Doctor Who: Cold War Review -

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  • Episode: Cold War (Season 7, Episode 9)
  • Starring: Matt Smith, Jenna-Louise Coleman, Charlie Anson, Liam Cunningham, David Warner, Nicholas Briggs
  • Written By: Mark Gatiss
  • Directed By: Douglas Mackinnon
  • Network: BBC, BBC America
  • Studio: BBC
  • Series:

Doctor Who: Cold War Review

Cold War Sub and an Ice Warrior!

By Kimberly McCall     April 15, 2013

Has the Tardis landed in a submarine yet?  Okay, so this week’s "Cold War" was not exactly an epic jaunt into the unknown. Rather, it took us on a claustrophobic, creepy ride with yet another old enemy, not to mention a few character casting gems.

Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) returns to write the Timelord (Matt Smith) and Clara Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman) into an accidental stumble onto a Russian sub armed with nuclear missiles during the Cold War. The soldiers also carry a mysterious frozen cargo they discovered on their mission which they believe to be a mammoth. Of course, as always happens in this kind of story, there is some idiot who decides to disobey orders and thaw the thing out before returning to base. Good thing the Doctor happened to drop in since the mammoth turned out to be an Ice Warrior from Mars.

The rest of the story has a fairly typical trapped-in-an-enclosed-space-with-an-alien type of feel. We get a little more of the Doctor/Clara dynamic as she, once again, takes it upon herself to set things right despite the Doctor’s objections. However, the real treats of this episode are the supporting character faces. The Soviet Captain is played by a heavily bearded Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones) and David Warner (Tron, Time After Time, Star Trek VI) makes a welcome return to Doctor Who as Boffin, an old, rock and roll loving Professor, who steals every scene in which he appears.

As we follow the Ice Warrior through his terrorizing of the sub and threatening to destroy humankind with one push of a button, it is easy to see the comparison to the actual Cold War. The Doctor takes a back seat in this episode and we get more of a backstory on the tragic villain (well, hero, really) who believes he is the last of his kind. Luckily, the ending works out for everyone. After all, one of the greatest things about Doctor Who is that no matter how dark things become, everything always seems to work out for the best. There are many more magical journeys ahead.


Next Time on Doctor Who...



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karas1 4/15/2013 3:01:06 PM

That's got to be the most spacious submarine I've ever seen.

This episode was so much better than last week.  I liked the alien and the Russians and The Doctor and Clara acquitted themselves well.

Wyldstaar 4/15/2013 4:20:23 PM

It was great to finally see the Ice Warriors return to Doctor Who after so long.  I am a bit torn, though.  On the one hand, if Skeldak is a general/admiral/whatever he shouldn't be wearing standard Ice Warrior armor.  Command officers wore a different armor design.  On the other hand, I never really liked the design of the command armor.  It looked too much like human style armor.

I hope we get to see more of the Ice Warriors next season.  It would be nice to see more than just one of them.  Considering that the first time we got to see a Dalek in the new series, there was only one as well, the odds seem favorable.  It would be extra fun if they turned out not to be the villains of the next story they're in.  During the Third Doctor's run, he actually helped them out of some trouble. 

Noovtere 4/16/2013 1:04:25 AM

I've been waiting seven years for an Ice Warrior to show up in the new Doctor Who.  Agree that this episode was way better than Rings of Akheton.  So far though no episode in the second half has matched the cleverness of Asylum of the Daleks at the beginning of the season.

wrrlykam 4/18/2013 12:43:40 PM

Better. Much better than last week.

The helmet issue . . . hmm. The new helmet looks like a half way house between the standard Ice Warrior and the Grand Marshall's helmet, but without the Dark Helmet style winged flairs. Maybe even a 5000 year old early version from the classic show designs.



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