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< 2.2b - The Daleks: The Destroyers
2.4 - Crime of the Century >

2.3 - Thin Ice

Rating Votes
10
4%
4
9
10%
10
8
30%
30
7
28%
28
6
18%
18
5
4%
4
4
6%
6
3
0%
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2
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1
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Average Rating
7.2
Votes
100
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: GuiannosReview Date: 12/4/18 4:07 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

There are 2 pieces to reviewing this story. The first is the basic guts of it. I loved the juxtaposition of the Cold War East of the Iron Curtain vs. the revival of the Ice Warriors as a concept. The premise works well and would have fit very well with the direction the television program was headed in 1990. As a spy / heist story it's far more John le Carré than Ian Flemming. The pace is controlled and the action unfolds with more quiet tension than explosive thrust. Some of the Russian accents are a bit over the top but that's par for the course with Big Finish. The other acting is good with particularly excellent performances by McCoy and Aldred. If it stopped there this would be an excellent return for the Ice Warriors and a solid twist on the Monster of the Week format.

However, there's a second plot in play related to the Cartmel Masterplan. Without getting too deep into detail (and including spoilers) this story has The Doctor taking a back seat at the behest of the Time Lords in order to test Ace, without her knowledge, to see if she qualifies for admission to the academy to train to become a Time Lady. In the original script/novel (which I haven't read, only a wiki) this marks Ace's exit but to preserve the alternate continuity of the audio range Ace stays with The Doctor in this version. While I see no problem with 7 grooming Ace or scheming behind her back (both very in character for him) this subplot is weak in a couple regards. First, The Doctor deferring heavily to the Time Lords weakens the sense that he orchestrated these events and makes it seem that this situation, and possibly some of his other grand schemes, are by Time Lord designs and not his own. 7's dark and manipulative side is my favorite aspect of his character so seeing that watered down is disappointing. Second, Ace's reaction to learning that she has been manipulated and lied to by The Doctor leads to a natural rejection that presumably is in the original story. It feels very unnatural that she gets over it so quickly and continues travelling with him in the end. Both concepts work in theory but the clumsy execution hurts the overall product.

Taken in whole the story is interesting and certainly above average but has some serious flaws that may turn off some listeners.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 1/31/18 6:27 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

This story (and the next one on this list) are part of a group of stories that were supposed to be in Season 27 of Classic Who but were scrapped once the show was cancelled in 1989. Thankfully the scripts still exists from each writer and thus they serve as an interesting look into what might've been for the Seventh Doctor had the show continued onward. I hope to tackle more of these in the future with many of the classic Doctors but for my relevant interests, blog entries, and my slight favoritism towards Seven, these two were first on my list. "Thin Ice" in particular was meant to be an important story as it reveals the true intentions of the Seventh Doctor towards his companion Ace and what his ultimate motives and plans were for her in the show (which I won't spoil here). However with the show's cancellation, those plans never happenned and while the story, script, and intentions have remained intact for this audio the ultimate outcome of those plans have been changed to fit where it's new place is in Big Finish and the Seventh Doctor canon. Needless to say, this is a story with a history behind it that enhances its reputation a little but it also happens to be a damn good adventures in its own right even without that extra baggage. The overriding plot of the Russian KGB using Ice Warrior technology for their own purposes and the Doctor and Ace being used as part of a heist narrative for the first half is an intriguing one and then when things turn more sci-fi in the second half it's oddly appropriate. McCoy and Aldred continue to be amazing as our TARDIS pair. McCoy in particular sounds like he's having a lot of fun recording this story as this is the kind of deceptive and secretive environment that his Doctor really excels in. His motivations are also interesting in what his plans end up being for Ace even if they don't really go anywhere by the end and it does a good job at touching the mystery of the bureaucracy of the Time Lords themselves. The side cast is also great as well. Ricky Groves as Marcus Creevy is a lovably interesting thief in Moscow for a mission and Beth Chalmers as the KGB lieutenant Raina is good. The names do sort of ring a bell considering the next story in this series involves a similarly named new companion for Seven and yes that goes exactly where you would expect. In terms of the Warriors themselves, I was expecting their appearance and involvement in this story to go in one direction and while it does to a degree, it pulled enough of a twist that I was still a bit surprised by it. Nicholas Briggs once again plays the Warriors with raspy accuracy and the character of Hhessh in particular is well written especially in his surprising connection with Ace that's built up over the course of the audio. The soundscape is very well realized and 60's Moscow is brought to life in chilly fashion with the suitable Russian touches, decent voice acting, and it ends up fitting well with the Ice Warriors themselves in terms of environment. While the climax is a little messy and a lot of the buildup lost given what was set up, "Thin Ice" is a fantastic story for the Ice Warriors and the Seventh Doctor that's suitably fun, interesting, and chillingly clever.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 11/8/15 11:43 am
5 out of 5 found this review helpful.

Thin Ice is a Cold War story set in 1967 that also features the Ice Warriors. The story works on a few levels. The heist story which dominates the first two episodes is a lot of fun, and there are some very superb guest performances. Ricky Groves is superb as the lovable rogue Marcus Creevy. Beth Chalmers has a great turn as Raina and then becomes the leader of the Ice Warriors. Nick Briggs really makes the Ice Warrior Hhesh into a wonderfully sympathetic character. (As he would later do in another lost story, Lords of the Red Planet.)

I even thought the music worked in evoking the 1980s while being an upgrade over so many of the lesser scores that aired on Doctor Who during the McCoy era.

The plot of Ace being evaluated for the Academy was the more iffy part of the production. There were a lack of clear motivations for the Doctor not having told her and the Time Lord process seemed a bit ill-defined. However, her reaction to it worked, particularly when she has a dramatic confrontation with the Doctor. Still, the end of the story was a bit of a disappointment. The story's ending had radically changed from the 1980s, but like it was building up to something and then went another direction.

Overall though, a solid and enjoyable story in its own right despite a few problems.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
5
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 4/27/15 8:35 pm
4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

Thin Ice had originally been written by Marc Platt under the title Ice Time and would have been the second story of Season 27. It would have followed Ben Aaronovitch's Earth Aid and be followed by Crime of the Century by Andrew Cartmel. The script remained much unchanged over the years according to my sources which can be a problem. The scripts are twenty plus years old and have to capture the era's feel. It also may seem weird when the writer of your scripts has written for Big Finish before and most of his audios are extremely successful. He is also a very innovative author, but here most of his innovation is lost in the setting. Yes the idea that Sezhyr's armor was programmed to convert whoever puts it on into Sezhyr which is used to its fullest potential. Beth Chalmers playing Raina and Sezhyr is great with the two characters merging in the second half is very well done. It also feels like a heist film which makes up for the lackluster plot. Platt also writes the Doctor and Ace really well moving their relationship forward. Ace especially gets focus in Parts Three and Four.

The supporting cast also works very well together with Nick Briggs giving a great performance as Hhessh. The music also lets down the story because it doesn't keep the feel of the era like it is supposed to.