Playing It Straight
Sunday, 30 August 2015
It’s time to put down those bonsai pruners and catch the first helicopter to Antarctica, as we discuss the final story of Season 13, that florid, fecund, flexuous and frutescent classic, The Seeds of Doom.
Buy the story!
The Seeds of Doom was released on DVD in 2010 and 2011. (Amazon US) (Amazon UK)
Notes and links
The Seeds of Doom came 20th out of 241 stories in Doctor Who Magazine’s The First Fifty Years Poll in 2013. You can see the full list of results here.
However, the story isn’t universally loved. In About Time Volume 4, Tat Wood names it as his least favourite story of Tom’s first six seasons (Amazon US) (Amazon UK). You can read Elizabeth Sandifer’s fairly negative review of the story here.
Fans of people slowly being taken over by plants will enjoy the film Creepshow (1982), in which Stephen King himself is taken over by some lush, aggressive vegetation.
The Italian Job (1969) stars Michael Caine, Noël Coward and Benny Hill. It looks amazing. And our very own Harrison Chase, Tony Beckley, shows his extensive range by playing a character called Camp Freddie.
Here’s our usual list of films plundered in the making of this story: Ice Station Zebra (1968), an espionage thriller set on a base in the Arctic, Day of the Triffids (1963), in which giant plant monsters take over the world after most of humanity is blinded, and the brilliant Howard Hawks film The Thing from Another World (1963) in which a plant Frankenstein’s monster thing attacks yet another base in the Arctic.
And of course, there’s the Season 4 Avengers episode, The Man-Eater of Surrey Green (1965). More of which later.
Nathan explains his personal experience with the idea of Guns and Frocks in Doctor Who in the only post on his blog of the same name.
Can we possibly have failed to mention H P Lovecraft before? The Hinchcliffe Era is massively indebted to his SF/Horror stories, in which the universe is haunted by ancient evil gods from beyond the dawn of time. You can get a free ebook of all of his fiction here.
Picks of the week
Brendan’s pick is Refuge (2015), a short film set on an alien planet, shot entirely in moonlight. You can watch it here, but be careful: it’s a bit scary.
The Doctor Who Magazine app for the iPad (and iPhone). Issue 443 of the magazine contains an interview with The Seeds of Doom author Robert Banks Stewart.
Gods and Monsters (1998), which we mentioned last week: a film about James Whale, who directed Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935). It stars Brendan Fraser, Ian McKellen and our very own Pamela Salem.
Next week, we’re taking a break from our usual schedule to watch one of the inspirations for The Seeds of Doom: the Avengers episode The Man-Eater of Surrey Green. Your homework is to watch it in preparation. You can find the entire episode here. (Actually, you can’t: it was taken down due to a copyright claim.)
Brendan is on Twitter as @brandybongos, Nathan is @nathanbottomley, Todd is @toddbeilby, and Richard is @RichardLStone. You can follow the podcast on Twitter as @FTEpodcast.
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Next weekend: Istanbul
Keep an eye our for the next episode of Bondfinger, which will be released next weekend, and which features Brendan, Richard and James talking about From Russia With Love (1963). You can hear our first episode here. And you can keep up with all the Bondfinger news on Twitter and Facebook.