Okay, so I think we can all agree that Doctor Who season 7 is in full fledge whovianmaniac mode right now.
However, there always seems to be that one episode that really has nothing to do with the big picture storyline and focuses more on character development. “Cold War” was that episode for part two of Season 7.
If you haven’t watched this episode yet I strongly advise you not to read this article, because, as River Song would say, “Spoilers.”
(Seriously, though, there are spoilers below. I’m just trying to watch out for your overall well being right now.)
The adventure begins aboard a soviet submarine in the North Pole during the year 1983, the height of the Cold War. This soviet submarine in particular is armed with a massive amount of nuclear missiles that could, if fired, trigger the start of World War 3. But there is something very special aboard this sub, a block of Ice with what the soviets think could be a “mammoth” frozen inside. But, as Whovians, we all know that there couldn’t be anything that cute and fluffy awaiting to be unfrozen inside of that block of ice. No, there is, indeed, and alien (insert your dramatic gasp here). And, as usual, some stupid bloke tries to see what’s inside, and ends up releasing the creature.
The Tardis then appears on the ship and The Doctor and Clara come out expecting to be in Las Vegas, but they quickly realizes (probably from the water pouring out of the ceiling and all of the intricate machinery) that they are a sinking submarine. The Tardis, for some reason, decides to disappear from the danger leaving The Doctor, Clara, and the rest of the ships crew stranded. The Doctor, being his amazing self, offers to help but finds some resistance in his efforts and ends up losing his Sonic Screwdriver when the ship hits a bump and everyone goes flying.
This is where things start to get really interesting. As The Doctor tires to convince the soviets that he and Clara are not a threat, the alien creature sneaks up behind him, the doctor turns around and realizes that this alien is an Ice Warrior from Mars (no relation to the aliens from the episode “Waters of Mars” with the 10th Doctor). The Doctor asks the Ice Warrior for his name, the Warrior responds with “Skaldak.” The Doctor immediately shows despair in this fact, because he knows that Skaldak is the most revered of all of the Ice Warriors heroes. The Ice Warriors, as The Doctor would later explain, have a very different set of rules than humans do, and if they are attacked, they will start a full out war with the attacker’s race. But before he has the chance to explain this, a soldier aboard the ship scalds the Ice Warrior with a cattle prod. This knocks out Skaldak because his suit of armor reacts negatively to the prod because it is not programmed to handle that type of heat. They immediately chain Skaldak up and discuss the proper way to deal with the situation.
They all agree that it would be in the best interest of everyone on the ship that if Clara goes into the room where Skaldak is being held with headphones on so that The Doctor may speak through her, but, as they are talking, Clara realizes that Skaldak has escaped by exiting his suit of armor and is now freely roaming around the ship, but not before he is able to send a distress beacon from his suit to other Ice Warriors in space. All while this is happening the submarine is still sinking.
From here on out in the episode we see that Clara isn’t the overly brave heroine that we may have thought her to be. She is genuinely afraid and needs comfort from the ships professor adequately named, “professor,” who sings songs to comfort himself and hopefully help Clara.
After multiple frightening altercations with Skaldak, The Doctor and the Ice Warrior are at a standoff, Skaldak wants revenge and will send the nukes off to start World War 3, whereas The Doctor will blow up the ship, with everyone on it, before Skaldak gets the chance. However, just in the nick of time Skaldak’s fleet comes to save him, and the ship resurfaces to into the Icy Waters where The Doctor finally explains what happened to the Tardis. He says that he has been tinkering with it and set the defenses of the Tardis to flee to a safe place whenever danger was around, and that the Tardis was now in the South Pole.
All in all, this was a very good episode of Doctor Who, but as I said before, it didn’t have much to do with the overall story arch, but knowing Steven Moffat he will probably have something up his sleeve to pull from this episode.