Though Ice Warrior stories were not uncommon at Big Finish following this initial adventure, Red Dawn proved interesting retrospectively because Nicholas Briggs — later the dominant 21st-century voice of the Ice Warriors — was not at all involved in the production. Matthew Brehner's Zzaal ultimately became a counterpoint to Briggs' several Martian characters, both on audio and television. Indeed, producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Gary Russell gave voice to the subordinate Ice Warriors, further distancing this story's Ice Warrior's vocal palette from the later Briggsian norm.
While the NASA team investigate an 'anomaly' on the planet's surface, the Doctor and Peri find themselves inside a strange alien building. What is its purpose? And what is frozen inside the blocks of ice that guard the doorways? If the Doctor has a sense of deja-vu, it's because he's about to meet some old adversaries, as well as some new ones...
The NASA mission Ares One set off for Mars, captained by Commander Lee Forbes. Upon arrival, pilot Susan Roberts is forced to manually land on the planet surface because of the dust storm interfering with the scanning system.
Meanwhile, the Fifth Doctor and Peri arrive in the TARDIS on unknown ground. They discover that they are inside some organic building, made of a green substance. They also continue to find — as they walk through endless corridors — ice-pillars, which seem to hold a shape inside them.
After a quick walk across the surface, Commander Forbes discovers what they are looking for and when he embarks the rocket again, he deduces that the communications have gone down. This turns out to be true, and so he and his pilot exit the transport and investigate the green building. They suddenly find the Doctor and Peri who have been wandering for a while.
The Doctor joins forces with the Commander as Susan takes Peri to the rocket for an insulation suit. The Doctor and the Commander discover some sort of ceremonial room and find more ice-moulded pillars, which seem to crack in the warming air. The Doctor realises what is inside each one: Ice Warriors.
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- The Doctor - Peter Davison
- Peri Brown - Nicola Bryant
- Commander Forbes - Robert Jezek
- Susan Roberts - Maureen Oakeley
- Tanya Webster - Georgia Moffett
- Paul Webster - Stephen Fewell
- Commander Zzaal - Matthew Brenher
- Sub Commander Sstast - Hylton Collins
- Razzburr - Gary Russell
- Zizmar - Alistair Lock
- Sskann - Jason Haigh-Ellery
- Paul Webster and the Doctor cite the Brookings Report, issued in 1958 upon NASA's inception.
- Peri compares Izdaal's tomb to Nebraska.
- The NASA mission is only viable due to the Webster Corporation's funding.
- The NASA spacecraft is called the Argosy.
- The British missions to Mars are mentioned. However this is the first American Mars mission.
- The titular "red dawn" refers to the ultraviolet radiation that penetrates Mars' atmosphere.
- The Ice Lord Izdaal was the greatest Ice Warrior who ever lived.
- This audio drama was recorded on 20 and 21 November 1999 at The Moat Studios.
- Russell Stone's score was released on Music from the New Audio Adventures Volume 3, alongside the soundtracks for The Holy Terror and Winter for the Adept.
- This story was the first ever Big Finish audio drama to feature the Ice Warriors.
- Georgia Moffett, who plays Tanya Webster, is Peter Davison's real-life daughter. She later appeared in TV: The Doctor's Daughter with, and eventually married, Tenth Doctor actor David Tennant.
- This story is set between Planet of Fire and The Caves of Androzani.
- This story was originally released on double CD and cassette. It is now available as a download only, as well as to stream on Spotify.
- During his second incarnation, the Doctor encountered the Ice Warriors for the first time on the Brittanicus Base during an Ice Age in the company of Jamie McCrimmon and Victoria Waterfield. (TV: The Ice Warriors)
- The British Mars missions mentioned are either from TV: The Ambassadors of Death or PROSE: The Dying Days. An unmanned mission, described as being the UK's first (despite the earlier missions depicted), is featured in TV: The Christmas Invasion.
- In the far future, radio and television broadcasts about the first manned mission to Mars could be accessed via the Gogglebox inside the Moon. (AUDIO: The Reaping, AUDIO: The Gathering)
- The Doctor and Peri would encounter the Ice Warriors again on Peladon in the 41st century (AUDIO: The Bride of Peladon) and, following the former's regeneration into his sixth incarnation, on Magnus in the 24th century (AUDIO: Mission to Magnus).
- The Fifth Doctor would return to Mars in the company of Amy, where they witnessed the destruction of the planet's atmosphere millions of years in the past. (AUDIO: The Judgement of Isskar)
- Isskar witnessed Lord Izdaal step outside and sacrifice himself to the Red Dawn. (AUDIO: The Judgement of Isskar)
- Following the destruction of Mars' atmosphere, the Ice Warriors fled to Deimos, one of the planet's moons, where they constructed catacombs and placed themselves in suspended animation in the hope of one day either reclaiming Mars or conquering Earth. Millions of years later, after Mars had been colonised by humans, large sections of the catacombs were opened to the public in the museum in the Deimos moonbase in the 23rd century. One of the exhibits in the museum featured a holographic simulation of Lord Izdaal sacrificing his life. (AUDIO: Deimos)
- Official Red Dawn page at bigfinish.com
- DisContinuity for Red Dawn at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide