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Mar 04, 2007

Seeds of DVDeath

My name is Andrew, and I have a problem.

A couple of years back when I used to rent from Netflix, I came up with the idea of copying all the existing Doctor Who DVD releases instead of actually purchasing them. Clever, eh? But due to the unlimited rentals, I had to burn the discs and send them back without watching them in order to save time and cash flow. This little scheme of mine worked pretty well, until I copied The Seeds of Death.
Because I got into Who via the Pertwee era, my first real impression of the Ice Warriors were those of the Curse of Peladon variety, and also of the ones depicted in the NA Godengine. I knew them as less fearsome incarnations than those of the past, framed as slightly bitter but diplomatic turtles haunted by a history of failed Earthly conquests, and (thanks to Craig Hinton's imagination) whose genitalia descend from a scaly pouch if they're feeling up for it (a visual which has haunted me for the past 11 years).

Anyways, I was looking forward to The Seeds of Death. I was curious to finally see the Ice Warriors in action (not that kind of action), plus there are only a few periods during this show's long history when all those involved percolate with that special sort of chemistry we find here in the Troughton era.

Needless to say, I was not disappointed: The Seeds of Death moves along at a good pace for a 6-parter, and it includes that barrage of vintage audio and visual effects that I find so endearing. The future Earth setting is a bit redundant, but it's nice to see humans utilizing technology for positive things like sharing, maybe the kids will grow up and follow suit. The Ice Warriors seemed pretty good at looming, and were particularly effective in corridors, as they should be. I mean, despite the chronic overacting, and usual litany of mistakes, I was kept in good enough suspense to feel my heart stop 14:55 into Episode 6, when my DVD player froze. What?

A minor inconvineince. I hit the power button in order to restart my player and scanned back to where I left off. It froze again. Er, what? I took out the burned DVD and searched the purple tinted foil for any type of visible blemish. Nothing. I blew on it like an old NES cartridge, and stuck it back in. Again, no luck. The disc must have some how become corrupted during the burning process! Balls!

I started to panic. I just spent the last two and a half hours gearing up for the peak of this story, and in an instant it all had been lost. How could this be? And then I realized of course, it was karma. All those years of VHS tape trading and recording episodes off of PBS had taken it's toll. I must have spent my alloted balance of Who-currency.

So I stopped copying and lived a guilt-free existence for the next 24 months, until I realized that you can watch just about every episode on a certain website for free, and I was able to finally check Seeds of Death off my viewing list.


For the record, I now prefer the full experience of purchasing DVDs, not to mention I enjoy seeing the spines in broadcast order on my shelf like a big fucking nerd.

Thanks for listening.


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