The Seeds of Doom is one of my favourite stories, even though it’s atypical of Classic Who of the time. The script is more the sort of thing The Avengers would tackle and the similarities to The Man Eater of Surrey Green, The Thing From Another World and The Quatermass Experiment are well documented.
Of course, when I was nine and watching this back in the day I knew nothing about those prior sources, I just saw Tom and Lis being menaced by a Vegetable Man. And, aside from the polystyrene snow, there’s very little in the production to find fault with, particularly the cast – dear old Tony Beckley [Camp Freddie in The Italian Job] is clearly playing an Avengers baddie and Harrison Chase wouldn’t have looked out of place going up against Steed and Mrs Peel.
I remember years ago reading in DWM that the Director, Douglas Camfield had written a set of Editing Notes for a planned compilation version that was cancelled at the last minute. That got me thinking… Fast forward to the DVD release of the story and there’s the PDF with all his notes for every single cut. I was quite taken with the idea of trying to recreate this “missing” edit and even got as far as doing the first episode from DC’s editing notes.
In the end I decided to compromise and only used DC’s notes as a guide; it would have been daft not to when he’d already saved me the trouble of working out all those cuts out for myself. There are a few places where I’ve retained shots that he would have discarded for time but I`m not editing for a timeslot. There’s nothing to stop someone else recreating the Camfield Cut exactly but I reckon this Whopix version – which is about ten minutes shorter – is the best of both approaches.
We start with an intro sequence utilising the fab animation at the start of the “Podshock” Making Of Documentary and hit the end of Part One about 13 minutes in. That becomes the norm for all six episodes and the credits are the sort of cut together job that you used to see on these compilations back in the day. A bit of a Nostalgiafest for those of us of a certain age and I just had to include the Dedication card to DC at the top of the show, after all, when it came to this edit he had already done most of the hard work for me!
There are some wonderful performances in this story, with Amelia Ducat being second only to Prof Amelia Rumford in the Loveable Batty Old Dear stakes. Seymour Green from The Twin Dilemma is Hargreaves the butler and Boycie from Only Fools and Horses gets a look in too. But, truth be told, you don’t really miss the Brigadier in this story, though back in the day I’m sure we were all expecting him to turn up, even though he wouldn’t have had very much to do even if he had.