daibhidc: (Doctor Who)
[personal profile] daibhidc
At last, it's time to never mention the Monks again (please?) and bring back a monster that actually works!

Ice Warriors! If you're doing Monsters Are People Too, which seems to be the theme of this season (the Muddling Monks excepted) then Ice Warriors are clearly the classic creature to go for. (Or Silurians, but by and large Silurians [when appearing as "the monsters"; Vastra doesn't count] have a single note of "They have a point, but they're going to kill us, so...", whereas Ice Warriors are less predictable.) And these ones didn't disappoint on that front - especially with a Victorian imperialist to join "Thin Ice"'s Victorian industrialist on the "Humans are the real monsters" front.

So we get a nice mix-up of factions: two empire builders who view the other side as savages, the well-meaning but ineffectual colonel, the Doctor and Bill in the middle, and Friday wondering if he's really made the right decision. If I were to voice a criticism it would be that while the Tommies all get personalities and opinions, the Ice Warriors apart from Friday are all portrayed as unquestioningly following orders. A bit more individuality on that side of the conflict would have been nice.

The "Egptian tomb" effect of the hibernation chamber was a neat multiple reference - it hammered home the British-in-Africa metaphor, while at the same time the connection makes perfect sense to those who remember "Pyramids on Mars" (or even more so, the Expanded Universe's attempts at tying the Osirians' connection with Mars to the Ice Warriors).

And then Alpha Centauri! Actually voiced by Ysanne Churchman! (Or possibly "an" Alpha Centauri, I guess, depending on whether you prefer to think that Alpha Centaurians live for hundreds of years or that they all sound like Ysanne Churchman.)

(That's not even the most obscure continuity reference, although the most obscure one is to the new series; the portrait of Queen Victoria is specifically of Pauline Collins as Queen Victoria.)

Given the nature of the Peladon stories, I've been pondering if this works as, or is intended to be, a Brexit metaphor, and sadly I don't really see one. Yes, it says the smart thing to do is to cut the losses on your isolationist planet and join the wider Galactic community, but the details don't really match up. Ah, well.
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Daibhid C

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