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.
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