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Feb 28, 2007

Ra-a-a-a-ain, I Don't Mind. Shi-i-i-i-ine, The Weather's Fine.

Look Around You. Look around you. Just look around you. Can you tell what the topic of today's programme is? It is of course, Mars.

Martian This is a Martian. Martians are also called Ice Warriors. Classrooms with modern colour television sets will be able to see that the Ice Warrior is green, as Martian ice is lime flavoured. Mars is also home to a special type of seed pod. These pods are made of latex. When oxygen is applied to the pod, it bursts into a cloud of spores which grow into the fungus Rabidus Effervescia, better known to us as shampoo. The main applicatiion of this fungus is to cushion a person's fall after being shot.

Experiment A. This experiment will determine what happens to a Martian Ice Warrior when heat is applied. We place the Martian in a hermetically sealed moonbase, turn the steering wheel, stand on a platform, and wait. And wait. And wait. Eventually the Martian keels over at around 47 degrees Centigrade, the same daytime temperature that fries eggs on a rock during the summer months in Death Valley, California.* This also serves to demonstrate how the Ice Warrior derives its name.

Make a note of this in your copybooks.

Water_exclamation_marksOther things I learned from today's programme are: laboratories keep water in testtubes and beakers instead of bottles and taps (Look Around You also did this joke). Ice Warrior guns have a 'treacle' setting. Sound waves can generate enough heat to destroy bakelite, and, I anticipate,  polystyrene doors.

"I find T-MAT travel rather disappointing, there's no sensation at all." And never were truer words spoken. Even the title cards are looking a little worse for wear, with several letters visibly cracked with bits peeling off. But Pat's back, instantly making the remaining airtime about three million percent more watchable again. It's that level of personal charisma that makes even The Krotons forgivable in parts. He hasn't half chosen a bad time to wake up though, mumbling his way through a quick rehearsal of all his dialogue in The Space Pirates parts one and two.

"Nothing makes a bald old man look more senile and less dignified than a PVC romper suit"

Gregson Beaurocracy is as alive as ever a century from now, which throws new light on the overall speed of the scripts. It seems that as well as advances in weather control and instant travel, the 21st century has also mastered bodily reanimation as they've brought Nicholas Ridley back from the dead. And nothing makes a bald old man look more senile and less dignified than a PVC romper suit. He may be the pen-pusher type than Jon Pertwee would put the wind up every other week, but Sir James Gregson has my sympathies as Radnor's report really is the litany of total incomptence that it sounds. Just look at him squirm. Earth control can't organise their arses onto a toilet seat, but at least they've got a top notch carpentry crew since they've fixed that cubicle bloody quickly after the Ice Warrior smashed it to bits.

And now the T-MAT time switch is inoperable. Add clocks to the ever-expanding list of future appliances that don't work.

Now let's think. Moonbase. Seed pods. Fungus. Alien monster. Weather station. Do you suppose there might be a connection? Spastics. Eldred also points to the map and gets the position completely wrong. Zoe and Jamie are worried, partly because they can't get through to anyone to tell the station to make rain, but mainly because all this protracted pillocking from everyone could make their Companion jobs redundant. It's off the last place the Ice Warrior was sighted leaving a trail of death then, to prove they can still be just as retarded as the rest of 'em.

"Moonbase. Seed pods. Fungus. Alien monster. Weather station. Do you suppose there might be a connection? Spastics"

In the future, everything will be recycled. Plastic bags will become clothes and salad bowls will be made into guard helmets. Indeed 21st century technology has raised this to a fine artform, as the weather station's control system is made from the inside of a 1920s radio set, with four knob levers, labeled DRY, DRY, DRY and DRY. This is what Fewsham is doing up on the moon, since he's wet enough to flash-flood the whole of England all by himself. Manning the station is a single technician (whom nobody has seen fit to warn might have a fucking great green monster heading his way); all other technical jobs may have been outsourced to call centres in India, but there will always be a demand for clipboards. It's also something of a design flaw that the station has Ice Warrior-friendly door openers (contracted by Torchwood Holdings PLC) instead of something more humanly useful, like handles.

Matey Miss Kelly puts forward the idea of a satellite to act as a support relay for T-MAT, which would have made a much better notion as the backup system that should have been in place BLOODY AGES AGO, the berks. The satellite can only support a couple of thousand microwave channels at a time, but it'll cook enough Findus ready meals for South Croydon, so it's a start.

Back on the moon, Slaar manages to turn down the heat which has been close to 60 degrees(!) for several minutes with no major ill effects. Fewsham then puts on his best Cholmondley-Warner voice, talking through the function of the homing transmitter very slowly and deliberately for the benefit of dim viewers at home, unconcerned that Slaar is a Fast Show fan and such heresy means instant death. But it does give the Doctor the smashing idea of using the satellite to transmit a fake signal and draw the Martian fleet away from the moon.

So it's cold Heinz Spaghetti for South Croydon again tonight. Thanks, Mars. Tharse.

The Bumper Book Of Made-Up Doctor Who Facts has this to say about The Seeds Of Death, episode 5: to help create the foam floods, Terrence Dicks enlisted the aid of Malcolm Hulke by telling him Peter Bryant's plans to make the show earthbound the next season.

*I looked it up.


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