Television: Doctor Who, "Cold War"

My first thought was, Shouldn't they be speaking Russian? Truthfully, until The Doctor and TARDIS showed up, it seemed like the dialogue should have been in Russian with English subtitles. It's the little things, you know.

My next thought was, That's the guy from Game of Thrones . . . And that one, too. Just another sign of the incestuous nature of the UK production system. But I won't rant on that again here.

And then: David Warner! Because I love David Warner. He's had a great career, but he'll always be Bob Cratchit to me, first and foremost. Anyway, good to see him; I like reminders that he's still alive.

As for the episode itself . . . I was bored. The utter lack of character development on any side made it impossible to care whether these Russian submariners would survive. (We knew The Doctor and Clara would, of course.) Only David Warner had any spark in that he was given the added depth of being a fan of Duran Duran. I'm sure the juxtaposition of a really old guy loving a "young people's" band was meant to be funny. Like the Barbie and the twine. I didn't find any of these things very amusing, but knowing a character's musical preferences does at least add some color.

The angry Martian story line wasn't terribly interesting or compelling. Neither was The Doctor's speech about mercy, or his threat to destroy the submarine to keep Skaldak from using the nuclear weapons against the world at large. It just wasn't believable; Smith didn't sell it. At no point during the episode did I honestly feel any tension or suspense.

And then, too, I had to wonder why Skaldak bothered to come free of his armor if he was able to break the chains (as he did later). To have better run of the sub? To what end, if in his armor he could have been impervious?

The excuse of the HADS system "upgrade" for the TARDIS' unscheduled departure rang false as well. Just too much of a convenient device.

All told, a weak episode. Looking more forward to the haunted house next week. I do love a good ghost story.


Christine Rains said...

I was disappointed too. So much more could've been done, but everything felt flimsy. I was curious what they would do with Clara in the picture. I keep expecting her to die every week. Yet she's just annoying. I'm looking forward to next week's as well.

M said...

Everyone I've talked to has been really underwhelmed by the offerings of this "Part B" to the season. Clara doesn't seem to have any kind of personality. Like, I have zero sense of her as a character/person, which makes me unable to care about her at all.