Thin Ice is what’s covering the Thames in 1814 London, as there’s monsters underneath, waiting to swipe the population.
Taking place within an old-style Victorian market and fayre on the ice, early on, Bill worries about accidentally changing the future, e.g. by stepping on a butterfly and causing her own demise, but The Doctor changes things all the time!!!
Anyhoo, there are mysterious lights under the ice and It’s known that if you stand in the wrong place at the wrong time, they’ll “have you transported”… or, rather, there’s big business making fuel out of whale poo – or whatever the big underwater creature is – and the poo comes from ground-up children and other individuals captured under the frosty cover.
I was SO longing for the lights to come and take Bill, who struggled to cope with seeing a young child die under the ice – so that’s an attempt to move her characterisation on… before she buggers off towards the end of the series. Add to that, The Doctor refusing for a while to tell her whether or not he’s killed people. He could be a politician(!)
As it went on, The Doctor pretends to stamp out racism by punching Nathan Barley in the face, a man who’s a posh philanthropist trying to “move the country forward”, he and his companion went into the wet stuff to witness the big whale, but… quickly managed to get out of the water, thanks to their ancient, not-at-all-cumbersome diving suits.
Overall, I couldn’t get excited about much in of this story, especially with its hippy-dippy ‘save the whale’ nonsense. The set looked nice, but you could tell it was quite a small one, reusing segments from time to time, while the kids in the show were the cleanest street urchins ever seen. Oliver!, this ain’t!
Humour was almost completely absent as the Timelord observed of a grappling sport, near the start, “Of course, it’s not really wrestling unless it’s in zero gravity… with tentacles…. and magic spells.”
There was possible scope for this episode, as River Song said in an earlier episode that The Doctor took her to one of the last great Frost Fairs in 1814 where they skated on the Thames… but that never came up, here.
However, thankfully, this was another Nardole-light episode, as he just popped up briefly at the end, panicking about a locked door that has something behind it which he doesn’t want to let out any time soon.
Next week: Poirot lives in a house which is eating people.
Thin Ice is available on the BBC iPlayer until one week after the series ends. You can also pre-order Series 10 Part 1 on Blu-ray and DVD, ahead of its release on May 29th. Both versions contain six episodes, plus six exclusive Series 10 art-cards.
Individual episodes can be bought in HD and SD here.
Director: Bill Anderson
Producer: Nikki Wilson
Executive Producer: Steven Moffat
Writer: Frank Cottrell Boyce
Music: Sarah Dollard
The Doctor: Peter Capaldi
Bill: Pearl Mackie
Lord Sutcliffe: Nicholas Burns
Kitty: Asiatu Koroma
Pie-Man: Peter Singh
Overseer: Simon Ludders
Dowell: Tomi May
Spider: Austin Taylor
Dot: Ellie Shenker
Harriet: Kishaina Thiruselvan
Perry: Badger Skelton
Nardole: Matt Lucas
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.