense of danger for the human characters.  The threat is verbally there but none of it actually translates to the viewer.

Whatever its flaws, you can’t blame the missing episodes for them.  We have those now and they are pretty solid.  Qurios Entertainment provides the animation to the original sound recordings for the missing two episodes which is less jarring than it sounds.  The low budget extends to the bobbing animated characters.  It was done on the cheap but it works and, hey, at least the heads are expressive.  Presented in black and white, they fit nicely next to the other live action entries.

Perhaps it is the minimalist attitude of the production design.  Yes, it’s more noticeable this time out.  Perhaps a total of six episodes is far too much talking for one broadcast.  Maybe something needs to happen sooner.  Either way, The Ice Warriors just needs to make sense.

While it’s good to finally see the all the episodes of The Ice Warriors, this is one serial that is for die-hards only.

{2jtab: Film Details}

Doctor Who: The Ice WarriorsMPAA Rating: R for sequences of strong bloody horror violence and gore, graphic nudity, sexual content, language and some drug use.
Runtime:
88 mins
Director
: Derek Martinus
Writer: Brian Hayles
Cast: Patrick Troughton, Wendy Gifford, Peter Barkworth
Genre: Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
Tagline: Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors
Memorable Movie Quote: "Five thousand years of history... crushed beneath a moving mountain of ice"
Distributor:
BBC Home Entertainment
Official Site:
Release Date:
November 11, 1967
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 17, 2013

Synopsis: The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria are brought to a base which is attempting to halt the flow of the Second Ice Age.

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
3 stars

5 Stars



Blu-ray Experience
4 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - September 17, 2013
Screen Formats: 1.33:1
Language
: English
Format
: NTSC, Black & White
Discs: 2 discs
Region Encoding: Region 1/A

The restoration is solid.  The full frame image looks very good in black and white.  There is a sharp and clear picture, easiest the best looking of the older Doctor Who adventures. Also worth noting, is the level of detail in each frame of the 6-episode release.  It is excellent; the blacks are deep, and the image is stable.  The original mono track is the only option for the DVD.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • All six episodes have audio commentaries, with one group covering the filmed installments and others handling the animated ones.  This is awesome material for those interested in Doctor Who and the Troughton years.

Special Features:

As usual, there are plenty of extras on this latest Doctor Who saga. There are very involving making of featurettes for both, as well links, PDF materials, a photo gallery, an animated version of the original trailer, and more. In short, both old fans and new ones are served, and the extras are split between the original story and what has gone into this edition.

  • Cold Fusion (55 min)
  • Beneath the Ice (30 min)
  • Photo Gallery
  • PDF Files
  • Trailer
  • Animated Trailer

{2jtab: Trailer}

{/2jtabs}

Movie Reviews

Our Tweets

 

You are here: Home Home Video Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors (1967) - Blu-ray Review
Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
Google+
Letterboxd
Find us on Rotten Tomatoes