Aside from the Daleks (who appeared over 15 times on TV against the Doctor from 1963-1989), there are very few returning monsters from the classic Doctor Who series. Among those hallowed ranks are the Cybermen (featured in 10 classic stories- including The Five Doctors), the Sontarans (in 4 classic adventures) and the Ice Warriors (who faced the Doctor in four classic adventures). Of these examples, all but the Ice Warriors have seen a triumphant return to the TV screens, but next year all of that is about to change when a new version of the green-armored Martians challenge the Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith and their very first outing sees a DVD release, with added animated material.
The Ice Warriors are almost forgotten these days, but there was a time when these hulking behemoths were beloved monsters among viewers. Horrifying lumbering creatures, the Ice Warriors hailed from Mars. The Doctor’s first recorded encounter with them was set around Brittanicus Base of the distant future when humanity battled against the inevitability of a second ice age. As the ice caps melted and migrated, a Martian landing craft was unearthed, along with its crew of cybernetically enhanced warriors. Written by Brian Hayles (who had also written The Celestial Toymaker), the Ice Warriors was screened in six parts from November to December, 1967.
The Ice Warriors was part of Doctor Who’s fifth season, one that had more monsters (Cybermen, Yeti, and a seaweed creature) on screen than had been witnessed in a long time. It is still recognized as one of the stand out years of the program’s history. So popular were the Ice Warriors that they came back two years later in the Seeds of Death. Later still the Ice Warriors were seen again in 1972’s Curse of Peladon and also in 1974’s Monster of Peladon.
To date, two episodes of the Ice Warriors remain missing, but thanks to a team of skilled animators, they live again!
Via Doctor Who TV:
“We’ve been discussing the various ways Qurios could reconstruct these episodes for over three years” said Dan Hall, Managing Director of Pup Ltd Media Consultancy, producer of the DVD. “So it’s really, really satisfying to finally see them animated. Qurios have a great track record in excellent and innovative animations”.
Currently, there are 106 missing episodes from 1963-69, mainly impacting the run of Patrick Troughton who played the Doctor from 1966-69.
The following stories from the First Doctor era starring William Hartnell are still incomplete: Marco Polo, The Reign of Terror, The Crusade, Galaxy 4, “Mission to the Unknown”, The Myth Makers, The Daleks’ Master Plan, The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve, The Celestial Toymaker, The Savages, and The Smugglers
From the Second Doctor era starring Patrick Troughton, these gems are lacking material: The Power of the Daleks, The Highlanders, The Underwater Menace, The Moonbase, The Macra Terror, The Faceless Ones, The Evil of the Daleks, The Abominable Snowmen, The Enemy of the World, The Web of Fear, Fury from the Deep, The Wheel in Space, Invasion and The Space Pirates.
As the Ice Warriors are set for a major come back in 2013, this DVD release should receive special attention.