Deimos

Doctor Who: DeimosThe Doctor and Tamsin arrive in a human-built museum on Deimos, the largest of Mars’ two moons, and the site of a frozen enclave of the now-extinct Ice Warrior species. Only the Ice Warriors aren’t extinct: they’ve reawakened and have begun killing some of the tourists visiting the museum and taking others as hostages. Naturally, the moment that the human administrators on Deimos notice that something is going horribly wrong, it’s easiest to place the blame on the time travelers. The Doctor takes more decisive action, leaving the hapless humans with no choice but to trust him. He allows himself to be captured by the Ice Warriors so he can attempt to negotiate with them directly, but Ice Lord Ssladek is in no mood to talk – and he and his platoon are in a mood to kill indiscriminately. The body count mounts as the Doctor tries to keep either humans or Ice Warriors from being killed, but it all comes down to evacuating every human from Deimos so a last-resort failsafe – a man-made self-destruct mechanism that will destroy the entire moon – can be activated. But then a message is received from Deimos from a human who didn’t evacuate – a human who the Doctor didn’t even know was there. A human named Lucie Miller.

Order this CDwritten by Jonathan Morris
directed by Barnaby Edwards
music by Howard Carter

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Niky Wardley (Tamsin Drew), David Warner (Professor Boston Schooner), Nicky Henson (Gregson Grenville), Susan Brown (Margaret), Tracy-Ann Oberman (Temperance Finch), Nick Wilton (Harold), Nicholas Briggs (The Ice Warriors), Jack Brown (Pilot)

Notes: Phobos is mentioned as a “hippie retreat,” so it would seem that Deimos is set broadly in the same period as the eighth Doctor’s earlier visit to the other moon of Mars, though the two stories don’t necessarily happen in the same year or decade. The Doctor mentions having been present when the Ice Warriors had to abandon Mars; this is a reference to The Judgement Of Isskar, the first story in Big Finish’s Key 2 Time trilogy. There are also references to the Ice Warriors attack on Earth’s moon and takeover of T-Mat (The Seeds Of Death) as being somewhat ancient history.

Logbook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green

Review: A dandy Ice Warrior story that’s worthy of bringing the classic monsters back, Deimos also marks the return of McGann’s Doctor to a format he hasn’t inhabited for a long time: together with The Resurrection Of Mars, Deimos effectively forms a pretty traditional four-part story.

The dean of Doctor Who monster voices, Nick Briggs, effortlessssssly brings the Ice Warriors back to life, while David Warner is all but typecast as a misguided turncoat scientist who repents (and still pays for it with his life). Tracy-Ann Oberman, seen on TV Doctor Who as the boss of the doomed London branch of Torchwood, turns in an equally stubborn portrayal here, playing the governor of the human colony on Deimos.

In most other respects, however, Deimos is almost a tribute to every Ice Warrior story in the series’ past: the Warriors are lurking in the cold and the dark, sizing up their obviously inferior prey before attacking, and any appeals to their oft-mentioned code of honor (which was really only grafted onto the characters in the Pertwee era) fall on deaf scaly ears – after all, the Doctor says, one shouldn’t forget that the word “warrior” is part of their name. These Ice Warriors are a throwback to the Troughton era, minus the Samurai honor system bestowed on them by years of fan-written novels, comics and, yes, audio stories.

In this case “traditional” gets the job done – and that’s okay, because the second two parts of the story (released under a different title a month later) are anything but traditional.