S33 (7) 9 – Cold War

Home Forums Episodes The Eleventh Doctor S33 (7) 9 – Cold War

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    Craig @craig

    Cold War

    Broadcast on BBC1 on 13 April. On a Russian submarine, a frozen alien warrior is waking up, just as the TARDIS arrives.

    P.S. I chose this particular pic because I think David Warner is, and will be, awesome, and because I think there is going to be something important about the sonic this episode, especially after @lula noticed it may gain its red setting.

    ardaraith @ardaraith

    OMG. That was scary!! I adored how she hugged him at the end!

    Craig @craig

    Ooh. Liked that. Great references to Alien and The Thing, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Reminded me of nightmares of nuclear destruction I had when I was 13. Not a good thing, but an important thing. And kinda relevant now North Korea is posturing. Will post more later after more thought.

    Think Warner may be back.


    I really rather enjoyed that. Proper old school Who, but with (I suspect) a couple of deep laid clues slipped in.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Very much Classic Who in feel, wasn’t it?

    chickenelly @chickenelly

    Couple of clues/refs I spotted in the first viewing:

    1) Submarine is called ‘Firebird’ – ie phoenix.

    2) ‘Hungry like the wolf’ – a bad wolf reference again

    chickenelly @chickenelly

    Oh yes, forgot to add, best of this run so far.  I would have been running for the sofa to hide behind if I was youngster.

    Next week’s looks even scarier!

    ardaraith @ardaraith

    @chickenelly – I’m no youngster, and I was hiding behind my hands!!

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    That “thwock” you heard was Mark G finally knocking one out the park. I’m delighted for him. That was massive fun. Nice to see David Warner playing a good guy as well. Did anyone else think when he was wearing his bat, he looked a bit like Troughton?

    That redesign really does work. It can be difficult to tell from publicity shots, but seeing it stomp about on screen was awesome.

    I’m a happy bunny!

    ardaraith @ardaraith

    What the heck is going on with the wolf references?  If I remember, Rose *became* the wolf, right?  After taking the time vortex into herself.  Was she then the wolf all along, or is the wolf the time vortex itself?

    Whisht @whisht

    loved it!
    Will say something a bit more insightful if I can think of anything(!) but just wanted to say that if you liked the Alien reference as @craig did and are in the mood, Alien is on 4 Film tonight at 9…

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    I thought I was still watching Dr Who, but it turns out that that’s not Mavic Chen, Guardian of the Solar System covered in Ovaltine, it’s actually Tom Jones…

    Whisht @whisht

    btw I think I spotted a reference to Horror Express (though that may be as its the only film I had to stop watching as a kid as it was so scary!)

    chickenelly @chickenelly

    There was another 1981 reference this week (Ultravox).  I’ve been infected by the numerology bug which has been going about.  There were a number of ’27’ refs in a the last couple of episodes.  3 x 27 = 81.

    I realise this doesn’t actually mean anything but hey, I’m giving it a go!

    Whisht @whisht

    1981 – end of the better Baker’s era…. regeneration years…??

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    Minimal snarking on the other site so far… the night is still young I suppose.

    Interesting about the Tardis translation field still working. And I loved the chained up parallel between Dalek Clara and the Ice Warrior.

    Don’t think there were any ’27”s in this episode, alas.

    Found the Doctor imploring the Ice Warrior to teach humans compassion a bit jarring. Could have seen Clara bringing up the fact that he hesitated when she begged him not to kill the professor, the Doctor being very disconcerted when it seemed to work, then telling the Ice Warror all his people were gone too. Assuming 11 can do that without also mentioning that it’s down to him, so basically run…

    thinking about it, though, the Doctor resorting to compassion, denying soldier-like status (which the captain clearly smelt on him) and trying to completely avoid any semblance of aggression could a: be a sign of just how impressive/scary the Ice Warrior was,  b: a hint towards the doppelganger theories, or c: a hint towards something changed in him since he confronted ‘grandfather’ in the last episode. I mean the Doctor does favour compassion over aggression, of course he does. But he has shown a marked tendency to use his reputation as a weapon, and he didn’t here.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    I just wish they hadn’t revealed the Ice Warrior’s face at the end. The semi-reveal was far more satisfying.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Now, question is: does Clara genuinely ‘forget’ when she’s asked to reveal something of herself, or is this something she does deliberately?

    Last week she used the ‘forget’ excuse, this week she’s using the ‘time-traveller’ excuse, but the effect both times is that she refuses to reveal anything about herself. She won’t tell the Doctor where she’d like to go – she makes him choose. And she won’t tell the Professor what she likes doing, either.

    ‘Professor’ has been used by River Song, the Master and Ace to the Doctor.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    I really must watch this again as soon as possible. Bit difficult at the moment as my digibox threw a wobbly.

    It’s cropped up on the G thread that David Warner did some voice work as the Doctor and was tipped to play him at one point on screen. It’s funny that Liam Cunningham was actually auditioned for the TV movie. There is an interesting link on the BBC archive showing 16 different people who almost became the Doctor. It’s really unusual to think how some of them would have turned out.

    This link should take you to the Cunningham entry.


    ardaraith @ardaraith

    This from the RadioTimes, “…each episode is now touching on a different Doctor’s era for this 50th anniversary mini-season. The Rings of Akhaten had a shade of the first Doctor when the 11th said he’d visited before with his (rarely mentioned) granddaughter, and later he even faced a foe called “Grandfather”. Cold War honours Troughton, as discussed. And the next episode, Hide, touches on third Doctor Jon Pertwee’s territory. It’s set in 1974 and features… ah, but that would be telling…”

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Yay! <waves at everyone> I’m back in! Thanks @craig !

    I’m exicted about lots of things – in particular my spotty bow ties = spotty Doctor. Awwwww yissss the bow-ties are back baby!

    @Desmondb posted over on The Guardian that the Doctor keeps smelling Clara/ there are references to her smell and that maybe she smells of petrichor. I love this and posted back:

    @phaseshift translated “crimson, eleven, delight, petrichor” as “The blood of the Doctor will bring new life and renewal” way back when The Doctor’s Wife and I LOVE this.

    If Clara smells like petrichor that is the smell of germination, of seeds bursting forth into new life after the death of winter in the spring rains and it fits in perfectly with the Osiris/ Doctor parallel going on, because Osiris, as a vegetation deity was sacrificed and then came back to life – this is the cycle of birth and death. Moffat would of course be making this point about Doctor Who at the 50th Anniversary. “Summer Falls” fits too..”

    It’s all coming together 🙂

    Nice “Firebird” spot @chickenelly and you’re right it ties in with Clara’s phoenix necklace which ties in with the above.

    I should have taken @htpbdet ‘s bet that there would be no Egyptology references, because this is one! Also @phaseshift‘s great spot on The Guardian that some of the dialogue matches Sarah Jane’s in The Pyramids of Mars.

    @scaryb‘s thought over there that there was something odd about a shot where Clara appeared to be underwater struck me at the time too. Yes, there was some fractured time/ mirrored universes (?) going on there…

    I’m pretty convinced The Professor was the First Doctor in disguise!




    A couple of second-view musings:

    Easily the best Gatiss episode to date.

    I though the sequence after Clara got knocked out was very…strange. I suspect we may just have been being thrust very firmly into her point-of-view. But maybe something more meta going on;

    She just does “stuff”. Wibbly Wobbley Timey Wimey Stuff?

    She looks very nice in a military uniform. Sorry mind wandered;

    Thought the Ice Warrior face reveal was awesome;

    Setting it on a Soviet sub, and treating the crew as human, was inspired (and coincidentally apposite in this of all weeks!).

    I’ll bet they have shot some scenes with Warner for later use.

    Jessica Raine next week (swoon).



    Tiddler @tiddler

    That was great! Over on the Guardian site <a href="mailto:site@juniperfish“>@juniperfish talks about the possibility of more than one Doctor/TARDIS – at the end when Clara asked him about why the TARDIS disappeared, he muttered something about “I’ve been tinkering – breaking her in” – after he’s had her for more than 900 years?

    Anybody got any suitably bizarre theories about the significance of the Sindy doll and the toffee apple??

    Craig @craig

    @juniperfish Glad it all worked out.

    When I posted the pic at the top I almost wrote that it was the First handing over to the Eleventh, that’s another reason why it appealed to me) but stopped myself. I should remember bonkers is welcomed (and encouraged) here.

    But Warner is probably a better choice for One than Hurt. I actually think Hurt would be better as Two.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    I’m feeling quite emotional about The Professor being the First Doctor.

    How long might it have been for him since he saw his granddaughter (if that’s who Clara is).

    And thinking about it, when the Captain asked him whether what they’d hauled onboard was a mammoth frozen on the ice, he said “probably” in a not very convincing manner, as if he knew full well it was something else.

    Hope this theory turns out to be a good ‘un and Warner returns!

    @tiddler yes it just struck me as odd that the Doctor referred to the TARDIS as “it”. I think “our” Doctor, having met IDRIS would refer to the TARDIS as “she”. The Fourth Doctor always called her “old girl”.

    Mephistopheles @mephistopheles

    “It’s set in 1974 and features… ah, but that would be telling…” I have my fingers crossed for Bessie.

    Sindy was launched in the same year as Doctor Who – trying to work out a deeper significance than that.

    Craig @craig

    @juniperfish With Warner I just thought he was a bit underused for one episode (although brilliant).


    It was a bit like Ralph Fiennes in Skyfall – you think, what is an actor like him doing in a reasonably small role like this? And then you find out he’s in for the long term. Of course.

    I did think of Derek Jacobi’s one turn before becoming the master, but the role wasn’t nearly as meaty as that.

    So I think I’m stil right in saying he’ll be back.

    Tiddler @tiddler

    @juniperfish – he said “breaking her in” and then “it relocates”,  so a bit of both there, not sure if it’s just inconsistent scripting??

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @mephistopheles Hello and welcome Rory the Roman!

    @tiddler – I’ll have a go at the toffee apple.

    Do you remember the exchange around apples in The Eleventh Hour? This was another of the foods the Doctor tried with Amelia and spat out (if I recall correctly). But in The God Complex, I remember we speculated about this on The Guardian at the time, the Doctor is seen happily biting into an apple. We wondered at the time if this was a sign of two different Doctors.

    Now I’m wondering again.  If he has a toffee one is his pocket this episode, clearly this is the version of the Eleventh who likes them.

    Eating or not eating the apple, as the fruit of temptation does seem a bit significant when thinking about whether a character is heading to the dark side or not.

    I’m pretty sure The God Complex is a significant episode because of the Doctor/ God parallels which we have seen replicated elsewhere and the fact that the TARDIS cloister bell chimes with doom in the Doctor’s Room 101 and the Bells of St. John have also been revisited.

    There you go – a toffee apple is not just a toffee apple it’s temptation and the Fall in the Garden of Eden 🙂

    Tiddler @tiddler

    @juniperfish – good theory! The clues in support of your two Doctors theory certainly do seem to be mounting up.

    HTPBDET @htpbdet


    Well, I have not enjoyed an episode of Doctor Who that much since The Stolen Earth.

    Cracking story, excellent guest cast, fabulous suspense and effects, many fangasm moments but still a clean and clear story for today.

    Clara was mesmerising. Clearly, she has no memory of what Clara has been doing previously – either she is losing her memories and regaining other ones (Susan’s, Idris’ or whoever she is)  or she is a time bomb waiting to go off and realising bit by bit that the time to blow is almost here. Her singing of the Martian song was creepy – and thrilling. She or some part of her knew about the Ice Warriors – how? Did she read the warrior’s mind?

    Interesting that the Doctor’s memory of the Ice Warriors was intact – in fact, he knew way more about them than seemed feasible given he only encountered them in The Ice Warriors for the first time. Contrast that with his failure to remember the Great Intelligence and something seems distinctly odd.

    Interesting also that the Doctor specifically said to Clara that this was “not a test”. Making last week a test then?

    Interesting too that so much was made of the TARDIS translator ( even though it was at the South Pole!) this week, when last week it seemed not to be a consideration.

    Loved the Martian – and the out-of-suit trick was gold. I wished the voices were more reminiscent of the earlier ones, because I always thought they were inherently scary. Can’t someone other that Nicholas Briggs do monster voices for the BBC?

    As soon as the TARDIS disappeared, I knew it was the H.A.D.S. getting a return mention – Krotons lives on! Great!

    Everything about this had the indicia of an audition – could Mark Gatiss be the next show runner? On the strength of this – yes. And I never thought I would say that.

    Best Matt Smith episode to date!

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @tiddler Oh and let’s go for the ball of string next 🙂

    So last week the Doctor quotes The Walrus and The Carpenter (from “Through the Looking Glass”) which has the line:

    “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
    “To talk of many things:
    Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
    Of cabbages–and kings–”

    Now that poem is about a bunch of poor oysters being tricked into being eaten which parallels the vampire Sun-Gods trick of eating memories/ the “pure soul” of the Queen of Years which again references the Great Intelligence eating souls by sucking them into the Wi-Fi to feed on.

    I’ve talked about how parallels between the vampire Sun-God and the Doctor were made. So, the dark doppleganger version of the Doctor who is coming, let’s just step out there and say it’s  The Valeyard, is an “eater of souls”. This week’s Doctor has both the apple (he’s tempted) and the string which links him to the eater of oysters/ souls.

    Dark Doctor is coming!

    Edit: dammit – the poem does not directly mention string! It’s just that I was thinking of the “sealing wax and string” line, but that comes from Puff the Magic Dragon. Hang on and I’ll work that in there somehow 🙂

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    I think the thing that’s selling the idea of the Professor as the Doctor (either the First or a Future Doctor) – to me – is that he doesn’t talk about a granddaughter, or do a ‘you remind me of my granddaughter’ to Clara. He just behaves like her grandfather. It is never mentioned, yet utterly apparent in all their interactions.

    Clara underwater – she falls underwater, she sees the sonic in front of her. Then she regains consciousness, someone’s apparently pulled her out, put a uniform jacket on her so she’s warm. The Doctor and the Captain are arguing, but the jacket suggests we have several missing minutes. During the missing minutes, the Professor has arrived.

    During the first introduction of the Ice Warrior, the Professor is placed towards the back, in a position where he’s out of focus. I mean, seriously, they’ve put David Warner in a position where he’s out of focus? For almost the entire scene? The only reaction shot we see is when the Doctor is reeling off the titles, and the reaction could be ‘these are odd names’ or ‘ah, that’s who this guy is’.

    Then when the First Lieutenant is trying to persuade the Captain this is some evil Capitalist plot, it’s the Professor who bluntly says ‘it’s a big green man from Mars’. ‘They’re telling the truth’.

    So, yes, there is something going on with the Professor, I think.

    ardaraith @ardaraith

    @htpbdet – was  Clara singing the Martian song, or a portion of “hungry like the wolf?”

    Tiddler @tiddler

    @juniperfish – I’m not all that well up on mythology, but we’ve had a Minotaur already, and didn’t someone escape from the Minotaur’s labyrinth using a ball of string? <clutches desperately at straw>!

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @tiddler Ah ha! They did – it was Theseus and it was Ariadne’s ball of string.

    Theseus also went on a journey to the underworld (just as Osiris was sent to the underworld and became Lord there).

    So yes, the string could still be a reference to “going darkside” but with some hope of getting out again. And, note, it was love that saved the day for Theseus!




    chickenelly @chickenelly

    Re: string

    What did Hansel & Gretel use to find their way out of the forest?  I know the last time their stepmother left them in the forest,  they used breadcrumbs which were eaten by the birds, but didn’t they use string at some point?

    Or am I mixing it up with the Greek myth @tiddler cited?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @ardaraith hungry like the wolf.

    She doesn’t need to sing the Martian song to remind the Ice Warrior of his daughter – it’s pretty clear that the Ice Warrior connects Clara with his daughter from the moment she comes to negotiate. Like his daughter, this is her ‘first taste of action’. The implication is that he sang the songs to keep his daughter’s spirits up (as the Professor later tries to do for Clara).

    So as soon as she starts singing at the end, she connects him with his young daughter, going into battle for the first time. Trying to be brave.

    Incidentally, the Professor’s joke about ‘I think he wants to speak to the organ grinder, not the monkey’, kind of connects to the ‘humans are apes’ comments often made by the Doctor.


    Anonymous @

    I thought that was bloody fantastic. More considered thoughts later but I’m a fish in transit for the next couple of days…

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    I wonder if Skaldak’s 3000BC sonic disruptor (when used) looks & sounds like the ones in the future do?

    Also, will the other Ice Warriors all tease him until he gets up to scratch with an Ice Lord set of armour complete with sparkly cape?

    Never have I felt such empathy for a character who dismembers people…

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Welcome back @juniperfish!

    Will probably have to post more detailed thoughts tomorrow. I was a bit to excited to really note much other than “THIS IS FANTASTIC!” on my first watch.

    I really want to watch the scene with Clara when she dives in after the screwdriver. That was a weird moment and I want to look at this Warner as a Doctor angle as well. Really thrilled by this.

    Our activity stream indicates that a @danmartin has signed up?!

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Thanks @phaseshift 🙂  Well @danmartin will be very welcome !

    On a re-watch (in progress as I type) I’ve noticed that the Doctor and Clara’s accents both seem a bit all over the place again? As others pointed out in previous episodes? The Doctor sounds Cockney at one point and then RP after that, whilst Clara has a Northern burr on occasion (sorry – not good at knowing which region). Anyone else notice that? More evidence of fracturing?

    The Ultravox song the Professor is singing at the start is Vienna and pictures are mentioned in the lyrics (as well as love and loss):

    We walked in the cold air

    Freezing breath on a window pane

    Lying and waiting

    A man in the dark in a picture frame

    So mystic and soulful

    A voice reaching out in a piercing cry

    It stays with you until

    The feeling has gone only you and I

    It means nothing to me

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Anyway, thinking along this ‘Warner as a Doctor’ angle before I trot off to sleep – his in-story role seemed to be to protect Clara. And if the sonic was picked up when Clara was rescued out of the water, then he hung onto it for a fair amount of story time, only handing it back to the Eleventh when he genuinely needed it.

    But as well as shooting at the Ice Warrior, his most important role seemed to be finding a way to get Clara over the ‘hump’ that came when she saw real dead people for the first time. The Eleventh leaves her to it; the Professor sits down and talks to her. Almost as if he knows that it is deeply, deeply important that Clara doesn’t lose her nerve. She must continue to travel with the Doctor.

    Or perhaps he’s just a nice old guy and Clara reminds him of an (unmentioned) granddaughter.


    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    <Screams> also, on my rewatch travels I see,  as mentioned by @lula in our Spoilers section (but it’s not spoilers now) – in the stand-off with Skaldak, the Doctor’s screwdriver has a “red setting”. It glows red instead of green.

    This recalls what River said in the Library about the Sonic’s “red settings”. Ten didn’t know what she was talking about at the time. But we do <sobs>.  This is the version of the Sonic the Doctor will give to River before she dies.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    The actress is from Blackpool, but at moments sounded very ‘London’ – and then wandered back to her native Lancs. We now know that Clara is from Lancashire; she lives close enough to Blackpool beach for her Mum to give her a fish and chip supper before taking her home to bed.

    I also noticed that Matt Smith sounded unbelievably ‘London’ at points. Echoes of Ten, I’d imagine. So, yeah, evidence of fracturing; he was speaking with Ten’s accent. Be interesting to see if he tries Nine’s Mancunian soon, or the Seventh’s Aberdeen/Dunoon mix.


    HTPBDET @htpbdet

    Well @ardaraith, you might be right. I thought it was the Martian song but I don’t know the other one – but, on the other hand, why would 2013 Clara know a 1981 song? Or is it a classic everyone under 30 would know?

    I don’t know about Warner as anything other than a guest character, although I did wonder if he might reappear, a la Professor Travers, in a further Ice Warrior adventure. That would be cool. I did love that Ice Warrior ship…

    I can’t see any sensible way Warner’s Professor could end up as Hartnell’s Doctor – or any version of the Doctor – I really can’t. And, in truth, I will be appalled if that turns out to be the case.

    And with the greatest respect to those who think otherwise, I don’t see that there will be an evil doppelgänger Doctor either – or rather, if there is, it will be entirely new and not deriving from anything that has happened.

    I am, however, attracted to the notion that each of the episodes since Clara joined the TARDIS crew reflect earlier Doctors – clearly Rings reflected Hartnell and Cold War reflected Troughton and next week seems to reflect Pertwee – that guest character almost seems to be dressed as Sarah Jane Smith. The following week is Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS which, no doubt, will evoke Invasion of Time ( I predict a swimming pool and a library !) and therefore Tom Baker and the following week already has the feel of Visitation ( so, Davison ) – but then what? How do you reflect the other 5 Doctors in one story – or maybe that is why it is a Cyberman story, because all of the other Doctors fought ( or in CE’s case, referenced – see Dalek) the Cybermen?

    The handholding and the hugging makes me think of the Doctor and Susan – and I am not sure why. But it does.

    Have I mentioned I love Clara? Amy who?

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Sing a song to keep your spirits up:
    it works if it’s Pinocchio singing ‘Always Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide’
    Pinocchio was of course someone not really real who wanted to be properly human…..(he can become a real boy if he proves himself brave, truthful, and unselfish’)….. The main song from the Film is ‘When you wish upon a star’……

    Song technology seems important this series…

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Professor Grisenko seems to translate as Professor Grayson…

    Also I was wrong – we DO hear & see the sonic weapon fired (about 3& a half mins in) – it doesn’t sound like the future one but the visual effect is similar (not done with mirrorlon though).

    Mephistopheles @mephistopheles

    @juniperfish Salve! Couldn’t resist joining in.

    Could Sindy be a hint towards The Celestial Toymaker? It would fit with the notion of ‘fictional’ realities to challenge the Doctor, and in turn fit with some of the doppelganger theories.

    Lula @lula

    I require a re-watch but my initial thoughts include:

    *GATISS!  Best offering from him, in my opinion.

    *The sub’s name was Firebird.  Ahem…phoenix.  I’m just saying.

    *HADS!  Ice Warriors!  Nice parallel to Troughton’s era.

    *David Warner was wonderful & I do hope we see his Professor again.

    *My Twitter timeline erupted with virtual shouts of “ROSE!” as soon as “Hungry Like the Wolf” was heard in the episode.  Which brings me to this–any of you aware of the theory that’s gathering loads of steam in the fandom?


    (It’s worth a read and is fairly well thought out.  I just can’t subscribe to it.)

    *The theme of memories again.  Clara asks Skaldak to think of his daughter and then of all the families–the countless innocents that would be killed if he goes through with his plan to launch the nukes.  It’s Clara’s words that convince him, whereas the Doctor’s pleas were falling on deaf ears.

    I have more to add but it’s late (hahahahahahahaha–not as late here as it is for most of y’all!) and I have some Kate Atkinson to read.  And Doctor Who to re-watch, of course.

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