Doctor Who (2005– )
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Thin Ice 

The Doctor and Bill visit London during the last of the River Thames frost fairs in February 1814. They soon discover that there is something under the ice which is causing people to disappear.


Bill Anderson


Sarah Dollard

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Episode credited cast:
Peter Capaldi ... The Doctor
Pearl Mackie ... Bill
Matt Lucas ... Nardole
Nicholas Burns ... Lord Sutcliffe
Asiatu Koroma ... Kitty
Peter Singh ... Pie-man
Simon Ludders ... Overseer
Tomi May ... Dowell
Austin Taylor ... Spider
Ellie Shenker Ellie Shenker ... Dot
Kishaina Thiruselvan ... Harriet
Badger Skelton ... Perry
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Guillaume Rivaud ... Georgian Gentleman


London, 1814. On the frozen Thames, the city celebrates the biggest Frost Fair in decades, but revelers are disappearing beneath the ice, snatched into the depths by a terrifying monster. Can the Doctor and Bill stop it before they are dragged into the icy water?

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TV-PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

29 April 2017 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


The Doctor read "The Story of the Thumb-Sucker" to the urchins from "Shocking Peter" aka "der Struwwelpeter", a character from German folklore who punishes children for sucking their thumbs. Hoffmann's brilliant and twisted book of children's stories wasn't published until 1845, initially in German. Children in 1814 London, therefor, caught a glimpse of the future. See more »


When the Doctor and Bill are both under water, we clearly see the creature's mouth as looking like the one of a whale. At the end, when they free it, we see it again and it's radically different, looking like a piranha this time. See more »


The Doctor: [whipering] It's imperative that no one discovers where the stuff goes when it leaves here.
Overseer: Oh, I know that, sir. We use unmarked carts.
The Doctor: Ah. Are they ever followed?
Overseer: Oh, no, sir.
The Doctor: Have you checked this personally?
Overseer: Oh, yes sir.
The Doctor: All the way to Hampton?
Overseer: No, to the steel mill, sir.
The Doctor: [makes a shushing gesture] Hampton's code for the steel mill.
Overseer: Code, sir?
See more »


Doctor Who Theme
Written by Ron Grainer
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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User Reviews

Great Morals! Great Monster! Characters?
30 April 2017 | by Robinson2511See all my reviews

It's generally a companion's third episode where she witnesses her first death, and it's usually a tough moment for them. They start to question the Doctor's morals, and question whether they should be on these adventures in the first place, but Thin Ice takes this one step further.

This is an episode that has many brilliantly realised moral undertones and a great understanding of two very strong subjects: Sexism and Racism.

It handles them with care, and a sense of victory as the sexist, racist antagonist is punched square in the face by our time- travelling hero, and despite dealing with them in a light-hearted way, it never makes a joke of them which is definitely the right direction for a pre-watershed sci-fi show.

Thin Ice involves a giant monster spanning the length of the River Thames chained under the ice in Victorian London, by an evil rich businessman who uses it's... um, excrement for fuel as a alternative for fossil fuels.

It's a simple plot that's easy to understand, which is why it's all the more baffling that it never gets properly explained, but I'll get to that later. First, the good stuff...

Thin Ice is fun story that is really enjoyable. The snowy Victorian setting is much better than most of Doctor Who's previous attempts at portraying this era, dealing with homeless children who have to pickpocket for money, and the festival on the frozen Thames which was a nice idea.

I found this much more compelling than yet another candle-lit street with Victorian people yelling at each other, which is what you see in most Victorian shows these days.

The concept of a Thames size monster is a weird one, but I'm glad they didn't just use it as a joke for the sake of getting another episode out-there.

Series 10 so far has been really good at taking ideas that sound stupid on paper, and making them into compelling stories: A Sentient Puddle, A Grief Tsunami, A Monster the shape of the Thames.

The concept of the antagonist using the creature's excrement as a fuel source is one that hits home in this day and age, when we're constantly being told that the fossil fuels are running out and we need to find alternatives. It's nice to think that they were already planning in the Victorian era.

This is another idea that's handled in an emotional way. This whole scene reminded me of two episodes that have come before. The Doctor saying that they couldn't leave the creature to suffer under the ice anymore reminded me of Series 5's The Beast Below, and the Doctor telling Bill that it was her planet and therefor her decision reminded me of the final scene from Series 8's Kill the Moon.

Except, Thin Ice does this far better than both of the previous episodes. The Beast Below didn't really have any substance to back it up, and Kill the Moon's ending was completely nonsensical to begin with.

This episode makes you feel like the Doctor has learned his lesson from the end of Kill the Moon where he threw Clara into a life or death situation to save a creature, and then abandoned her. Here, the Doctor tells Bill it's her decision, but he'll stay and do what he tells her.

This is the best Capaldi's Doctor has ever been. Telling Bill to make the decision, but understanding how hard it is for her, which I didn't get from Kill the Moon. It's a lovely moment and one that I think should be remembered when talking about Capaldi's Doctor in the coming years.

Now for some bad stuff... The characters in this episode are about as thin as the titular ice. They have no substance to them what-so- ever. The children are just there so the Doctor will have someone to help, and the main antagonist is only there because, every episode needs an antagonist right?

He has a relevance in the story, but no real effect. The only character trait I get from this guy is that he's sexist and he's racist, and he's only both of those things to drive home the themes of the episode, and so we can have that awesome moment where the Doctor punches him in the face.

The CGI is also rather bad. The shot of the monster swimming out to sea looks really cheap, and the death of the antagonist (sorry, I can't remember his name he's so under-developed) looks horrible.

But at least we have the great shot of the Doctor and Bill looking at the giant eye.

There's also a lack of explanation as to the origins of the creature. The doctor states that it might not be Alien, but stops there, and we never get a definitive answer as to where this creature came from, or what it is, which is a shame as I was quite interested in this thing.

Also, will we ever find out what happened to it?

Overall... Thin Ice is a lot of fun. It has a wonderfully witty script, great performances, a good monster, and some fantastic moral undertones.

The characters could be more developed, but it's still as compelling a compelling story that works brilliantly. We really are on a role with Series 10.

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