In the 21st century, mankind has given up rocket-based travel in favor of the T-mat teleportation system – even to the extent of not maintaining any space vehicles in case they’re needed. This almost turns into a fatal mistake when a vital T-mat installation based on the moon loses contact with Earth, after a terrified final message from one of the moonbase crew mentioning a takeover. Even when the T-mat administrators find a barely spaceworthy rocket in the workshop of a sentimental space travel hobbyist, they need one more thing – someone who has the experience necessary to fly the rocket. The Doctor, with Jamie and Zoe in tow, arrives just in time to take on the hazardous mission, discovering that the moonbase is just the first step in another Ice Warrior attempt to colonize Earth by brute force.
written by Brian Hayles
directed by Michael Ferguson
music by Dudley Simpson
Guest Cast: Alan Bennion (Slaar), Steve Peters, Tony Harwood, Sonny Caldinez (Ice Warriors), Philip Ray (Eldred), Louise Pajo (Gia Kelly), John Witty (Computer voice), Ric Felgate (Brent), Harry Towb (Osgood), Ronald Leigh-Hunt (Radnor), Terry Scully (Fewsham), Christopher Coll (Phipps), Martin Cort (Locke), Derrick Slater (Guard), Graham Leaman (Marshal), Hugh Morton (Sir James Gregson), Peter Whittaker (Weather station operator)
Broadcast from January 25 through March 1, 1969
LogBook entry & review by Earl Green
Another story which shows the Troughton era’s great skill in handling classic horror tales, this six-parter drags on a bit much, particularly in the scenes involving the Doctor’s rocket flight. The actors portraying the crew of the moonbase do a very good job, even if they occasionally overdose on the hand-wringing and terrified sobbing. The first scenes in which the Ice Warriors take over the moonbase are all done in first-person camera shots, a very effective and unusual way of heightening the tension and concealing the hostile force from the audience, at least for a little while. And one has to admire the many ways in which the BBC special effects designers managed to manipulate images to show all kinds of different alien death rays, back in the days before digital editing and even serious optical effects. Of the few remaining Second Doctor episodes, this is one of the better ones.