Doctor Who Series 7.9: Cold War

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Ice Warriors! The Ice Warriors first appeared in 1967 and I'm happy to see that they haven't changed much visually, however I haven't seen much of them in the old series so can anyone tell me how they relate to the Grand Marshal in this episode?

Other than that I thought the episode was good. Not too light hearted when people's lives are actually in danger and bodies are getting dismembered. Although I'm not sure why they made a point of saying the bodies were dismembered to learn about us when nothing came of it. I thought the Ice Warrior saved the Professor because of his age/frail state but nothing was ever said on it

What were your thoughts?

Looks like next week might be a scary one. But can anything trump Blink for jumps?

I liked the episode, I thought the Ice Warrior had a really cool design, even his cheesy CGI face at the end.

The actual plot read kind of like a less dark and gritty version of the Christopher Eccleston episode "Dalek' with the characterisation of the Ice Warrior not being quite as good, seeing as he, for some reason, prioritises causing a planetary apocalypse over his own return to his colony for poorly explained reasons. Also it wasn't very scary.

I liked the episode though, I like how they've finally drawn attention away from Clara and the 'stupidly powerful godlike beings being defeated easily' plot, and just focused on the classic scenario of "Humans trapped in a small space with The Doctor and another alien.", except this time leaning a bit more on the whimsical side.

No idea to how old monsters relate to new stuff as I've only watched post-2005 Who.
I liked the episode but I'm becoming increasingly concerned that the Doctor isn't really out-witting his enemies, but just showing them the value of mercy and the human race.
I like the doctor when you think he is trapped but it turns out that he has everything under control, not when he turns and his only response is threat violence.

That being said, Clara Oswin Oswald is my favorite companion in a while and I think this season looks promising.

Can anything trump Blink for anything?

TimeLord:
however I haven't seen much of them in the old series so can anyone tell me how they relate to the Grand Marshal in this episode?

The Ice Warriors have been in a number of old episodes, most notably in my opinion, with the Second Doctor in the 'The Seeds of Death'. The design is pretty much the same for a few tweaks (the hands used to be less flexible), but this episode was great for seeing them outside of the armour. There was another Grand Marshal in 'The Seeds of Death', different to the one here, but it seemed like this new one was lost before the Doctor originally came into conflict with the Warriors. I think all the episodes in the older series take place in the far future.

I thought it was a reasonable episode, interesting themes and pretty violent for a Doctor Who episode at some points. I like the humanised depiction of the Soviet soldiers too. My main quibbles though was that Grand Marshal's reasons for wanting to destroy the human race weren't particularly clear, he seemed to be blaming them for the supposed extinction of his species and by their laws, be obligated to take vengeance but I don't think it was properly explained. Also, there wasn't a huge deal of tension in the episode since we knew it wouldn't end with either nuclear war or the Doctor and Clara perishing so that only left the Soviet soldiers as potentially disposable characters and they weren't really developed enough to care about for the most part... normally I wouldn't mind since it's not what you watch a Doctor Who episode for but in this case, the episode seemed intended to have a suspense / trapped in a small space with a monster element.

This was actually the first episode I've seen in a really long time, I liked it a lot. I much prefer the episodes which aren't too connected to the main plot. Clara's a much better assistant too (although my shallow side will point out that Karen Gillan is considerably hotter. Not that that should really matter).

TimeLord:

Other than that I thought the episode was good. Not too light hearted when people's lives are actually in danger and bodies are getting dismembered. Although I'm not sure why they made a point of saying the bodies were dismembered to learn about us when nothing came of it. I thought the Ice Warrior saved the Professor because of his age/frail state but nothing was ever said on it

I thought the whole dismembered bit was to characterize the Ice Warrior- he's not just a random killer; he wants to learn about our weaknesses to kill us more effectively. I agree that perhaps it didn't go far enough into the Ice Warrior's characterization though, the 'mercy' bit was never properly explained. It felt a lot like the Doctor was projecting a character onto him, without us getting to see all that much of it.

Overall it felt like a well written episode that worked well within the constraint of 42 minute run time. Minimal cast, single baddy, limited room to maneuver and a few good jokes for the older members of the audience. Gatiss looks like he is trying to aim the Ice Warriors as the Klingons of the Dr Who.

I kept expecting Ser Davos to grab his fingerbones in every tense scene, other than that only skimmed the episode so cannot really comment.

JoJo:
My main quibbles though was that Grand Marshal's reasons for wanting to destroy the human race weren't particularly clear, he seemed to be blaming them for the supposed extinction of his species and by their laws, be obligated to take vengeance but I don't think it was properly explained.

They said that under their code of honour harming one Ice Warrior is an act of war. Because he assumed he was the only one remaining (and thus would be stuck on Earth) despite the Doctor's protests that he wasn't he decided to go out in a nuclear inferno instead of waiting around to die.

Kind of unrelated but, when does the Doctor tell River his name?? UNANSWERED!

Encurtidos:
Kind of unrelated but, when does the Doctor tell River his name?? UNANSWERED!

At their wedding, genius :P

Anyhoo: one of the best episodes of Eleven.

Ronack:

Encurtidos:
Kind of unrelated but, when does the Doctor tell River his name?? UNANSWERED!

At their wedding, genius :P

Anyhoo: one of the best episodes of Eleven.

No, I thought at the wedding the Doctor said, 'look into my eye'. Isn't that when River finds out he is a teselector (robot)?! That wasn't when he tells her his name.

Dryk:

JoJo:
My main quibbles though was that Grand Marshal's reasons for wanting to destroy the human race weren't particularly clear, he seemed to be blaming them for the supposed extinction of his species and by their laws, be obligated to take vengeance but I don't think it was properly explained.

They said that under their code of honour harming one Ice Warrior is an act of war. Because he assumed he was the only one remaining (and thus would be stuck on Earth) despite the Doctor's protests that he wasn't he decided to go out in a nuclear inferno instead of waiting around to die.

Ah, fair enough, I obviously wasn't paying attention when they said that. Thanks for clearing it up.

Encurtidos:

Ronack:

Encurtidos:
Kind of unrelated but, when does the Doctor tell River his name?? UNANSWERED!

At their wedding, genius :P

Anyhoo: one of the best episodes of Eleven.

No, I thought at the wedding the Doctor said, 'look into my eye'. Isn't that when River finds out he is a teselector (robot)?! That wasn't when he tells her his name.

He cried it out during post-wedding sex. Awkward for everyone involved really.

Encurtidos:

Ronack:

Encurtidos:
Kind of unrelated but, when does the Doctor tell River his name?? UNANSWERED!

At their wedding, genius :P

Anyhoo: one of the best episodes of Eleven.

No, I thought at the wedding the Doctor said, 'look into my eye'. Isn't that when River finds out he is a teselector (robot)?! That wasn't when he tells her his name.

He tells her his name during the wedding, and when they get back to the proper timeline River looks into his eyes.

To be honest, I was a little disappointed with the episode as a whole. The Ice Warrior looked all right, but I felt the characterisation was confusing and, as mentioned above, the motivations were a bit hit and miss. In all, it felt like a cross between a Sontaran and a Silurian, and there wasn't any new or unique ground that they covered.

I also felt that the setting for the episode was underused; there's a lot of stuff you can bring in to Cold War Soviet Submarine as a setting which didn't even get a mention. I miss the kind of cheeky 'yep, did that' from the Tennant era, and there was a lot of potent metaphorical and moral discussion that Who was very good at bringing up which is now absent from the show.

Apart from that, the repeated victory through moral values and luck is getting a bit dull; I'd have liked to have seen the Doctor coming up with a few more brilliant plans and a few less cobbled together Mexican standoffs/last second flashes of inspiration. That said, always nice to see Tobias Menzies and Liam Cunningham, even if the roles were under characterised too, and Oswin seems so far to be inoffensive, so there's hope there. That said, very little so far this series that has really gripped me...

it wasnt a bad episode. it was just a bit boring. it hard one or two funny bits but just.. meh

however it is nice to see the Lord Davos gets a new command

Desperately needed a rewrite. More of the same stuff about frantically throwing stuff at the screen in the hopes that it'd work, but only raking up more pot holes. They hear a scream and run (unarmed, except for the professors surprise revolver later) to find the dead (armed) Soviets who've been dissected in the seconds before they there, which fails to be relevant to anything.

Stupid soviet characters without any character wandering around looking for something to be eaten by. Could have killed the Ice Warrior at any point if they'd wanted to, but they didn't bother. I particularly like when the Ice Warrior spends 30 seconds making alien noises at the armed lieutenant who'd wandered off alone to warn him he was going to be attacked, and then walking up behind him and tapping him on the shoulder. Seriously, don't do that, you'll get hurt.

Also, the professor sitting inside the bulkhead with his back to the rest of the sub with the monster in it *headdesk*.

Clumsy rehash of older Dr Who stories, obviously the "Ice Warriors", also "Warriors of the Deep", and "Horror of Fang Rock".

I enjoyed this a lot more than I did last week's. If nothing else, it was an entertaining forty minutes of TV to have on with a beer and a pizza.

That said, it seems Who's biggest problem is becoming endemic. It's an issue that seems to be getting more and more prevalent with Smith's tenure, and I'm getting a bit fed up of it. That is to say, the Doctor spends entire episodes doing fuck all. Seriously, this is the least proactive Doctor I think I've ever seen. And I've watched reruns of the entire Pertwee era. He just... explains stuff - badly, I might add - and occasionally talks at the villain/threat of the week. Where was the frantic re-rigging of some of the sub's components to come up with a gizmo that would lock down the Warrior's armour? Where was the clever scheme to bait it into realising the error of its ways? He just yelled at it a bit in the vain hope something would sink in.

This Doctor is very... reactive, and it's starting to bug me.

As others have said, the ending was very weak too. I won't spend too long rehashing what's already said, but I'll add how strange I found it that the Ice Warriors had a teleporter that could beam the Marshall out through the metal shell of the sub, but apparently didn't work through seawater (rather, they had to drag the sub to the surface - convenient for our heroes, naturally). And, once again, the episode ends without even pretending to address that the entire supporting cast has been left in a very dangerous situation. Like the abrupt ending to last week's, where the people that lived in that ring system were left suddenly without a gravitational centre - and presumably a huge source of energy, as well as protection from ionising radiation and meteors - the episode gives no hint as to how the the crew, trapped in a crippled, leaking sub that is itself trapped in polar ice, left in freezing conditions with any hope of rescue hours or even days away, might have survived. Yes, I suppose the TARDIS could wave its Deus Ex Machina powers over them, but its on the other side of the world. Haha, funny gag, Gatiss. Now everyone's fucked over for the sake of a one liner.

Also, the other big issue I had with the episode is an exceptionally minor, and very nerdy one, but I'm pretty sure those Soviet sailors were carrying American Browning Hi-Power pistols. Yeah, like I said it's a nerdy issue and I know the BBC isn't exactly able to lavish its shows with appropriate props, but it still irked me.

UrinalDook:
Also, the other big issue I had with the episode is an exceptionally minor, and very nerdy one, but I'm pretty sure those Soviet sailors were carrying American Browning Hi-Power pistols. Yeah, like I said it's a nerdy issue and I know the BBC isn't exactly able to lavish its shows with appropriate props, but it still irked me.

Ah, I thought those looked very western, but couldn't identify them. Of course, the BBC would have lots of those, as the British and Commonwealth forces used them for many years, and some still do, but...they made an Ice Warrior.

Oh and yeah, very reactive doctor, hadn't really noticed that till you mentioned it.

UrinalDook:

Also, the other big issue I had with the episode is an exceptionally minor, and very nerdy one, but I'm pretty sure those Soviet sailors were carrying American Browning Hi-Power pistols. Yeah, like I said it's a nerdy issue and I know the BBC isn't exactly able to lavish its shows with appropriate props, but it still irked me.

I'm not sure what they used, but the Soviet TT-30 was derived from the Browning and the later Makarov doesn't look that different.

Ice warriors confirmed for best monster.

oops

double post

UrinalDook:
Also, the other big issue I had with the episode is an exceptionally minor, and very nerdy one, but I'm pretty sure those Soviet sailors were carrying American Browning Hi-Power pistols. Yeah, like I said it's a nerdy issue and I know the BBC isn't exactly able to lavish its shows with appropriate props, but it still irked me.

What bugged me was that he was threatening to fire the missles from the bottom of the sea.

They're rockets, not torpedos. They have to be fired close to the surface. Like no more than 50 meters.

Abandon4093:

UrinalDook:
Also, the other big issue I had with the episode is an exceptionally minor, and very nerdy one, but I'm pretty sure those Soviet sailors were carrying American Browning Hi-Power pistols. Yeah, like I said it's a nerdy issue and I know the BBC isn't exactly able to lavish its shows with appropriate props, but it still irked me.

What bugged me was that he was threatening to fire the missles from the bottom of the sea.

They're rockets, not torpedos. They have to be fired close to the surface. Like no more than 50 meters.[/quote]

The Ice Warrior probably wouldn't have known that yet.

Froggy Slayer:

Abandon4093:

UrinalDook:
Also, the other big issue I had with the episode is an exceptionally minor, and very nerdy one, but I'm pretty sure those Soviet sailors were carrying American Browning Hi-Power pistols. Yeah, like I said it's a nerdy issue and I know the BBC isn't exactly able to lavish its shows with appropriate props, but it still irked me.

What bugged me was that he was threatening to fire the missles from the bottom of the sea.

They're rockets, not torpedos. They have to be fired close to the surface. Like no more than 50 meters.

The Ice Warrior probably wouldn't have known that yet.

But the Doctor should, and the crew of the sub certainly should.

So when he threatened to do it, they should maybe have all laughed and said "go on then nobed." Maybe?

Is it me or is the Doctor being sidelined in favour of Coleman's character?

That was a really cool episode. Very solid classic Doctor Who (in fact they've been very traditional this side of Christmas. Meet companion episode. First trip on the Tardis to somewhere incredibly exotic. Then trapped in a small space with a rampaging alien. We should be getting a two parter next or something and then a historical piece (this one doesn't really count) and we'll have the set. Maybe plug in a weird episode too, like Midnight.

This was another excellent episode for Clara, the actress is an absolute chameleon, wasn't expecting her to pull off small and scared so well and it was nice to see another side from cocky and quick talking.

EDIT: No two parter planned :( The Crimson Horror sounds like it's going to be the weird episode at least =D May or may not be a proper period piece

Crispee:
I liked the episode, I thought the Ice Warrior had a really cool design, even his cheesy CGI face at the end.

The actual plot read kind of like a less dark and gritty version of the Christopher Eccleston episode "Dalek' with the characterisation of the Ice Warrior not being quite as good, seeing as he, for some reason, prioritises causing a planetary apocalypse over his own return to his colony for poorly explained reasons. Also it wasn't very scary.

I liked the episode though, I like how they've finally drawn attention away from Clara and the 'stupidly powerful godlike beings being defeated easily' plot, and just focused on the classic scenario of "Humans trapped in a small space with The Doctor and another alien.", except this time leaning a bit more on the whimsical side.

I thought that too RE Dalek. I felt they managed to do the same thing too: make a silly looking villain feel scary. There was a big debt to 'Alien' too, with the readouts reflecting on the warrior's helmet near the end and the rarely seen but for glimpses true form of the warrior.

albino boo:

I'm not sure what they used, but the Soviet TT-30 was derived from the Browning and the later Makarov doesn't look that different.

Yeah, I did actually wonder about the TT. The Chinese copy of it strangely looks even more like the Browning. It would still be massively out of date by '83 though, and I dunno - I think the Makarov looks pretty different. It's a lot stubbier and doesn't have that characteristic taper on the underside of the muzzle. Like I said, it's really not that big a deal on the scale of things. I guess I noticed it so much because I'd already made my mind up before the episode even started that the BBC would get the guns wrong.

Abandon4093:

What bugged me was that he was threatening to fire the missles from the bottom of the sea.

They're rockets, not torpedos. They have to be fired close to the surface. Like no more than 50 meters.

Oh yeah, I'd forgotten that. I actually voiced my disbelief of that bit to the two friends I was watching it with. Naturally, they rolled their eyes at me and told me to just enjoy the cheesy Saturday night kids show. But still, the whole 'instant peril, just add nukes' thing really does bug me; people don't seem to realise that if something goes wrong with a nuke, it more often than not ends up not working rather than 'backfiring' explosively. Fiction writers are fiction writers, though, not military historians.

For clarity's sake, I feel I should reassert the fact that despite all I've said, I still enjoyed the episode as a bit of casual TV. Game of Thrones it ain't, but it's fun nonetheless. Now I've just got to wait and see if Defiance is finally going to bring some decent sci-fi back to TV.

FinalDream:

TimeLord:
however I haven't seen much of them in the old series so can anyone tell me how they relate to the Grand Marshal in this episode?

The Ice Warriors have been in a number of old episodes, most notably in my opinion, with the Second Doctor in the 'The Seeds of Death'. The design is pretty much the same for a few tweaks (the hands used to be less flexible), but this episode was great for seeing them outside of the armour. There was another Grand Marshal in 'The Seeds of Death', different to the one here, but it seemed like this new one was lost before the Doctor originally came into conflict with the Warriors. I think all the episodes in the older series take place in the far future.

In a couple of stories from the Pertwee era (Monster of Peladon & Curse of Peladon) it is also revealed that the Ice Warrior civilization eventually joins part of an inter-species confederation dedicated to maintaining peace & order in
the galaxy.

canadamus_prime:
Is it me or is the Doctor being sidelined in favour of Coleman's character?

I have to agree with you, shouldn't it be the Doctor who is thinking of the solution?? Clara seems far too perfect to be a companion, its upsetting

Crispee:
I liked the episode, I thought the Ice Warrior had a really cool design, even his cheesy CGI face at the end.

The actual plot read kind of like a less dark and gritty version of the Christopher Eccleston episode "Dalek' with the characterisation of the Ice Warrior not being quite as good, seeing as he, for some reason, prioritises causing a planetary apocalypse over his own return to his colony for poorly explained reasons. Also it wasn't very scary.

I liked the episode though, I like how they've finally drawn attention away from Clara and the 'stupidly powerful godlike beings being defeated easily' plot, and just focused on the classic scenario of "Humans trapped in a small space with The Doctor and another alien.", except this time leaning a bit more on the whimsical side.

It wasn't poorly explained. He thought that he was the last of his species since his distress signal wasn't answered.

I liked it but I didn't think it was that good. The Grand Marshall especially could've been better characterized. The ending especially felt rather rushed. He went from "Let's blow up Earth for honor and die a martyr" to "Ah who cares anyway" way too quickly and without much reason. The Doctor's speech didn't sound all that convincing and neither did his red setting threat.

Encurtidos:

canadamus_prime:
Is it me or is the Doctor being sidelined in favour of Coleman's character?

I have to agree with you, shouldn't it be the Doctor who is thinking of the solution?? Clara seems far too perfect to be a companion, its upsetting

Well 'upsetting' isn't the word I would use, more disconcerting. After all the show is called "Doctor Who" not "Clara Oswin." Besides, I'm not all that familiar with classic Who, but didn't the last time they had a Companion who was the equal of the Doctor it not go well?

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