Production Code: OO
1 - 11/11/1967 17:10
2 - 18/11/1967 17:25
3 - 25/11/1967 17:25
4 - 02/12/1967 17:25
5 - 09/12/1967 17:25
6 - 16/12/1967 17:25
The TARDIS arrives on Earth at the time of a new ice age and the travellers make their way into a base where scientists commanded by Leader Clent are using an ioniser device to combat the advance of a glacier.
A giant humanoid creature, termed an Ice Warrior by one of the scientists, has been found buried in the glacier nearby. When thawed, it revives and is revealed to be Varga, captain of a Martian spacecraft that landed on Earth centuries ago and is still in the glacier. Varga sets about freeing his comrades and formulating a plan to conquer the Earth - Mars itself now being dead.
The scientists meanwhile realise that continued use of the ioniser could cause the alien ship's engines to explode. Their trusted computer is unable to advise them without further information, and it seems that disaster is imminent. The disaffected scientist Penley, supported by the Doctor, eventually decides to risk activating the ioniser. There is only a minor explosion, which destroys the Martians and, at the same time, checks the ice flow.
The frozen creature has been brought to the ioniser base and is left to thaw out while the scientists hold a meeting. Jamie and Victoria debate the merits of the clothes worn by the female scientists, oblivious to the fact that behind them the massive creature is starting to move...
Varga has escaped from the base, taking with him a hostage in the person of Victoria and some portable power packs to thaw out his still frozen crew. Having blasted away the ice wall, Varga attaches the power packs to his comrades and stands back as they begin rapidly to thaw out.
Victoria escapes from the Martians' ship and uses one of the scientists' communicators to contact the Doctor at the base. She tells him that the aliens are ruthless killers and will stop at nothing. Inside the ship, the Martians' sonic cannon is trained on Victoria and the operator, Zondal, awaits the order to fire.
The Doctor goes to the Martians' ship, where Varga allows him to enter the airlock. Sealing the outer door, Varga threatens to reduce the atmospheric pressure in the airlock to zero unless the Doctor answers his questions.
Zondal has been left in charge of the Martians' sonic cannon while Varga and the others try to gain entry to the base. The Doctor and Victoria, held prisoner in the ship, use a vial of hydrogen sulphide to incapacitate Zondal. The collapsing Warrior makes a desperate attempt to activate the cannon, while the Doctor struggles to hold back his arm.
The Martians' ship is destroyed and Clent is happy to have Penley back working with him once more. The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria have meanwhile slipped quietly back to the TARDIS, which dematerialises from the snowy landscape.
The Thing from Another World.
War of the Worlds.
Quatermass and the Pit.
Jamie misquotes Macbeth ('Lead on Macduff!').
Victoria : "You won't succeed! You can't be so inhuman!"
Varga : "We only fight to win."
Penley : [On Clent] "He's got a printed circuit where his heart should be."
The Doctor : [On Victoria's knowledge of stink bombs] "The benefits of a classical education?'"
Varga : "You will maintain your Earthling body temperature by helping me."
"I await your punishment, Commander!"
"Come along, Victoria, blow, blow!"
It is Walters who first coins the phrase 'Ice Warrior' to describe Varga. The Ice Warriors rarely refer to themselves by this title (the exception is in 'The Monster of Peladon). The Doctor believes the Ice Warriors have a 'far greater fluid content' than humans.
The Warriors never refer to their home planet as Mars. Varga calls it 'the Red Planet' whose atmosphere is said to be mainly nitrogen based.
The Brittanicus Ice Base, possibly England, during 'the second ice age'. [c. 3000 AD? Clent talks of 5000 years of history buried under the glacier, which might point to the Ice Age around the year 5000 mentioned by the Doctor in The Talons of Weng Chiang.]
The Doctor speculates that ionisation, and a dispersal of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, is responsible for the climatic changes that produced the ice age [perhaps a reaction to large scale weather control attempts].
Clent states that the discovery of artificial food sources which helped to end world famine 'a hundred years ago' [an advanced form of the synthetic carbohydrates mentioned in The Seeds of Death] caused an abandonment of natural forms of growth. 'Then, one year, spring never came.'
Ionisation helps to prevent the advance of the glaciers. Rehabilitation centres for those evacuated from affected areas are in Africa. It is implied that there are still national groupings (Clent's remark on the Russians).
There is an unusual fading in and out of the opening story title, episode number and writer credits.
Gentle giant Bernard Bresslaw, best known today for his many appearances in the Carry On... films, appears as the impressive Martian leader, Varga.
Peter Sallis, now well known as one of the stars of Last of the Summer Wine, appears as the scientist-turned-scavenger Penley.
A real live bear was used in specially shot film inserts (as opposed to stock footage).
Miss Garrett's entire costume unexpectedly changes between the fifth and sixth episodes.
The base computer is called ECCO. (This name was invented by writer Brian Hayles for his later novelisation of the story.)
The Doctor can tell that the computer is malfunctioning by the sound of its pitch.
The TARDIS materialises on its side at the beginning of the first episode, and yet it is upright when it dematerialises at the end of the sixth.
Varga's head design changes after he wakes up.
Victoria shows a prudish reaction to Jamie's appreciation of the skirts worn by the base's female staff.
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Patrick Troughton
Jamie - Frazer Hines
Victoria - Deborah Watling
Arden - George Waring
Clent - Peter Barkworth
Davis - Peter Diamond
Isbur, the Ice Warrior - Michael Attwell
Miss Garrett - Wendy Gifford
Penley - Peter Sallis
Rintan, the Ice Warrior - Tony Harwood
Storr - Angus Lennie
Turoc, the Ice Warrior - Sonny Caldinez
Varga, the Ice Warrior - Bernard Bresslaw
Voice of Computer - Roy Skelton
Walters - Malcolm Taylor
Zondal, the Ice Warrior - Roger Jones
Director - Derek Martinus