[Doctor Who Review] Cold War

Steven_Moffat_s_Doctor_Who_episode_guide__Cold_War

Hungry like the wolf.”

The Ice Warriors return and so does the hysteria that was the Cold War during the 1980’s…

After last week’s subpar episode, tonight’s episode entitled Cold War takes place entirely on a Russian submarine during the Cold War captained by Lost / Game of Thrones alumni Liam Cunningham. Several crew members attempt and don’t make a large impression since they’ll be red shirts soon. With the exception of course of David Warner playing a walkman wielding scientist who after meeting out time travelers wants to know if one if his bands breaks up.

This episode is shorter than most running only 41 minutes long. The pre-credit sequence shows the crew preparing to heat up the Cold War only to show it’s only a drill. The real problem lies in the ship’s storage compartment. A giant block of ice and inside it a shape that cannot be anything else but a Doctor Who villain. One blow torch act later and you can see where this episode is headed.

Once the Doctor and Clara arrive by accident only to have the TARDIS leave them on the now damaged sub with the crew trying to arrest them only to come face to face with an Ice Warrior of Mars. Voiced by resident Dalek voice actor Nicholas Briggs with the body of Spencer Wilding, the Ice Warrior is Grand Marshall Skaldak a hero and probably wouldn’t have been a nuisance until he’s cattle prodded into unconsciousness.

I missed most of the Ice Warrior episodes of Doctor Who so the quick rundown of what the Warriors and their armor did sounded liked a biped version of the Daleks. Except instead of a giant six foot cybernetic suit walking around close quarters instead BBC does less with more with using practical alien hands and Nicholas Brigg’s voice most of the time.

Overall it works because unlike last week’s episode the villain is given a name, a voice and a personality. He doesn’t go on a suicidal attack like the Dalek from Season 1 or the Cybermen wishing to reformat everyone. He just woke up after 5,000 years in the ice and is a little pissed that: his people are gone and these humans keep tasering him.

It’s only at the end when he’s threatening to fire the missiles when the CGI works against him with his eventual unmasking to stare down the Doctor. If they did latex for the bottom of his jaw why not just go with the whole head?

Clara offering to help communicate after the disastrous first impression between the two sides is one of the better plots of this episode since she is not captured, held hostage or has to escape. She’s actually useful with helping the Doctor.

Get’s three and half generations from me. If they had kept him completely practical effects and shown the crew digging him out of the ice ala The Thing it would have been four.

Looks like scary ghosts for next week…

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