Episode 8 – COLD WAR

This claustrophobic and tense Mark Gatiss script was easily one of his best for the show, although there are still some flaws. I know the Doctor explained at the end of episode why the TARDIS dematerialised, but tampering with the “HADS” was a pretty lame excuse for the loss of his ship. It was essential to the plot that the Doctor and Clara couldn’t leave in the TARDIS so more should’ve gone into inventing a more valid reason for its absence. Skaldac the Ice Warrior, was designed stunningly, he looked great. The scene where he broke through the ice and grabbed the soldier was extremely scary. The setting of a submarine added to intensity of the episode, the characters had no means of escape and no help was coming. Some of the most gripping and fast paced scenes of the series came when the Ice Warrior was making his way through the ship, killing off crew and hunting down the Doctor. I don’t get why he had to leave his suit if his suit could escape so easily after being summoned. Quite a big deal was made about it being the greatest dishonour for an Ice Warrior to leave his suit, so why would he do it if it was seemingly so easy to escape the chains? The reveal of this Ice Warrior’s face was also a mistake in my opinion. Similar to the Doctor’s name (although not quite as important) the Ice Warrior’s true appearance has always been a mystery so it was a shame that was spoiled here. The ending was a bit strange. Skaldac eventually showed mercy and in doing so, brought the fear factor around the Ice Warriors down a few notches. After all the great chase scenes, along with the menace Skaldac posed throughout, it was a slightly anticlimactic. Having said that, this was a very enjoyable episode, and despite its flaws, was one of Gatiss’ best.  The Professor was a very likeable character and there were some great intense scenes. 6/10

Episode 9 – HIDE

Neil Cross penned another solid episode for series seven as Doctor Who experimented with ghosts. On the whole, for what should’ve been a ghost story, there weren’t enough ghostly goings on. When we did get some creepy scenes around the house they were great and I wish there had been more. Emma’s psychic ability to open up a wormhole to a pocket universe was maybe a bit forced, but I liked how the link existed because the lost time traveller was related to her, it was time travel used cleverly. I don’t think the end of the episode particularly needed the love story between the two creatures trapped in either universe, although it was quite a nice ending, it took away the feel of a creepy ghost story, and in the end turned into a love story. One little moment in this episode summed up the eleventh Doctor and Clara’s relationship. After Clara rescued the Doctor when they were reunited a simple high five did the job as a thank you. There was no hugging or big emotional thank yous and it was nice to see them just acknowledge each other. When I think of their relationship I think of fun, an urge for adventure and a strong mutual respect and I think that little clip summed that up. Overall, it’s not as good as his previous episode, but Cross delivered another good story for series seven. More ghosts and less love would’ve made it even better. 7/10

Episode 10 –  JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE TARDIS

This episode promised so much, even its title promised a treat, and I think on the whole it delivered as much as it could have. The Doctor seemingly activating the TARDIS’ self destruct was a sign of how strongly he cared for Clara so early in their relationship. I loved seeing more of the TARDIS. Previously to this story, The Doctor’s Wife was the only modern era episode where the depths of the Doctor ship were explored. Here we got a glimpse of the swimming pool, the library, as well as lots and lots of corridor in true Doctor Who style. Clara looking at the “History of the Time War” book and uttering; “so that’s who” was a huge tease, and I felt as though that was a slight opportunity wasted to find out more about what happened during the Time War. However apart from that, I was more than content with what I saw. I enjoyed the mystery of the life forms that were following the Doctor and Clara around and the revelation that they were future versions of themselves was very dark and creepy. We began to see the Doctor get frustrated at Clara as he couldn’t work out who she was. Seeing him shout at her and frighten her was spine tingling, and I think when he saw how terrified she was of him, then he knew she was just a normal girl. The Doctor’s line of; “Secrets protect us, secrets keep us safe” was a tease that we might find out something we didn’t know about the Doctor soon, and of course we eventually did. This was one of series seven’s highlights. A likeable side cast as well as strong performances from Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman make this episode an exciting watch. The “big friendly button” nicely rounded off the story. 8/10

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