Jen: Welcome to week two of Jen and Max wait until Thursday to review Doctor Who! At this rate, I’m going to consider it more of a refresher before the new episode than a breaking news review.
This week, we’re dealing with a “Cold War”.
J: Word. Both Jenna and Matt have gone on the record saying it was exactly that.
M: Plus, Matt’s coat is wool I think. Wet. Wool. No. One. Wants. Wet. Wool. Anyway, in terms of review I thought it was fair.
J: Well it was written by Mark Gatiss. Compared to some of his other episodes I’d say this one was a slam dunk. I mean I’d actually watch “Cold War” again compared to “Victory of the Daleks”, which I frequently forget even existed.
M: He does seem to like war themes. His episodes have a lot of talking and a lot of war room type affairs, it’s very old fashioned. Even as a watcher of vintage film, war films like that tend to bore me. This thankfully was more interesting as, ya know…the place was sinking. Weird Alien homage in this episode too. Love the Ice Warrior’s suit. it makes them less redundant in regards to Silurians.
J: It’s also been so long since we saw a Silurian that at this point it’s like everything old is new again. Plus that was crazy fanservice for fans of the older series. But for real can we talk about the biggest theme that seems to be emerging this season? Parent/child relationships are ALL up in this season’s grill.
M: The Doctor is full blown Grandfather mode with Clara (thank god). The Susan bomb last episode is not just a coincidence at. all.
I have suspicions, there a few ways this could go but I think it would be neat if Clara ended up being a descendant of his and thus for the 50th it’s back to The Doctor and his (great great great x) granddaughter as the companion.
J: Yes. That’s probably why Clara’s mom was given so much time last week just to be killed off. Maybe she and Susan are related?
M: You’d think the Doctor would have picked up on that if that was the case, we’ll have to see. Clara didn’t get much more development aside from witnessing her first big trauma this episode.
It still doesn’t explain how Clara has multiple lives. For instance (the first Clara) Oswin was inspired by her grandmother who traveled the stars I think, or stories she told. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Doctor was involved in that timeline-ish. Peter Pan-like stuff, passing down the relationship from mother to daughter etc.
J: It looks like some of Clara’s mystery is going to be cleared up next week. And I have good news! My NCT might be waning a little. Now that it’s clear that Clara isn’t going to be the next Amy (or Rory or River or anyone), that she’s going to be a brand new monster in and of herself, I’m warming up to her a little.
M: I know they describe the house as on a moor but that manor for the next episode looks suspiciously like the one in “The Snowmen”. I don’t think that was on a moor, rather a suburb area of London.
J: Really? I say my Traumaitis is clearing up and you don’t react at all?
M: I was writing a thought and you kept going. I am so, so proud and happy for you, you’ve traveled such a long road in your recovery and weeks of therapy. *takes hands*
It’s going to be just fine. GOTHIC GHOST STORIES!
J: I AM SO EXCITED FOR GOTHIC GHOST STORIES
M: I am too. “Cold War” I think thematically could have amped up the chilliness between the Russians and their tensions with America…(and like….everyone……) in the early 80s. So looking forward to seeing something very thematic in “Hide”. Moffat and his writer’s continue the small corridors and spaces theme.
J: Yeah I didn’t get the whole running a drill thing at the beginning; I figured when that happened that they were actually British soldiers learning to defend themselves in case of nuclear attack. I think they made some references to the Cold War and the Americans and even tied it in thematically like the stand-off between the Doctor and Skaldak at the end was very similar to the events of the war.
M: Pretty sure they were actual Russians. Either way, it was a definite filler episode. It looks like from next week on we’re going to be getting the meatier episodes. The Neil Gaiman Cyberman episode is coming up, and we know there’s an episode where Strax, Madame Vastra and Jenny come back/are companions again. Also they mentioned an episode with River meeting Clara and a love triangle but “not in the way you think:” but I’ve heard conflicting reports about River; we know for a fact River in general is not for long post Angels Take Manhattan.
J: No they definitely were actual Russians–as told by the whole “am I speaking Russian?” thing. You know, the Doctor is so much gentler with Clara than he was with anyone else. Even, and perhaps escpecially, with Amy–because SHE was the adult in that relationship versus Doctor/Clara where he seems to be taking the lead more often.
M: I do like this change up, outside of Moffat’s pen Clara is a lot less snappy and more sweet, which I like. Moffat is known for his quippy flirty women so it’s very interesting to see how people are writing Clara but so far two writers have written her as very sincere and–
M: Yes. She’s very much doe eyed and girly. In a good way.
J: I think it’s part of her relationship to the Doctor. I think she’s going to be his descendant in one way or another and it’s smacking us in the face. I actually really liked that she was in a dress for this whole episode. I think she’s like the “taking it back” feminist character where she doesn’t have to be in a suit of armor to be a good role model for girls. Maybe that’s on purpose–maybe they dialed back her sexuality a little to make her seem younger?
M: Possibly. We’ll have to see what happens when Moffat writes her again, or more importantly how Gaiman writes her (NOTE FROM JEN: he will do it perfectly, whatever he does) The way Gaiman writes her will surely be her supposed designated personality or at least confirm what they’re going for. I think they are aiming for girly or more gentle for sure. The other Claras could have easily been just different personalities, both were very flirty though and Moffat wrote her somewhat flirty with the “down boy” and “snog box” comments but that was about it.
J: I want Amy and Rory back.
M: Amy’s book is very important. It’s very much a mirror of the plot concerning the Great Intelligence. They want Clara.
M: We have to keep an eagle eye out, Amy’s book and (maybe even more books) may be really important to the plot. They wouldn’t have released it as an ebook otherwise. Plot-wise it’s way too much symbolic of the current plot, and Matt I think has gone on the record that either the finale or the 50th something has to do with paintings which was a key feature in Summer Falls.
J: They were indeed. Any final thoughts on Cold War?
M: It was okay. B- from me. I’m excited for next week, the budget I feel is going to pick up and now the episodes are going to be much more meaty. The first four care for the opening for Part 2 have been pretty modest budget and effects wise. So yeah, looking towards a more pronounced mystery.
J: I’d give it an A simply compared to Gatiss’ other efforts so far. This is definitely the best of his recent contributions, plus it made me kinda sorta not hate Clara anymore!
M: That’s always a good thing! CHANGE IS GOOD (no it isn’t).
J: Cue the pictures of Karen and Matt together….slash…all the pictures of Billie and Chris and David and Catherine ever.
J: BILLIE PIPER FOREVER
M: Apparently she and Matt went on a date in 2006. That’s what those pics of them together were.
J: LEIA SAYS THEY DATED A LOT AND BANGED.
M: SHE JUST WANTS THAT TO HAPPEN THEY DID HIPSTER SHIT (which probably meant the above)
THIS IS WHERE WE SAY…