Monday, April 15, 2013

Doctor Who: The Cold War

Once again this week we are faced with Matt Smith’s Doctor and Jenna-Louise Coleman’s long anticipated Clara Oswald setting out on an adventure in the TARDIS. This time, the duo finds themselves on a submarine in the Cold War with angry men and a Martian angry lizard.

Summary? This episode was stronger than the last two but only barely. As predicted the episode was a brief window into the Doctor’s personality and history and indicated that the Matt Smith Doctor has less rage than Tennant’s Doctor. Written by Mark Gatiss, I had higher hopes for this episode and the human drama that it indicated would unfold.

Did it deliver? More discussion under the jump.

In the grand scheme of things, The Cold War could have been very good. It had all the right elements; Liam Cunningham of the sizable acting chops, close confines lending themselves to more character focus and drama, a long anticipated and loved alien, Clara in an awesome frock ready to prove her strength and ability, Mark Gatiss as the writer... what happened?

The plot felt shaky at times, the suspense of submarine crew being picked off one by one was non-existent. In fact, the submariners seemed incompetent at best. Liam Cunningham was given next to nothing to do but point guns and make wide eyes. Clara didn’t really develop as a character and her human moments didn’t work. Hungry Like the Wolf could have become a really charming moment but was reduced to the kind of plot point that makes you wrinkle your face and wonder what the heck they were thinking. Even the Doctor barely scratched the surface when it came to the running, the speeches and the impassioned pleas that we have come to expect in third episodes of new companion runs. It just didn’t quite take off. The show of mercy at the end, though a great idea and nice to see the Doctor not constantly resorting to destroying another being for the survival of humanity, lacked any heart or punch. It just didn’t quite resound the way it seemed to be intended.

Next week’s story about ghosts looks similarly scattered. Clara looks generic and the teaser put together doesn’t really excite the imagination. Let’s see...

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