Sarah Dollard wrote one of the best New Who episodes in 2015 with ‘Face The Raven’, and I can honestly say ‘Thin Ice’ is another fantastic effort from the writer. Plus, we also get a reminder of The Doctor’s constant companion…DEATH!
Starting where the last episode abruptly finished, The Doctor and Bill find themselves in London in 1814 for the Frost Fest. After The Doctor explains that the TARDIS likes to make its own way around the universe, he comes to the conclusion there must be something they need to do. It doesn’t take long for us to learn about the creature in the Thames.
The first steps onto the ice is the start to their investigation. Bill begins to notice there are lights coming from under their feet, and then we find out exactly what the lights are doing. From this, we get reacquainted with the ways that The Doctor operates and the way he seemingly cares nothing for those who die around him. Pearl Mackie again shows great emotional depth as she questions The Doctor and wants to know the kind of person he really is.
There were some great uses of the sonic screwdriver in this episode. In some episodes, I am sure it is just a cheap way to get out of a sticky situation (yet, I am not aware of any time The Doctor actually uses it to put up a shelf). The screwdriver does come into play a number of times and I do enjoy seeing it used as a distraction device than a tool.
The villain is a bit…well…pants! I know that the villain isn’t exactly the key to this episode, it is the remainder of the supporting cast. This episode gets to showcase some great young talent. The young gang and the way they interact with the TARDIS crew and fit into 19th century London was great to see. The highlight being Asiatu Koroma as Kitty; This girl is set to be something special, showing some great acting chops against the more experienced cast.
Speaking of the cast, it was another great week for our TARDIS duo (it is a shame that Nardole is relegated to the end of the episode). Peter Capaldi does continue to impress in his final series and Pearl Mackie is slowly becoming a favourite in the show. Bill Potts in indeed the everyman (or woman) that the show needed. The writing reflects Bill’s progression to this point where she now has to think about her time with The Doctor and what could possibly happen on these adventures.
With the “thing” in the vault seemingly restless (is it The Master? Or Missy? Maybe both?), we know this is something that will be continually teased for some time. Overall, a great episode with some real depth (Was that a pun?). The winning part of this story is clearly Sarah Dollard’s writing and we can only hope she continues to contribute to the show.
Final Rating: 9/10
Written by Jonjo Cosgrove
NEXT WEEK: We get a ‘Knock Knock’ from David Suchet!