The Ice Warriors

In the Ice Warriors the TARDIS lands in the middle of thick drifts of snow which makes Jamie think that the TARDIS was still in Tibet, and end up in an house not unlike the one that Victoria grew up in, or Maxtible’s house from a couple of stories ago, which was encased in a large protective dome protecting them from the elements.

Whilst the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe are in the base a couple of scientists find something encased in a block of ice and take it back to the base when recalled. That was their big mistake once the block began to thaw as a massive biped creature in green scaly armour is revealed and runs amok on the base. This is an Ice Warrior, denizen of the planet Mars.

The Doctor ingratiates himself with the Clent the leader of the base who humours him at first but soon realises an intellect at least equal to his own.
Victoria gets a large chunk of the action in this story and spends a great deal of it with the ice warriors after being captured by them.

Jamie goes to try and rescue her but comes a cropper and is absent for quite a bit of the story so it is nice to see Victoria get lots to do and Deborah Watling is equal to it and gives a spirited performance.

Bernard Bresslaw plays the main Ice Warrior Varga and actually does a good job of it being entirely cased in armour but giving a good account of the character.

Peter Barkworth, Wendy Gifford and Peter Sallis all give strong performances here as Leader Clent, Miss Gifford and Penley and they are all given a good deal of screen time. Patrick Troughton gets decent scenes with all three of them at some point in the story.

The claustrophobic setting of the base and the scenes set in the icy wastes of Great Britain in the far future are a major selling point of this story along with the new alien menaces from the red planet. and makes it quite compelling viewing.

In this story the interesting setting, and the new alien menace of the Ice Warriors make for an interesting and highly watchable six episodes of classic tv.

The Abominable Snowmen

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.


Christmas Day 1961

In Granadaland the Xmas day broadcasts started at 11.15am with a High mass according to the Dominican Rite from St Dominic’s Priory Church in London.

At 12,30 was a carol concert from Durham Cathedral.

The news at 1pm was followed by Christmas Box a variety programme from ATV hosted by Noele Gordon.

At 2pm there was The Cyril Stapleton Show, another variety show featuring Ronnie Carroll and Cleo Laine.

3pm was the Queen’s Speech.

3.05 was Chipperfields All Star Christmas Circus.

4.20 was highlights from musicals.

5.00 was cartoon time featuring Huckleberry House, The Flinstones and Popeye.

The news was at 5.55 and at 6.05 was The Archbishop of Canterbury talking to people.

6.15 was People and Places a Granada magazine programme.

7pm was a look back at Christmas of 1936.

7.30 was the Christmas edition of Coronation Street.

8.00 was an edition of Bonanza. 8.55 was the news.

9.05 was A Merry Max featuring Max Bygraves.

10.5 was an adaptation of The Pickwick Papers starring James Hayter as Mr Pickwick.

11:10 was the news headlines and that was it for the day.

Meanwhile on the BBC you had the following

09:00 Gwyl Y Genoi

09:29 Headline News

09:30 Good Christian Men, Rejoice A programme of Christmas carols, hymns, and music presented by the boys of Chetham’s Hospital School Manchester.

10:30 O Come, All Ye Faithful, a christmas morning service.

13:25 Tenderfoot: Stranger in the Town an episode of the popular western series.

11:30 Max Bygraves meets kids in Great Ormond Street hospital
12:20 Citizen James
12:50 Be My Guest with Joan Regan
14:10 Appeal on behalf of the Royal National Institute for the Deaf by Sir Malcolm Sargent.

1445 Christmas Music from Messiah by Handel

15:00 The Queen

15:07 Billy Smart’s Circus

16:05 The World of Walt Disney

17:15 Just William’s Luck
William leads his pals, ‘The Outlaws’, in an adventure in which it is difficult to say who is hunted and who is haunted.

18:45 The News

18:55 Christmas at Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Michael Ramsey gives a Christmas address in a Service of Lessons and Carols from the Cathedral Church of Christ, Canterbury.

19:25 This is Your Life

20:00 The Black and White Minstrel Show

21:00 Rebecca
A film drama starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine.

Television Dancing Club

The Power of Gentleness
A postscript to Christmas by the Dean of Trinity College, Cambridge.

The Weather Man; Close Down


9.35 Going To Work – The Gas Fitter
10.00-10.20 Middle School Mathematics
10.23 Scotland in Focus
10.45 Watch With Mother – The Woodentops
11.5 Spotlight
11.35-11.55 A Year In The Country
1.25 News
1.30-1.45 Watch With Mother – The Flowerpot Men
2.5-2.25 The Orchestra
5.05 Crackerjack
5.50 Junior Points of View
5.55 The News
6.05 A Quick Look Round
6.30 Gardening Club
6.55 Tonight
7.30 Compact
8.00 Frankie Howerd
8.25 The Kathy Kirby Show
9.10 Points of View
9.15 The News
9.25 R3
10.15 Checkpoint
10.40 Not So Much A Programme More A Way Of Life
11.25 News Extra
11.35 The Sky At Night
11.50 Something to Share
11.55 The Weather