Wait, what’s this? Liam Cunningham? Tobias Menzies? DAVID WARNER? And a script by Mark Gaitss? Bringing in an update to the Ice Warriors? What can go wrong?
Clara saves the day by doing something cute again, doesn’t she?
The year is 1983. A Soviet sub is sailing near the North Pole. The captain (Cunningham) seems like a reasonable soul while his second in command (Menzies) is more by-the-book and ready to fire a missile at the nearby Americans and NATO because, well, they must be up to something beyond a routine training exercise. There’s also a scruffy professor (Warner) who has something frozen in a block of ice on the sub. But then there’s an accident, the sub starts to take on water, and the TARDIS materializes.
Yes, the Doctor got lost going somewhere else. It happens.
Oh, and one sailor decides on his own to thaw that whatever it is out of the ice.
Well, this is all well and good. The Soviets aren’t really all that trusting of a strange fellow who pops up on board and try to wrestle the sonic screwdriver away from him. Clara mostly is just there, and then the TARDIS…disappears.
Oh, and the frozen thing was an Ice Warrior. A high ranking Ice Warrior named Field Marshall Skaldak. Since Ice Warriors tend to take things personally, the Doctor recommends everyone remain calm and friendly while he calls his own people for help and to not threaten the big lizard guy in any way.
Then Menzies’s jerkass dude hits Skaldak with a cattleprod and stuns him. The Doctor realizes they need to chain the guy down.
Don’t worry. This is Doctor Who. Menzies will get what he deserves.
Alright, now what? See, Ice Warriors believe that an attack on one is a declaration of war, and in this case, it’s from the entire human race on his. He isn’t happy to learn he was frozen for about 5,000 years or that his people don’t live on Mars anymore and his daughter is long dead. Sending Clara to act as a go-between only does so much, but he opts not to call for help even as the Doctor assures him there are lots and lots of Ice Warriors out there.
Then he does something even the Doctor has never seen before: he slipped out of his armor to run amok throughout the sub, killing three men to see how humans are put together and learning all about mutually assured destruction. Menzies taught him that…and then he died.
See, he got what he deserved.
So, with this knowledge on a nuclear-powered sub, can the Doctor talk Skaldak into not starting World War III?
Maybe not. But Clara can reference his dead daughter by saying lots of people on the Earth have daughters, and that with the Doctor’s suggestion that Skaldak doesn’t really want to commit genocide and his people’s showing up to give him a ride does convince him not to blow everyone up.
And since Clara got the last word in…I guess she was the deciding factor?
Why does everything Clara does feel kinda…cute?
Never mind. No World War III. That’s a good thing. Oh, and the TARDIS detected danger and moved itself to Antarctica. That Soviet captain sure was amused when the Doctor asked for a ride…