BBC Doctor Who - The Stories BBC
QuickNav to a Season: 
QuickNav to a Story: 
 
The Previous Story
Cold War
 The Previous Story
The Previous Story
(The Rings of Akhaten)
 The Next Story
(Hide)
Season
Details
SynopsisGeneral
Information
The
Episodes
Audience
Appreciation
ArchivesNotesFirst and LastThe PlotQuote of
the Story
Release
Information
In PrintPhoto
Gallery
 

Matt Smith
Cold War
Eleventh Doctor Logo


Synopsis


Ice Warrior Attacks
Ice Warrior Attacks
 August 1983. A Soviet submarine, The Firebird, is sinking, fast. Seawater roars through the sub. A creature is loose in the hold, an alien soldier who’s been lying dormant in the ice for five millennia. ‘Harm one of us, and you harm us all. By the Moons, this I swear’.

 Amidst it all, a grinding, wheezing roar, as the TARDIS materialises on the bridge. The Doctor and Clara are about to meet the greatest hero the proud Martian race ever produced.

 ‘Is it that dangerous?’ asks Clara.

 This one is.



General Information

Season: Thirty Three (New Series 7)
Production Code: 7-9
Story Number: 234 (New Series: 78)
Episode Number:793 (New Series: 97)
Number of Episodes: 1
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Production Dates: June - July 2012
Broadcast Date: 13 April 2013
Colour Status: HD Colour
Studio: BBC Wales (Roath Lock Studios, Cardiff)
Location: None
Writer:Mark Gatiss
Director:Douglas MacKinnon
Producer:Marcus Wilson
Executive Producers:Caroline Skinner and Steven Moffat
Assistant Director:Danielle Richards
Script Producer:Denise Paul
Script Supervisor:Steve Walker
Script Editor:John Phillips (Assistant)
Editor:William Oswald
Production Executive:Julie Scott
Production Assistants:Rachel Vipond and Samantha Price
Post Production Supervisor:Nerys Davies
Production Designer:Michael Pickwoad
Director of Photography:Suzie Lavelle
Casting Director:Andy Pryor CDG
Line Producer:Phillipa Cole
Costume Designer:Howard Burden
Make-Up Designer:Barbara Southcott
Cameramen:Evelina Norgren (Assistant), Meg De Koning (Assistant), Sam Smithard (Assistant) and Joe Russell (Operator)
Incidental Music:Murray Gold
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Paul Jefferies
Sound Recordist:Deian Llyr Humphreys
Visual Effects:The Mill
Special Effects:Real SFX
Prosthetics:Millennium FX
Stunt Co-ordinator:Crispin Layfield
Stunt Performers:David Newton, Marcus Shakesheff and Tom Aitken
Title Sequence:Frame Store
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Murray Gold
Miniature Effects: The Model Unit
Ice Warriors Created By: Brian Hayles
Music Performed By: The BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Music Conducted and Orchestrated By: Ben Foster
Music Mixed By: Jake Jackson
Music Recorded By: Gerry O'Riordan
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: Matt Smith (The Eleventh Doctor)
Number of Companions: 1The Companion: Jenna-Louise Coleman (Clara Oswald) Additional Cast: Liam Cunningham (Captain Zhukov), David Warner (Professor Grisenko), Tobias Menzies (Lieutenant Stepashin), Josh O’Connor (Piotr), James Norton (Onegin), Charlie Anson (Belevich), Spencer Wilding (Skaldak), Nicholas Briggs (Voice of Skaldak)Setting: The North Pole (1983) Villain: An Ice Warrior

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
793Cold War13 April 201341'22"7.4Yes

Total Duration 41 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 7.4
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2013)70.60%  (Position = 6 out of 9)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)70.23% Lower (Position = 132 out of 241)


Archives


 This story exists and is held in the BBC's Film and Videotape Library.



Return to the top of this page
 


Notes


This story has been described as ‘a massive adventure story written by the one-and-only Mark Gatiss’. It sees one of the most memorable and menacing aliens ever to send us scurrying behind the sofa return to Doctor Who as we get to see the return of the mighty Ice Warriors to the show for 39 years and the first not written or co-written by Brian Hayles.

It’s no secret that Mark Gatiss was keen to bring the Martians back and he has described their appearance as being a ‘design classic’. Their hissing voices are equally evocative and then there’s the mystery that they are sometimes enemies and sometimes allies of The Doctor.

It has been reported that Steven Moffat was originally hesitant to bring back the Ice Warriors, worrying that they were seen as ‘the default condition for what people thought of as rubbish Doctor Who monsters - things that moved very, very slowly and spoke in a way that meant you couldn't hear a word they said’.

Mark Gatiss, however, was a fan of the Ice Warriors stories and had been campaigning to bring them back. He felt that the Ice Warriors had a lot of gaps in their timeline and because they had not been featured for a while this allowed a lot of room to explore them.

In a phone conversation with Steven Moffat, that was originally supposed to be about their show Sherlock, Mark Gatiss pitched new and ‘very clever ideas’ of what to do with the Ice Warriors, and Steven Moffat agreed.

This is Mark Gatiss’ fifth Doctor Who television script. His previous stories being: "The Unquiet Dead", "The Idiot's Lantern", "Victory of the Daleks" and "Night Terrors". Mark Gatiss has stated ‘The fact it's an historical story makes me feel old (you'll soon see why). The fact that the adventure is set where it is, is the fulfilment of a long-term dream. Not to mention that it guest stars the amazing Liam Cunningham and the legendary David Warner. And who knows what may be menacing them...?’.

David Warner, who plays the part of Professor Grisenko, has appeared in countless films, including The Omen, Tron and Titanic, and has played the part of The Doctor in the Big Finish Productions Unbound audio story "Sympathy for the Devil". He also provided the voice of the villainous Lord Azlok in the animated adventure "Dreamland".

Liam Cunningham has stared in the hit US drama Game of Thrones, while other television work includes Cracker and Shooting the Past.

The voice of Skaldak is provided by Nicholas Briggs whose vocal talents have brought many aliens - including Daleks, Cybermen and the Judoon – to life. The Ice Warrior - as seen in his fully-armoured state - is played by Spencer Wilding who previously appeared as the Minotaur in "The God Complex" and the Wooden King in the 2011Christmas special "The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe".

This story has been directed by Douglas Mackinnon whose previous credits include "The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky" and "The Power of Three".

Armed with lethal sonic technology, the reptilian warmongers first tangled with The Doctor in the 1967 Second Doctor story "The Ice Warriors", returning two years later when they attempted an invasion of Earth in "The Seeds of Death". These two stories established the Ice Warriors as a proud but cruel race, ruthless and relentless when pursuing their goal, which in both instances had been the planet Earth.

The Third Doctor then encountered them in the 1972 story "The Curse of Peladon". By this stage they had largely reformed, renouncing their militaristic ways and eschewing violence except in cases of self-defence. Their code of honour came to the fore and they even joined forces with The Doctor. But a rogue faction of Ice Warriors threatened The Doctor in the 1974 story "The Monster of Peladon" - showing that their old war-like tendencies had not been entirely eradicated.

The Ice Warriors are traditionally seen as one of the show’s Big Four pantheon of monsters – along with the Daleks, the Cybermen and the Sontarans. Since the shows revival in 2005 they have so far only had a brief mention in the 2009 Tenth Doctor story "The Waters of Mars". They were also glimpsed very briefly in a flashback sequence during The Sarah Jane Adventures story "Death of The Doctor".

As "Cold War" is the first televised appearance of the Ice Warriors in thirty-nine years (since "The Monster of Peladon"), they have the third-longest length between televised antagonist appearances. The Great Intelligence was the first at forty-four years and the Macra were second at forty years.

Unlike some other returning monsters, the Ice Warriors were not heavily redesigned for this story. Mark Gatiss insisted upon keeping the fundamentals of the original and Steven Moffat explained that the original design was not well-known enough to put a new spin on it, and so it is just a ‘super-version of the original’.

Of the original design, Millennium FX's Neill Gorton has revealed, ‘My problem with the old ones is they had Lego hands and weird, spindly arms but a bulky body and these strange saddlebag hips, almost feminine. They had fur sticking out everywhere. So all of that together didn't suggest ice warriors. They should be much beefier and stronger. We gave it more of a bodybuilder physique, changed the hands and styled the body to make it look more like armour-plating, even though it's reptilian’. The costume was made of flexible urethane rubber instead of the fibreglass like the original, as it would damage less easily and be more comfortable to wear. The costume was also made to specially fit Spencer Wilding who played the part of Skaldak.

The read through for this story took place in Cardiff on Wednesday 6th June 2012. Recording began exactly one week later on the 13th June.

The portrayal of the Ice Warriors as ‘cyborgs’ is an innovation of this story.

The Martians seldom use the expression Ice Warriors. In fact it wasn’t until "The Monster of Peladon" (over half a decade after their debut) that we hear them refer to themselves using these exact words.

This is the first time an Ice Warrior has been seen out of its body armour on television, but it's not the first time fans have been able to peek behind the armour. Skaldak's true face is remarkably similar, allowing for a difference in gender, to Lee Sullivan's depiction of the female Ice Warrior Luass in the Eighth Doctor comic story "Ascendance". However, the more tentacle-like hands of Skeldak are less compatible with Luass' human-like hands.

The existence of powerful female Ice Warriors, Skaldak's rank as the leader of a caste and the general implication that Ice Warriors have a feudal sense of honour originate not with Ice Warrior creator Brian Hayles but instead with Gary Russell's reinvention in Virgin Book’s The New Adventures novel "Legacy" and the comic strip "Ascendance/Descendance".

This story features some similarities to "The Ice Warriors". Both involve an Ice Warrior being frozen in ice, being found by a scientist, and then thawed out by someone who was impatient. Both scientists mistake their Ice Warriors for prehistoric Earth creatures. In "The Ice Warriors" it is a mastodon while in "Cold War" it is a mammoth. Both take place in extreme cold. Both have The Doctor initially saving a team of humans from an immediate crisis - in "The Ice Warriors" is an uncontrolled weather event while in "Cold War" it is a sinking submarine.

This story's ending also has some similarities to the 1989 Seventh Doctor story "Battlefield". In both stories the antagonist is prepared to launch a nuclear weapon to destroy the world (in "Battlefield" it is Morgaine), and in both cases The Doctor helps talk them out of it.

The submarine setting was Mark Gatiss's idea and Executive Producer Caroline Skinner described the story as ‘Letting a huge Ice Warrior loose at the heart of a classic Hunt For Red October style submarine movie’.

The Doctor and Clara Oswald were originally planning on going to Las Vegas.

The track Professor Grisenko is enjoying at the start of the story is Vienna by Ultravox that reached number 2 in the UK charts back in 1981. The song he later recommends to Clara is Hungry Like the Wolf, a 1982 hit for Duran Duran.

When The Doctor rattles off a list of possible reasons he could give to explain his presence on the submarine to Captain Zhukov, he blurts out, ‘No pretending to be an Earth ambassador’. In "The Curse of Peladon" The Doctor said this to explain his unexpected appearance in the Peladon citadel.

On emptying his pockets it is revealed that The Doctor has a Barbie-style doll with long blonde hair.

Piotr is heard to call Skaldak ‘Milaya moya’. This is a Russian term of affection and translates as ‘my sweet’.

The TARDIS vanishes because The Doctor had reset the HADS – a safety protocol that stands for Hostile Action Displacement System. The Doctor is heard to say that it had not been used in ‘donkey's years’. This is true in terms of televised stories as the only other televised reference to this device is in the 1968/69 Second Doctor story "The Krotons". It has though made several appearances in other media including as recently as the Big Finish Productions audio story "The Girl Who Never Was". Perhaps the most notorious use of the HADS was in the novelisation of "Time and The Rani", where Pip and Jane Baker blame the Sixth Doctor's tepid regeneration on the fact that the he didn't set the HADS and therefore failed to prevent the ‘tumultuous buffeting’ of the TARDIS that resulted in his regeneration into the Seventh Doctor.

In "The Krotons" the TARDIS just dematerialised to avoid an intended onslaught, before reappearing at a nearby location. But in this story the TARDIS re-materialised at the South Pole – the soviet submarine that it materialised in was under the ice at the North Pole resulting in an amusing scene at the end of the story where The Doctor asks the submarine’s captain for a lift.

The interior of the TARDIS is not seen in this story.

For the submarine setting the cast were sprayed with water between every take.

All the camera shots featuring the exterior of the submerged submarine were made using scale models, created by Mike Tucker and his team, in front of a blue screen rather than CGI. This marks the first use of models for effects in the new series. Models have been used occasionally since the beginning of the revived series. Notably, the destruction of the Nestene base of operations, in the 2005 Ninth Doctor story "Rose".

The Doctor's sonic screwdriver displays a red diode setting when he threatens to blow up the Soviet submarine. He previously received a modified sonic screwdriver from River Song in his tenth incarnation with a red setting of its own in the 2008 Tenth Doctor story "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead".

When Clara states that Earth was not destroyed by nuclear war in 1983, The Doctor tells her that time is in flux and can be rewritten (see also "Pyramids of Mars", "The Unquiet Dead", "The Shakespeare Code", "The Waters of Mars" and "The Wedding of River Song").

The Doctor again shows admiration for Ice Warriors by their code of honour ("The Waters of Mars"). Contrary to his seventh incarnation, who showed a xenophobic distrust towards them ("Legacy").

The Doctor, at one point, tells Clara to stay where she is, to which she says ‘okay’. The Doctor then tells her not to argue and she replies that she won't. The Doctor stops in his tracks almost shocked that she actually obeyed him. He once said that in 900 years of time travel that would be the only thing that surprised him ("The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances").

Clara is heard to question how she is able to understand the Russians, and they can understand her, to which The Doctor explains how the TARDIS translates foreign and alien languages (see also "The Masque of Mandragora", "The End of the World" and "The Fires of Pompeii").

This story contains a number of errors. Namely: When ever Skaldak walks anywhere in armour, he makes loud clunking noises due to the weight of the armour, but when Skaldak approaches The Doctor near the beginning of the story, he arrives silently. Although these are inconsistent, the earlier silence is most likely intentional, to allow The Doctor's comic reactions; When Skaldak is electrocuted by a crewman, the electricity should have travelled through the water that he and the rest of the characters were standing in.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first appearance of an Ice Warrior, in the revived television series, and for 39 years - since the 1974 Third Doctor story "The Monster of Peladon".

 The first time an Ice Warrior has been seen out of its body armour on television.

 The first portrayal of the Ice Warriors as being ‘cyborgs’.

 The first Eleventh Doctor story where the interior of the TARDIS is not seen.


Return to the top of this page
 


The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
Cold War

Captain Zhukov
Captain Zhukov

A Soviet submarine is sailing near the North Pole in 1983 during the Cold War. While carrying out a nuclear weapons launch drill the Captain and Professor Grisenko are unaware that there is something far more dangerous in the submarine's cargo hold. A crewman, in charge of a specimen that Professor Grisenko believes contains a frozen mammoth, decides not to wait until they arrive back in Moscow to thaw the specimen out. As the ice starts to melt, when the sailor starts to use a blowtorch, a reptilian-like hand shoots out of the block of ice and strangles the sailor.

The submarine then begins to sink, when the hull is breached, and the green armoured creature that was in the ice, escapes and runs amok killing members of the submarine’s crew. In all this confusion the TARDIS materialises inside the submarine and The Doctor and Clara Oswald tumble out, believing that they are in Las Vegas.

The Captain asks who they are, while being informed by a crew member that the main turbines aren't responding. Despite being restrained The Doctor convinces Captain Zhukov to use the lateral thrusters to manoeuvre the submarine to the side where it comes to rest on top of ridge so preventing it from dropping further and imploding due to the great depth. During, all this, and much to The Doctors distress, the TARDIS inexplicably dematerialises leaving The Doctor and Clara stranded in the damaged submarine.

On Board the Soviet Submarine
On Board the Soviet Submarine

Crew members then search The Doctor and Clara, and his Sonic Screwdriver is confiscated. With no other means of escape The Doctor tells the captain that he and Clara are time travellers. The escaped creature then arrives and The Doctor instantly recognises it as an Ice Warrior.

The Ice Warrior, they learn, is Grand Marshall Skaldak who has been sleeping under the ice for at least five thousand years. The Doctor convinces them that they must be peaceful and when The Doctor seems close to diffusing the tense situation Lieutenant Stephashin sneaks up behind the Ice Warrior and, suspecting that Skaldak is not an alien but part of a Western plot, electrocutes him with a cattle prod. The Doctor berates the Lieutenant and reveals that it was an extremely bad idea to have attacked the Ice Warrior as under Martian code by attacking Skaldak humanity as a whole has declared war on the Ice Warrior race. The Ice Warrior is therefore chained up and placed in the torpedo room. But there he calls for his brothers to find him.

Look Behind You!
Look Behind You!

The Doctor convinces Captain Zhukov that someone must speak to Skaldak. The Captain insists that it should be him but The Doctor refuses, saying that as an enemy soldier, Skaldak will not talk to him. Zhukov refuses to let The Doctor do it as he is the only one who knows the Ice Warriors and so The Doctor is too valuable to risk. Clara therefore volunteers, and although reluctant, The Doctor allows her to go.

In the torpedo room she relays The Doctor's words to Skaldak but the Ice Warrior knows that The Doctor is listening. Having learnt that he has been encased in the ice for five thousands years Skaldak laments the loss of his daughter and his people. It is discovered however, that Skaldak has escaped from his armour, and has stopped broadcasting the signal to the other Ice Warriors, believing himself to be the only one of his kind left. The Doctor surmises that, thinking himself alone in the universe, Skaldak has nothing left to lose and so they are all in grave danger – especially if Skaldak discovers that he is aboard a submarine containing enough nuclear weapons to destroy the Earth.

Skaldak escapes from the torpedo room and, no longer in his armour, attacks and kills more members of the crew. He learns of the ongoing Cold War and the mutually assured destruction and so Skaldak plans to use the submarine's nuclear missiles to provoke a global thermonuclear war and destroy humanity as revenge for the humans attacking him.

The Ice Warrior
The Ice Warrior

Reaching the bridge, he connects himself to the submarine's missile guidance systems and activates the missiles. The Doctor and Clara attempt to persuade Skaldak to show mercy when the submarine is rocked by a tractor beam from above. More Ice Warrior's have arrived over the site of the submarine's undersea grounding, and they haul it to the surface where it breaks through the ice.

Skaldak is then beamed aboard the Ice Warriors spaceship, though the missile launch system is still active. Much to the relief of everyone - especially The Doctor – Skaldak does show them mercy by deactivating the missiles remotely. The Ice Warrior’s spaceship then departs leaving the submarine in the ice at the North Pole.

The Doctor's sonic screwdriver then informs him that the TARDIS has reappeared. He informs Clara that its defence mechanism known as the Hostile Action Displacement System (HADS for short) made the time machine automatically relocate to a safe place.

Unfortunately the TARDIS has chosen to go to the South Pole rather than the North Pole and so The Doctor sheepishly asks Captain Zhukov for a lift.

 
The Ice Warrior in Chains
The Ice Warrior in Chains
Clara Oswald
Clara Oswald
The Ice Warrior Attacks
The Ice Warrior Attacks
Clara In Trouble
Clara In Trouble
 
Sonic Power
Sonic Power
Skaldak
Skaldak
The Rescue Ship
The Rescue Ship
Requesting a Lift to the South Pole
Requesting a Lift to the South Pole




Quote of the Story


 'This planet. This angry planet. Both sides locked in a never-ending stalemate. I now have all the information I require. It will take only one missile to begin the process, to end this… cold war.'

Skaldak



Return to the top of this page
 


Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Video
DVD
Doctor Who Series 7 Part 2 Box SetMay 2013BBCDVD 3802Photo-montageDVD boxed set containing all 8 stories and the 2012 Christmas Special
Video
Blu-Ray
Doctor Who Series 7 Part 2 Box SetMay 2013BBCBD 0232Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing all 8 stories and the 2012 Christmas Special
Audio
CD
Original Television Soundtrack - Series 7September 2013Photo-montageMusic by Murray Gold
Video
DVD
The Complete Seventh Series Box SetOctober 2013BBCDVD 3838Photo-montageDVD boxed set containing 15 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Seventh Series Box SetOctober 2013BBCBD 0241Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing 15 stories
Video
DVD
The Complete Seventh Series Box Set (Limited Edition)October 2013BBCDVD 3878Photo-montageLimited Edition DVD boxed set containing 13 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Seventh Series Box Set (Limited Edition)October 2013BBCBD 0251Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray boxed set containing 13 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Series 1-7 Box Set (Limited Edition)December 2013BBCBD 0242Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray boxed set containing all Series 1-7 stories at full 1080p high definition
Video
DVD
The Complete Seventh Series (2014 Re-release)August 2014BBCDVD 3971Photo-montageBoxed set containing all 15 stories


In Print

No Book Release
Doctor Who Magazine - PreviewIssue 459 (Released: May 2013)
Doctor Who Magazine - ReviewIssue 460 (Released: June 2013)
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of FictionIssue 553 (Released: August 2020)

Return to the top of this page
 


Photo Gallery


The Doctor and Companion

 
Matt Smith
The Eleventh Doctor

   

 
Jenna-Louise Coleman
Clara Oswald
 
   




On Release

DVD Part 2 Box Set
DVD Part 2 Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Blu-Ray Part 2 Box Set
Blu-Ray Part 2 Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Original Television Soundtrack Cover
Original Television Soundtrack Cover

BBC
AUDIO
   
Complete Series DVD Box Set
Complete Series DVD Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set
Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Series Ltd Edition DVD Box Set
Complete Series Ltd Edition DVD Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
   
Complete Series Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set
Complete Series Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Series 1-7 Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set
Complete Series 1-7 Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Series DVD Box Set<BR>(2014 Re-release)
Complete Series DVD Box Set
(2014 Re-release)

BBC
VIDEO
   


Magazines

Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 459
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 459

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 460
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 460

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 553
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 553

Marvel Comics
   

Return to the top of this page
 
 
Who's Who
KJ Software
Who Me
Episodes of the
Eleventh Doctor


Season 33 (New Series 7) Press to go back to the previous visited page References
 
 
Doctor Who is the copyright of the British Broadcasting Corporation. No infringements intended. This site is not endorsed by the BBC or any representatives thereof.