The Abominable Snowmen

BBC Audio adventure, Sept. 30 - Nov. 4, 1967

Only on Doctor Who is a silver, bleeping sphere turned into a menace!  And there are always the good guys who refuse the assistance of the Doctor so things get progressively worse instead of being solved right away.  But then there wouldn’t be a story, would there?

I really like this story, despite the opposition of certain monks to the rational assistance offered by the Doctor and his companions.  There are quite a few assumptions thrown around that don’t make sense—Victoria made the Yeti live?  And she’s controlling them?  Uh huh.  Sure thing.  And the Doctor is a newspaper man?  Okay then.  If you’re that paranoid, so be it.  The assumptions are just so far off base as to be difficult to believe sometimes here.

So Professor Travers is along to assist the companions, as he’s in Tibet to study the Yeti.  But he soon realizes he was wrong and though Khrisong uses the Doctor as bait for the Yeti, things come out okay.  I think that these Yeti sure are easy to defeat for robots.  Just pull out their silver sphere and there you have it!  Though the sphere does want to go back in the chest cavity once it’s out, which can be a big difficult to prevent.  But it would allow someone to escape the initial onslaught and take off.  But perhaps that’s because Padmasambhava built them himself.  And where the heck did he get the electricity needed to run the control panel and Yeti?  Well, I suppose the Great Intelligence would have a way around that.  Too bad it wouldn’t share!  Patents are good for that sort of thing…

So Detsen Monastery gets overrun with Yeti the moment the Doctor and his friends visit to return the Holy Ghanta, a bell.  Then danger and hilarity ensue.  Jamie and Victoria don’t have much to do in this adventure, though.  Victoria’s back to screaming and just nosing in where she is told not to go, so she gets hypnotized by the master/villain.  Jamie is just wandering around, being the Doctor’s muscle, capturing Yeti and protecting Victoria.  But the chess pieces that control the Yeti sound way cool and the story progresses apace while the Doctor digs in to discover the truth.

Mind you, the way the Great Intelligence attempts to “encourage” the Doctor to leave seems rather ridiculous.  Hypnotizing Victoria?  Having the monks imprison him then let him go?  Pretend to be dead?  Hmmm.  He really doesn’t understand how curiosity works if he thinks any of these things would distract someone who is curious like the Doctor.  Though this is a borderline three jelloid story, I rather enjoyed it so it stays at a four rating.

Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines, and Deborah Watling

writers: Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln

director: Gerald Blake

read by: Frazer Hines