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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > 513 > KEEPING A COOL HEAD


Fifty years after the first appearance of the Ice Warriors, we reveal how one of the original helmet props has survived to the present day…

Restoration? Or preservation? It’s not a dilemma that most Doctor Who fans think about very much. But as the series dates back over half a century, we are now in a situation where old props, costumes, paperwork, and photographs sometimes get treated more like artefacts in a museum – only to be handled delicately with cotton gloves – than just the simple bits of TV ephemera that they originally were.

Many of the original props and costumes from the early years of the series can still be seen on display at the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff (until it closes later this year), where every effort is made to make the exhibits look as good, and as dynamic, as possible. Over the years, a number of classic monster costumes have been added – a Zygon, the Morbius Monster, and an Ice Warrior – and all contain as many authentic elements of the original costumes and props as possible.

Mike Tucker, who supervised the restoration of many of these props, recalls the issues that were had with the Ice Warrior prop in particular.

“We were initially given the BBC’s very last Ice Warrior costume which had been displayed some years previously at the Longleat House Doctor Who Exhibition [in 1973],” he says. “This consisted of two original legs made out of latex, which had deteriorated quite badly, and an original torso made of fibreglass – with [Ice Warrior actor] Bernard Bresslaw’s name written inside it, so probably part of an original costume from 1967. But along with these original items were reproduction copies of the arms and the head which had been added to it some years earlier for the exhibition, and these were also in poor condition. So, new arms and a new head were resculpted by my colleague Alan Marshall for the new display, but I had to take the tough decision to discard the original legs, as they were too badly damaged. I used the better of the two legs to make a mould for the new recast legs, knowing full well it would be further damaged by the process. But the state the latex was in, the leg would have fully perished fairly soon, anyway. So only the fibreglass body is now original.”

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Contents include: • Exclusive previews of the next four episodes of the 2017 series of Doctor Who – The Lie of the Land, Empress of Mars, The Eaters of Light, and World Enough and Time. Plus, interviews writers Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Toby Whithouse and Rona Munro. • Showrunner Steven Moffat answers reader's questions. • A look into how one of the original Ice Warrior helmets from the1960s has survived to the present day. • An in-depth interview with Jamie Mathieson, who reveals the secrets behind the writing of episode 5, Oxygen. • Part Two of the new comic strip adventure featuring the Doctor and Bill: The Soul Garden, by Scott Gray, with art by Martin Geraghty. • Reviews of the latest episodes, Knock Knock, Oxygen, Extremis and The Pyramid at the End of the World. • The Fact of Fiction delves into the 1967 story The Macra Terror. • Previews, book and audio reviews, news, the Watcher's column, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!