The Abominable Snowmen is another of the lost classics of Doctor Who which, from listening to the soundtrack, is an extremely atmospheric six part adventure which does not outstay its welcome like a lot of six part stories do. It has an excellent guest cast. Wales substitutes for Tibet in this adventure as the story is set in or around thereabouts a Buddhist monastery, Det-Sen, where the Doctor had a previous adventure more than three hundred years ago, one assumes when he was still the Hartnell incarnation but there is little proof to whether he did have a different face or not.
The Doctor decides to take back something that he had borrowed from the monastery on his last visit and it seems that he wasn’t expected to stay there for long as he left Jamie and Victoria in the TARDIS which was a bit of a shame for them. Naturally things weren’t as simple as it first appeared and he finds the dead body of an explorer on his way to the monastery; finds out that the monastery was being attacked by the Yeti.
The Doctor gets himself arrested by the monks, after Travers whom was at the monastery when her arrived and saw him carrying his fellow explorers rucksack, claimed that he killed his partner, and the Monks believe him. Jamie and Victoria get bored of waiting for the Doctor and go out looking for him and end up being attacked by a Yeti. That is is just in the first episode and the rest of the story is just as enthralling.
As is common for Troughton’s Doctor most of the characters think he is somewhat of a buffoon but he bides his time, and ends up taking over the solving of the problem, when they realise that he is more than the bufoon that they considered him to be from the get go. Jamie gets quite a bit to do once he arrives at the monastery and Victoria has her moments.
Jack Watling guest stars in this adventure as Professor Travers and explorer searching for the Yeti and he gives a very strong performance as a very single minded man with one main purpose in his life. The rest of the characters were monks including Norman Jones as Songsten and David Spenser as Thomni and the velvety voiced Wolfe Morris as Padmasambhava, whom the Doctor remembers from his original visit.
I loved the use of the library music to punctuate the scenes which really added to the atmosphere of the story. The desolated monastery setting was a nice little twist from the standard base under siege story but was just as effective as enclosed base or such like. There was also a decent mystery to be sorted out with the Yeti’s and the fact that they were robots and not the Yeti’s that Travers was looking for, not to mention a new foe in the Great Intelligence.