Lords of the Red Planet (2013)

The third story in this final series of Lost Story adventures sees us encounter the Ice Warriors. This story was originally written by Brian Hayles who created the Ice Warriors and it has been adapted by John Dorney. It’s the first time since the Sontarans that a classic monster has returned in the lost series.  This story seems to suggest that the story takes place before the Ice Warriors become the force that the Doctor would know them for. This was suppose to take the place that ‘The Seeds of Death’ would eventually take. There was a bit of me that was worried that the length would have me just wishing that the end would come and I would be disappointed with it just like I was witch the Dark Planet. At 180 minutes, the running time did seem excessively long but I thought that with the Ice Warriors, Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury, the running time wouldn’t be an issue.  

The cast list is very interesting as it features Charlie Hayes (Wendy Padbury’s daughter) and also Michael Troughton (Patrick Troughtons’ son). Michael Troughton is most familiar to me as the child-like Piers Fletcher-Dervish from the early 1990’s sitcom ‘The New Statesman’.  Charlie Hayes has appeared in several Big Finish plays over the years with a few appearances against her mother.  For a second Doctor lost story, there is a surprisingly high number of cast.

The first episode is about how experiments are going on and how there is something not quite right going on. It’s quite interesting how it isn’t until episode two that the Doctor, Zoe and Jamie actually meet anyone and that’s only because they fell through a hole. As the story moves along it soon turns into a potential invasion story and the path of the Ice Warriors starts to marry up with what we know about the Ice Warriors but still tries to tell a story in its own right which it does rather well. There are some moments which sound quite tough on audio and had it made it to TV then it would have been interesting to see how it would have worked out. Mary Whitehouse would have had a field day. There is a moment when Jamie is seemingly tortured quite is quite a harsh moment but its quite brief and I think that in the context of the scene and the Princess it works quite well.

Quendrill is revealed to be the Davros of the Ice Warriors. Davros but without the chair or the OTT rhetoric. The scene where the word Lord gets used is quite a good moment and its well acted by Michael Troughton and Nicholas Briggs. I think that Charlie Hayes does well as Veltreena as a thoroughly unlikeable yet utterly engaging character. Zaadur is another good villain and she is one of those rare characters in Doctor Who in being a female villain that is strong minded. She is quite similar to Veltreena and I suppose that this was intentional but I think that Abigail Thaw is the better of the two. Michael Troughton is also very good with a rather interesting role.

I thought that it was a good story but unfortunately the running time is the thing that lets it down. I just don’t think that it was a six part story. Possibly they could have stretched it to five but four episodes is the perfect length of a story for a reason and that is perhaps my main complaint. Apart from that I thought that the performances were all really good and its always good to hear Wendy Padbury and Frazer Hines because they always give good value for money.

 
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