Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Seeds of Death: Episode One 

21st century Earth is entirely dependent on the T-Mat transport system but the control centre on the moon has stopped functioning. Meanwhile, the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe meet the one man who can solve the crisis.




On Disc

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Episode complete credited cast:
Louise Pajo ...
John Witty ...
Computer Voice (voice)
Ric Felgate ...
Harry Towb ...
Ronald Leigh-Hunt ...
Terry Scully ...
Christopher Coll ...
Martin Cort ...
Philip Ray ...
Alan Bennion ...
Steve Peters ...


21st century Earth is entirely dependent on the T-Mat transport system but the control centre on the moon has stopped functioning. Meanwhile, the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe meet the one man who can solve the crisis.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

25 January 1969 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In July 1985 this was the first Doctor Who (1963) serial from the Patrick Troughton era released by the BBC on video cassette. See more »


The Doctor's sideburns disappear and reappear during the episodes (this is due to the fact that Patrick Troughton was given a week's vacation in the middle of the studio recordings). See more »


[first lines]
Computer: Bombay-Tokyo shipment activated. Bombay sending now. Tokyo receiving now. Dispatch completed. New York to Moscow delayed, Moonbase clearance awaited. Stockholm-Washington personnel transportation, Stockholm sending now. Washing receiving now. Dispatch completed. Non arrival, shipment of synthetic protein, New York to Moscow, Moonbase clearance awaited.
See more »


Featured in Second Time Around: The Troughton Years (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

The Seeds of Success, needed a little more watering for a perfect result but still a fruitful attempt.
30 April 2014 | by (South Wales, UK) – See all my reviews

This story (written by Brian Hayles and an uncredited Terrance Dicks) has aspects which are very strong but aspects which are a slight letdown. It is decent, solid entertainment without reaching the brilliance of the Doctor's best adventures.

Episode 1 is an excellent set up episode, a very promising start with a good script and some intelligent and well characterised parts such as the ageing and rather wise Earth scientist Eldred and officers Radnor and Kelly which are very well acted and thoughtfully written throughout the story. The good characters and strong dialogue are given centre stage in the opening episode.

The plot revolves around the T-Mat transport system controlled from the Moon and used by a future Earth as an instant way of transmitting people and goods between places. When it breaks down it is proved they put all their eggs in one basket (as the Doctor points out) and instantly food shortages and huge issues arise. The Ice Warriors attack the T-Mat control base and use it to launch an attack on Earth. The Doctor steps in to battle them of course.

The whole story features Troughton delivering his usual high quality and the villain Slaar, leader of the Ice Warrior attack on the Moon who is excellent and up to the sort of standard of the Ice Warriors in their brilliant debut story. Hines and Padbury as the companions are good throughout the story and acting of the other major guest characters is good. Some of the direction and effects are very impressive for its day while other aspects are a slight letdown.

The rocket journey in episode 2 which is not well done is the first letdown and would have been better not to include at all. That causes episode 2 to drop a bit, the rest of the episode before the rocket trip is pretty solid. Episode 3 is very good. It moves along well developing the story strongly and the villain Slaar with his hissing voice is particularly good in this episode.

Episode 4 is solid but not excellent, the absence of Troughton in that episode hurts it a tiny bit. Episode 5 is a bit weak due to having more scenes involving the seeds and the fungus. The idea of the seeds themselves is not brilliant as it is clearly an inflating balloon but it is to some extent a forgivable limitation of the age and budget. The fungus is another unimpressive idea involving some fun but slightly silly scenes in episode 5 flailing about in soap suds. These scenes mean that Episode 5 is the low-point of the story.

The villain Slaar is great but his fellow Ice Warriors, particularly in episode 5, are far less well realised with their cumbersome movement and lack of character. They are a rather pale shadow of those featured in the Ice Warriors debut story.

Episode 6 is a very enjoyable and solid conclusion but if the strength of Episodes 1 (especially), 3 and 6 had been matched by cutting the rocket journey out of part 2 and less reliance on unimpressive effects, particularly in episode 5, it could have been a really strong Doctor Who story instead of just a solid Doctor Who story which is what it is.

My Ratings: Episode 1 - 9.5/10, Episode 2 - 7.5/10, Episode 3 - 9/10, Episode 4 - 8/10, Episode 5 - 7/10, Episode 6 - 8.5/10

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