The Ice Warriors

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Story Code: OO / Season 5 UK Airdate: 11 Nov to 16 Dec 1967 Doctor: Patrick Troughton
First airings by location UK Repeats / Foreign Cable and Satellite Previous Story / Next Story

This story aired in the following known countries. They are listed in chronological order according to known airdate. If no month is noted, the actual airdate is not confirmed, and is a close approximate. (Refer also to Selling Doctor Who for expanded airdates.)

Film labels for The Ice Warriors, parts 1,4,5,6 (Thanks to David Stead)
Australia Sep 68 b/w
Hong Kong Nov 69 b/w
Singapore Apr 70 b/w
New Zealand did not air
Gibraltar Apr 73 b/w
Zambia Sep 73 b/w
  • In May 1968, a set of audition prints of this serial (it should be pointed out that it may have been just one episode) was sent to ZDF in Germany, but the offer of the series was given a unanimous thumbs down and "rejected" -- on account, it would seems, of the poor production values.
  • Hong Kong presumably sent its films to Singapore soon after transmission, as that was the fate of the RTV prints of The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear.
  • The New Zealand censors viewed the films in October and November 1970, but awarded the serial with a "Y" classification. The serial did not screen. Significantly, Nigeria did not screen this story either - was there a connection? Did / could Nigeria only buy the same serials that the NZBC had? Judging from the sales information that is available, that does indeed appear to have been the case.
  • The sale to Gibraltar was actually "back-catalogue", as they had already started screening Jon Pertwee stories by this time.
  • The ABC in Australia returned its prints to the BBC on 4 June 1975.
  • See also the Troughton Junkings page.


  • Parts 1,4,5,6 of the serial were recovered from BBC Enterprises in 1988; the labels on the cans said "Cutting Copies". The exact origin of these "Cutting Copy" prints is unclear. But based on the style of and text layout on the labels (see The Moonbase and The Web of Fear for comparison) we can probably rule out these being returned from any of the countries in Australasia. (See also Fury from the Deep.)
  • One of the cans was marked as being "EPI TWO" on its label, and yet all the other information written on it - such as the BBC Enterprises code, the episode duration and the film's length in feet - are those for part ONE - which was the episode that was found to be inside the can. In other words, it's not a case of it being episode one inside episode two's can, but episode one's can having the words "EPI TWO" written on its label in error.
    • A popular thought is that the "Cutting Copies" were struck in order to remove or repair any potential faults in the telerecordings: the original video tapes may have had off-lock, drop-out or other artefacts in them which were transferred onto the film during the telerecording process. It's even possible that part six was there to have removed from it the "Next Week" trailer for the subsequent serial that was played at the conclusion of the episode. Any such faults could then be removed from the telerecording negatives prior to any positives being struck.
    • The fact that the labels are marked A+B with either of the two letters crossed out (three of the cans have had the "A" blacked out) indicates that there must have been two cans and two rolls of film (negative reel A and negative reel B) for each episode at one point: after the necessary edits had been made to the negative/s, the two would have been combined from which a fresh negative on a single roll of film created. It was from these "new" master negatives that the sales prints were subsequently made.
    • After the new composite negative was made, a "test" positive print was probably struck for checking that the edits had worked. This print was probably then placed in the "B" can, with the negative placed inside the "A" can of that pair. The negatives would likely have been discarded during the BBC's film junking period, but the four "test" prints managed to survive the culling.
    • That episode five is marked "2 prints" suggests that two "test" prints may have been struck.
    • It's likely that "repair" edits were not required to be made to episodes two and three, which is why further "Cutting Copy" prints were not found with the others.
    • Until such time that a direct comparison between the film prints and an off-air audio recording can be done, it is currently unknown whether any footage is missing from these film prints. (It is known that the original telerecording of The Keys of Marinus part two was edited in this way prior to any overseas copies being made, a fact that was not realised until a comparison was made with an off-air audio recording.) [Update: During the mastering and restoration work for the DVD release of this story, no edits or missing segments were identified, so these "Cutting Copies" were 'uncut'!]
  • But it is entirely possible that the films were returns from overseas (from Singapore, along with Fury from the Deep?) and had been placed into new cans with blank spare "Cutting Copy" labels after they had been returned to the BBC; the handwritten text on the label reflects the status of the films after their return (i.e. Enterprises mistakenly thought there were two halves of each episode, hence the A + B notations, but since the durations and lengths of footage are correct for uncut prints, each was clearly only on one reel but labelled as if there ought to be two).


  • The two missing episodes were animated, and the story was released on DVD in 2013.
  • From December 2019, the reconstruction was available on UK BritBox.