In my review of the recently released The Ice Warriors DVD on 3 September I posited that there may be a relationship between the resurrection of seemingly deceased Doctor Who monsters and the sale of Classic Series DVDs. Only four months prior to The Ice Warrior’s DVD release an Ice Warrior emerged for the first time in 39 years in The Cold War. Similarly, the last Fourth Doctor DVD to be issued, The Terror of the Zygons, coincidently found its way onto retailers’ shelves but a mere six weeks prior to the Zygons much anticipated reprise in the 50th Anniversary Special, The Day of the Doctor. Should we anticipate the return of the Fish People soon given the impending release of The Underwater Menace, I asked.
In retrospect, the recovery of The Web of Fear is now obvious considering the story arc which commenced with the 2012 Christmas Special, The Snowmen. At the time the return of the Great Intelligence, a formless mass first encountered in The Abominable Snowmen and last seen in The Web of Fear 44 years earlier, was a incredibly bizarre decision by Doctor Who show runner Steven Moffat. Of all villains to resurrect, why choose one who only appeared in two missing serials over 40 years previously? Not that this was the first time that a monster seemingly lost for all time had been reimaged. The Macra reappeared in the 2007 Series 3 episode Gridlock having last been seen in 1967’s The Macra Terror.
The Great Intelligence’s revival was not limited to a single episode, however. It went on to appear in two further Series 7 episodes, The Bells of Saint John and The Name of the Doctor and was the series’ major protagonist. Which leads us to further coincidences. Were the Snowmen who accompanied the Great Intelligence in The Snowmen a substitute for the Intelligence’s first tools, the Yeti? Should we anticipate the recovery and issue of The Abominable Snowmen sometime soon? Moreover, is this image taken from the 50th Anniversary trailer perhaps a hint that The Abominable Snowmen has indeed been returned. The snow capped mountains in the background clearly represent Tibet and the stone block building could readily be a monastery. Is the Second Doctor playing his recorder as if to summon the missing episodes home? Only time will tell, however one thing is certain. Henceforth the revival of any monsters and villains from lost 1960’s episodes will be scrutinized and speculated upon by fans as evidence of recoveries. Let’s see what the 50th Anniversary and Christmas Specials, together with Series 8, brings forth!
©Vivien Fleming, 2013.