Episode Reviews

The Snowmen

Doctor Who 2012 - The Snowmen

After what seemed like an eternity of waiting, our lovable Doctor returns but is he the same Doctor we’ve come to love all these years?

The Doctor has suffered great losses over the decades, though some would question whether or not the loss of the Ponds was by far the most painful of them. Amy and Rory spend decades with the Doctor going on adventures, and their sudden and tragic end has been a catalyst of depression and recluse for the Doctor. As such, we now find that he’s been hanging around 19th century London for who knows how long.

“The Snowmen” is a continuation of the concept that the companions in the Doctor’s life often sacrifice more than just their time and their life as they lived it, but rather they often have to sacrifice their very mortal life as the danger with the Doctor is very real.

Like many of the Christmas specials, “The Snowmen” takes a seemingly innocent concept in snowmen, and completely turns it on its head making them these monstrous and dangerous creatures out to dominate the world (masterly voiced by the great Ian McKellen). It makes for a good fright for the young kids, whom all love a good scare from the Doctor. Monster snowmen, aliens, and a Victorian villain make up the ingredients of this classic Doctor Who Christmas.

This time we also have another supremely short lived “companion” during a holiday episode in Clara (played by the wonderful Jenna-Louise Coleman).

Oh wait! Didn’t we see the exact same actress in the last series as Captain “Oswin Oswald”? To the great rage of nerds everywhere, everyone questioned how in the universe could the same person be in both episodes, especially after the Oswin on the ship was actually a Dalek and died. It turns out that Oswin is a curious thing indeed, an impossibility in the universe. Perhaps she’s some kind of odd reincarnation that continuously returns in the galaxy. Perhaps she’s a universal manifestation of the Doctor’s guilt of all those friends he’s lost over the decades. All we know is that Clara Oswin appears multiple times though out history, always seemingly as the same type of person, and it’s now the Doctor’s mission to find her and figure out who and what she really is.

“The Snowman” though really was more of an episode where we see the Doctor, who had slunk away form society for decades after the loss of the Ponds, slowly move back into the adventurous life, finally starting to open up to others again. Overall, I think the whole concept of a Christmas adventure was mostly overshadowed by the rapport between Clara and the Doctor as the fans and hardcore viewers attempted to figure out what the secret was behind her. Despite this, it was a fun episode that leads well into the next series next year.

Other Observations

  • The new Tardis is awesome looking, but why did he rebuild the inside in the first place?
  • They finally gave us a one shot sequence from the outside of the Tardis to the inside to get the feel of it really being bigger on the inside.
  • The “One Word” sequence was a bit of brilliant writing, supremely describing the Doctor and the series as a whole in one word responses.
  • Doctor’s bowtie – sign of his adventuring days returned
  • “You’re going to have to take those clothes off”
  • “It’s smaller on the outside”
  • Silurian warrior Vastra makes another appearance as Victorian London is her preferred living area.
  • The Great Intelligence is an ancient god from the earliest part of the universe, and has shown up in Doctor Who before, but namely back in the 1960s era show.
  • Isn’t the Doctor technically cheating on his wife??

By Kien Tran

Based in Dallas, Texas, Kien Tran is an avid television enthusiast. After spending hundreds of hours wasting away on a couch, he decided to actually do something creative with his hobby and created this very blog.

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