Summary: It’s the last of the great frost fairs and something nasty is under the ice.
Plot: On their way back from the planet of the emojis The Doctor and Bill find themselves on the Frozen Thames in London at the last of the Frost Fairs 1814, but while enjoying the sights they discover something under the water that is taking people. What is going on and what do street urchins and the people paying them to get people on the ice know about this.
Writing: The strength of this story is the interaction between the Doctor and Bill and to a lesser degree Bill and the kids which really works, but the actual plot is so repetitive, evil aristocratic capitalist exploiting people for profit is so old that you can write it in your sleep.
Acting: As always Peter Capaldi brings his A game and Pearl Mackie shines so well that almost total absence of Matt Lucas is not a disadvantage here. I found the supporting cast completely boring and forgettable which I think really costs this episode, but Capaldi does period pieces so well that one can almost forget it.
Memorable Moments: Save him, Pete
Doctor Who Flashbacks: Stealing from the thief (1st Doctor The Crusades episode 1) Frost Fairs (11th Doctor A good man goes to war) Slavery worries (Martha Jones Shakespeare Code 10th Doctor)
Oddities: Isn’t the Doctor worried about running into his past self since he was there with River Song and Steve Wonder at that very fair?
Pet Peeves: The TARDIS give an alert about the alien life form in the Thames, yet the Doctor has not only visited the Frost fair several times but has visited London over and over during the periods before it and the TARDIS never noticed, never gave a word or an indication. in the past and it never give a warning. What happened, did it forget? Was it on strike? That’s a plot hole to drive a truck through.
Great Quote(s) via chakoteya.net transcripts
Bill: Yeah. Travelling to the past, There’s got to be rules. If I step on a butterfly, it could send ripples through time that mean I’m not even born in the first place and I could just disappear.
The Doctor: Definitely. I mean, that’s what happened to Pete.
The Doctor:Your friend, Pete. He was standing there a moment ago, but he stepped on a butterfly and now you don’t even remember him.
Bill: Shut up! I’m being serious!
The Doctor: Yeah, so was Pete.
Bill: You know what I mean. Every choice I make in this moment, here and now, could change the whole future.
The Doctor: Exactly like every other day of your life. The only thing to do is to stop worrying about it.
The Doctor: You know what happens if I don’t move on? More people die. There are kids living rough near here. They may well be next on the menu. Do you want to help me? Do you want to stand here stamping your foot? Because let me tell you something. I’m two thousand years old, and I have never had the time for the luxury of outrage.
Final Verdict: 3 3/4 stars This is the only episode that I’ve given this rating to, just under 4 stars.
Ranking of Season: 1st of 3. Again a little better than the last one, we’re getting there
Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: Another one that Doesn’t place but inching toward it
1st The Husbands of River Song
2nd. Last Christmas
3rd. The Caretaker
4th. The Return of Doctor Mysterio
5th. The Girl who Died
6th. The Witch’s Familiar
7th. Hell Bent
8th. Mummy on the Orient Express
9th. Face the Raven
10th. Into the Dalek