Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Seeds of Doom: Part Four 

Sarah is saved from a Krynoid fate and runs off, but the same can't be said for one of Chase's men. Not only is he simultaneously devoured and transformed, his fascinated employer will do ... See full summary »


Douglas Camfield




Episode cast overview:
Tom Baker ... Doctor Who
Elisabeth Sladen ... Sarah Jane Smith
Tony Beckley ... Harrison Chase
John Challis ... Scorby
Mark Jones Mark Jones ... Arnold Keeler
Kenneth Gilbert Kenneth Gilbert ... Richard Dunbar
Michael Barrington ... Sir Colin Thackeray
Sylvia Coleridge ... Amelia Ducat
Seymour Green Seymour Green ... Hargreaves
David Masterman David Masterman ... Guard Leader
Harry Fielder ... Guard


Sarah is saved from a Krynoid fate and runs off, but the same can't be said for one of Chase's men. Not only is he simultaneously devoured and transformed, his fascinated employer will do all he can to encourage the process. The Doctor gets introduced to Chase's grinder and compost acceleration chamber, which promises him a painful yet swift death en route to making him one with nature, via the garden's nutrient pump. The situation has finally gone too far for Dunbar, who outs his own involvement in this matter and stands up to Chase, only to come face to face with a fully developed Krynoid. Written by statmanjeff

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Release Date:

21 February 1976 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode was watched by 11.1 million viewers on its original transmission. See more »


In a conversation with Scorby, the Doctor wrongly attributes the quote "when it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion" to Franklin P. Adams, when this is widely attributed to Voltaire. See more »


Harrison Chase: What do you do for an encore, Doctor?
Doctor Who: I win.
See more »

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User Reviews

Seeds of Success!
30 November 2014 | by A_Kind_Of_CineMagicSee all my reviews

Review of all 6 episodes:

The story here is that The Doctor and Sarah go to an Antarctic base where three scientists have discovered a form of unknown plant life buried in the snow. It has been there for many thousands of years but is of alien origin. The pods found turn out to be Krynoids, a plant which is carnivorous, parasitic, powerful and immensely fast growing. The Doctor knows this plant is a threat to all humanity but a pod is stolen by crazed millionaire Harrison Chase who is obsessed with plants.

Horror content was at its peak at this point in the series history and this story is one of the most horror based of all. There are some genuinely grim and macabre scenes which must have had children AND parents hiding behind the sofa. After having a lot of complaints during this time for being too adult and horrific, Doctor Who producers were forced to tone it down. The series, whilst still always continuing to have brilliant thrills, scares and adult qualities was never again to have quite the level of grown up thrills found in series 13 and 14. A scene where someone gets chewed up by a recycling machine is one example but there is a lot of quite gritty and dark content here and that only serves to make this a superb and memorable adventure.

This is another example of the brilliance of this era with Robert Holmes as script editor and Phillip Hinchcliffe as Producer. They created the best sustained quality I think the show has ever had. This story is just one of many top standard classics from this time and writer Robert Banks Stewart has provided a great story to follow his equally great Terror of the Zygons.

The dialogue of this story is intelligent and thoroughly enjoyable and it is delivered with superb acting by the whole cast while director Douglas Camfield again shows he is one of the finest directors the show had. The first 3 episodes in particular are tremendous and are at the highest possible standard. The engrossing science fiction/horror story and remote setting enriched with phenomenal characterisations and an alien threat makes this electrifying entertainment. The final 3 episodes are a bit less cerebral and more about monster attacks, confrontations and action but still have a tough, dark feel and the interesting human villain as well as the fun giant monster.

Right from the start when the story begins with the three research scientists in the Antarctic those three characters are all very convincingly written and acted. It is actually a shame that such a well acted part as Moberley (Michael McStay) only lasts one episode. The sinister villain Chase (the superb Tony Beckley) has a smooth, slimy, creepy menace which is really entertaining and perfectly played. His violent thug Scorby (played brilliantly by John Challis, 'Boycie' from comedy classic 'Only Fools and Horses') is far more than your average 'heavy', he is another effective and interesting villain. Dunbar, Thackeray, Keeler and Hargreaves are all also extremely well acted. In addition we also get the larger than life eccentric Amelia Ducat (Sylvia Coleridge) who adds a humour and lightness amongst the mostly serious characters. There are actually lots of wonderful, witty moments interspersed with all the drama and menace.

Tom Baker is magnificent as The Doctor. He delivers numerous witty lines with sparkling charisma whilst mostly is at the toughest and most stern we ever see him. He tells people off and barks orders one moment then makes a great joke the next, both with equal conviction. He is seen to be both selflessly heroic and the most actively tough the character has ever been. He engages in punch ups and even points a gun but this is all done so well that it works.

The suspense and shocks, intelligent, engaging script and the enjoyable action make this a true classic. Even the Krynoid, which at times shows up the limitations of the show's effects, has some great moments. The stop motion work with the giant monster and the house is actually impressive. This is a fantastic, gripping and entertaining pleasure from start to finish. A 10/10 classic that all 'Whovians' must see.

My ratings: All 6 Parts - 10/10.

This story finished off the awesome series 13 which is a front runner for best season ever along with Season 14 and just ahead of Season 12. This Hinchcliffe & Holmes run era is simply incredible standard. 23 out of the 26 episodes of Season 13 got the full 10/10 from me which is unbelievable standards over a season. Only Parts 2 to 4 of The Android Invasion failed to get full 10/10 with only Part 4 being a real disappointment for me. Any Doctor Who 'show-runner' now or in the future should aim to copy the qualities of this era as it is as good as TV gets.

My Season 13 Average Rating: 9.67/10!

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