web analytics
Home > Doctor Who > 31 Classic Doctor Who Monsters #19: The Ice Warriors

31 Classic Doctor Who Monsters #19: The Ice Warriors

October 19th, 2012

At least two of the recurring alien species of the Whoniverse suffer from the lack of proper names for themselves. It’s not that they’re unnamed, but rather that the only names we know have been supplied by others.

Consider the Silurians. The 3rd Doctor surmised that those reptilian humanoids originated in the Silurian Period of Earth’s prehistory, and the moniker stuck. After fans pointed out that reptiles didn’t evolve until much later, he declared “The chap who discovered them must have got the period wrong. No, properly speaking, they should’ve been called the Eocenes.” (Note that the Doctor himself was that “chap.”) This too was incorrect; the creatures were supposed to be contemporaries of the dinosaurs and the Eocene Epoch occurred some 10 million years after the dinos became extinct. (Give or take a few.) Still later, the 11th Doctor referred to them as Homo Reptilia. Again, wrong. In taxonomy, “Homo” is a genus of the Mammalia order, not Reptilia.

What we have learned here is that the Doctor talks a lot of shit.

However, he was not to blame for another woeful misidentification…

The Ice Warriors!

The Ice Warriors (1967)

It was a hapless human scientist who coined the term “Ice Warrior” for the giant that had been dug out of an Earth glacier in the 34th Century.

Natives of the planet Mars, the Ice Warriors were yet another species of humanoid reptiles. They wore armored carapaces with arms that ended in large clamps, adding them to the list of aliens that had heard of manual dexterity but had decided to do without. Those who mocked their design flaws were likely to receive a blast from the sonic weapons embedded in their wrists.

About this “Ice Warrior” thing: keep in mind that the sole reason they were called that was because the first ones encountered by humanity had been unlucky enough to get themselves frozen. It would be as if, after rescuing me from a big hole, you began referring to me as a “Pit Person.”

But, as with the Silurians, the name stuck. By the time of their fourth appearance in 1974’s The Monster of Peladon, they were calling themselves Ice Warriors. Furthermore, it was revealed that–unlike actual reptiles–they were rendered sluggish by heat.

In general, Doctor Who is a bit crap when it comes to science.

Tomorrow: more invaders from Mars!

Comments are closed.