This episode has three of my favourite things in it – the Doctor, Russians and submarines… but does the combo work?
I’m pleased to say that it does, so without further ado:
· We get thrown into the plot of this episode rather clearly – there’s not even a TARDIS interior scene here, but in retrospect that works.
· Speaking of the TARDIS, bringing back a system like that seemed a bit contrived to prevent the obvious escape method, but it did raise a laugh or two.
· I thought that the Doctor and Clara would be mistaken for spies and they certainly were…
· Clara was great in this episode, with some excellent lines and a number of great scenes. The Doctor was also on fine form. Let’s hope we have a long partnership between these two and neither move on too quickly.
· We had a lot of funny one-liners in this episode like “Did Ultravox break up?” (they did, but have since reformed)
· The Soviet characters were very well done – with only one ideologue among them, probably a realistic ratio for the USSR. Captain Zhukov in particular earns high praise as we get yet another connection between Doctor Who and Game of Thrones, with Liam Cunningham adding another command under his belt. Grishenko was also great.
· The Ice Warrior design is excellent, although I wasn’t expecting us to get a partial glimpse of an Ice Warrior without his armour on.
· We didn’t get to see some of the real horror for obvious reasons, but our imaginations were able to do the work by the acting.
· I see that the submarine was done with model shots. I thought it was CGI, so well done to the Model Unit.
· We have a deus ex machina resolution, but it works in the context here, unlike certain Russell T Davies’ stories – it’s not like the submarine was exactly repairable.
Funny and horrific in turns, this is a strong contender for best episode of Season 33. Well done Mr Gatiss.