Villordsutch reviews Doctor Who Series 10 Episode 3: Thin Ice…
Directed by: Bill Anderson
Written by: Sarah Dollard
Doctor – “I’m two-thousand years old and I have never had the time for the luxury of outrage.”
Doctor Who has been rather good at bringing a number of things to our screens – history, morality, ethical questioning, life and death and humour & sadness. Through both Classic and NuWho these core elements course through the show and within this latest episode “Thin Ice” from Sarah Dollard, who previously wrote “Face the Raven” back in Series 9, each is brought to the screen.
At the end of “Smile” both Bill (Pearl Mackie) and the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) arrived in Regency England, though to be more specific the TARDIS materialised upon a frozen River Thames within London. With Bill erring the issue of the slave trade currently still existing, the Doctor manages to convince her to join him at the Frozen Fair. However, during the fun and interesting new foods Bill is managing to avoid, strange lights are observed below the ice and it isn’t very long before both she and the Doctor witness the gruesome outcome brought on by said lights.
With Bill displeased with the Doctor seemingly not to be caring about the victim on the ice, the Doctor attempts to explain that not moving on can get more people killed. This sets them up as bait for the lights under the ice, and rapidly leads to a discovery in which they find not every monster hides in the dark.
Here’s a fantastic episode of Doctor Who that shows both Capaldi and Mackie as Doctor and Companion in an excellent light. A traveller who has seen so much and a new companion that has just seen too much – somebody who has also just realised that her new-found friend may not be so free of guilt as she first thought.
Sarah Dollard isn’t afraid within her story to bring up the fact that during this time Britain was still trading in slaves, instead of just having Bill walk out of the TARDIS and ignore the fact. Later she highlights that history also hides information when Bill comments, looking out across the London crowds, “Interesting. A bit more black than they show in the movies”, to which the Doctor responds, “So was Jesus. History’s a whitewash.”. Nor is Sarah too worried of who she sacrifices to drive the story forward.
The story itself is almost a classic Doctor Who tale with victims perishing, classic costumes, happy workers being tricked by the Doctor, a stubborn TARDIS and a Doctor that doesn’t put up with ignorance. However Torchwood fans may feel that the episode “Meat” is being slightly touched upon or perhaps even ever so more slightly Doctor Who Series 5 “Beast Below”. The only thing lacking from this week’s tale is we don’t see enough of Nardole (Matt Lucas), though from the few brief minutes we are given – come the close – I’m guessing we’ll possibly be seeing a lot more of him next week.
Sarah Dollard has delivered a rather great slice of Who this week and not only this both Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie are showing us what a perfect team they make in Thin Ice.