- You may be looking for the episode of Doctor Who that exists within N-Space or the novel written by Sarah Jane.
It marked the Doctor's final major involvement with UNIT until Battlefield in season 26. It is also the first televised UNIT story in which neither the Brigadier nor Benton appears, with the Brigadier unable to help as he was "in Geneva". It was director Douglas Camfield's last involvement with the show.
It was originally intended for The Hand of Fear to be the finale, but the scripts were not ready in time, so The Seeds of Doom filled the gap.
Colour Separation Overlay, or CSO effects, were to be used in The Hand of Fear. These were best achieved with Outside Broadcast (OB) videotape. After The Hand of Fear's delay, The Seeds of Doom inherited the booking for OB tape. This allowed the story to feature an unusually large creature.
- 1 Synopsis
- 2 Plot
- 3 Cast
- 4 Crew
- 5 References
- 6 Story notes
- 7 Continuity
- 8 Home video and audio releases
- 9 External links
- 10 Footnotes
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
When scientists in the Antarctic uncover a mysterious seed pod, the Doctor is called in to investigate. He soon realises it is extraterrestrial and extremely dangerous. At the same time, however, ruthless millionaire plant-lover Harrison Chase has learned of the find and decides he must have the pod for his collection of rare and beautiful flora. Meanwhile the pod itself harbours intelligent life with sinister plans of its own...
Plot[edit | edit source]
Part one[edit | edit source]
Somewhere in Antarctica, scientists Charles Winlett and Derek Moberley discover an egg-shaped object in the ninth layer of the permafrost and take it back to their camp. John Stevenson, the base botanist, identifies it as vegetable-based and estimates it has been buried in the ice for some 20,000 years. Winlett thinks it looks tropical, like a gourd, but Moberley points out that Antarctica had ceased to be tropical at the time this was buried. Stevenson claims he feels something odd about the pod, as if it is alive, but the others dismiss this.
Back in London, Richard Dunbar of the World Ecology Bureau tries to show the Doctor photographs of the pod. Although he feels that the Doctor cannot help them despite having been recommended by UNIT, his superior, Sir Colin Thackeray, insisted. The Doctor examines the pictures and asks if they had considered the idea that the pod is extraterrestrial. He tells Dunbar to contact the expedition by their regular video link and tell them not to touch it until he arrives.
Back at the base, Stevenson discovers that the pod is growing larger, and he believes it is absorbing ultraviolet radiation. Winlett reminds Stevenson that London's orders are to leave it alone until the Doctor arrives tomorrow, but Stevenson thinks the Doctor is just some crank Thackeray is foisting on them. He feels it is their discovery and they can do what they want with it.
In England, Dunbar visits the estate of millionaire Harrison Chase. Chase's estate is filled with thousands of plants, and he considers it his mission to protect the plant life of Mother Earth. Dunbar has come to show him pictures of the pod and its possible extraterrestrial origin, and he hints that such a valuable specimen could easily disappear... for a price.
At the base, Winlett is half asleep near the pod. The pod opens up and a frond-like tentacle whips out and stings his arm, causing Winlett to collapse in pain. When Stevenson and Moberley find him, Winlett's face is covered with green hives. A message is sent to London informing them of the situation, but with the bad weather, it will take a few days for a medical team to reach the base.
Meanwhile, the Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith arrive at the base by helicopter and are met by Moberley. He tells them that usually up to a dozen live at the base but currently the others are 60 miles away at South Bend, measuring the ice cap.
In the sickbay, Winlett's body temperature is dropping rapidly, as is his pulse rate. His face and body are now covered with a green fungus, and its growth is accelerating. By the time the medical team arrives it may be too late. However, Mike Wilson from South Bend radios them that the medical team has turned back due to whiteout conditions.
The Doctor asks for a blood test on Winlett and examines the now-empty pod. Stevenson acknowledges that it may be his fault; convinced that the pod was alive, he placed it under a lamp. The Doctor tells him that his actions could result in the destruction of all life on the planet.
Moberley draws a sample of blood from Winlett, who is growing increasingly monstrous. Outside the base, the Doctor digs at the ice, uncovering another pod. Stevenson asks if there are any more and the Doctor shakes his head: the pods travel in pairs, "like policemen". He transfers the pod to the base freezer. On analysis, Winlett's blood is found to contain no blood platelets, but instead has schizophytes — microscopic organisms akin to plant bacteria.
The sound of engines is heard, and Moberley and Stevenson go meet what they presume is the medical team. The Doctor tells Sarah that Winlett is turning into a Krynoid, a kind of galactic weed that settles on planets and eats the animal life. He does not know exactly how the Krynoids travel between the stars — their planet may be geologically turbulent, with surface explosions sending matter shooting into space.
Stevenson and Moberley escort two men — Scorby and Keeler — into the base. The new arrivals were flying a private plane, but they claim they got lost and wound up at the base. The Doctor leaves to check on Winlett, taking the others and leaving Scorby and Keeler alone.
Winlett's transformation is nearly complete. The Doctor suggests that the arm be amputated to try to stop the spread of the infection at its source. Even if it does not work, it might buy them time. As the Doctor is not a doctor of medicine and Stevenson is a botanist, Moberley is the most qualified. Moberley is hesitant, but Sarah persuades him in the end. As they leave to gather the necessary equipment, Winlett rises from the bed.
When Moberley starts back towards the sickbay, he spots Winlett leaning against the wall. As Moberley approaches, Winlett reaches out and strangles him...
Part two[edit | edit source]
Winlett leaves Moberley's dead body in the corridor and leaves the base. Meanwhile, Scorby finds the base's rifle and unloads it. Keeler is nervous, thinking that all they are here to do is to confirm the existence of the pod and report back to Chase, but Scorby disabuses him of the notion: they are to kill the witnesses, take the pod and fly back. Keeler is reluctant, but Scorby warns him that if he refuses, Keeler will be killed.
Sarah finds Moberley's body. Stevenson cannot believe that Winlett has done this, but the Doctor tells him that Winlett no longer exists; his mind has been taken over and soon he will turn completely into a Krynoid. They gather their things to search for the creature and take the rifle, not realising it has been sabotaged. When the others leave, Scorby and Keeler go in search of the pod.
Dunbar tells Chase about a report of an infection at the base, but he is shocked when Chase tells him he has sent his own men to Antarctica. Dunbar seeks an assurance that should anything go wrong, Chase will protect his identity. Chase pays Dunbar off.
The Krynoid finds the generator hut — built far from the base because of its new fuel cell system. However, when it sees the Doctor, Stevenson and Sarah approach, it turns away. Unable to find the Krynoid, and hoping that it is frozen in the snow, the three head back to base, and the Krynoid seeks shelter in the hut after their departure.
Meanwhile, Scorby and Keeler ransack the base. When South Bend calls to say the weather has cleared and the medical team are now on their way, Scorby pretends to be Moberley and tells them help is no longer needed. When South Bend gets suspicious, Scorby disconnects the radio. Keeler finds the open pod and realises that it has germinated. Scorby wants to find the actual plant that emerged, but they find Moberley's body in the sickbay instead.
When Sarah and the Doctor enter the sickbay, Scorby and Keeler hold them at gunpoint. Scorby questions the Doctor about Moberley, and the Doctor tells them about the pod and Winlett's infection. When Stevenson discovers them, he finds his rifle useless and is put with the others, but he lets slip that a second pod exists.
Scorby wants the second pod. He threatens Sarah's life and the Doctor relents, telling Scorby the second pod is in the freezer. Stevenson is forced to take it out and places it in a thermal container to keep it cool and safe. After this is done, Scorby forces Sarah to take him to the generator hut with Keeler in tow, leaving the others tied up behind.
While the Doctor knocks over an unlighted kerosene lamp and uses the broken glass to cut Stevenson's bonds, Scorby plants a bomb in the hut which will blow up the base. Keeler at first tries to stop Scorby but with no success, and both flee the hut.
Freed, the Doctor tells Stevenson to contact South Bend for the medical team and goes in search of Sarah. However, the Krynoid has returned to the base and kills Stevenson while he is making the call. The Doctor sees Scorby and Keeler's plane take off and runs to the generator hut where Sarah is tied up. She tells him about the bomb, but the creature arrives as well and blocks their escape. They get out the door and lock the Krynoid in; they run away as the hut explodes, taking the rest of the base with it...
Part three[edit | edit source]
Regaining consciousness in the snow, the Doctor and Sarah are picked up by a team from South Bend in their Snow Cat vehicle. Meanwhile, Scorby and Keeler return to Chase with the second pod. Dunbar also arrives, angered at how far Chase had gone to secure the pod. He warns Chase that the Doctor and Sarah are still alive and are scheduled to meet with him and Sir Colin in two hours.
At the meeting, the Doctor and Sarah describe how well-planned the theft of the pod was. The Doctor believes that the two men were stooges. The discovery of the pod had only been reported to the Ecology Bureau, so the leak must have come from them. The Doctor is sure that the pod is in England and says that if they do not find it, it will be the end of everything — even Sir Colin's pension. He tells Dunbar to arrange for him to go to the Botanic Institute.
As they leave the building, a Daimler limousine pulls up, and the chauffeur claims it is theirs. The Doctor and Sarah get in. The car stops in a deserted quarry, and the chauffeur orders them out at gunpoint. As they exit, the Doctor knocks the chauffeur over, and both he and Sarah run for it. With a bit of teamwork, the Doctor jumps the chauffeur and punches him out. The two search the car and find in the boot a painting by Amelia Ducat, who Sarah recalls is one of the world's leading flower artists. When they go and speak to her, she tells them that the owner of the painting is Harrison Chase, and she recalls that he never paid her for the painting.
Keeler, who is a botanist himself, unsuccessfully tries to convince Chase to stop the experiments on the pod. Chase orders him to inject the pod with fixed nitrogen. Keeler answers a nearby phone and informs Chase that his chauffeur is in hospital. When the Doctor and Sarah try to sneak into the house, they are spotted by some guards and Scorby, who capture them.
The Doctor and Sarah are brought before Chase and, despite having Scorby's gun at his head, the Doctor asks Chase grimly to hand over the pod. Chase politely refuses: he has the greatest collection of plants in the world, and when the pod flowers, it will be his crowning achievement. Chase decides to show the Doctor and Sarah around the house and his plant laboratory before he executes them.
Keeler notes that the pod is growing and tells Hargreaves, the butler, to summon Chase to the annex. There, Chase tells Keeler to inject more nitrogen into the pod. Scorby escorts the Doctor and Sarah into the gardens to kill them, but the two overpower Scorby. The Doctor uses rope to lower Sarah down the wall so she can go and warn Sir Colin, while he returns to the house to examine the pod. However, Sarah gets captured again.
The Doctor makes his way back into the mansion while Sarah is escorted by Scorby back to Chase. The Doctor watches, horrified, through the skylight as Chase orders Sarah forced down to a chair, grabbing her arm and pinning it next to the pod. He wants to know what happens when the Krynoid touches human flesh. As Sarah struggles, the pod begins to open...
Part four[edit | edit source]
The Doctor crashes through the skylight, knocking Scorby out and grabbing Sarah. They rush out the door, locking Chase and his men in. As Chase furiously tries to get the guards' attention (questioning why he's surrounded by idiots), a frond from the pod stings Keeler's arm. Finally, a guard opens the door; he and Scorby go in pursuit of the Doctor. Sneaking around the grounds again, the Doctor tells Sarah once more he is returning to examine the pod.
Keeler begs Chase to get him to a hospital, but Chase is more fascinated with the transformation process than saving Keeler's life. Chase and Hargreaves take Keeler to the nearby cottage. Chase observes that the growth seems to be absorbing protein from Keeler's body and tells Hargreaves to keep Keeler fed.
When the Doctor returns to the laboratory he finds it empty, but Scorby now has the drop on him. Scorby and the guard take the Doctor to the compost room. Scorby activates the crusher, remarking that Chase recycles everything. The main gate calls the house: Amelia Ducat is here demanding her money. To avoid a fuss, Chase agrees to see her. Sarah has entered the cottage and sees Keeler, who is still lucid, although covered with the Krynoid growth. Keeler tries to convince Sarah to free his bonds, but Sarah, fearing Keeler could transform at any moment, refuses, making Keeler grow more angry and paranoid. Sarah hides in a cupboard when she hears Hargreaves approach with a meal and leaves at the first opportunity.
In the library, Chase writes Ducat a cheque. Scorby enters and asks if they should start the "recycling experiment", and Chase says he wants to see it, asking Scorby to escort Ducat out. Chase goes to the compost room and reveals that he has been feeding Keeler. The Doctor, tied up, is placed in the machine, to be shredded and pumped into the garden.
Sarah is back in the house and hides behind a suit of armour as Ducat and Scorby pass. Sarah manages to get Ducat's attention when Scorby is distracted by a guard and asks her to take a message to Sir Colin. Sarah goes back into hiding when Scorby returns to show Ducat out. Outside, Ducat enters a car with Sir Colin and Dunbar inside and tells them what Sarah said. Dunbar, realising he has made a terrible mistake, says he will go in and get the Doctor. He tells Sir Colin that, if he does not return in half an hour, he must return to London and call UNIT.
Sarah finds her way into the compost room and turns off the crusher just in time to save the Doctor. Back in the cottage, Hargreaves arrives to feed Keeler again, only to discover that his transformation has progressed considerably, with Keeler's mind now having been taken over. Hargreaves runs in a panic as the creature frees itself. In the house, Dunbar pleads with Chase to abandon the experiment as Hargreaves reports Keeler's transformation to Chase. Dunbar says that this has gone far enough, and he is going to get help. Chase tells Scorby to stop him.
Scorby pursues Dunbar through the grounds as the Doctor and Sarah find Keeler missing from the cottage. The Doctor takes a sword from over the fireplace, and they leave to search for it. Dunbar runs into the Krynoid, which is far larger than the Winlett creature was, and no longer even humanoid. He shoots at it uselessly and is held fast by the surrounding plant life as the Krynoid kills him. Dunbar's screams attract the attention of Scorby and the guards as well as the Doctor and Sarah. The latter get there first, the Doctor drawing the sword above Dunbar's body as the Krynoid lurches towards them...
Part five[edit | edit source]
The Doctor and Sarah arrive just as the Krynoid finishes off Dunbar. The creature advances on them, but Scorby and his men show up and distract it with otherwise useless gunfire. They all escape to a cottage and barricade themselves in. Scorby is shocked that the creature was once Keeler. Chase calls them and orders Scorby to capture rather than kill the Krynoid stating "People are replaceable Scorby. The Krynoid is unique" and cuts off before the Doctor can reason with him.
The Krynoid smashes a window and extends a tentacle inside, but they drive it off. The Krynoid speaks using Keeler's voice, demanding that if the Doctor comes out it will spare the others, giving them until daybreak. Scorby is more than willing to give up the Doctor until Sarah points out that without the Doctor they have no chance. The Doctor suggests Scorby rig up a bomb so they can all escape while the Krynoid is distracted.
Sir Colin tries to get through on the phone while Ducat gives him some advice. Sir Colin tries to contact the Brigadier and UNIT but Lethbridge-Stewart is out of the country. He eventually gets through to Major Beresford for assistance and sends Ducat home.
Chase prepares to take photographs of the Krynoid, claiming he has nothing to fear from it. The Doctor and Scorby initiate their plan as Chase arrives outside. Scorby throws his improvised bomb out an upstairs window, and the Doctor makes a run for it. The Krynoid goes in pursuit, but the Doctor escapes in the limousine, leaving the Krynoid behind.
Scorby tries to find Chase at the greenhouse and discovers where he is from Hargreaves. They begin barricading the windows in preparation for the Krynoid's attack. Chase makes his way through the grounds and confronts the Krynoid. It notices him, and he approaches, taking photographs. It moves toward him as Chase claims he doesn't mean it harm.
The Doctor arrives at the Bureau as Major Beresford warns he can't do anything without evidence. The Doctor warns the Krynoid can channel its power through other plants, turning vegetation against humans. He shows them a series of reports of deaths of people near Chase's estates being killed by plants: a gardener tending a rose arbour; an agricultural worker in a field; and a young woman in a garden maze. He then calls Sarah and tells them Beresford is preparing to attack the Krynoid with a laser rifle, but the Krynoid cuts the phone wires.
Chase wakes up in the woods and has clearly had a major experience: he begins talking about how the world will be recreated.
Scorby arrives, and Sarah points out how the vegetation around the windows is getting thicker. When Hargreaves reports that he heard screams, Sarah taunts Scorby into going to investigate with her, and they find a dead guard killed by plants. Chase arrives and tells them that it's the plants' world, and humans are only parasites. He goes to the house to develop his photographs, then begins speaking to the plants in his greenhouse.
Scorby, Sarah, and Hargreaves go in to confront Chase, and he speaks of how the world will be made perfect. They can't get through to him as he talks about how he is one with the plants and animals are the enemy. Sarah notices that the plants are closing in on them. The Doctor and a UNIT soldier drive onto the grounds while the plants overwhelm Sarah Jane and the others and start to strangle them.
The Doctor and the UNIT soldier, Sergeant Henderson, arrive and bring chemical plant-killer. They dispose of the plants, saving Scorby and Sarah but the butler Hargreaves is dead. Chase runs away, and the Doctor and the others make their way into the lab and start removing the plants. But once they're outside, Chase locks the door behind them, and they can only gaze in horror as the now enormous Krynoid towers over them...
Part six[edit | edit source]
UNIT soldiers arrive and open fire with their laser rifle, distracting the Krynoid so that the Doctor and his group can get to another door. The Doctor believes that Chase is possessed by the Krynoid and determines to find him and eliminate the threat he poses to them from within.
After they leave, Chase slips back into the laboratory and destroys the loudspeaker system. Unable to find the millionaire, the others return to the laboratory, and the Krynoid tries to break its way in. Henderson goes to get more timber to barricade the windows, and Chase knocks him out.
Scorby starts to panic and wants to run, but the Doctor warns him that every plant on the grounds is under the Krynoid's control. Meanwhile, Chase puts Henderson in the compost machine and activates it, killing the unconscious soldier.
The Doctor works to repair the loudspeaker system as the Krynoid renews its attack, and Scorby panics and runs for it. He tries to make his way across the grounds through fields of hostile plants and wades across a shallow pond, but the plants grab and pull him underwater, drowning him.
The Doctor and Sarah realise that Henderson is gone, and Sarah goes to look for the soldier. She makes her way to the compost machine room, and Chase confronts her, telling her what became of Henderson — "The sergeant is no longer with us. He's in the garden. He's part of the garden." Chase says he's become part of the plant world thanks to the Krynoid; he plans to support the Krynoid and refers to humanity as parasites. Chase then attacks Sarah.
Beresford contacts the Doctor, who warns they have 15 minutes until the Krynoid germinates, spreading its seeds across England. The Doctor tells them to launch an air strike before it's too late, and regardless of the fact he and Sarah are at ground zero.
Chase has tied up the unconscious Sarah and starts feeding her into the compost machine. The Doctor arrives, sends Chase flying, and shuts off the machine to untie Sarah. He gets her out, but Chase turns the machine back on and throws himself at the Doctor, and the two struggle inside the machine's bin. The Doctor climbs out as Chase is pulled into the machine, despite the Doctor's efforts to save him.
The RAF launches a sighting run as Beresford and Sir Colin look for any signs of the Doctor. Sarah and the Doctor can't get out through the plant life covering the house, but the Doctor rigs a steam pipe, and they blast their way out. They make their way through the hostile plant life and take refuge in a clearing filled with cut-down trees, as the RAF opens fire and destroys the Krynoid.
Later, the Doctor, Sarah, and Sir Colin discuss the apparent destruction of the Krynoid. Sir Colin wants the Doctor to address the Royal Horticultural Society, but the Doctor consults his 500-year diary and says he is fully booked for the couple of centuries. The Doctor offers to take Sarah on a holiday to Cassiopeia and invites Sir Colin to come along with them, but Sir Colin says his wife is expecting him home for tea.
However, the TARDIS materialises in Antarctica when the Doctor forgets to reset the coordinates. Simultaneously, the Doctor and Sarah say, "Have we been here before or are we yet to come?"
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Doctor Who - Tom Baker
- Sarah Jane Smith - Elisabeth Sladen
- Harrison Chase - Tony Beckley
- Scorby - John Challis
- Arnold Keeler - Mark Jones
- John Stevenson - Hubert Rees
- Charles Winlett - John Gleeson
- Derek Moberley - Michael McStay
- Richard Dunbar - Kenneth Gilbert
- Sir Colin Thackeray - Michael Barrington
- Hargreaves - Seymour Green
- Amelia Ducat - Sylvia Coleridge
- Guard Leader - David Masterman
- Doctor Chester - Ian Fairbairn
- Chauffeur - Alan Chuntz
- Guard - Harry Fielder
- Major Beresford - John Acheson
- Sergeant Henderson - Ray Barron
- Krynoid Voice - Mark Jones
Uncredited cast[edit | edit source]
- The Krynoid - Keith Ashley, Ronald Gough
- Guards - Pat Gorman, Ian Elliott, Brian Nolan
- Sir Colin's aide - Keith Ashley
- Marines - Ronald Gough, Patrick Milner
- UNIT Soldiers - Barry Summerford, Tony Snell, Patrick Ginter, Rowland Geall, Derek Wayland (all DWM 263)
Crew[edit | edit source]
- Film Editor - M A C Adams
- Designer - Jeremy Bear
- Make-Up - Ann Briggs
- Incidental Music - Geoffrey Burgon
- Director - Douglas Camfield
- Visual Effects - Richard Conway
- Studio Lighting - John Dixon
- Production Unit Manager - George Gallaccio
- Title Music - Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, arranged by Delia Derbyshire
- Production Assistant - Graeme Harper
- Producer - Philip Hinchcliffe
- Script Editor - Robert Holmes
- Studio Sound - John Holmes
- O.B. Lighting - Clive Potter
- O.B. Sound - Vic Godrich
- Film Cameraman - Keith Hopper
- Costumes - Barbara Lane
- Special Sounds - Dick Mills
- Designer - Roger Murray-Leach
- Production Unit Manager - Janet Radenkovic
- Writer - Robert Banks Stewart
- Fight Arranger - Terry Walsh
Uncredited crew[edit | edit source]
- Visual Effects Assistants - Steve Drewett, George Reed, John Brace, Charlie Lumm (INFO: The Seeds of Doom)
- Props Buyer - Maurice Watson (INFO: The Seeds of Doom)
- Technical Manager - Bernard Fox (INFO: The Seeds of Doom)
- Electronic Effects - Dave Jervis (INFO: The Seeds of Doom)
- Grams Opeator - Andrew Hunter (INFO: The Seeds of Doom)
- Dresser - Arthur Funge (INFO: The Seeds of Doom)
- Engineering Manager - Bert Robinson (INFO: The Seeds of Doom)
- OB Vision Mixer - Paul Jackson (INFO: The Seeds of Doom)
- OB Cameramen - Simon Fone, Frank Hudson (INFO: The Seeds of Doom)
- Senior Cameraman - Paul Kay (INFO: The Seeds of Doom)
- Design Assistant - Jan Spoczynski (INFO: The Seeds of Doom)
- Director's assistant - Briony Brown (INFO: The Seeds of Doom)
- Vision Mixers - Sue Thorne, Graham Giles, Heather Gilder (INFO: The Seeds of Doom)
- Assistant Floor Manager - Sue Shearman (INFO: The Seeds of Doom)
- Elisabeth Sladen's Dresser - Moira Fitzgerald (INFO: The Seeds of Doom)
- Pre-Production Secretary - Gillian Bowles (INFO: The Seeds of Doom)
- Facilties Booker - Carol Vigurs (INFO: The Seeds of Doom)
- Artists Booker - Nansi Davies (INFO: The Seeds of Doom)
- Make-Up Assistants - Catherine Cary-Elwes, Janet Gilpin, Gillian Thomas (INFO: The Seeds of Doom)
- Floor Assistant - Steve Haggard (INFO: The Seeds of Doom)
- Armourer - Jack Wells (INFO: The Seeds of Doom)
References[edit | edit source]
- Chase mentions Bonsai.
Cultural references from the real world[edit | edit source]
- Two copies of Gone With the Wind are on the bookshelf in Dunbar's office.
- Scorby quotes Voltaire's line "when it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion", but the Doctor seems to attribute it to Franklin Pierce Adams.
Influences[edit | edit source]
Organisations[edit | edit source]
- The Doctor states that he is President of the Intergalactic Floral Society.
Species[edit | edit source]
- Blue whales are an endangered species.
Foods and beverages from the real world[edit | edit source]
- A pilot declared he was going to turn the Krynoid into chop suey.
Story notes[edit | edit source]
- An early version of The Hand of Fear was originally scheduled to be produced as the final serial of season 13. However, there were serious problems with the scripts, so script editor Robert Holmes and producer Philip Hinchcliffe commissioned a new script from writer Robert Banks Stewart, at very little notice. The Hand of Fear was substantially reworked and produced in the following season. (INFO: The Seeds of Doom)
- Rumoured working titles for this story are The Seeds of Death — which was reportedly later changed to avoid confusion with Season 6's six-parter The Seeds of Death (1969), featuring the Ice Warriors — and The Krynoid Invasion, but these do not appear on any contemporary BBC paperwork.
- In this period, location filming for Doctor Who was usually done on 16mm colour film. However, exteriors for this story were filmed on videotape using outside broadcasting, which had previously been used in Robot and The Sontaran Experiment.
- Parts one and two are heavily influenced by Howard Hawks' 1951 film The Thing From Another World: an artefact found frozen in the Antarctic ice is revealed to be a deadly plant-like alien. That film was itself based on the short story, Who Goes There?, written by John W. Campbell, Jr. Others have noticed a strong similarity between this story and Man-Eater of Surrey Green, an instalment of The Avengers television series of the 1960s, and also the 1953 BBC production The Quatermass Experiment. On the DVD commentary for The Seeds of Doom, Robert Banks Stewart says that he has been accused of stealing the notion of a hostile and mobile alien plant from The Day of the Triffids, but states that the stories merely draw from common roots.
- This serial was the last serial to use the Brachacki police box prop, as it finally wore out and collapsed — reportedly while Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen were inside.
- The serial also marked the final major appearance of UNIT in the series until 1989's Battlefield (although it would be referenced in the Fifth Doctor story Time-Flight, Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart appeared in the 1983 story Mawdryn Undead as a retired civilian, and there is a sequence set at UNIT HQ in The Five Doctors).
- There were talks of bringing the Brigadier and Benton back for the final episode, but due to the minuscule role, it was decided to be not worth the effort. Nicholas Courtney was offered the chance to reprise his role, but he was unavailable. When he watched the story and saw that it was a UNIT story without the regulars, his reaction was, "Oh, well."
- The story was director Douglas Camfield's last involvement with Doctor Who. Camfield went on to direct other television programmes and died in his sleep in 1984.
- A few weeks before the serial was due to begin its original transmission, the master 625 line PAL colour videotape for part one went missing. A brief panic ensued, and producer Philip Hinchcliffe began planning a re-edit of part two allowing the story to begin at this point. Fortunately the videotape of part one was eventually located, having been misplaced in the tape storage system (apparently due to having been wrongly numbered).
- Kenneth Gilbert very nearly didn't get to be in this story. After the second session of pre-filming, it was discovered he had contracted chickenpox from his daughter. He originally wanted to take a few days off but his doctor insisted that he take two weeks off. Luckily, Douglas Camfield changed the shooting schedules to allow for Gilbert's recovery. Gilbert has remarked that if he hadn't done the pre-filming beforehand, then he would not have featured in the story.
- The costume for the humanoid stage of the Krynoid was created by taking one of the surviving Axon costumes from The Claws of Axos and spraying it green.
- The name "Krynoid" would appear to have been adapted from "crinoid", a small flower-like creature, related to star fish and sea urchins, that lives in shallow and deep oceans worldwide.
- A black and white line illustration by Frank Bellamy was printed alongside the Radio Times programme listing for part one. This was about the size of a large postage stamp, and depicted the Doctor and Sarah, with hanging icicles in the foreground.
- This is the only Doctor Who story where Alan Chuntz portrays a character, namely the chauffeur, rather than being a stuntman and, as such, is the only one in which he received an on-screen credit.
- This story directly influenced and is paid homage in AUDIO: Aquitaine. There is even a butler character who appears in the story named Hargreaves, in reference to the Hargreaves of this story.
- Philip Hinchcliffe disliked the character of Amelia Ducat, feeling that the subplot featuring her was largely padding. When given the opportunity to novelise the scripts, he largely removed the character. Some fans objected vocally to this decision.
- Moberley is confused by the Doctor's appearance, saying he'd expected someone older. This is a reference to how Robert Holmes' original concept for the Fourth Doctor had been an elderly eccentric, but they'd ended up casting an actor who was younger than any of the previous Doctors had been (a controversial decision in the fandom at the time).
- Robert Banks Stewart was influenced in the writing of this ecological tale of rampant flora by his home abutting Kew Gardens as well as his familial connection to botanist Joseph Banks.
- Michael McStay (Moberley) was injured in a traffic accident after leaving the studio. According to Tom Baker his false beard hid the scars.
Ratings[edit | edit source]
- Part one - 11.6 million viewers
- Part two - 11.4 million viewers
- Part three - 10.3 million viewers
- Part four - 11.1 million viewers
- Part five - 9.9 million viewers
- Part six - 11.5 million viewers
Myths[edit | edit source]
- This story was originally written as a four-parter and the opening two episodes were added by script editor Robert Holmes and/or director Douglas Camfield. (It was commissioned and written as a six-parter by Robert Banks Stewart from the outset.)
- The location scenes for this story were shot at a house owned by rock star Mick Jagger. (Jagger's house, Stargroves near Newbury in Hampshire, was used as a location for Pyramids of Mars; the house seen in The Seeds of Doom is Athelhampton House in Athelhampton, Dorset.)
- The Doctor kills Scorby by breaking his neck. (When the Doctor and Sarah Jane escape the man, the Doctor is shown knocking him out by twisting his neck. This moment is often shown in YouTube mash-ups out of context. Scorby, however, is not actually killed, even though most screen depictions of this action are considered fatalities.)
Filming locations[edit | edit source]
- Athelhampton House, Athelhampton, Dorset (Chase's Estate exterior)
- Buckland Sand and Silica Co Ltd, Reigate Road, Buckland, Surrey
- BBC Television Centre (Entrance), Shepherd's Bush, London (World Ecology Bureau entrance)
- BBC Television Centre (TC4, TC8), Shepherd's Bush, London
Production errors[edit | edit source]
- In part one, Moberley says he will "take these to the stick bay", rather than sick bay.
- In part four, when Chase writes Amelia Ducat a cheque as belated payment for the painting he bought from her, the black leather gloves Tony Beckley wears inadvertently cause him to tear two cheques out of the prop cheque book instead of just one.
- When the Doctor and Sarah leave the cottage at the end of part four, it is completely dark. But when they go back inside at the beginning of part five, it is lighter.
- During the recap at the beginning of part five, as the Krynoid approaches the camera, the sting from the closing theme can be heard to start for a split-second.
- When the tentacle withdraws from the window in part six, the outside is briefly exposed and it is black.
Continuity[edit | edit source]
- The Doctor also encounters the Krynoids in PROSE: Stop the Pigeon, AUDIO: Hothouse and PROSE: An Apple a Day....
- Krynoids also appear in AUDIO: The Root of All Evil and The Green Man.
- A Krynoid also makes a cameo appearance in HOMEVID: Do You Have a Licence to Save this Planet?
- The Doctor next encounters UNIT in his seventh incarnation. (TV: Battlefield)
- The Doctor previously visited Antarctica in December 1986 towards the end of his first incarnation. (TV: The Tenth Planet) He later did so again during his seventh incarnation in 2006, (PROSE: Iceberg) 2012 (AUDIO: Frozen Time) and 2045. (AUDIO: The Word Lord)
- Sarah Jane later returned to Antarctica in 2006 (AUDIO: Snow Blind) and 2009. (TV: The Gift)
Home video and audio releases[edit | edit source]
Video releases[edit | edit source]
DVD releases[edit | edit source]
- Commentary by Tom Baker (The Doctor), John Challis (Scorby), Kenneth Gilbert (Dunbar), Michael McStay (Moberly), Philip Hinchcliffe (Producer), Robert Banks Stewart (Writer), Roger Murray-Leach (Designer) and Joggs Camfield (son of Douglas Camfield, Director).
- Pod Shock (making of)
- Playing in the Green Cathedral (featurette on composer Geoffrey Burgon)
- So What Do You Do Exactly? (featurette on the roles of production assistant and Production unit manager)
- Now & Then - The Locations of The Seeds of Doom
- Photo Gallery
- TV Continuity Announcements
- Stripped for Action - The Fourth Doctor
- Radio Times Listings
- Douglas Camfield's Paper Edit
- Easter Egg: Outtake. To access this hidden feature, press right at 'Playing in the Green Cathedral' on the bonus disc.
- Easter Egg: John Challis (Scorby) shares a personal anecdote about his relationship with Tom Baker. To access this hidden feature, press left at 'Photo Gallery' on the bonus disc.
- Coming Soon Trailer for DVD release of Meglos
CD release[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- The Seeds of Doom at the BBC's official site
- The Seeds of Doom at RadioTimes
- The Seeds of Doom at BroaDWcast
- The Seeds of Doom at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- The Seeds of Doom at The Locations Guide
Footnotes[edit | edit source]