First up is "Thin Ice", written by Marc Platt, who wrote the mysterious but effective "Ghost Light" last season.
We have some of the more effective use of foreign locations in the show's history, as they sent a small team to Moscow for a few days for exteriors, something that would have been unthinkable only a few years before. Otherwise, it uses period (late 1960s) London, something that the BBC always does well, and it's good to see them taking advantage of that here.
The story builds on Ace's character arc as developed in seasons 24-26 naturally, with the Doctor wanting to send her to the Time Lord Academy thing. The Time Lords are re-established as rather more mysterious than Trial had them, and to good effect! Of course, she doesn't want to go, and doesn't. This is Ace, we're talking about here? Remember why she got expelled from school? Seriously, if she'd have got in, how long would she have lasted there, anyway? And it introduces Markus Creevy and his daughter, Raine, who look like they're about to become recurring characters?
The Ice Warriors return after a gap of 15 years (they'd last appeared in 1975). Not a big fan, but they're used reasonably effectively here. And hey, Ice Warrior biker gangs are not a sight that anyone would readily forget. The special effects are a bit of a step of from what we've seen before, but then, it is the 1990s.
One nit: the Doctor's explanation for why the October revolution is celebrated in November is wrong. Who can tell me the correct answer, from the top of their heads?
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