The last time we saw the Ice Warriors, they were friendly.
This time? Er…
Yeah, the Ice Warriors under the command of one Commander Azaxyr sure did arrive quickly. It’s almost as if they were already there. Azaxyr pretty quickly declares martial law, and even shoots a bunch of miners trying to attack the throne room. Why? Because he’s a jerk.
For Gebek, those were his people. He won’t stand for that.
For Chancellor Orton, those were also his people. He’ll decide who needs sudden execution. He won’t stand for that.
Bottom line: no one likes outsiders telling them what to do. Having a common foe works wonders for uniting a people. The Doctor knows that. He also quickly agrees to help the Ice Warriors.
If you think the Doctor is on the level here, you must be new to this show. Of course he uses that agreement to talk to relevant parties (Gebek and Orton) and convinces them to work together. He just does it all sneaky-like. Gebek tells the miners to help the Ice Warriors just like they would Orton. His guys get the idea. Orton lets his soldiers stay down in the mines and…wait.
What do they need to wait for? The Doctor will give them a signal, and it involves the thermostat. He better do it as Azaxyr has decided to execute the Doctor first if he doesn’t get what he wants. Sarah Jane suggests they just leave. The Doctor won’t abandon his friends which makes me wonder who his friends here actually are. He just met the queen, and Gebek is the closest he has to an ally. Surely the Doctor uses a broader definition of friend. What he really means here is “people who aren’t really all that bad.” Besides, everyone is listening to him now.
Oh, and he isn’t sure where the TARDIS is anyway.
Except for Ettis. He’s gone mad with power like that Albert Schweitzer guy. Or maybe just mad. Sure, someone tried to fill him in on the plan. Bad news there as Gebek still has the sonic lance, and he’s not afraid to use it on the palace. He won’t stick around for the Doctor’s plan.
What is the Doctor’s plan? He turns up the thermostat.
See, Ice Warriors can’t stand heat. Having a lot of them in the mines when it gets hotter is bad for them. And while they are normally big and bulky and hard to hurt, make them woozy with heat and down they go.
Plus, if the guards and the miners work together, that just means more Ice Warriors will go into the tunnels and there will be less of them to cause trouble above ground. Are there other problems? Yes, there are because Engineer Eckersley was not very helpful when the Ice Warriors show up. He could just care about his refinery, but he was also the one suggesting calling for help anyway.
Additionally, Azaxyr won’t go into the tunnels himself. The Doctor will when he learns Ettis is going to blow things up. The Doctor does find Ettis, and he beats the man with a sword. But then Ettis beats up the Doctor. The Doctor lost a fistfight? There’s a first.
However, it seems Azaxyr is aware of all that. He’s captured Sarah Jane, and he also rigged the sonic lance to self-destruct. The last thing we see as the episode ends is the machine exploding in front of Ettis and maybe the Doctor.
Methinks the Doctor is out of range. He was right to lose that fistfight!