Saturday, 26 April 2014

The Mothership Cold War Review by Steve Taylor-Bryant

Cold War

Written by Mark Gatiss
Directed by Douglas Mackinnon
Broadcast 13 April 2013
Series 7
Reviewed by Steve Taylor-Bryant

A Soviet submarine in the early 80's begins to defrost an ice block it believes contains a Mammoth but it contains something much more evil. The submarine starts to sink and the defrosted creature escapes as the TARDIS materialises and a surprised Doctor and Clara stumble out to find they are not in Las Vegas where they were actually heading. The Doctor quickly gets his bearings and convinces the crew to take the submarine sideways to prevent a crash and a nuclear explosion.

The Doctor comes face to face with his old enemy The Ice Warrior in the guise of Grand Marshall Skaldak and begs the Russian crew to act in peace but one of the officers attacks Skaldak. With revenge being on Skaldak's mind, the Doctor and the crew chain up Skaldak whilst the Doctor tries to work out the next move. Skaldak activates a homing beacon knowing his race will find him.

Clara volunteers to talk to Skaldak and, with the Doctor’s words, explains that he has been frozen for five thousand years. Skaldak is sad for the loss of his people and in particular his daughter and escapes his suit. Martian law means the whole of humanity is responsible for an attack on the Ice Warrior and he arms the nuclear weapons ready to destroy the Earth. An Ice Warrior ship appears above the surface, pulls the submarine up and beams Skaldak aboard. In one last attempt at peace, the Doctor begs Skaldak to spare the humans and eventually Skaldak disarms the nuclear payload.

I was so excited to see the Ice Warrior come back into Doctor Who. The last time they had appeared on screen was 1974 and I was still a year from being born, so it had been a while. I am also a huge fan of Mark Gatiss and thought such a fan of the legacy of Doctor Who would produce something epic. However, I was very wrong and left disappointed with what was essentially a Dalek rewrite. The chance to do something special with a classic villain of the older days of Who was surely missed.

©BBC Doctor Who 1963

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