Thu, 18 April 2013
DOCTOR WHO TIN DOG PODCAST REVIEWS COLD WAR
reprinted from wiki
"Cold War" is the ninth episode of the seventh series of the British science-fiction drama Doctor Who. It first aired on BBC One on 13 April 2013. The episode starsMatt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor and Jenna-Louise Coleman as Clara Oswald. It is the first TV episode to feature the Ice Warriors since the Third Doctor serial The Monster of Peladon in 1974.
The episode opens on a Soviet submarine sailing near the North Pole in 1983 during the Cold War. A nuclear weapons launch drill they are running is interrupted by Professor Grisenko. In the submarine's cargo hold a sailor prematurely begins to defrost a block of ice that Grisenko believes contains a frozen mammoth and is attacked.
The submarine begins sinking as the creature in the ice escapes and runs amok. The TARDIS materialises inside the submarine; Clara and the Doctor tumble out, believing that they are in Las Vegas. Although the sailors restrain them the Doctor convinces Captain Zhukov to maneuver the submarine to the side, landing it safely and preventing it from imploding. During this the TARDIS inexplicably dematerialises. The Doctor tells the captain and his crew that he and Clara are time travelers. They then encounter the escaped Ice Warrior, Grand Marshall Skaldak. The Doctor convinces them that they must be peaceful, but a frightened soldier shocks Skaldak with a cattle prod knocking him out cold. The chained Skaldak calls for his brothers to find him.
The Doctor convinces Captain Zhukov that someone must speak to Skaldak. The Captain insists but the Doctor refuses, saying that as an enemy soldier, Skaldak will not talk to him. Zhukov refuses to let the Doctor do it. As the only one who knows the Ice Warriors, the Doctor is too valuable to risk. Clara volunteers, and although reluctant, the Doctor allows her to go. She relays the Doctor's words to Skaldak but he knows that the Doctor is listening. After learning that he has been encased in the ice for 5000 years Skaldak laments the loss of his daughter and his people. Skaldak escapes from his armor, and stops broadcasting the signal to the other Ice Warriors, believing himself to be the only one of his kind left. The Doctor surmises that, thinking himself alone in the universe, Skaldak has nothing left to lose.
Skaldak manages to grab and kill three members of the crew. Having learnt of the ongoing Cold War and the mutually assured destruction, Skaldak plans to use the submarine's nuclear missiles to provoke a global thermonuclear war and destroy humanity as revenge for the humans attacking him, as under Martian code humanity as a whole has declared war on the Ice Warrior race. Reaching the bridge, he is able to connect himself to the sub's missile guidance systems and activate the missiles. The Doctor and Clara attempt to persuade Skaldak to show mercy when the sub is rocked by a tractor beam from above. The Ice Warrior's people have arrived over the site of the submarine's undersea grounding, and haul it to the surface.
Skaldak is beamed aboard the Ice Warriors spaceship, though the missile launch system is still active. Showing mercy, Skaldak deactives the missiles remotely. When the Doctor's sonic screwdriver informs him the TARDIS has reappeared, he informs Clara that it had "relocated" automatically as part of the H.A.D.S. (short for "Hostile Action Displacement System") at the South Pole. The Doctor sheepishly ask Zhukov for a lift.
The Ice Warriors were a well-known villain of the original Doctor Who series. They appeared alongside the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton) in The Ice Warriors (1967) and The Seeds of Death (1969) and returned in the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) storiesThe Curse of Peladon (1972) and The Monster of Peladon (1974). Showrunner Steven Moffat had originally been hesitant to bring back the Ice Warriors, worrying that they were seen as "the default condition for what people thought of as rubbish Doctor Whomonsters — things that moved very, very slowly and spoke in a way that meant you couldn't hear a word they said." Writer Mark Gatiss, however, was a fan of the Ice Warriors' stories and had been campaigning to bring them back. In a phone conversation with Moffat that was originally supposed to be about their show Sherlock, Gatiss pitched new and "very clever ideas" of what to do with the Ice Warriors, and Moffat agreed. What sold Moffat were the submarine setting and seeing what the Ice Warriors looked like underneath their suits. Gatiss felt that the Ice Warriors had a lot of gaps in their timeline and had not been featured in a while, which allowed a lot of room to explore them.
The submarine was Gatiss's idea; he felt that Doctor Who called out to be set on a submarine. Executive producer Caroline Skinner described the story as "Letting a huge Ice Warrior loose at the heart of a classic Hunt For Red October style submarine movie." Gatiss chose the time period because he was "kind of obsessed" with the Cold War, and felt that there were several times in the 1980s where the danger was close. Gatiss also described "Cold War" as a "love-letter" to the base-under-siege stories that were common during Troughton's time; the episode even contains a reference to Troughton's The Krotons, which was the last time the TARDIS' HADS had been mentioned.
The read-through for "Cold War" took place on 6 June 2012, with filming beginning on 13 June. For the submarine setting, the cast would be sprayed in between every take. The scenes in which the characters are drenched in water were achieved by constantly pouring "gallons and gallons of water" on the cast. Coleman found the experience fun, while Smith said that it made acting easier.Coleman said, "The whole make-up process was reversed as they would damp us down in the morning and rub my mascara off!" For the shots of the submarine in the ocean, a model was used. It was suspended upside-down with "shredded feathers" blown at it to give the effect of being under the sea. Unlike some other returning monsters, the Ice Warriors were not heavily redesigned. Gatiss insisted upon keeping the fundamentals of the original and Moffat explained that the original design was not well-known enough to put a new spin on it, and so Skaldak's shell is just a "super-version of the original". Of the original design, Millennium FX's Neill Gorton said, "My problem with the old ones is they had Lego hands and weird, spindly arms but a bulky body and these strange saddlebag hips, almost feminine. They had fur sticking out everywhere. So all of that together didn't suggest "ice warriors." They should be much beefier and stronger. We gave it more of a bodybuilder physique, changed the hands and styled the body to make it look more like armour-plating, even though it's reptilian." The costume was made of flexible urethane rubber instead of the fibreglass like the original, as it would damage less easily and be more comfortable to wear. The costume was made to specially fit Spencer Wilding. Though only some of the Skaldak's real appearance was shown on-screen, Gorton stated that they created a full animatronic body.
Broadcast and reception
"Cold War" was first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 13 April 2013. Overnight ratings showed that 5.73 million viewers watched the episode live, a 28.8% audience share. The episode also received an Appreciation Index of 84.
The episode received generally positive reviews. Dan Martin of The Guardian wrote that "Cold War" was "easily the best of this new series so far, and Mark Gatiss's finest contribution yet." He praised the reinvention of the Ice Warrior and felt that the elements came together to form a "tense, tightly wound, claustrophobic but also full of heart." Zap2it's Geoff Berkshire said that "Cold War" was better than Gatiss' previous episodes "The Idiot's Lantern" and "Victory of the Daleks". He praised the guest cast, but wished "their characters had a bit more meat to them." The Independent reviewer Neela Debnath described the story as "slick and intelligent" with "cinematic aesthetics and tone."
Patrick Mulkern of Radio Times found an inconsistency with the TARDIS translation matrix, but overall was positive towards the acting, visual aspects, and story. The Daily Telegraph reviewer Gavin Fuller gave the episode four out of five stars, describing it as "finely crafted" and "thrilling." He praised the setting and the dialogue, but felt that the Russian characters were "perilously close to being ciphers." Digital Spy's Morgan Jeffery awarded the episode five out of five stars, saying that it was "fresh and exciting" but also had a "wonderfully old-school tone." He wrote that it had "one of the best guest casts to have graced Doctor Who since the show returned in 2005" and also praised the reintroduction of the Ice Warriors and the production values. Alasdair Wilkins of The A.V. Club gave "Cold War" a grade of A, highlighting the tense atmosphere, the "bold new direction" taken with the Ice Warriors, the guest performances, and Clara's importance.
Russell Lewin of SFX gave "Cold War" four out of five stars, praising the set and direction as well as the Ice Warrior. On the other hand, Lewin noted that, as a base-under-siege story, it did not play with the narrative form or "go anywhere we couldn't have predicted," with the exception of the Ice Warrior breaking out of its suit. IGN's Mark Snow gave the episode a rating of 8.3 out of 10. Snow praised the reintroduction of the Ice Warriors and called Skaldak "the show's most memorable villain in a while, thanks to his stern, occasionally psychopathic approach to problem solving, and an environment that helped make the bulky, heavy creature design imposing rather than laughably naff." However, he felt that some of Skaldak's effects were "laughably rubbery" and that his motivations were "psychotically random."