TV Review – ‘Thin Ice’ (Doctor Who)

Hello everyone! 🙂

I’ve now seen the latest ‘Doctor Who’ TV episode, ‘Thin Ice’! First of all, I’d like to protest. They can’t use that title for a ‘Doctor Who’ episode. It’s already been used before for the Seventh Doctor audio story also called ‘Thin Ice’! Couldn’t they have given it another title like ‘Thin Frost’ or something? 😀

Anyway, this episode sees the Twelfth Doctor and Bill on a new adventure in Regency London in 1814. They attend a frost fair. Hang on! That sounds familiar. Has the Doctor been here before? Oh yes he has apparently. He was at that frost fair as the First Doctor with Vicki and Steven in ‘Frostfire’!

In this story, the Doctor and Bill enjoy themselves in their Regency clothes exploring the frost fair. They soon discover that there’s an alien sea creature underneath the frozen Thames in London. The Doctor and Bill have to solve the clues as to how a gigantic sea alien creature got under the Thames.

This episode is by Sarah Dollard, who previously contributed to Series 9 in the episode, ‘Face the Raven’. This was a fairly okayish episode for me. I enjoyed the historical setting of Regency London, but I’m afraid this tale fell flat for me. It wasn’t exciting enough as it could have been when I saw it.

Also with this episode, it didn’t seem like the people at the frost fair were freezing cold as they should have been. There was however one gripping scene where the Doctor and Bill go down in diving suits underneath the Thames. It put me in mind of the ‘Doctor Who’ book, ‘Empire of Death’.

Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie are reasonably good in this episode. I enjoyed those scenes where Bill was challenging the Doctor on his morals when something terrible happened during this story. Bill is growing on me as a companion and she works well alongside the Twelfth Doctor in this series.

‘Thin Ice’ is pretty average as a ‘Doctor Who’ story goes. There was a lot to take in and there weren’t many pacey action scenes that I would have liked. I was expecting that massive sea creature to come bursting out of the Thames to attack London or something. But this story was decent enough as it is.

Matt Lucas as Nardole does make an appearance at the end of this episode and he’s pretty annoyed with the Doctor for breaking his ‘oath’. I’m curious about what’s inside the vault that Nardole is keeping under lock and key. Is it very dangerous? Is it something to happen at the end of this series?

Next week’s episode is called ‘Knock Knock’ by Mike Bartlett.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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4 thoughts on “TV Review – ‘Thin Ice’ (Doctor Who)

  1. Spot on review Tim, the monster was very underused & the CGI awful, the main villian wasn’t characterized well & appeared late in the episode making his motive feel tacked on, although i loved the Doctor punching him out & the shock death of one of the urchins was a gut punch i didn’t see coming but on the whole this was very underwhelming & couldve been so much better..

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  2. Hi Simon.

    Glad you agree with my thoughts on this ‘Doctor Who’ episode. I wonder whether we should have four-part stories back on our TV screens as I enjoy those more than I enjoy single hour-long episode stories that aren’t long enough to tell a thumping good story. Also have longer stories to allow us to see more of the monster, since we didn’t get to see it a lot in full form on the TV screen.

    I liked Nicholas Burns’ portrayal of the villainous Sutcliffe in the story. But again like the monster, we didn’t see enough of him and like you said appeared late in the episode. There seems to be this build up to the reveal of the villain, yet not enough time to appreciate his villainy. The story focused a lot of the Doctor and Bill’s story before we actually get to the heart of the matter with the villains.

    Yes, the Doctor punching Sutcliffe was pretty good, especially as he seemed racist towards Bill’s presence in his own house. I was shocked by the death of Spider in this episode. It was very daring for Sarah Dollard to put that into a ‘Doctor Who’ episode like this.

    I suppose if I watch this episode again I might change my mind about how I feel about this episode. But at the moment, I don’t think this is one of the best episodes I’ve seen from the series as it seems to be lacking something. Sarah Dollard has some interesting concepts during this episode and ‘Face the Raven;, but they don’t seem very well fleshed out.

    Also there was a lot to take in. I don’t know about you, but sometimes the characters were talking in low voices or talking too quickly for me to take the information in. I wonder if this is the way modern TV is made today, since it wasn’t like this under RTD’s charge.

    Thanks for your comments Simon.

    Tim. 🙂

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  3. I reckon there was more to Sarahs script but scenes were cut to fit the 50 minute running time, I agree Tim longer episodes work better in Doctor Who & this needed another 20 minutes to build on the character of Sutcliffe & why he’s doing what he’s doing as his intentions weren’t fleshed out.

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  4. Yes that’s probably it with this episode. I imagine when the DVD comes out, there’ll be deleted scenes of ‘Thin Ice’ for us to watch and enjoy. I knew you’d agree that longer stories work better in ‘Doctor Who’. It would have been nice to have seen more of Sutcliffe’s character and have him developed further since he seemed to have potential in this episode.

    There will be a delay on my review for the next episode ‘Knock Knock’ as I’m away for the weekend to ‘The Capitol II’ convention in Gatwick. Looking forward to it. Hope to review the next episode of the series when I get back from the weekend.

    Thanks Simon.

    Tim. 🙂

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