Writer: ROBERT BANKS STEWART
Original Transmission Dates:
31/01/1976 - 06/03/1976 (6 Episodes)
Season 13 (1975-76) of Doctor Who saw the programme reach a pinnacle of derivation under the stewardship of producer Phillip Hinchcliffe and script editor Robert Holmes. In the wrong hands this might have been disastrous, but in fact the stories that emerged were highly inventive variations on a theme shot through with an enthusiasm only matched by Tom Baker’s beaming smile. The season opener Terror of the Zygons explored the mythology of the Loch Ness Monster within the framework of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Planet of Evil was a direct take on Forbidden Planet (1956), and Pyramids of Mars and The Brain of Morbius delightfully recreated the saturated style and atmosphere of Hammer’s gothic horrors whilst finding time for innovative uses of The Mummy and Frankenstein motifs. The season finale was the most ambitious of all. A six part adventure encompassing both the Antarctic and the English countryside and recycling the themes and plot devices of John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids (1951), The Quatermass Experiment (1954), and The Thing From Another World (1951). The resulting tale The Seeds of Doom is one of the most enjoyable stories of Tom Baker’s tenure, and perhaps most impressively is that all too rare six part adventure that doesn’t suffer from too much padding, and doesn’t have episodes that feel tacked on in order to extend the story.
© Shaun Anderson 2011