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Good Job of Interpreting Hayles

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Tuesday 14 March 2017
Rating:   8

This story began as two treatments that would have been scripted had they been accepted. The producers at the time, 1969, chose Seeds of Death, over this one. One can only surmise why, but the most probable reason is cost. It would require quite a large number of extensive costumes and several quite different sets. John Dorney has chosen to write this very much in the Hayles style, melding the two treatments and fitting together a complete story. In this case, we get an origin of the Ice Warriors story, sort of. The last remnants of a Martian civilization are holding on, just. In charge is the cold Zaadur, a benevolent tyrant who turns out to be not so benevolent. She is forcing her father to perform genetic sculpting on some of the local fauna so as to produce the next generation of survivors, seemingly. There is, of course, more to it than that. The story draws attention to the ethics of animal experimentation and the sad truth about both time and evolution - all things must pass. Given this, the story is rather dark, sombre at times, and intense in a way in keeping with the series after Zoe was introduced, recalling such stories as Wheel in Space and The War Games. It is also in keeping with the 1960s Doctor Who to have an out and out bad guy (or girl in this case) bent on destruction for dubious psychological reasons. This is probably the weakest area of the script. Another is the choice to have this in narrated audio-book form rather than full cast drama. The casting is a family affair, with Patrick Troughton's son Michael Troughton playing the beleaguered Martian scientist and Wendy Padbury's daughter Charlie Hayes playing the vain princess. This one is definitely worth having.




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