Doctor Who Blog

Ice, Ice, Very Nice

So many people in this strange device. Let us know what you thought about Cold War, the 3rd episode of the 2013 season and the first television appearance in nearly 40 years for the Ice Warriors, and probably the closest the series has ever come to setting an adventure in Canada. In fact I like to think that this was on the Canadian side of the North Pole, and the Soviets were invading Canadian waters under the ice. So there.


All the way through, I really wanted to like this one. It’s the return of the Ice Warriors from crying out loud, and the shell armour looks fantastic! But the episode just left me feeling cold, pardon the pun. At no point did I ever involved in the events.

Posted by Andrew  on  04/14  at  11:46 AM

I know what you mean; I got to the end feeling like Iíd been to my favourite restaurant to discover they changed the chef.  And yet, on second watching the flavours came through much better for me.  My problem with these three episodes is that having already met Clara twice and really both liked previous generations, Iím struggling at having to go back to the beginning again.  Clara is a fresh new concept, but she is currently walking down the path made very familiar by Rose, Martha and Amy.  I know there are mysteries to discover about Clara and why Ė Iím presuming River Ė connected her to the Doctor and how all this will build towards Trenzalore, but this arc is more muted than previous ones and so Iím left with a slightly dissatisfied feeling as Claraís confidence slowly advances to the level it has previously reached while re-treading old ground.  But as I say, on second viewing I was much happier that this was a return to classic form and an old foe was being given a duly respectful re-introduction.  I know Mark Gatiss is steeped in Who lore and Steven Moffatís great buddy but I donít love his stories Ė this was the best of a generally uninspired bunch.

Posted by Jon  on  04/14  at  04:47 PM

I liked it. I saw it both as a re-introduction of the Ice Warriors to Who’s modern audience, and an interesting homage to the classic story The Thing (both the Howard Hawks and John Carpenter versions). Setting it in the more claustrophobic confines of a submarine was brilliant. The armour was nicely done too.

Posted by Dan Dreibelbis  on  04/14  at  06:27 PM

Thanks Jon, took your advice and had another run at the episode. It is better the second time. The guest characters come across with a more depth, the atmosphere gets a chance to develop and take hold, there’s more of an overall connection with the story.
You were also right that the one negative with the second run is… Clara. Loved her in Asylum, and really liked her Snowmen, liked her in Bells. Basically ignored her on the first viewing of Cold War, couldn’t on the second. Which was not a positive development…

Posted by Andrew  on  04/15  at  08:20 AM

The other thought I had on second viewing is… Just how much more awesome the episode would be if he pre-credits sequence was in subtitled Russian (aka: before the TARDIS arrived and started translating). So much more “setting” right out of the gate. Not to mention accuracy?

Posted by Andrew  on  04/15  at  08:26 AM

Andrew Ė Iím pleased itís not just me that Clara isnít really working for yet.  I really liked her in Asylum, was even more impressed with her in Snowman, and yet now find it isnít really hanging together.  On the one hand she reacts more or less as youíd expect when a gangly weird dude dressed as a monk and carting around a snogbox turns up to save her from a psychotic server crossed with a spoon; confused, intrigued and excited that maybe a life less normal isnít just a dream.  And yet in the background, there are the clues of a more sinister purpose; the two previous incarnations, the strapline, the reluctance to discuss any backstory, the somewhat huffy attitude of the tardis and her diligent checkpointing of her behavior against how a companion ought to behave Ė in Dalek, Rose worked on instincts and empathy, in Cold War Clara was almost benchmarking herself to the companion blue-print.  Iím sure the Moffat masterplan will tie it all up, but for now the companion development storyline and the mysteriously edgy hints are not mixing well for me.

Posted by Jon  on  04/15  at  04:37 PM


Posted by John  on  04/15  at  07:31 PM

Run you clever boy and remember..

Posted by Jon  on  04/16  at  01:31 AM

OK episode but I’m beginning to think that Clara may be a one season wonder. She doesn’t look like she’s having fun. She won’t be fired but will find a reason to depart at the end of the season. You know, the series has had a good run of companions since it came back in 2005. It was due for a problem in that area at some point.

Only thing good about this episode aside from bringing back The Ice Warrior beings was seeing David Warner in small but amusing role. The story was hardly exciting and the ending very predictable and preachy (love/peace/mercy).

Posted by The Observer  on  04/20  at  02:15 PM

In a word, this episode is Slow. I would describe the season as Slow. I loved Asylum. Clara (Oswin) was quite clever. Her reintroduction gave me mixed feelings. It was an opportunity to kick off a huge mystery arc, and Clara was continue with her sharp tongue. Still quite clever.
But, then she died (again). Then she was back - but mystery of who she is - well, it’s Slow. If that is the big story arc, I’m not really caring about it.

Also, she starting to lose whatever it is that makes her “clever”.

I’m feeling a lack of Moffat in these episodes.

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