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The Seeds of Doom

Reviewed by Paul Scoones

It may not have been quite in the same league as Genesis of the Daleks, but The Seeds of Doom is nevertheless remembered as something of a classic, falling as it did at the very end of an entire season of very good stories. Undoubtedly Seeds of Doom wouldn't have been quite the success it was without the introductory two episodes tacked onto the originally planned four-part adventure. Those additional two episodes were set in Antarctica, and told of the discovery of the pair of pods, and the consequences of the growth of one of them. There was little the Doctor could do - he found the second pod, but he was unable to save the base, or its crew, or stop Scorby and Keeler taking the other pod. The Krynoid died in the explosion at the end of Part Two, not by the Doctor's hand. But despite all this, it was a valuable, and very nearly lethal, lesson for the Time Lord who was painfully aware that if he was goings to save the rest of the world, he had to take some firm action against crazed millionaire Harrison Chase, the proud, immoral owner of the stolen Krynoid pod.

Despite the all too obvious signs, The Seeds of Doom was not simply a monster-invades-earth story, but a study of the various psychological reactions of the humans involved to the crisis they faced. The latter parts, with everyone trapped in Chase's residence, besieged by the fully-grown Krynoid creature, were a joy to watch, and full credit must go to the actors involved. John Challis' Scorby had a real feel for his mercenary part, and Tony Beckley's Chase was a genuinely frightening portrayal of a man possessed by an obsession. On the subject of actors, Nicholas Courtney, alias the Brigadier was meant to have appeared in The Seeds of Doom leading the attack on the Krynoid. Indeed, UNIT was also intended to have featured more prominently throughout, but with the unavailability of Courtney, the role of the soldiers was played down somewhat. This was the late Douglas Camfield's last chance to direct for Doctor Who; he has done more than anyone else as director, and it was also the last for writer Robert Banks Stewart, who went on to produce Bergerac and Lovejoy, among other shows. On a last note, the Krynoid effects may not have been excellent, but they showed a marked improvement from the dinosaurs!

This item appeared in TSV 1 (July 1987).

Index nodes: The Seeds of Doom