Before getting caught up on my Doctor Who viewing, I had heard several fellow fans rave about this episode as the best so far this series. I want to withhold such a judgment until I’ve had more time to ruminate, but this was definitely a very strong episode. Written by Mark Gatiss, who also brought us the very enjoyable “Cold War,” it successfully brings together all of the elements of a really great Who episode. I’m not happy about the last scene, but let’s save that for a moment.
After ranting last week about the disappointing “Rings of Akhaten,” I was hoping that there would be something better to come. Though “Cold War” wasn’t perfect, it was definitely a vast improvement. This was Doctor Who meets The Hunt for Red October, without the involvement of right wing weirdo Tom Clancy. And though it doesn’t quite meet the standard set by “Dalek” or even “The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood,” it was a suprisingly satisfying return of a villain I wasn’t entirely sure would work well in 2013.