The Full Wiki

The Seeds of Death: Misc


Dr Who

Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

"Your leader will be angry if you kill me - I'm a genius!"
―The Doctor
The Seeds of Death
Series: Doctor Who -
TV Stories
Season Number: Season 6
Story Number: 48
Doctor: Second Doctor
Companions: Jamie McCrimmon
Zoe Heriot
Writer: Brian Hayles (uncredited co-writer: Terrance Dicks)
Director: Michael Ferguson
Broadcast: 25th January - 1st March 1969
Format: 6 25-minute Episodes
Previous Story: The Krotons
Following Story: The Space Pirates

The Seeds of Death was the fifth story of Season 6 of Doctor Who, and the second story to feature the Ice Warriors.



The TARDIS lands in a space museum on Earth in the late 21st century, where the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe learn that contact has been lost between Earth and the Moon. In this era, a form of instant travel called T-Mat has revolutionised the Earth, and now its people have lost interest in space travel. The Doctor and his companions travel to the Moon in an old-style rocket and reach the Moonbase, control centre for T-Mat, only to find a squad of Ice Warriors have commandeered the base, and plan to use the T-Mat network to their advantage.


Episode 1

Kelly and Radnor at Earth Control
It's business as usual at the Moonbase, operations centre for the Earth's T-Mat travel system, until an undetected ship docks and a party of Ice Warriors, a reptilian race from Mars, enter the control room, and demand that the staff operate the T-Mat as they say. Osgood, controller of the base, sabotages the T-Mat to prevent the Ice Warriors from transporting to Earth. This also prevents Earth Control in London from contacting the Moonbase or rendering aid to the staff. The Ice Lord, Slaar, turns to the base's second-in-command, Fewsham, to repair the T-Mat system for them. Terrified, Fewsham immediately starts work. On Earth, Commander Radnor and his assistant Controller Gia Kelly try to get to the bottom of the malfunctions, lamenting that since the trouble is coming from the Moon, it will have to be fixed there. Meanwhile, the TARDIS lands, and the Doctor deduces that they are inside a space museum, and is immediately enthusiastic about exploring. Leaving the TARDIS, the Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon and Zoe Heriot watch a video explaining T-Mat, a system used to instantly travel between one part of the Earth and another. They are soon caught by the owner of the museum, Professor Eldred, who is puzzled by the Doctor's interest in manned space travel, as since the advent of T-Mat, the Human race has lost interest in exploring the cosmos. Radnor and Miss Kelly turn up at the museum to persuade Eldred to launch a rocket he has been secretly working on. One of the surviving Moonbase staff, Locke, repairs the communication system and tries to apprise Earth of the situation, but is caught and killed by an Ice Warrior.

Episode 2

Getting to the moon the hard way
After a little persuading, Eldred agrees to launch the rocket, and the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe agree to crew it, as there are no trained astronauts available. The situation is beginning to affect the Earth's cities, as shipments of medical supplies aren't getting where they're needed. At the Moonbase, Just after the rocket is launched, Fewsham repairs the T-Mat as per Slaar's orders, and when the repair is detected on Earth, Miss Kelly T-Mats up with some technicians, and finds Fewsham alone. To cover up the Ice Warriors' presence, he concocts a lie about Osgood going crazy and damaging the equipment. In another part of the base, Phipps, having escaped from the control room, uses the radio communication system to call Earth for help. When they fully repair the T-Mat, the Ice Warriors return and take control again. The rocket carrying the Doctor and his companions runs into trouble when the homing beacon required to make a safe landing is cut off.

Episode 3

Seed pods?
Phipps makes contact with the rocket, allowing it to home in on the radio signal and land. The Doctor leaves the rocket to find and help him destroy T-Mat, but they are separated and the Doctor is caught by the Ice Warriors. Jamie and Zoe learn that the rocket cannot take off, so they enter the base to stop the Doctor from destroying the T-Mat, now their only way back to Earth. The Doctor tries to find out the Ice Warriors' plan, telling them that they are too few to invade the Earth themselves. They intends to T-Mat seeds down to Earth, one of which knocks out the Doctor when he examines it. Jamie and Zoe meet up with Phipps and Miss Kelly and begin work on turning up the heating, which will be harmful to the Ice Warriors. Fewsham continues to comply with Slaar's orders and T-Mats one of the seeds down to Earth Control in London.

Episode 4

Ice Warrior on the rampage
The seed unleashes fumes which kills Brent in Earth Control. The Ice Warriors continue sending the seeds to different cities, where they have similar effects to those who come into close proximity with them. Radnor learns that the cause of death was oxygen starvation. The seeds grow fungus, which multiplies and depletes the oxygen from Earth's atmosphere. Fewsham is now ordered to T-Mat the Doctor into space, although he is sent to another area of the base instead without Slaar's knowledge. An Ice Warrior is transported to London, where it goes on a rampage in the control centre and beyond, eventually reaching and taking control of London's weather bureau, altering the controls to make the planet as dry as possible. The T-Mat is soon broken down again. At Moonbase, Jamie and Miss Kelly use a solar energy weapon against any advancing Ice Warriors, while Zoe and Phipps sneak into the control room, where the heating controls are, but just after Zoe turns up the heat, an Ice Warrior sees them and kills Phipps. As it turns on Zoe, Zoe begs Fewsham for help.

Episode 5

The Ice Warriors activate the homing signal
Fewsham grapples with the Ice Warrior long enough for it to fall to the ground, the heat level unbearable. Soon after, the Doctor wakes up, and Fewsham gets the T-Mat working again, after which the Doctor, Jamie, Zoe and Miss Kelly transport back to London, but Fewsham remains, fearing the consequences of his earlier actions if he returns to Earth. Sir James Gregson from the United Nations arrives at Earth Control for the latest concerning the T-Mat crisis, but his presence does little to help the situation. While the Ice Warrior at the weather station alters the controls to make the planet as dry as possible, Slaar turns the heating back down on the Moonbase, and informs Fewsham that a fleet of invading ships from Mars will soon arrive on the Moon, so his next task is to connect a homing device for the incoming ships. In an act of redemption, Fewsham activates the video link so that the Ice Warrior's homing signal can be overheard on Earth, but although he is successful, the Ice Warriors kill him when they find out. The Doctor examines a seed pod under laboratory conditions, and learns that they are reconfiguring the atmosphere of Earth to match that of Mars. Fortunately, he also finds out that the fungus can be destroyed by water. Jamie and Zoe go to the weather control bureau to tell them to make it rain, but there they encounter the Ice Warrior. The Doctor later dashes there to help them, but is overwhelmed by fungus before he can enter.

Episode 6

The invasion fleet changes course
Jamie and Zoe let the Doctor into the weather control bureau just in time, and the Doctor uses a similar solar device used by Phipps on the Moon to kill the Ice Warrior. Radnor, Miss Kelly and Eldred work on a satellite which duplicates the Ice Warriors homing signal, which is to be used to draw the ships off course, sending them spiralling towards the Sun. After the Doctor repairs the weather controls to cause heavy rainfall to extinguish the fungus, he T-Mats up to the Moonbase with his solar weapon to destroy Slaar's homing device, so that the Martian ships follow only the wrong signal. He is caught before he can disable the signal, but is able to limit its range enough for it to be rendered useless, sending the Ice Warriors' invasion fleet to its doom. The invaders defeated, the Doctor and his companions return to the TARDIS and depart for their next adventure.




Story Notes

  • The working title for this story was; The Lords of the Red Planet.
  • The opening titles are backdropped with a scene of the Earth and Moon. The camera pans across the foreground object then zooms into the background object - Earth or Moon - on which the episode begins. The exception is in Episode 3 where the panning stops between the Earth and the Moon, as this episode begins in cislunar space.
  • To keep the return of the Ice Warriors a surprise, Steve Peters was credited as Alien in Radio Times for Episode 1.


  • Episode 1 - 6.6 million viewers
  • Episode 2 - 6.8 million viewers
  • Episode 3 - 7.5 million viewers
  • Episode 4 - 7.1 million viewers
  • Episode 5 - 7.6 million viewers
  • Episode 6 - 7.7 million viewers


  • Slaar is an Ice Lord. (He is never referred to as an 'Ice Lord' or even as a 'Lord', but is presented simply as the commander of the Martian forces. His superior is however identified as a Grand Marshal (misspelt 'Grand Marshall') on the closing credits.)

Filming Locations

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • When Zoe turns up the heating, an Ice Warrior falls down dead right in front of her. When it does this, the front and rear sections of the shell costume just slightly break apart. Thermal dynamics. Drastically changing the temperature of a hard substance, ie. the Ice Warriors' armor, can cause it to shatter or split.
  • Zoe calls Slaar by his name, despite no one else but the Grand Marshall calling Slaar that (she says it first, as well). It is mentioned off screen at some point, or else the Ice Warriors use the base's PA system to talk to one another and she simply overhears it.
  • The museum the Doctor lands in includes the astral map that he used in The Web Planet (visible on the left as they exit the TARDIS). Perhaps he donated it, or else it is a common piece of equipment and the Doctor merely has one to which he has made his own adjustments.
  • The basic premise is that all T-mat operations are sent through the moon and only through the moon. Apart from the silliness of sending matter half a million miles out of its way, this would mean that at least half the globe would be unable to use T-mat at any one time. The technology requires a large number of microwave channels which physics dictates need to have uninterrupted line of sight between the source and destination. Distance is not much of an obstacle for focused microwave beams, but objects in the path are, and using Moon as a repeater point instead of thousands of satellites was probably much more economical.
  • As Zoe opens the door to the Solar Energy Storeroom to glance around for Ice Warriors, one can be seen right outside, the actor obviously waiting for his cue. The cut to the exterior view shows Zoe seeing a Warrior far down the corridor.
  • When the rocket lands on the moon, the smoke from the rockets goes upward -- something smoke only does in an atmosphere.
  • When Kelley confirms that the time switch is out of order, the Doctor says that Fewsham said that he was going to repair it. Actually, Fewsham said that they had already repaired it.
  • Eldred points to the Weather Control station on the map, but it is clearly marked in the opposite corner.
  • When the Ice Warrior T-matted down, it smashed the doors off the T-mat cubicle. When the Doctor and his companions T-mat down not much later, it is intact.[Maybe it had a kind of repair system.]
  • Why only send a warrior to take control of one weather control bureau if you don't want it to rain anywhere, unless of course, one bureau controls the weather for the entire planet? But then, are we to believe that only the one control panel, with its tiny array of levers would be enough to control all complex, highly nuanced aspects of the Earth's diverse weather systems?
  • In episode one, the Doctor leaves the TARDIS with his braces un-clipped.{He forgot to do them up.}
  • There are boom mike shadows several times in the museum in the first two episodes.
  • In episode four, why does Slaar insist on killing the Doctor by T-matting him into space, even though this will take ages to do? He is bored and has a sadistic desire to experiment with a variety of different methods for dispatching humans.
  • His Ice Warrior helper does a bizarre dance when leaving the T-mat on Earth. His mind could have been affected by being T-matted. Either that or he is unsure of where the exit is.
  • Patrick Troughton's sideburns appear and disappear depending on whether he is seen in a pre-filmed sequence or a studio scene.
  • We see Ice Warriors fainting at heat between 40-50° Centigrade, which would also have made the humans present faint or at least sweat.reply we don't know its centigrade it could be some future temperature measurement.
  • Here the Ice Warriors' skin is immune to bullets, but in The Monster of Peladon a simple sword can kill them. In the Peladon stories they are meant to have become a peaceful species, therefore battle armour (assuming the Ice Warriors were wearing it in Seeds of Death) would be unnecessary. but in one shot it showed a bullet hitting that bit near the warriors mouth that isn't protected by armor? A recurring element in science fiction is armor or shielding that stops fast moving objects like bullets, but not slow moving objects like a sword. There's more to physics than velocity.
  • Why doesn't The Doctor just use the TARDIS to get to the moonbase instead of taking the rocket? Jamie suggested the same thing to the Doctor, but was reminded that the Doctor couldn't control the Tardis very well, and they couldn't be sure that they would end up at the right place, or the right time.
  • The Doctor says they can't use the TARDIS to transport to the moon because the TARDIS cannot be used for short-range travel. Firstly, what's stopping them from travelling VERY far to some random place in space and time and then just transport to the moon from there? Also, in countless episodes of Doctor Who, the TARDIS has transported short distances; Example, in The Runaway Bride the TARDIS manages to transport a few yards from it's current spot. The Doctor states in Full Circle that the TARDIS is getting better at doing short hops. That still doesn't explain why they couldn't have travelled far away then travel back to the moon.


DVD, Video and Other Releases

DVD Releases

Released as Doctor Who: The Seeds of Death in a two disc set.


NTSC - Warner Video E1924


Notes: Editing for DVD release completed by Doctor Who Restoration Team.

Video Releases

Released as Doctor Who: The Seeds of Death.


  • First Release (VHS & Betamax):
PAL - BBC Video BBCV2019
  • Second Release (VHS only):
PAL - BBC Video BBCV4072
NTSC - Warner Video E1112

Notes: All versions were edited into movie-format. The video cover of the first release in 1985 had made no indication that the story was not colour, and so a small sticker was hastily added to the rear sleeve reading THE ORIGINAL BLACK AND WHITE RECORDING.


Main article: The Seeds of Death (novelisation)

External Links

  • BBC - Doctor Who - The Classic Series - Episode Guide: The Seeds of Death
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide - Detailed Synopsis - The Seeds of Death
  • Doctor Who: A Brief History of Time (Travel) - A Brief History of Time (Travel): The Seeds of Death
  • The Locations Guide to Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures: Story Locations - The Seeds of Death
Season 6
The Dominators  • The Mind Robber  • The Invasion • The Krotons  • The Seeds of Death  • The Space Pirates  • The War Games
Ice Warrior Television Stories
The Ice Warriors  • The Seeds of Death  • The Curse of Peladon  • The Monster of Peladon

This article uses material from the "The Seeds of Death" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address