❉ Toy Box Treasures reveal the story of how one of the very first Ice Warrior props survived.
Toy Box Treasures proudly reveal an exciting find in the world of Doctor Who props and collectibles: The only known surviving classic Ice Warrior head in existence. Not only that, but one of the very first made in 1967, the so-called ‘big head’ version.
It’s not everyday you find a screen used Classic Doctor Who Prop, let alone one that has such an iconic image as the Ice Warrior. It was the monsters that first cemented Doctor Who’s popularity in 1964/5 and carried it through the earth-shattering change in lead actor in 1966. Patrick Troughton’s era is renowned for it’s monster stories and indeed, his second year is known as ‘The Monster Season’ for good reason. Along with the latest adventures with the Daleks and Cybermen, a parade of new aliens graced TVs everywhere – none more long lasting in impact than The Ice Warriors. They were so successful in their debut story that a return was swiftly arranged for Troughton’s last season in The Seeds of Death. The Pertwee era relied less on the past – despite three Dalek stories, the Cybermen didn’t return until the Fourth Doctor had arrived. However, the Ice Warrior did return, not once but twice in consecutive years with Curse of Peladon and Monster of Peladon in 1973 and 1974 respectively. And of course, they have returned in the modern series – facing down Matt Smith in Cold War and returning against Peter Capaldi this year.
“As a prop collector and dealer, I often receive emails starting “I’ve got a screen used…” Unlike 90% of these emails, this one led to an incredible discovery – a screen-used Ice Warrior head that could be the only known surviving classic Ice Warrior head in existence. Not only that, but one of the very first made in 1967, the so-called ‘big head’ version.
“We were actually on our way back from London, having met up with the lovely Sue Moore (modelling genius behind many 80’s monsters), when I received a call asking me if I’d like to meet up to discuss the Ice Warrior. This was arranged for the following morning. (We had travelled well over 800 miles in the past couple of days buying props for clients, so to cut down on travelling we opted to spend another night at a hotel for a welcomed break and an easier journey the next day)
“And it was the real deal – despite clearly suffering the ravages of time, this was one of the very earliest Ice Warrior heads, used in both Troughton’s and Pertwee’s era. This is one of those moments you dream of as both a prop collector and Who fan.
“I needed to know from a collector’s point of view, the best way forward for the Ice Warrior’s head. Should the head be restored or preserved? What kind of reception would it get? I am very fortunate to have a group of friends that I can call upon for advice so I contacted Mick Hall, Colin Young, Graham Flynn and John Tobin (for those who don’t know, these guys are what we call the dog’s dangles of Dr Who prop collectors – the world’s leading Doctor Who prop guys!). After a lot of discussion and thought, I decided the best way (and only way) forward was to call Mike Tucker who I am fortunate to know and proud to call a friend. Mike Tucker was really the only person for the job- a Bafta winner for his work on the series, he’s well respected within the industry having worked for BBC’s Visual Effects department and now owning The Model Unit – and he’s one of a tiny group of people to have worked on both the classic and modern series.
“After consulting with Mike, and taking into consideration the collectors of the Doctor Who world, I decided it had to be be preserved (every time we touched the Ice Warrior latex was falling off in our hand) and it hand to be done quick. The worst outcome for this historical item would be for it to fall to pieces and cease to exist so within days of picking it up we drove to Ealing Studios to drop this off so Mike could start work.
“As any prop collector will tell you, props made to last a few weeks decades ago and which were used more than once, in this case over 7 years apart, are going to suffer damage. Add in that a lot of the Ice Warrior head is latex which doesn’t like hot lights – present in the studio and later at the Blackpool Exhibition – and you’ll see the problem. The head needed a lot of work if it was to survive for future generations of fans to appreciate.”
Click here to read the full account from ToyBox Treasures for the story of how one of the very first Ice Warriors survived and to find out and has been sensitively and professionally preserved to ensure it survives long into the future.
❉ News source: http://www.toybox-treasures.co.uk/icewarrior/
❉ Toy Box Treasures is dedicated to Doctor Who collectibles in buying and selling of anything from the 1960s up to the present day.
❉ Purchase Doctor Who Magazine 513 for an exclusive interview with The Model Unit – Mike Tucker, and interview by Richard Molesworth.
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