Ice Warriors On A Submarine is one of those stories that sounds great as a pitch but turns out to be a bit of a letdown. It tries to do Alien on a Sub – probably the ultimate location for a Base Under Siege story, I mean you’re underwater, where can you go? – but the end result is a story that just doesn’t engage. And that’s probably down to the fact that, one, we’ve seen all this before and two, the submarine location doesn’t really feel special, you really don’t get the feeling of being trapped with literally nowhere to run. Or I don’t anyway.
But the biggest flaw with the story is to do with the Ice Warriors themselves. The new voice is just yet another generic bass with a few reptilian clicks and not a patch on the distinctive whispering hiss of the originals. But what really sinks this story [!] is that they make the fatal mistake of showing us that what’s inside the armour is nothing more than a skinny pipe-cleaner-sized lizard. Now, I don’t know about you but that just diminishes the Ice Warriors in my eyes. I always pictured Varga and the rest as big hulking chaps, all Arnie and Sly, a sort of reptilian version of The Expendables. So to be shown that they are just skinny little lizards well, I just can’t take them seriously after that.
Ice Warriors that are big, beefy alien Komodo Dragons, yes. Ice Warriors that are skinny little Space Gekkos putting on a deep voice to appear butch, no. And I can’t for the life of me understand why they chose to do the rubbish reveal of the face as CG instead of a prosthetic. And then there’s the question of the Ice Lords, they weren’t in armour and looked as humanoid as anybody else so they can’t be skinny little space gekkos, so what’s going on there?
This is the second time that Gatiss & Moffat have f#cked up a Classic Series monster, as if the mini cooper hump-backed Daleks weren’t bad enough. Given his less than impressive track record, I’m beginning to have grave doubts about Mark Gaytits taking over from The Moff. Can I have a tenner on Gareth Roberts instead please?