Published on April 21st, 2013 | by Christian Cawley
Cold War Reaction
We’ll start with the overnight ratings Cold War achieved, a total of 5.73 million viewers before consolidated figures including time-delay and repeat viewings are factored in.
In our Cold War poll, opinion was split as follows: 82.99% (366 votes) voted in favour of the episode, with 12.47% (55 votes) considering the Ice Warriors’ return as “a wash-out”. Only 4.54% (20 votes) claimed to really dislike the episode, one of the lowest “no” scores we’ve had!
In the Kasterborous Doctor Who Forum, meanwhile, opinion was largely positive, with comments such as:
Best ‘monster’ re-invention of the NuWho series apart from ……. Eccles and the Dalek
Absolutely brilliant. Possibly the best Dr Who Gatiss has written. I cannot fault any of the performances.
As formulaic as it might have been, it felt like a nice mixture of modern and vintage Wholore and certainly makes my top five Matt Smith stories.
Lord Darth Tyeler
Meanwhile, Cold War also received largely positive reviews across the WWW. Rather than show you the usual SFX/Telegrapgh/Guardian reviews, however, we’re going to instead head off the beaten track and see what CultFix, Combom and The Boar had to say about this episode.
Starting with The Boar, reviewer Jonathan Pitman noted of Clara that:
Clara is becoming a valuable asset to the team. For starters, she didn’t die in this episode, making a drastic change to the previous episodes we’ve seen her in. Perhaps she’s realised she doesn’t have life insurance?
More pertinently, meanwhile, Pitman observed:
Saturday’s episode brought the Cold War brilliantly back to life. Beside the fact that nuclear submarines were a very real threat during the period, the setting really heightened the tension. Enclosed spaces are never a good thing at the best of times, but when they’re in the depths of the ocean it brings a very real sense of panic, even through a TV screen.
Cold War, in a nut-shell is pure Gatiss fan-boy brilliance. The entire episode just screams that the writer was a classic fan, which we all know Gatiss heavilly [sic] was.The Professor is a bubbly, Russian man who takes a certain shine to Clara, and her knowledge of the future, specifically his favourite band, Ultravox, without David Warner, I feel this episode wouldn’t be half as good as it was, because he makes such a wonderful character that wouldn’t be suited to any other actor.
Finally, CultFix begins by observing that “Mark Gatiss’ track-record for Doctor Who is hit-and-miss.” Sadly, reviewer Adam James Cuthbert compares Cold War unfavourably with Victory of the Daleks, complaining about the “story’s decisively cop-out resolution,” and finishing with:
The climax was reminiscent of Battlefield’s pacifist preach against the villain utilising nuclear missiles for revenge – which isn’t a positive indicator of the story’s merit.
Still, you can’t expect everyone to like the same episodes. However this mix of reviews and comments from the forum seems to reflect the result of our poll – as ever, most liked the episode, but some more than others…