The Seeds Of Doom: Doctor Who: Season 13
The Seeds Of Doom SYNOPSIS:
The Seeds Of Doom sees alien Seed pods discovered in Antartica ice. The scientific team there thaw the first one out but it breaks open and infects one of the crew. The Doctor and Sarah are called in by UNIT to investigate.
Dunbar of the Ecology Bureau sells the secret of the alien seeds to Harrison Chase and he in turn has sent his best men, Scorby and Keeler to retrieve it. The Doctor confirms Winlett, the infected man, is slowly transforming into an alien plant whose sole purpose is to consume all animal life. Winlett begins killing the crew one by one, Chases men arrive and steal the remaining seed pod and destroy the base.
Sole Survivors, the Doctor and Sarah return to England and are near eliminated by Chase's Chauffeur, they over power him and infiltrate Chase's mansion. Once captured Chase informs the Doctor that Keeler is feeding the seed pod to germinate another Krynoid the pride of his collection despite the Doctor's warnings to destroy the seeds.
Sarah manages to get a warming out but not before Keeler has been infected by the seed and is nutured by Chase into a full sized Krynoid. The Krynoid escapes and begins killing anyone growing to immense size. The Doctor, Sarah and Scorby take refuge in the mansion while the monster and a now krynoid possessed Chase prowl the grounds. As vegetation starts turning hostile everywhere, UNIT is now their only hope ejecting seeds of doom across the planet.
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The Seeds Of Doom SERIAL DETAILS:
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The Seeds Of Doom CAST & CREW
Tom Baker (Fourth Doctor)
Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith)
Tony Beckley — Harrison Chase
John Challis — Scorby
Mark Jones — Arnold Keeler/Krynoid Voice
Kenneth Gilbert — Richard Dunbar
Michael Barrington — Sir Colin Thackeray
Sylvia Coleridge — Amelia Ducat
Seymour Green — Hargreaves
Michael McStay — Derek Moberley
Hubert Rees — John Stevenson
John Gleeson — Charles Winlett
Ian Fairbairn — Doctor Chester
John Acheson — Major Beresford
Ray Barron — Sergeant Henderson
Alan Chuntz — Chauffeur
David Masterman — Guard Leader
Harry Fielder — Guard
Writer - Robert Banks Stewart
Director - Douglas Camfield
Script editor - Robert Holmes
Producer - Philip Hinchcliffe
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The Seeds Of Doom REVIEWS
Seeds Of Doom is my favourite Dr Who story of all.Everything works perfectly in this one,the writing, directing, acting, camera work, set design are all of such a high caliber that it seems to not quite normal.There is atmosphere aplenty in this from the frozen wastes of Antarctica to the lush stately mansion of Harrison Chase, everything is totally believable. Ok, the Seeds of Doom looks like a two parter attached to a four parter but it works so much better this way. Everyone acts and looks cold in the snow scenes that were probably filmed in a car park but it makes the threat of a mutating monster wandering round killing (and presumably feasting) every human present in an isolated base frightening. This really scared me as a kid as the Krynoid had no other purpose than killing and eating all animal life.
The scenes where the seed pods burst open first in Antarctica and later in Chase's mansion and the strange tentacle wraps itself around the victims arm with a weird groaning noise would give anyone nightmares. The fact that it transformed you into one of these things by eating you from the inside out is one of the most chilling concepts to be used in the series. not only this but the Dr knows it. Tom Baker is perfect at conveying that this is a real threat, not just the Faaaarrrking daleks rocking up again and is his most distant broody and alien self yet. Veering between moody and jokey to piss off the bad guys and not holding back for once on throwing a few well aimed punches at them (even using chairs) particularly at chief henchman Scorby.Plucky Sarah is there with him all the way, the perfect foil to his broodiness, still taking the piss out of the Doc but now also others too, such as Scorby AND Chase. These two are just so well defined characters it's amazing. Harrison Chase must be the creepiest human villain in the series, he's just convincing obsessive at first then spins off into more convincing insanity. John Challis as Scorby gives a thug with a gun a character and personality and yeah you go from loathing to loving this guy in the space of an episode. Keeler is also a genuinely sympathetic as the nice guy botanist bullied by everyone and in then being in the wrong place at the wrong time when the pod bursts. The scene where Chase tells him he's going to cultivate him into a full krynoid rather than cure him as he lies there slowly mutating is proper horror.
Yes, no one is sub par in the acting department for Seeds Of Doom, Sir Colin "pension worrier" Thackery to "whoops-I've made a terrible mistake" Dunbar as his off sider to the wacky Amelia Ducat and even the UNIT replacements for the Brigadier and Benton. Was it really just them written out? Heard they deliberately wrote different parts to distance the series more from the UNIT concept, thus Brig & Benton got canned. Although UNIT seems to have become a large organization again, not just a handful of uniformed goons, plus it's the last we see of them for 13 years. The model of the giant krynoid on the house looks fantastic and the location that doubled for Chase's mansion is perfectly sprawling and well matched with the studio interiors. Was the set designer Barnett or Gibbs? Put me down for 10/10. We're at the halfway mark of the series now - full speed ahead!
Seeds Of Doom is the first Doctor Who book I ever read. I borrowed it from the school library and I was in grade four. And now, our feature presentation. This story is effectively a two parter with a separate four parter attached to it. Both are very separate stories and the only linking theme is the Doctor - who when you think about it actually INITIATED the second crisis by digging up the second pod - Sarah (obviously) and Scorby. However the arctic scenes are still very good and when the Krynoid attacks Winlett who in turns starts mutating and killing everyone one by one its good suspenseful stuff. Likewise the scenes when the bomb is going to go off - which ultimately does with some great model work. On to England for the next four episodes and geez it looks great. Filming at Stargroves for Chase's estate is first rate and they make the absolute most of the luxurious, sprawling grounds and buildings. In fact it seems to be directed in a very un-Who-ish manner. I watch this and I really do wonder "how the hell did they DO it?" No other Dr Who story has previously matched Seeds Of Doom in terms of everything being just completely RIGHT. The direction, acting, writing and production is all spot on.
I know the following piece of factual information will send Tim scurrying to write a reply but director Douglas Camfield instructed his cast for this story to play it "as though it was real." The cast certainly do rise to that particular snippit of direction as the whole cast are firing on all four proverbial's. Chase is certainly believable creepy and malevolent and he just gets creepier and creepier as it goes on, while his off-sider and number one henchman Scorby is is also well acted and goes from being a thug in a suit to someone who is getting way out of his depth as things just mount up against him. Right to the end you know he is only looking out for himself but you still warm to him anyway. Even the lesser characters are good; Dunbar and Sir Colin from the Ministry are both very well played and even dear old Amelia Ducat the wild flower artist is simply brilliant; wiry, dotty and an adventurist as well. At one point I thought Scorby was going to off her as he escorted her back to her car after she calls on Harrison Chase for her cheque.
Our regulars Tom and Liz are just great here and they really give it their all. In fact they just seem to continually go up another ten notches with each story. In fact in this story, Tom actually punches someone out. And I don't mean like Pertwee's "HAI!!" Venusian akido bullshit, but actually punches some guy full in the face. At the Antarctic post, the Doctor behaves very detached from the proceedings even saying "You must help yourselves" as one of the crew prepares to amputate the arm of another. Its all very chilling stuff made even more effective that the crew there all seem like real people in a very hard and difficult situation. Model work is again first rate. Already mentioned the Antarctic base blowing up, however the model shots of the overgrown Krynoid attacking Chase's estate are just as good. Usually the final story of the season look a little naff cos the money is well and truly spent, but here they end on a real high.
Perhaps the one place Seeds Of Doom does fall down is the interpretation of UNIT. The Brigadier is gone (again) and we have Major Beresford with his green teeth and the ill-fated Sergeant Henderson. Both these parts were originally written for Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier) and John Levene (Benton) with the added bonus of Benton being killed off in the same way Sgt Henderson was (being fed through the mulching machine) - what a way to go for a semi-regular character.In all, a definite winner. Where the hell is the DVD???????????????? 10/10