Doctor Who review: Cold War, aka “Worriers of the Deep”

Review of first episode pending. I dodged a bullet, it appears, by not seeing the second one.

Cold War

It’s 1983, possibly quite late in the year (Mark Gatiss may well know about Able Archer 83).
A Soviet submarine is rushin’ home with a big block of ice with a thing in it. Not a Krynoid, not that kind of Thing. No, this is an Ice Warrior, not seen since difference Seeds – Death rather than Doom. [Actually, no, they turned up – twice- on Peladon, didn’t they? Don’t know my history, me.]

The crew (complete with Cap’n Birdseye look-a-like, channelling Sean Connery in Hunt for Red October) run through a launch-the-goddam-missiles-drill, the political officer keen to launch. No second-in-command, which is what stopped the species nuking itself to a crisp in 1962. There’s a comedy professor, who somehow has a walkman and a “love” of Duran Duran (the first just about conceivable, the second surely not).

The Tardis lands, deposits Matt Smith and the sets-off-smoke-alarms-where-ever-she-goes companion Clara, then does a runner.

Things start to go even more down hill – the sub goes a-sinking onto the inevitable crumbly ledge. The Ice Warrior is thawed out. Locked up. Rose, sorry, Clara, goes to bond with it. It escapes. They have to do the whole hunt-the-nasty-thing. Think Crimson Tide meets Alien. Thankfully, no Myrka to be seen.

And in the end? The Ice Warrior looked quite, well, sea-devilish. He phones home and a very ET-style (it is 1983, after all) mothership turns up, pretty instantaneously. And they have teleport too, which kind of makes a nonsense of the invading Earth stuff etc etc

All the standard sub-standard sub standards – a submarine that has Tardis -ike dimensions (a real Ice Warrior would never get through the real bulk-heads in a sub. Those things are tiny) – the aforementioned ledge, the nuclear armageddon – are here.  Also, compare with the episode “Dalek” – Doctor’s fit young companion is “humanising”* beauty to the beastly and encased beast.

Was it a diverting enough 41 minutes? Yeah, if you want diverting. Does next week’s Hammer House of Horror/Legend of Hell House meets Pertwee (is that Sarah Jane Smith??) look yummy? Oh my yes it does.

PS If David Warner isn’t playing William Hartnell/The First Doctor come November, I will be staggered. (DW too – get the initials!) He was excellent, even carrying off the duff moments with aplomb

Anyone who thinks that humans are “humanising” clearly hasn’t been paying attention to the ecosystem-devastating and socially-horrific habits of humans these last few tens of thousands of years. Or wants to believe our own propaganda. As the Doctor said in “Revenge of the Cybermen” –


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