A failed 1929 expedition to the Antarctic spurs the expedition funder's grandson to discover the mysterious reptilian creatures described in the only survivor's diary.
He and his excavation team find a very peculiar police box frozen in the ice, alongside a short little man: The Doctor, who has been frozen in ice for million of years while dealing with escaping Ice Warrior criminals.
Turns out being frozen gives Time Lords Trauma-Induced Amnesia, and the Doctor must rediscover himself in order to save the group from the Ice Warriors.
This episode of Big Finish Doctor Who contains examples of the following tropes:
- The Alcatraz: The Ice Warriors, who are native to Mars, have a prison in Antarctica that locks up war criminals.
- Apocalyptic Log: Barset the elder's diary, which outlines an attack on their expedition by terrestrial lizard men.
- Bizarre Alien Senses: The Doctor senses the sonic waves from a distress signal.
- Distress Call: The Doctor helped the Martians running the prison set one up. It had a weak signal, but was strong enough to block out radio communications between the Fortitude and the dig site.
- Eureka Moment: When Ben mentions a doctor, the Doctor suddenly remembers his own identity.
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Genevieve. Lampshaded by her saying she gets bonus points for her name because she's French. The Doctor pretends he doesn't understand why.
- Exposed to the Elements: The Doctor handwaves this that this is due to his alien biology.
- Failed a Spot Check: The Doctor calls out a group of people for missing a brand on a group of Ice Warriors.
- Flashback Nightmare: Courtesy of his Easy Amnesia, the Doctor has several to when his lungs were filled with water and he fell into a coma to protect himself.
- Hellish Copter: The only one that shows up in the story.
- Human Popsicle: The Doctor and the Ice Warriors survived being flooded and buried in sediment when the water froze them over for millions of years. The Doctor survived drowning before the ice froze over by placing his body in a self-induced coma.
- Never Found the Body: After the helicopter crash, the Doctor and Geni fake their deaths.
- Nuke 'em: The Ice Warriors on the space ship decide to blow up the entire base, rather than go through the effort of re-imprisoning all rogue Ice Warriors.
- The Professor: Professor Kelvin McIntyre, a washed-up archaeologist Barset hires to go on the expedition.
- The Radio Dies First: The radio isn't dead, but blocked by a prehistoric Ice Warrior distress call.
- Redemption Equals Death: The moment Barset picks up a gun and undertakes action, he dies a scene later.
- Snow Means Death: Professor McIntyre doesn't survive the trip to the Fortitude.
- Spot of Tea: Genevieve's hot coca helps bring the Doctor back to his senses after his thawing.
- Sole Survivor: An unnamed member of the original Antarctic expedition passed the elder Lord Barset's diary through Barset's family and eventually to his grandson. He survives long enough to show his rescuers he'd been driven mad.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Genevieve gets told to stay with the Doctor and make him cocoa. She does take offence to this because she's studied archaeology.
- Theme Tune Cameo: When the Doctor enters the TARDIS for the first time, he starts humming bits of the Doctor Who theme.
- Trauma-Induced Amnesia: The Doctor doesn't remember fully who he is, or what his TARDIS is when he first appears in the story (After his Batman Cold Open).
- 20 Minutes into the Future: The story takes place in 2012, and was recorded in 2007. It features a large expedition set up to unearth what happened to the grandfather of the younger Lord Barset in 1929.
- Upper-Class Twit: The Doctor classifies Barset as one when he won't listen to the Doctor.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: In-Universe, Lord Barset's grandson (also a Lord Barset) is curious what happened to his grandfather's polar expedition in 1929 when it faced lizard men.
- What Year Is This?: In 2012, the Doctor asks what year it is after he's just been thawed out from the Ice Warrior prison.