February 1, 2023

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Doctor Who “Cold Vengeance”

The Doctor and Rose find themselves on an orbiting supermarket with robots, pirates...and Ice Warriors.

So, most of the Tenth Doctor Big Finish stories I’ve picked up have featured either the Tenth Doctor by himself (sort of) or with Donna Noble.  But it turns out Billie Piper likewise reprised her role as Rose Tyler in a few of these.

“Cold Vengeance” features Rose instead of Donna.  Rose is fine and all, but…she’s no Donna Noble.

So, at some point in the far future, the TARDIS materializes in…a supermarket freezer?  The Doctor promised Rose some place they could go skiing and ended up there.  OK, this one, run by the Coldstar Corporation, is in orbit around a planet, but it’s still basically a supermarket.  It’s just a really big one.  And it seems to be thawing out.  That’s probably bad for the frozen foods.

Oh, and apparently, there were some Ice Warriors in there in suspended animation, led by a particularly viscous fellow named Lord Hasskor.

Rose and the Doctor don’t find them right away.  Instead, they find some robot crabs taking part of the ship apart because the ship is also being robbed by pirates, the mother-and-son Voltas.  By this point, the only other people on board are a single tech named Bert, a robot called Management that is supposed to take care of everyone’s needs and not much else, and Lorna, a young woman who only came up to pick up the recycling.

Now, the Doctor knows the Ice Warriors.  Rose doesn’t, but she’s a quick study.  The other humans sort of do because the Ice Warriors and humanity fought a particularly awful war about 500 years ago, and the Ice Warriors apparently lost.  Hasskor may not know this.  He also may not care.  He’s one of those types who has sworn to get vengeance against the human race because they nearly wiped his people out fighting over the very colonized planet the Coldstar is in orbit around.  Bert the tech is quickly killed when he gets a little rough with an unfrozen Ice Warrior, and it isn’t long before the other Warriors round everybody up.  The Doctor wants to negotiate, find a peaceful solution, make sure no one dies…but that ain’t happening with Hasskor.  No, he’s one of those types.

The Doctor, however, knows the Ice Warriors.  They’re generally honorable, but they’re also susceptible to heat, and the Management will turn the temperature up if you ask him nicely.  He’s a very friendly robot.  Sure, it gets everything but his head blown up, but the Doctor knows a robot head can come in handy.  Rose, Lorna, and the younger Volta get separated from the Doctor and the older Volta, but that’s not much of a problem.  The Doctor rather likes pirates sometimes, especially these since they’re more of the Robin Hood types that rob those corner-cutting jerks at Coldstar.  It really is the company’s fault since they just scooped up whatever ice they could find and didn’t check it for hostile lizard men from Mars.

Though Rose says they look a bit turtle-y.

Actually, the Tenth Doctor’s never finding himself with the Ice Warriors is kind of a shame.  Apparently, the TV people didn’t think they’d work, so Russell T Davies never used them.  They only showed up much later in Matt Smith’s run.  But that’s a discussion for another time.

Anyway, the Doctor really wants to negotiate, but Hasskor really wants revenge on someone.  He’s one of those types.  He tries to crash the Coldstar into the planet, but the Doctor prevents that by rerouting it to the sun.  Hasskor herds the Doctor and the older Volta into the Volta ship to do the same thing, but Rose talked the younger Volta into committing self-sacrifice, so his mother ended up doing the same.  And Hasskor, one of those types, was more than willing to send his people on a kamikaze mission while he watched safely from the TARDIS with Rose, the Doctor, and Lorna, and the Doctor really can’t stand people like that.  But see above about the pirate matriarch.

Then Lorna basically points out that, as much as the humans were awful fighting the Ice Warriors once upon a time, that there are actually Ice Warriors living on the planet today.  They aren’t living in the best of conditions, but they’re getting by.

See, sometimes it pays to listen to the recycling girl.

So, does Hasskor decide to go help his own people?  Nah!  One of those types, remember?  He wants revenge on someone, and the Doctor just made his list.  One suicide and a suit on self-destruct later…wait, did he just copy the Predator?  Eh, never mind.  The Doctor manages to eject the suit from the TARDIS, and at least Lorna lived…complete with Management’s memory files to use against Coldstar and get a big settlement for a whole lot of people, including possibly the Ice Warriors.

Not bad.  But it may have needed more Donna.

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