Reviewed By: Drew Vogel
Review Date: 11/22/17 8:33 pm
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I suppose we could trace this problem all the way back to Brian Hayles, but it really bothers me that the Ice Warriors are exactly the same over a span of millions of years. It's especially noticeable in this story. After spending millions of years frozen in ice, Arakssor awakens, contacts other Ice Warriors, and they know exactly who he is, even after all that time. And their technology never seems to change. It's hard to swallow.
This isn't a bad story. The plot is reasonably effective, although fairly conventional. The real problem is that none of the ideas fit together very well. The Doctor's amnesia is bizarrely selective. He doesn't remember his name, or what the TARDIS is, but he knows that the Ice Warriors are war criminals incarcerated in a maximum security prison. There's some stuff about global warming thrown in, but to little effect. It's basically a mindless runaround, which is fine, but you get the impression that it's supposed to be more than that.
In the CD Extras, Nick Briggs nearly has an argument with Anthony Calf over the latter's unflattering description of Lord Barset. CLearly, Barset is intended to be a sympathetic character, but it just doesn't work. His one big speech which is supposed to show that he's not such a bad guy comes across as inauthentic and entirely self-serving. Briggs clearly tried to write him as a sympathetic character, but badly missed the mark.
That's just one small point, but it's an example of why the story just doesn't work. If Barset had been a straightforward villain, he would have been a stronger character, and it could have made for a stronger story. Mirroring the aristocratic Ice Warriors with a human villain who is also an aristocrat would have worked nicely, but that might have been a bit too political.
Once again, the best thing about the story is the pseudo-companion, Genevieve, played by Maryam d'Abo. She was great, but the rest of the story is quite forgettable.