6th March 1976
Harrison Chase: “What do you do for an encore, Doctor?”
The Doctor: “I win.”
Writer: Robert Banks Stewart.
Director: Douglas Camfield.
Producer: Philip Hinchcliffe.
Starring Tom Baker as the Doctor and Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane; with Tony Beckley as Harrison Chase, John Challis as Scorby and Mark Jones as Arnold Keeler.
After two extraterrestrial seed pods are found in the Antarctic, the Doctor and Sarah Jane have to battle against plant-obsessive, Harrison Chase, before the deadly Krynoid hatches and infects the human race…
What they thought:
As James Whittington commented in his review of The Seeds of Doom for Kasterborous, it’s “Doctor Who gold! Time may have withered the ropey vegetation effects but the story and acting are just sublime.”
Elsewhere on the site, it’s described as a ‘fan-favourite,’ and you can certainly see why. Robert Banks Stewart crafted a tale tinged with inherent menace and memorable monsters in the Krynoid – and Harrison Chase! David J. Howe and Stephen James Walker note in Doctor Who: The TV Companion (1998): “Tony Beckley is simply excellent as Chase, with an icy calm and level of control worthy of the Master (whose habit of wearing black leather gloves he also shares).”
They further explain that “the Doctor, aside from finding the second of the two Krynoid pods in the ice and thereby arguably precipitating the major crisis, plays no significant part in the unfolding of events or in their resolution.”
However, the story is still one of the series’ finest, with plenty of peril, fantastic vistas, sterling acting, and a very sinister composter…
DVD (Region 2) Information:
- Released in October 2010.
- Approx. 150 mins.
- Commentary by Tom Baker (The Doctor), John Challis (Scorby), Kenneth Gilbert (Dunbar), Michael McStay (Moberley), Philip Hinchcliffe (Producer), Robert Banks Stewart (Writer), Roger-Murray Leach (Designer) and Joggs Camfield (son of Douglas Camfield, Director).
- Special Features include: Podshock – The Making of The Seeds of Doom; Stripped for Action – the comic strip adventures of the fourth Doctor; and So What Do You Do Exactly? – Production Assistant and Production Unit Manager (with Graeme Harper).
- The Krynoid costume adopted during its humanoid stage was previously used as an Axon in 1971’s The Claws of Axos.
WATCH IT IF YOU LIKE… PYRAMIDS OF MARS.