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Doctor Who – The Abominable Snowmen vinyl review

The classic Patrick Troughton adventure the latest to see vinyl box-set release.

Doctor Who

Credit: Demon Music Group

The Abominable Snowmen is from the fifth season of Doctor Who, which aired in 1967. Patrick Troughton, probably the most talented actor to ever play The Doctor, had well and truly bedded into the role by his second year. It was the era of monsters, and The Abominable Snowmen introduced a new foe that would later return to face the Second Doctor in the Web of Fear and The Five Doctors – the Yeti!

Now, The Abominable Snowmen is the latest in an impressive catalogue of Doctor Who titles to be released in an eye-catching vinyl box set by Demon Music Group. Like many of the previous releases (including The Daleks’ Master Plan and The Evil of the Daleks), The Abominable Snowmen is mostly missing from the archives. Only the second episode is known to exist, so the only way to delve into the other five episodes is on audio. What better way to enjoy an auditory experience than on heavyweight vinyl?

The Abominable Snowmen has been issued with striking cover art featuring the fearsome Yeti in the snowy Himalayan mountains. The three 180g vinyls themselves (one episode per side) are bright white, reinforcing the Yeti’s snowy environs and the story’s setting – an ideal Christmas present! A limited edition is available in ‘Tibetan Blizzard’ – with grey spots in the white plastic pressing.

The story opens as the Second Doctor seeks to return a holy ghanta he has borrowed to the monks at a Tibetan monastery. But when the long-missing sacred item is found in his possession, he doesn’t receive the warm welcome he had been expecting. Meanwhile, Professor Travers (Jack Watling) is an English explorer also in the region who is looking for evidence of the Yeti in the mountains. When the usually quiet and reclusive Yeti attack the monastery, one of them is captured, and the Doctor discovers that the enormous beast is really a robot. But who is controlling the mechanical Yeti, and what threat do they pose?

Doctor Who

Credit: Demon Music Group

In this classic adventure, Patrick Troughton is joined by Deborah Watling as Victoria and Frazer Hines as Jamie (who also supplies the linking narration between scenes). The trio are easily amongst the most popular Doctor and companion pairings of all time, and the use of an exotic Tibetan setting (much easier to visualise in your imagination listening on vinyl than seeing cramped Lime Grove studio sets on TV!) and an effective new monster combine to ensure The Abominable Snowmen is a memorable adventure. It’s probably the most spiritual and religious Doctor Who story other than The Planet of the Spiders and Kinda, which had strong Buddhist themes. Its sequel, The Web of Fear, is generally considered the stronger of the two original Yeti stories, though the sinister voice of Wolfe Morris as Padmasambhava, plus the lumbering hairy Yeti themselves, provide The Abominable Snowmen with plenty of effective menace.

For vinyl and Doctor Who enthusiasts, Demon Music Group’s beautifully-designed release of The Abominable Snowmen is an essential part of your collection. It represents a perfect marriage between an old-fashioned yet unsurpassable medium and a forever-loved and never-bettered eccentric old television show. They belong together. These vinyl editions are a wonderful and nostalgic way to celebrate Doctor Who’s origins.

Cast: Patrick Troughton, Deborah Watling, Frazer Hines, Jack Watling Writer: Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln Director: Gerald Blake Released by: Demon Music Group Running time: 150 mins Release date: 25th October 2019 Buy now

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