27 April 2017

At the end of last week's episode, we were desperate to talk about the elephant in the room...quite literally, but as we are prohibited from revealing certain elements of the episodes (as part of our advance preview agreement), it would have given away the ending. Thankfully, by the time you are reading this, we will have seen The Doctor and Bill arrive in historical London at the last of the great Frost Fairs.

This is an episode that feels like Oliver Twist meets The Curse Of The Black Spot, and is as rich in story, character and script as it is in the beautiful setting - and what a setting it is! When we first read the synopsis, it felt like one of Virgin's Doctor Who Missing Adventures books from the 1990's - that's no bad thing at all, in fact, it seemed like one of those stories that read so well that you couldn't imagine there being a budget to allow it on screen. But seeing it on-screen is a delight, and it looks like a BBC period drama with all the trimmings. There are crowd scenes with so much going on that you'll want to pause it to see just how much life and activity there is. This is then juxtaposed with some literally chilling scenes on the Thames where there is just one character, a mist, a threat, and nothing but Murray Gold's eerie score to accompany them.

We get to see more of The Doctor and Bill's dynamic here, and their first proper argument, which feels a little awkward at first, and you begin to wonder if Bill might just pack it all in and demand to go back home. Bill really questions The Doctor - perhaps more than any other companion, and it's so refreshing to see how differently she views situations. The Doctor also comes more to the forefront in this episode with a couple of great speeches, whilst still allowing Bill some room to stand up and take the stage.

As for the main threat in the episode, there's more than just one, but the initial threat is dealt with in a wonderfully Doctor Who way; something lurking beneath the Thames, and it selects its victims with little green lights that swirl around you, underneath the ice, and then....splosh....you're gone! FANTASTIC! 

Writer, Sarah Dollard (Face The Raven), has done a truly fantastic job with Thin Ice; a very different story to her Series 9 offering (which we also loved). There are some bold decisions in the episode; without giving too much away, there's a character that gets pulled under the ice, and you think there may be a chance they'll survive, but Dollard sticks to her guns and it makes for a sad, but rather poignant moment. Whilst there haven't been that many female writers during the show's 52-year history (just 8 at our last count), Sarah Dollard is a prime example of why we need more, and we hope she remains under Chris Chibnall's reign. 

Thin Ice is a textbook historical adventure that, once over, gives you a warm glow. (Except for that bit right at the end...) 😮



5 Things To Look Out For:

1) “Who's Pete?”

2) The Doctor steals!
3) "I'm 2000 years old, and I have never had the time for the luxury of outrage."
4) The long-awaited return of Search Wise!
5) 3 Knocks...No...4 Knocks!

+  10.3: Thin Ice airs This Saturday at 7:20pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

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