Since it was announced that Peter Capaldi will be stepping down from his role at the head of Doctor Who after this year’s Christmas special, there’s now tons of speculation and uncertainty surrounding what will happen with the series in 2018 and beyond. But let us not forget that there’s a whole 12-episode series beginning April 15 to look forward to, and one of the show’s longtime writers is teasing the return of a classic monster. Mark Gatiss, who’s been a writer for New Who since all the way back in series one (not to mention a co-creator and co-star of Sherlock), is promising his series two episode will have some sssssssssssssspecial returning monsters…
That’s right, the Ice Warriors! Last seen in Gatiss’ series seven episode “Cold War,” and before that not seen since 1974’s “The Monster of Peladon,” the Ice Warriors are a reptilian warrior race from Mars who usually spell bad news for anyone who runs into them. They were a staple of the ’60s and ’70s, being the creation of Brian Hayles, who wrote all of their four classic appearances with the aid of script editor Terrance Dicks.
For my money, the best classic appearances of the Ice Warriors were in their debut story, fittingly called “The Ice Warriors,” and their first in-color story “The Curse of Peladon,” in which they were but some of the alien races in a federation about to induct the planet Peladon. In that one, the Ice Warriors were assumed to be behind the threat, but ended up being a situational ally to the Doctor. Gatiss did something very interesting in “Cold War,” which was to make the Ice Warrior a captive of a Russian submarine in the ’80s that attempts to get in touch with his clan, not realizing they died eons before.
In the above Instagram video, Gatiss promises that his new episode–the title of which has yet to be revealed–will be a Jules Verne or Edgar Rice Burroughs kind of swashbuckler, which the show always does very well. Clearly he’s a fan of this type of show; his series eight episode was “Robot of Sherwood,” a sci-fi take on the Robin Hood myth. What’s perhaps more exciting, though, is his tease that he’s bringing a new kind of Ice Warrior to the show.
The usual Ice Warrior we see is the huge soldier class, and the officer class–often called Ice Lords–were debuted shortly after that. Perhaps, since it’s a swashbuckling adventure story, the new Ice Warrior will be a specialist class, maybe a sniper or assassin, and might be sleeker and more wiry. “Cold War” already revealed that the actual alien is a thin sort of gecko-looking creature that uses massive suits of armor; maybe we’ll see an Ice Warrior whose outfit is much more close to their actual shape, meaning he can blend in and hide much easier for covert operations. I’d love to see that, personally; Gatiss did really exciting things with the monsters the last time around, so I can’t wait to see what he does going forward.
What do you think about the Ice Warriors coming back? What do you hope happens in Peter Capaldi’s final season? Let us know in the comments below!
Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor and the resident Whovian for Nerdist. Follow him on Twitter!