Doctor WhoTV

Doctor Who – 2013 Season: Cold War by Mark Gatiss.

As with the SFCrowsnest Forum in recent years and this time there and here on the SFCrowsnest.org.uk, my comments on the latest season of ‘Doctor Who’. These will mostly be impressions – here’s my Doctor one, still ‘Geronimo!’ – rather than intentional plot spoilers. If you’re living in a country that hasn’t seen these episodes yet, read with caution but with my comments I’m going to say too much on some things related to what plot there is. If you can watch it first, that’s even better.

Ep 8. Cold War
Ep 8. Cold War

Frozen Ice Warrior freed from his block of ice harkens back to the 1960s ‘The Seeds Of Death’ with shades of ‘The Thing’ and then when it gets out of its armour to ‘Alien’ but not really adding anything from any.

Did Grand Marshall Skaldak have a grasp of Russian from the TARDIS’ language translation circuit even after it dematerialised? There’s also a secondary problem, if he was so high-ranking, why didn’t he resemble the smaller version as seen in the original ‘The Curse Of Peladon’ story? Then again, saying Skaldak was in a mechanoid body probably gives a cop-out that he was ready for action. The problem with this ‘cybernetic body armour’ makes the Ice Warriors have stronger similarities to the Daleks than the Cybermen.

If Armageddon is so close, what about established moments in time and there are more beyond 1983 that couldn’t be messed with that the Doctor clearly would know about? This regeneration is clearly losing his effectiveness between seasons that I’m wondering if he is actually the Time Lord. I mean any earlier regeneration would have disabled the nuclear missiles without waiting for the Ice Warriors to do it and showing some clear senility or he’s not the real one. The distraction is wondering what Clara is rather than wondering what or should I saw who the Doctor is?

There are a lot of wasted opportunities here just to disrobe an Ice Warrior, which we also never clearly see other than head and arms, who will no doubt be shown to be an off-shoot of the Silurians now which doesn’t sound so crazy as it might seem considering that they survived the original Ice Age.

With the season already in the bag, I hope thoughts for the next season are towards making stronger plots than the fluff that is developing here. There’s far too much character moments than strong plots which ‘Doctor Who’ clearly needs for 50 minute episodes.

GF Willmetts


Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

2 thoughts on “Doctor Who – 2013 Season: Cold War by Mark Gatiss.

  • Spot on comments. While this episode was better than last week’s, it’s still a long way from being great or even good.

    As you say, there’s a lot of emphasis on who or what Clara is but that didn’t even get properly explored in this episode. It could have been any companion with any Doctor at any time in this episode as it added nothing to the overall arc, that I could see anyway, perhaps there will be a typical Moffat misdirection in the last episode of the season, singing perhaps? the chanting in ‘The Rings of Akhata’ and the singing here by Clara and the Professor, will singing stop the Great Intelligence?

    As much as it pains me to say, perhaps it’s time for the Doctor to take a break for a couple of years and come back refreshed. After the strangely-paced 2011 season, the five mini-movies of last year that were okay-ish and this season not hitting its stride yet, there is a danger that Nu-Who may become tainted.

    The powers that be may be banking on the 50th anniversary celebrations to sustain it for this season and they’re in a holding pattern while they focus on the special episode and beyond.

  • Hello Aidan
    There was so much cliche going on here. Why would the Doctor be taking Clara to Las Vegas?? Considering the control the Doctor has over the TARDIS these days and then to get lost is also out of character. I really wish that the Doctor had no control where he could go anymore would be more effective as it used to be. The TARDIS would then be attracted to where the adventure would be. He’s too much of a free spirit with too much time on his hands.
    The final year of Matt Smith will be the sane as David Tennant’s and be a few 90 minute stories.
    I’m beginning to wonder if Moffat is too distracted by his Holmes material.
    With only seven stories a year, it’s very hard to break in any new talent let alone new ideas.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.