Warning â€“ This preview contains spoilers. If in doubt do not read.
â€œThis ends here!â€
After last weeks entertaining instalment we reach part two of Chris Chibnallâ€™s resurrection of the Silurian race. Retaining the momentum of the first part it starts as most second chapters do, with a quick resume and then itâ€™s straight into the action.
It is the most important day in the history of Earth: the dawn of a new age of harmony or the start of its final war. The Doctor must face his most difficult challenge yet. It is a battle in which he cannot take sides and a day when nobody must die…
Heartfelt, exciting and at times very dark, Cold Blood is a study of broken relationships and the futility of war. Chibnal peppers the whole story with top drawer dialogue that captivates and by twenty minutes in it really is (clichÃ© withstanding) edge of your seat stuff. The cast once more act their collective socks off. Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill are as reliable as ever and with the guest artists challenging them to up their acting game. Meera Syal, Nia Roberts and Stephen Moore add weight to the story which gallops along without stopping for breath. There is no room for time wasters, every minute of the duration adds to the episode, not a word or gesture is wasted. A thread of humour is less evident here but it does shine through ever now an again. Then Chibnal plays his trump card. Right at the end the story takes a turn, do not miss this episode.
Hardcore fans will look at this as a nostalgic romp which could easily have come from the Pertwee era, new fans will enjoy it because itâ€™s a fully rounded, well executed piece of television drama.
Effects wise Cold Blood is the strongest episode so far with wonderfully realised alien style landscapes and subtle use of prosthetics. Yes, I know theyâ€™re wearing full face pieces, but these masks allow emotion to shine through, something I wager that is difficult to achieve. Murray Goldâ€™s score is as bombastic as the threat from the Silurians. Never one to shy away from over-the-top brass stings, he gives each scene his dramatic all.
With only four episodes to go this is shaping up to be a vintage season of Doctor Who.