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< 4.2 - The Queen of Time
4.4 - The Mega >

4.3 - Lords of the Red Planet

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10
14%
8
9
31%
18
8
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7
12%
7
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7%
4
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Average Rating
8.2
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Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 1/25/18 4:24 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Often stated to be the origin story of the Ice Warriors akin to how "Genesis of the Daleks" was for the Daleks, 'Lords' is a story written by Brian Hayles that was supposed to have been adapted for the Second Doctor's final season but was ultimately dropped in favor of another Ice Warrior story "The Seeds of Death". It sees the Second Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe land on Mars many years before the titular creatures were supposed to have existed. A large Martian society does exist on the planet called the Saurians though just barely as it seems their society is greatly deteriorating and on the verge of destruction. The Doctor doesn't seem too concerned at least at first but something is definitely stirring on the planet. In the deepest caves of Mars, a pacifistic scientist is working hard on a secret project at the pressure of a tyrannical despot who wants an army. An army that seems eerily familiar to the TARDIS team. With time running out and the TARDIS team in dire danger, will anyone be able to survive the birth of the true lords of the red planet? 'Lords' is a very interesting premise at least at first glance and I would never have guessed that of all of the Doctor Who monsters it would be the Ice Warriors who would get an origin story. However, it ends up being a very standard story where a scientist tries to genetically modify his people to save them but sows the seeds of their destruction which a villain tries to use the results of to kill and conquer. That's not to say that it's bad however as the fact that it's meant to be an origin story of a moderately classic villain adds a certain levity to it that a lot of these kinds of stories don't have. It takes some of the best nods from Genesis of the Daleks while also doing its own thing in many places but it's also unnecessarily LONG and one of the longest single Big Finish stories I've listened to clocking in at around 4 hours or so. This length while appropriate in replicating the era really hampers it as it becomes very slow in the middle of the story to the point where it becomes a major problem. This is a story that could've easily been done in 2 and a half hours across 4 episodes with a lot of the chase scenes, unnecessary moments, and padding cut out and I think it would've been all the better for it as I did find myself getting bored with it pretty quickly. But the good moments do hit hard and are worth the listen if you can chug through the running time especially with an appropriate Second Doctor soundscape that perfectly represents the era and a good main cast. Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury are as good as they ever were in their roles and narrating the story throughout especially in Hines' once again audio perfect rendition of his colleague Patrick Troughton. There are points however that you can hear their age at times especially in the beginning until you get used to them. Scientist Quendril (played by son of Patrick Troughton Michael Troughton) and assistant Risor (Nicholas Briggs) are very much the Frankenstein and Igor of the story and work mostly well as the moralistic center forced to do unspeakable things at the behest of a monster who has stronger ties to them than even I expected. Abigail Thaw is also very well good as the despot of the planet Zarduur and the actual Ice Warriors are strong and differentiated well once again by Nicholas Briggs. It all comes together mostly well with lots of comedy ("This is the hour of life drink") and darker moments especially by the end once the insanity hits the fan. Though I can see why it wasn't made as it was way too ambitious to be produced in the late 60's, I personally really enjoyed 'Lords' especially as a Lost Story for the show and especially as a good Ice Warriors story. But some of its narrative flaws do drag it down considerably for me to where I wouldn't consider it perfect. It's a major commitment to listen to that I personally can't justify for 4 hours straight but as long as you have the fast forward button to skip through some of the unnecessary moments, then I'd say it's definitely worth the listen. 
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Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 11/15/15 5:33 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Lords of the Red Planet: I am a sucker for origins stories, and being written nearly a decade before 'Genesis of the Daleks' I think that shows how forward thinking this was. Ok, I have never really been particularly curious about the Ice Warriors but I don't think that detracts from this at all. It sounds authentic to the period it was written in, which is a strength and a weakness. On the one hand, the effects and music are great, with the actors sounding as good as they possibly can. Then on the other hand, there is a lot of running down corridors, it drags in the middle and it could do with losing an episode. To be honest, it's hard to see why it got dropped.

The action centres mainly around the humble pacifist Quendril, expertly brought to life by Michael Troughton. Quendril and his submissive assistant Risor are two of the most interesting and infuriating characters in this. Strongly influenced by Frankenstein at times, Quendril occupies the, refreshingly not mad, scientist role as he forced by the tyrannical despot Zaadur (power behind the throne) to engage in torturous experiments on the local wildlife which has given rise to the slave race that eventually becomes known as the Ice Warriors. Veltreena (played by Charlie Hayes, the daughter of Wendy Padbury) and Risor are two of Quendril's creations. Veltreena is the accepted ruler and princess of the indigenous, non-Ice Warrior, people. She often acts spoilt but at the same time manages to display a softer, more caring side to her father's lackey, Risor who is often referred to as simply, "The Failure."

It's harder to care about Quendril than Risor because Quendril is more intelligent and powerful than the short Ice Warrior like Risor who is subjugated but doesn't appear to have the means, physically or intellectually, to free himself. Whereas we eventually find out that Quendril not only had a hand in creating the situation he finds himself in but through in action has actually allowed it to escalate unabated. When we meet Quendril early on, he does actually attempt to call an end to his cruel experiments but coerced by Zaadur to continue. Whilst doing so Zaadur, a typically two dimensional villain, suggests that even though it would be her actions that do the harm it will ultimately be Quendril's fault. Fine, typical bully tactics, but when the Doctor moves Zaadur's Ice Warrior eggs and reveals that they were either buried or destroyed by an explosion that Zaadur let off the Doctor also attempts to shift the blame, similar to the end of Remembrance of the Daleks. I am not saying that the Doctor was wrong to do that or that it is a fault with the writing. I just thought it was an observation worth making. Quendril also displays some odd morals, when he learns that Zaadur is planning on leaving the planet he takes an, 'at least it won't be our problem anymore' attitude that for me doesn't match up with his previous actions of somebody who lives by a strong moral code of honour. Risor is the one who eventually redeems himself with an act of valour, and is the character that I find the most likeable, along with Aslor. Aslor is the subject of the continuing experiments to create the Ice Lords, and like Risor and his Ice Warrior brethren is brilliantly voiced by Nick Briggs.

All the Ice Warriors feel like they have individual personalities, which is refreshing even if some of the other characters have odd characterisation. Jamie for instance, when the trio are initially accosted by the Martians and Zoe is attacked Jamie is nowhere to be heard. We find out he has scarpered down some tunnels. So much for, "Creag an tuire."

So, did we really need an Ice Warriors story? Perhaps not, their origins are nothing more than simple trivia that has no impact on who they are now, but I am glad that we have this. My only real problem with it is that it's so long! I think one and a half hours is ideal for a story length, two hours allows you to do a bit more, two and a half is indulgent; three and a half hours though? I know it brings up the whole how loyal to the original should they be issue, but I doubt I will be in a hurry listen to this again anytime soon because the runtime really is a chore if you can get through it though you are rewarded with a truly epic ending.
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Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 7/1/15 9:57 am
3 out of 4 found this review helpful.

"Lords of the Red Planet" is often considered as, "Genesis of the Ice Warriors," with the unfurling of their earliest origins. However, I think it's more than just an origin story. It's a well-told and sweeping epic that would easily fit into the league of the best Second Doctor stories that were produced for television.

The characters are well-drawn: Quendril, the scientist who tried to use his own daughters to save his people and created a vain but beautiful daughter and another who became a vindictive dictator who hated her own people. The characters are some of the most compelling you'll find in Doctor Who. Nick Briggs does a great job playing the earliest Ice Warriors, but also providing some real depth to his performance as the first Ice Lord Aslor and Quendril's assistant Risor.

The story manages to combine some great sci fi elements such as "The Life Drink" along with powerful emotional narratives, and thought provoking questions of the dangers of science gone too far and without ethical bounds. This story would have been hard to actually do any justice to on the small screen, but in the capable hands of Big Finish, it is an epic audio blockbuster.
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Reviewed By: komodoReview Date: 1/14/14 9:07 pm
4 out of 5 found this review helpful.

One of the best lost stories to date. Frazer does the second doctor so well it feels like the original doctor is there.

This is a six part epic, but makes good use of that time. There is no feeling of it dragging as some six parters have.

The story is essentially a Genesis of the Ice Warriors, but here we are seeing Ice Warriors who have not yet developed their code of honor and that makes them a little more interesting as you can see the early seeds of that developing in Aslor. Behind them is a truly evil villain with a tragic story of her own that drives some very dark actions; not for the faint hearted.

Dramatically, this is well put together. The story flows, it builds, it gives you things to think about, it sets up good cliff hangers and then resolves.

The narration/drama style works very well. In some releses, it feels clunky, but here it seems more natural and does not distract the listener. The music fits the era and everything feels authentic. Above all, the acting is supurb; it was well recorded and directed.

In short, only Farewell Great Macedon is a better lost story. Why this wasn't done sooner, I do not know; and if this is an example of how the Early Adventures will sound, then they are looking promising.