Review: ‘Doctor Who’ – ‘Cold War’

Senior Television Writer
04.14.13 19 Comments


A quick review of last night’s “Doctor Who” coming up just as soon as I sing “Hungry Like the Wolf”…

I’ve found Mark Gatiss’ “Doctor Who” episodes a mixed bag in the past, but Steven Moffat’s “Sherlock” partner was responsible for an elegantly simple, creepy as heck outing in “Cold War.” It’s not quite a “Ten Little Indians”-style episode, in that most of the sub crew survives (I had David Warner’s scientist character pegged for a noble death that would make Clara weep), but it still took advantage of the claustrophobic environment and the constant threat of violence to keep the tension very high.

And though our villain was an ice warrior, he was also a very stark contrast to the cold warriors aboard the sub. Liam Cunningham’s sub captain is a man who will fight if necessary, but who views his job as preventing the world from being destroyed. Skaldak, on the other hand, has a severe code that leads him very close to genocide solely because he was attacked with a cattle prod. And yet at the same time, the constant fear throughout the real Cold War was that some relatively minor provocation might lead to the death of us all.

Nothing fancy, but very effective. The sound design alone for Skaldak makes him a “Doctor Who” heavy I’m going to remember.

What did everybody else think?

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