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Ice Warriors Return to “Doctor Who!”

Ice Warriors
The first rather-large announcement about the second part of the seventh series of Doctor Who (aka “Series 7B” aka “Series 7.2″ aka “Series Frank”) has been unveiled, and it’s one befitting the lead-up to the 50th Anniversary. SFX has run an exclusive interview blurb from Who executive producer Caroline Skinner stating that the Ice Warriors will return in the third episode, which is written by Mark Gatiss.

The Ice Warriors, to this point, had the distinction of having the most appearances in the Classic Series without appearing in the New Series. The brain child of writer Brian Hayles, the Ice Warriors appeared in four stories in the ’60s and ’70s: “The Ice Warriors” and “The Seeds of Death” with Patrick Troughton and “The Curse of Peladon” and “The Monster of Peladon” with Jon Pertwee. The latter three are all out on DVD and it was announced last week that “The Ice Warriors,” a six-part story missing episodes 2 & 3, would see a release in late August in the UK and likely early September here in the US. Though, curiously, it doesn’t look like they’re planning on animating the missing two episodes, which had been done for “The Invasion” several years ago and “The Reign of Terror” only this month (review tomorrow).

Of the episode in this series, SFX writes:

“We’ve got the most fantastic episode by Mark Gatiss,” executive producer Caro Skinner tells SFX, “where we are bringing back the Ice Warrior… on a submarine! It’s a really wonderful kind of ‘bunker’ episode, and a classic monster which Mark has brought his own inimitable twist to.”

“We wanted to bring them back because they’re wonderful!” says Skinner. “In the mix of stories that we were planning for this year it felt as if doing something very bold with a monster that hadn’t been seen for a while would be really cool. Mark is an enormous fan of the Ice Warrior stories and came up with the idea. The sense of a monster of that scale and that size trapped in a really small, contained environment such as a submarine was a really brilliant story to be able to tell. And obviously we’ve had a huge amount of fun going back to the traditional designs and recreating them, bringing the Ice Warriors back to life again.

“They were such a beautiful original design, and are genuinely really scary in terms of what they look like as they’re coming towards you in that armour. Letting a huge Ice Warrior loose at the heart of a classic Hunt For Red October style submarine movie was exactly the kind of story that the Doctor should get mixed up in.

“They’ve got really scary voices as well,” smiles Skinner. “I spent quite a lot of time on set trying to hiss like an Ice Warrior…”

A bunker under siege story starring one of the series’ oldest foes? That’s pretty great, if you ask me (and obviously you did). Gatiss, of course, has written for Doctor Who on television since its return in 2005, having penned the stories “The Unquiet Dead” in Series 1, “The Idiot’s Lantern” in Series 2, “Victory of the Daleks” in Series 5, and “Night Terrors” in Series 6. He will also be writing a second story for the second part of Series 7 to go along with his Ice Warriors ep, as well as being a writer/creator on Sherlock and writing the Doctor Who telemovie, An Adventure in Space and Time. Busy chap, this Mark Gatiss.

The episode count for 7B is as follows: Steven Moffat has two eps, Gatiss has two eps, Luther‘s Neil Cross has two eps, Neil Gaiman has one ep, and Stephen Thompson (Sherlock) has one. Should be a pretty great series, I’d wager.

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