Aaaand I’m back, with the rare sight of a custom title sequence, suggesting that this should be approached as being a very special episode. So is it?
Well, the premise and setting are brilliantly compelling. Human race develops artificial food, has no need for vegetation, destroys plantlife just for the extra space, and unwittingly triggers an ice age. Scientifically questionable, but it does the job of keeping your interest. Less successful is the anti-computer moral weaved throughout – similar ground to The War Machines, but because the message is over-egged, it feels more dated as a result.
Getting on board with the concept wasn’t an issue, but after a while I found my attention waning. Admittedly, this could be entirely down to me – between a Red Dwarf convention, being busy at work and staying up for 27 hours straight to watch the election coverage, it’s not been the ideal environment to follow a 1960s-paced story. But even so, it definitely could have been tighter – there are a couple of episodes where all parties just stand around speculating about what the others might do, rather than doing anything useful themselves.
Another issue I had was that the main three characters are mostly kept separate throughout most of the story. It allows for some good moments – particularly the various traumas that Jamie goes through – but I really like the three of them as a team. We got a good glimpse of some flirty bantz between Jamie and Victoria at the start, and I want more of that kind of thing.
As for the eponymous Ice Warriors themselves, I liked them, but I wasn’t particularly blown away. They look good and imposing, but they need a little something extra – much was made of how ruthless they are, but this was largely told to us rather than shown to us. Plus, their whispery, hissing voices were a little bit annoying. (As was the computer voice by the usually excellent Zippy.) But I’m looking forward to seeing them again, to see if they can improve in their second outing as much as the Cybermen did.
On the plus side – and it’s a very big plus – Peter Motherfucking Sallis. Those warm, reassuring tones are instantly recognisable, and instantly create the impression of a likeable and trustworthy character. I recognised the voice before the face – I think I was thrown because despite the fact that this was nearly fifty years ago, he is still by no means a young man here!
Coming up next, I become incredibly grateful that I didn’t start this project a couple of years earlier…