Seeds is famous for being the first appearance of a different sort of Ice Warrior, the “Ice Lord”, played by Alan Bennion, who would return to the role in the two Peladon stories with Jon Pertwee. Like Davros did for the Daleks, this new character allows for the monsters to be more articulate than they were with Bernie Bresslaw, who had to work overtime to get that heavy rubber mouth to work at all. Bennion has his teeth blacked out to look like fangs and has some horribly crusty skin, which funnily enough works better here in B&W than the make up job he gets in the later colour stories.
It’s one of those workmanlike stories that does just what you expect a Who story to do, but nothing more, and doesn’t do it in a particularly original or memorable way. It’s okay but nothing special. And so it was my challenge to see if, once the extraneous bits had been stripped away, there was a more watchable version hidden inside the original.
Like some of my other Fan Edits, this one starts with a pre-credits sequence – the arrival of the Ice Warriors at the T-Mat station on the Moon. I did want to use the specially-shot story title sequence but there was no way to make a “clean” version without the episode number captions, which was a pity as it`s a really nice sequence. With the titles out of the way the first consideration was to get the Doctor to the Moon and into the action as quickly as possible. That meant I had to be pretty ruthless in cutting out scenes that may have been nice to have but did nothing to advance the plot, with the result that we get to the first cliffhanger in just under ten minutes, the usual for Classic Who.
When we come to Episode Two, once the Doctor is on the rocket all he has to do is make contact with Phipps and land on the moon. Everything else is just padding so I made the journey to the moon short and uneventful and nine minutes later we`re on to Episode Three from which thirteen minutes of material make the cut. And that means we can cover the first half of the story in half an hour! The famous chase sequence stays – something I never thought twice about keeping in! After that it`s hello Ice Lord and Pat getting taken out by an exploding balloon for a week.
Episode Four`s main contribution to the story is the action sequence involving an Ice Warrior shooting lots of security guards and buggering up the weather controls. I cut that right back and re-ordered some of the material to make a montage that does the story work of the original version in half the time. That was great fun to do but the most time-consuming part of the entire edit was the montage sequence where Fewsham sends the pods to different cities all over the planet. It tells us all we need to know but took quite a while to cut together. Episode Five gave me very few problems and Episode Six`s main claim to fame – Wendy Padbury corpsing as Pat skids on his arse in the foam – never made it to the final cut so sorry if you`re looking for it here.
The only other significant change is to make travel by T-Mat more of a fade in and out than a sudden vanish. It just looks wrong and Mike Ferguson made the same mistake a few years later on Colony In Space! And speaking of Tardis dematerialisations we cut away to the end titles before a particularly bad cross fade that wasn`t worth the time and effort it would have taken to fix, unlike the rest of this story!