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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Action > Adventure > Time Travel > British TV > Doctor Who: The Seeds Of Doom (Story No. 85/BBC DVD)

Doctor Who: The Seeds Of Doom (Story No. 85/BBC DVD)


Picture: B-     Sound: B     Extras: A+     Episodes: A+



Played by eleven different men, the character of Doctor Who possesses a chameleon-like quality most unlike other characters in long-running series.  Even within a given actor’s run on the show, the Doctor’s manner and behavior has proven changeable based upon the writer involved in a particular story.  In The Seeds of Doom, written by popular spy and action scribe Robert Banks Stewart, the Doctor feels more like The Saint, and if the energy of his performance can be the judge, Tom Baker relishes every moment of it!


Whether bursting through skylights to rescue Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen), or brawling with the hired thugs of a power-mad botanist, Baker’s Doctor seems every inch the action hero.  This combination of script and enthusiasm evoke images of John Pertwee’s Doctor, although Baker’s right cross comes off a bit cruder than his predecessor’s application of the deadly arts of Venusian Karate.  Mr. Stewart’s script fairly crackles with energy, best exemplified when the story’s main villain, Harrison Chase (Tony Beckley), asks the Doctor what will happen next after he bursts through the aforementioned skylight, and Baker’s Doctor cavalierly replies, “I win.”


Indeed, anyone who watches The Seeds of Doom will win, as this amazing story takes the Doctor and Sarah from the frozen fastness of Antarctica back to England and the secret laboratory of a madman.  Alien seed pods fall into the hands of this madman (brilliantly played by Mr. Beckley), and disaster follows, as an alien creature grows out of control and threatens the entire world.


This disc’s plentiful extras cover the making and casting of this story in great detail.  The features explore the lengths the BBC crew undertook to transform a rock quarry into an Antarctic ice station, and the special effects needed to pull off a man-sized plant monster who grows to colossal proportions.  Mr. Stewart’s unique approach to scripting a more action-oriented Doctor also makes for an excellent creative discussion.


Fans of this series’ amazing history will find The Seeds of Doom a fast paced romp with strong action flourishes.  Tom Baker Who fans will quickly recognize this one as one of his best stories in a long and eventful run on the show.  This two disc set would also make an ideal introduction to “old” Doctor Who for fans whose viewing experience is so far limited to the show’s 2005 re-launch and beyond.  It’s fast-paced story, punchy action, and crisp script will make an ideal transition from the “new” Who to “old”.



-   Scott Pyle


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