Possible spoilers! You’ve been warned.
The Doctor and Clara. (image source: BBC)
Whovians rejoiced on the night (and afternoon, in some parts of the world) of Christmas Day when the BBC debuted the newest Doctor Who Christmas Special, The Snowmen.
Since the mid-season finale aired months ago and we were left with the saddening (yet welcome) departure of the Ponds, we have eagerly awaited The Doctor’s triumphant return and the conclusion of the seventh season. Personally, I’ve been waiting for Matt Smith to wow me like he did in his first Christmas special, The Christmas Carol, because I’ve become rather bored with him. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m ready for his regeneration to happen. Sadly, I don’t think that’ll come about until after the 50th Anniversary.
Until then, I’ll just have to hope that he continues giving performances like he did in The Snowmen. I was entertained, much more than I was during last year’s special. Actually, the entire episode was very entertaining. It was full of thrills, chills, mystery, laughs, and a not-so-well-executed Sherlock Holmes impersonation. It did have its hokey moments but not enough to ruin it.
Set in Victorian England, viewers are introduced to a young, friendless boy who begins a sinister relationship with a snowman, brilliantly voiced by Sir Ian McKellen. The snowman turns out to be a parasitic entity seeking to take over the human race and turn them into ice people. Flash forward to 1892, and the friendless boy has become an evil older man; Doctor Simeon (played by Hudson Hawk baddie, Richard E. Grant), is preparing his army of snowmen for the takeover of mankind on Christmas Day.
The Doctor looking spiffy in Victorian threads. (image source: BBC)
But where is the Doctor while all of this is going on? Sulking in the TARDIS, sitting high up in the clouds, not to be bothered by anything going on down below. He’s become a broken, melancholy shell of a Time Lord since losing the Ponds, and he doesn’t want anything to do with the world. No more saving people or worlds, no more investigating, no more adventures, just sulking and reading.
Enter Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman), the soon-to-be new companion, who stumbles upon the snowmen and reinvigorates the Doctor’s sense of adventure. She’s sassy, spunky, clever, witty, and keeps the Doctor on his toes, just what he needs in a companion. She resembles Souffle Girl from Asylum of the Daleks and at the end of the episode, you’ll find out why.
When she discovers the snowmen, as well as a menacing old woman in a frozen pond, are linked to thoughts, including those of the children she governs for, she seeks out the Doctor’s help in stopping them. With the assistance of Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh), Jenny Flint (Catrin Stewart), and Strax (Dan Starkey), she brings the Doctor out of his slump and gets him back in the game. Of course he manages to save the day, he is the Doctor after all, but he loses Clara in the process. Well technically, she defeats the snowmen by crying, which is the hokey part, but whatever. She dies in the end…again. But the Doctor figures out she’s actually Souffle Girl (sorta), and he’s off again to find her in another time period. And that’s the lead-in to the second half of season seven.
The best parts of this episode:
- The schtick between Strax and The Doctor is priceless. Strax is pretty damn funny.
- The chemistry between Clara and The Doctor is ten times better than it ever was with the Ponds.
- The Doctor should wear Victorian clothes more often. He looks much better in them than he does in his regular attire.
- The Doctor pretended to be Sherlock Holmes and failing miserably.
- The “bow ties are cool” reference was especially hilarious.
- Spiral staircase into the clouds, leading to the TARDIS.
- The new look of the TARDIS interior is stellar!
- Ian McKellen’s voice. Wicked.
The worst parts of this episode.
- Old ice woman in the pond was lame.
- Expecting more action from the snowmen, didn’t get much.
- Clara/Oswin died, again. At least they didn’t say she was a clone or something stupid like that.
- The Doctor Simeon ice zombie puppet routine was laughable.
- It ended.