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Thin Ice

The Doctor takes Bill on a trip back in time to 1814, where fun can be had at London’s frost fair – but danger is lurking under the frozen River Thames…

A little bit of history for you. As New Year 1814 came and went, London was veiled in fog and bitter darkness. The snow piled up in the streets for weeks on end, blocking the roads of the capital, as the ponds and canals and eventually the mighty Thames itself froze. But even as the city shivered, life went on, and the beleaguered locals turned towards the winter wonderland that now lay between the banks of the river. The area between Blackfriars Bridge and London Bridge was dubbed ‘City Road’, and an array of colourful stalls and tents offering food and entertainment sprang up, enticing every kind of person from every walk of life to this icy jewel at the heart of the capital. All of London could be found here, the upper classes, the tradesmen, the young mudlarks who scoured the riverbanks for treasure.

Chilling out at the frost fair.

But no-one could have known that this was the last frost fair the city would see… “The Thames completely froze over, and you could walk right across it,” explains writer Sarah Dollard, returning to Doctor Who following her well-received début, 2015’s Face the Raven. “It happened every ten or 20 years for centuries. And then in 1814, the river froze and it never froze again. This episode is an explanation of why that was the case. We discover that a monster exists in the river – and also learn that some of the people who lived at that time were just as monstrous…”

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About Doctor Who Magazine

New series preview issue! Contents include: an exclusive interview with Pearl Mackie who plays new companion Bill Potts; previews of the first three episodes of the 2017 season – The Pilot, Smile and Thin Ice, with exclusive interviews with writers Steven Moffat, Frank Cottrell-Boyce and Sarah Dollard; Doctor Who's producers Nikki Wilson and Peter Bennett reveal the behind-the-scenes secrets of the making of the show; 1983's Terminus is put under the spotlight in The Fact of Fiction; The Time Team watch 2011's The Curse of the Black Spot; showrunner Steven Moffat introducers the writers of the 2017 series in his latest column; brand new comic strip action as the Doctor and Jess have a showdown with the Master in Doorway to Hell; plus previews, reviews, official news, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!