Monday, August 25, 2014

Doctor who--"Cold War"

“Cold War” is Doctor Who meets The Hunt for Red October meets The Thing.  Okay, that is not a very good description.  There is no similarities with that movie outside of none of the crew on the crew on the Col War Era Soviet submarine actually being Russian.   But the episode does feature the first modern appearance of the Ice Warriors, a classic villain old school Whovians have been excite about for a while now.  So there is that.

During the waning days of the Cold War, a soviet submarine is searching for oil, but discovers a 5,000 year old frozen ice Warrior general in stead.  By the time the Doctor arrives, the submarine is at the bottom of the Arctic ocean with Gen. Skaldak planning to launch all nuclear missiles in an effort to destroy Earth.  The doctor and crew play cat and mouse with skaldic before he is rescued by other Ice Warriors.  Everyone is saved.  Woo hoo!

One of the best parts of “Cold War” is the appearance of David Warner as a British rock loving Russian professor.  Warner is one of my favorite character actors.  It is great to see him in anything, but I must confess some melancholy as to how old he is becoming.  Or how old I am becoming, whichever is the more painful experience.

Ice Warriors were once from Mars.  We see Skaldak outside his armor for the first time and, lo and behold, actual in the flesh Ice Warriors look much like J’onn J’onz, the Martian Manhunter.  Fancy that.  

“Cold war” is not very original.  We have seen plenty of Cold War submarine adventures.  There have been plenty of hunt the alien through dark, enclosed places stories, too.  Combining the two is not particularly impressive.  In fact, I do not really see why this story had to be set in 1985.  A Russian submarine firing nuclear missiles in 2013 would start World War III just as easily.  I am also curious why everyone is covered with ice water the entire episode, but do not appear cold, even when stick their wet heads out o the submarine’s port into the frigid arctic air at the en.

“Cold War” is a fine example of not thinking about the episode too much in order to enjoy it.  It is a passably good, if highly flawed, Doctor Who adventure.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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