This is the one many Whovians have been waiting for since the announcement that The Ice Warriors, who debuted during the Second Doctor‘s run, would be returning after a decades-long absence. I’ve watched their early episodes, and they’re very clunky and nearly unbelievable, visually. Not any longer, my friends… However, the Ice Warriors were always written quite well, as masters of strategy and deception. I’d hoped that these Ice Warriors could do more than waddle about and hiss–and I was quite happy with what Gatiss, Moffat, Smith, Coleman, and company delivered. They went beyond the fat, armored, sybillant, warriors from the 1960s and brought in new suspense and surprises, with a de-armored, deadly new form of Ice Warrior. The regular call backs to the classic series are welcome, and I hope they keep coming. This episode seems to come at a very timely moment, with nuclear tensions raised in our world, and the conversation between the Doctor and the Ice Warrior seems apt: no matter the apparent provocation, mutually-assured-destruction leaves nothing but devastation in its wake, and the true show of strength and heroism is not using those powers when tempted. This was Doctor Who nearly at its strongest, playing upon tried and true Science Fiction themes and tropes, sending a message at this time when we wait with baited breath to see what the world will become. While this one isn’t as strong in the character development as the last two, it still drives home Coleman as an ideal companion for the Doctor. She’s headstrong but not belligerent (Amy), and she’s not whiny and pining (Martha–who, to her credit, really came into the role, but it took awhile). She just fits easily and comfortably alongside the Doctor in a way we haven’t seen in awhile. Matt Smith continues to exude strength in his portrayal of an old Time Lord who’s trying out new things. I love nerd crossovers, by the way. Just as we found out that Harry Potter‘s Arthur Weasley is Rory Williams’ dad, we now have Star Trek‘s David Warner as the drunk sailor Boffin (similar to his role as the drunken ambassador in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, and much less dignified than the late Chancellor Gorkon in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country).