Doctor Who: Thin Ice

I know, I’ve been pretty quiet this week, but I wouldn’t miss Doctor Who! Even though it has just been a cold, it has drained pretty much all of my energy and concentration, which is why I didn’t do more than the necessary these past days (hence no new posts and no reading). However, here is my review for episode 3 of series 10 called Thin Ice! Spoilers ahead!

What was it about?

The TARDIS traps the Doctor and Bill in London 1814 to save an extraterrestrial sea creature and some street urchins.

My thoughts?

So, I enjoyed Thin Ice more than Smile, but still did not love it. I think my biggest problem with the season so far is that I really don’t care about the episode plots. It just all feels like “seen it/done it before” and that’s no fun. Just think about it, “extraterrestrial creature gets trapped and the Doctor can’t make the decision for humanity on what to do about it, his companion has to make the tough call”. Haven’t you heard that before? Just to name some recent examples, I will give you Clara and the moon egg story in Kill the Moon, where she has to decide whether to kill the creature that is supposed to hatch from the egg or endanger humanity by letting it live and possibly destroy the moon. I mean, the Doctor almost gave 1:1 the same speech about serving humanity but not making their decisions for them. Or we have Amy and the space whale in The Beast Below, which comes even closer to this because of the nautical aspect of Thin Ice (whale – sea creature … you know?). The space whale was feeling lonely and he didn’t want to hurt anyone, so he didn’t when he was set free just like the creature in this episode didn’t go on to eat half of London. Also, I almost mentioned The Beast Below last week because it again was an episode with a human colonization in space … very similar to what was happening in Smile. I just keep having these constant flashbacks to things I have already seen in Moffat’s time as showrunner.

What I am trying to say here is that the episodes aren’t crafted in a bad way, but their content doesn’t feel original. They follow pretty typical Doctor-Who-standards and are fun to watch, but not if you can still remember almost every single episode from the past 12 years. I feel like I am being especially hard on this season because it’s Moffat’s final one and he didn’t give us any new Who in 2016 because he wanted to go out with a bang … so, I am waiting for that darn bang. And I can see it coming, I know that the vault story is holding something big! (Who else thought of the Master when they heard the knocking?) But until then they really need to step up their game with the weekly topics, because I adore Bill and her interactions with the Doctor. She keeps asking all the right questions and challenges the Doctor while also bringing out his softer side again. I think she’s good for him and she feels like such a natural addition to this world, like she was always meant to fit in. And Twelve said some beautiful, note-worthy and very quotable stuff.

“History is a white wash.”

“I am 2000 years old and I never had the time for the luxury of outrage.”

I loved his speech about being defined as a species by how much we cared for the unimportant people, how much we value those without privilege. The Doctor has never met anyone who wasn’t important, if I recall those words correctly from Eleven’s time, and that is how I like to go through life as well. He was also hilarious when he gave Bill that lecture about diplomacy winning over passion, but then he downright knocked the guy out who insulted her. The Bill-Doctor-relationship already feels very special and I so appreciate that. I want more of that!

So, next week has some House of Anubis vibes for me, but we will see what it holds in store. Maybe I will finally get an episode that doesn’t constantly remind of the past? Oh, but one final thing, a virtual jammie dodger for anyone who can tell me who Pete is!

What did you think of Thin Ice? Did you enjoy the episode? Any and all thoughts are welcome!

22 thoughts on “Doctor Who: Thin Ice

  1. I definitely thought of the Master during the scene vault, partially because if you look at the vault walls, they’re covered in the circles that is the Gallifreyan language which makes me think – Who or what would be dangerous enough to need a vault built with Gallifreyan technology? (I’m assuming that that’s what it’s built of ). I think this episode was much better than Smile but I have to agree it did remind me of The Beast Below and Kill the Moon (especially in that moment when the Doctor told Bill that she was the one who had to decide to save the creature or not).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I noticed the Gallifreyan signs as well. The knocking and the fact that John Simm will reprise his role as the Master just instantly made me think that he might be in there. I wish the vault storyline wasn’t so dragged out but more prominent somehow.
      The Doctor’s speech was almost identical to the one from Kill the Moon.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m enjoying this season a lot so far, but I didn’t really enjoy the last one so I think it has to do with that. I definitely get you though! I have a horrible memory so I don’t really remember past episodes (though I too got The Beast Below vibes) – I think that helps haha. Mostly I’m just happy that I’m enjoying the episodes again and I love Bill and her interactions with the Doctor. And yes The Master! I wonder what’s in the vault. It’d be too obvious if it were The Master, but on the other hand I’d be disappointed if it weren’t him – I mean, John Simm is going to be in this season sooo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmm yeah, I get that. I enjoyed season 9 more than 8, but I didn’t love the season. Clara was kind of my companion though. I saw a lot of myself in her and I think that helped incredibly with my view of the show, although I have to say that I struggled a lot ever since Capaldi showed up. It’s not that he is doing a bad job, but I simply never connected to him all that much.
      John Simm in that vault combined with the knocking would make so much sense, but I am not sure it’s that easy either. I really wish the vault story would get more time and I hope it won’t be as disappointing as the whole season arc from 8 with the dead people being uploaded and so on, that was not the resolution I had hoped for.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m going to agree with you this time: the plot felt pretty standard, and reminded me a lot of The Beast Below. The only difference besides setting was that the motivation for the enslavement of the massive creature was greed rather than survival. Other than that though, I liked the episode. The street urchins are adorable, and the costumes were amazing. And the development of Bill and the Doctor’s relationship was nice, she started to realize that it’s not always wonder with the Doctor, that there’s a bit of darkness with him. I like that, and how she comes to realize that while he’s not perfect, he tries his best.
    I’m really looking forward to next week’s episode. I love a good horror story, so this should be interesting (though it may resemble an episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures, as well as a short story someone from one of my classes wrote once).

    Liked by 1 person

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