Sunday, April 14, 2013

Review: "Cold War"

The 8th episode of Series 7 of "Doctor Who" aired yesterday.

I am pleasantly surprised.

Spoilers (after a number of line-breaks... highlight text to view, unless you're on a remote device... then I dunno):

Still there?

Set aboard a Russian nuclear submarine in 1983, this episode is a bit of a call-back to the claustrophobic episodes of the 1970's. The sub is returning with something found in the ice. An over-eager sailor melts the ice to take a look and... something reaches out...

Flash forward. The sub is in disarray. That's when the TARDIS materializes. The Doctor and Clara exit, prepared for Vegas. Yeah. Not Vegas.

After Russians are pointing guns at the Doctor and Clara, the submarine, already sinking, sinks more. The TARDIS vorps away and everyone's trapped aboard a crippled sub with an Ice Warrior (last seen in the Jon Pertwee era).

The Ice Warrior, a famous general of his people, is disoriented and a bit pissed. When a panicked sailor incapacitates him, the Ice Warrior takes matters as a declaration of war.

Hilarity ensues.

Compared with the turds that were the last two episodes, "Cold War" was a solid story of semi-epic brilliance. Compared with the series as a whole, "Cold War" was pretty average. It had all the basics: "violence bad", "better to negotiate", "learn to show compassion". All the basic "Doctor Who" hallmarks.

The pacing was good and the guest characters were all reasonably-interesting (for "Russians" with very British accents).

Clara is still pretty vanilla to me. She's better in this episode, but still a bit vague when compared with her other incarnations. At least they're not focusing on the "mystery" of her in this, which is a welcome relief.

All said, it's restored my hope in the series a bit.

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