In an article for the Radio Times website, Doctor Who writer Mark Gatiss has explained why he wanted to bring back the Ice Warriors, and his approach to their reinvention in Cold War.
It’s fascinating stuff, covering their history, the geo-political setting and the all-important desire to update the monsters, divorcing the Ice Warriors from Steven Moffat’s perceived “lumbering” stereotypes.
I was determined that we should honour the original, brilliant Ice Warrior design. It’s so imposing and scary. They’ve now got an iridescent quality to their scaliness, like dragonfly wings. I was knocked out when I saw the result. Lots of the crew didn’t know they were a famous returning baddie; they just reacted to them as a really cool, scary monster. Perfect!
Perhaps because the Ice Warriors have appeared in Doctor Who so infrequently and have so little backstory, there’s tremendous room to invent. The Martians seem to have strict codes of honour, but we have seen them, at various points in their history, behaving as militaristic aggressors and pragmatic diplomats. Is their Mars dead or alive? Are they as noble as Spartans or as ruthless as Romans?
Cold War will be, I hope, only the beginning of a new chapter for these fabulous Doctor Who monsters.
One gets the feeling that there’s a wonderful future in store for the Ice Warriors. Head to the Radio Times to read the full article.