DOCTOR WHO: The Seeds of Doom brought back the Ice Warriors as a more malevolent force: here they’re out to leave their dying homeworld of Mars after exploiting Earth’s teleportation technology to take over the planet. This is a much better serial but the eponymous seeds are laughable (bursting balloons, nothing more) and the Ice Warriors still don’t impress me (their look doesn’t impress me the way the Cybermen or the Dalek do). Which may be why other than a couple of bit parts during the Third Doctor’s run they didn’t get an episode until the 21st century reboot. “Are you suggesting we psychoanalyze these plants?”
NOEIN is a 2005 anime in which 12-year-old Haruka and her friends witness mysterious alien warriors popping into reality hunting something called the Dragon Torque—and some of those time-travelers are versions of themselves, grown up. It turns out the present is ground zero for a battle between alternate futures, one of which, Shangri-La, is reducing the others to quantum indeterminancy and absorbing them. And Haruka turns out to be a key player in the struggle …. The kids are too wimpy, but the story works and the quantum physics technobabble is more interesting than most time-travel tales. “If I became you, I would never forget my good memories.”
The U.S. version of LIFE ON MARS (2008) has the same premise as the Brit original (which I’m in the middle of), a modern-day cop waking up back in 1973. This version is much heavier on the nostalgia in fashions and other elements from the era (that being my teenage years, I quite enjoyed that part) but a lot of the episodes are just routine cop shows, so I have to rate it inferior (and the ending doesn’t work at all for me, though I concede the British version would be too downbeat). And I notice that both versions treat the police tactics of 1973 (roughing up suspects, planting evidence) as a barbaric past no modern-day cop would consider acceptable. “Why does it always come back to David Bowie?”
(All rights to image with current holder).