The Seeds of Doom

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The Seeds of Doom

Postby Graham Sutton on March 11th, 2010, 11:12 pm

I believe that this is one of the strongest stories of Tom's era. The script is fantastic and the villain played by Tony Beckley is quite outstanding. What do others think?
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Re: The Seeds of Doom

Postby John on March 12th, 2010, 1:10 am

Hi Graham, welcome to Tom's forum.

Yes I agree, Seeds of Doom is one of the best stories of the Baker/Hinchcliffe/Holmes era; it's certainly the darkest. Hinchcliffe and Holmes were really pushing the boundaries of acceptability and releasing the handbrake on horror and violence in this story. There are some extremely powerful and quite shocking scenes of bodily mutilation, as well as Harrison Chase's grisly demise in the composter leaving little to the imagination.

There's also plenty of action, most notably the Doctor incapacitating Chase's chaffeur with a single punch, before jumping through a glass skylight and laying Scorby out with a chair! Uncharacteristic of the Doctor's usually subtle methods of dealing with his opponents, but magnificent all the same!

In spite of the fact that during the Arctic episodes it's blindingly obvious that the protagonists are wading around in polystyrene, The Seeds of Doom was beautifully directed by Douglas Camfield and is surely one of his most memorable efforts. All this plus terrific location filming and a top-notch cast make The Seeds of Doom a story worthy of an extra special DVD release, full of bonus extras.
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Re: The Seeds of Doom

Postby Graham Sutton on March 12th, 2010, 10:25 am

In my opinion The Seeds of Doom represents one of the best stories of the series and also a fine example of British TV science fiction. I remember the first transmission of this story when I was 11 and when it was (finally) released on VHS I brought a copy immediately. I was interested to see whether ‘the memory cheats’ (as someone once said). In the case of Seeds of Doom my memory certainly hadn’t ‘cheated’ at all. The story was as good, if not better than I remembered it to have been.

Why is this? Well in my opinion its strengths come simply from the storyline and the superb casting. Tony Beckley was in my opinion a highly underrated actor anyway who sadly died far too young. His portrayal of Harrison Chase in this story is quite simply outstanding. Chase is a megalomaniac and absolutely insane yet Beckley makes it very easy for the audience to believe he really means it. I have to say that the scenes involving that pulverizing machine are scenes which remained in my memory for many many years after viewing the original broadcast. That sequence where Chase concusses one of the soldiers and drags him into the room where the machine is and calmly watches as the soldier is turned into compost is I think quite chilling – as is the dialogue between Liz Sladen and Harrison Chase in the same room. Actually I’ve always thought that the way Chase meets his end is worthy of a James Bond villain in some ways.

The other performances – John Challis and Mark Jones particularly - are equally great. When I watched this story on video I was also reminded of how moving the sequence is where Keeler is degenerating into the Krynoid – begging for help but surrounded by madmen. I remember feeling genuine sympathy for the character which is usually indicative of a good acting performance in my view. Special effects were often dodgy in Dr Who but as others have said the destruction of the Chase mansion by the Krynoid was quite effectively done – I love the scenes of the Krynoid breaking through the ceilings (as seen from the inside). When will this classic be released on DVD? It has been ignored for too long.
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