Sunday, April 14, 2013

Cold War

This week's episode brought back the Classic Who monster - the Ice Warriors. The last time the Doctor encountered these Martians was in The Monster of Peladon, with the Third Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith.

Cold War, written by Mark Gatiss, sees the Doctor and Clara accidentally travel to a sinking Russian submarine in the 80s. And on that ship is a newly discovered Ice Warrior - which the crew believe to be a mammoth frozen in a block of ice. Once it had escaped, nothing could stop its wrath. As usual, silly humans provoking the creature only makes it worse (when will we learn?!)

To be honest, I'm getting a little bored with the whole 'blockbuster' feel to these recent episodes. While I'm not denying that they are quite the cinematic piece, Doctor Who doesn't always have to be so big

That said, Cold War was a quiet a good episode, a bit of a step up from last week (though I still enjoyed it - Matt Smith does the best monologues!) A psychotic monster on the loose in a submarine with access to enough nukes to destroy not only Earth but a good portion of the universe, made for a suspenseful, exciting story.

The Grand Marshall Skaldac's (Skaldak?) escape from his armour and took to scampering around the ceiling, gave the episode a distinctively Alien feel. Seriously, the pale green fingers killing people from above was very much reminiscent of the Ridley Scott classic. 

Those fake rubbery fingers were rather odd though. The big reveal of the Ice Warrior's face at the end of the episode left me slightly confused.  I had expected something that looked a lot more like the Slitheen or even the Abzorbaloff. The two just didn't seem to match.

I think the Martian's madness was very much warranted. You would have lost it a bit too, if you had just discovered that you'd been frozen for 5,000 years. All your family are dead: "Now my daughter will be dussssssst" and you can't even be certain that you'll be rescued from this strange, foreign landscape by your people who may also all be dead.

However, his hesitation in killing the scientist fellow (I think it was Grisenko) and ultimately his hesitation in firing the missiles showed that he was not, in fact, a monster. Though he was definitely a threat, it's always nice to see aliens leaving almost peacefully.

The episode was also witty and funny - something I think the last two episodes were kind of lacking. Grisenko and Clara were hilarious:

Grisenko: “Tell me what happens.”
Clara: “I can’t.”
Grisenko: “Well I need to know!”
Clara: “I’m not allowed!”
Grisenko: “No, please!”
Clara: “I can’t!”
Grisenko: “Ultravox – do they split up?”

We also saw Clara learning more about the TARDIS, its translation matrix and its newly-fixed escape mechanism. However, I did see someone question how the translation matrix still magically worked with the TARDIS being somewhere at the South Pole...

Still immensely enjoying Clara as the companion. It was great seeing her question this crazy travelling with the Doctor but hopefully she'll be getting her own key soon because she can't be a full-time companion without one!


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