"Doctor Who" The Snowmen (TV Episode 2012) Poster

(TV Series)

(2012)

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8/10
A fantastic Christmas Special
pjgs20028 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I really liked this episode. Jenna Coleman was excellent as Clara, Matt Smith was great as the Doctor, and the production values, directing, special effects, and music were all great. The Snowmen felt less like your everyday Doctor Who episode, and more like a more serious television drama. I really liked the scenes with the stairway in the clouds, as well as Clara's entrance with the very well executed tracking shot into the Tardis. Strax offered some nice comic relief, and the Paternoster gang was pretty good, although unnecessary really to the main plot. I do think that the Doctor should have defeated the Great Intelligence and Simeon with the Memory Worm- that was totally unexpected and a clever way of defeating the villains. The next scene where Simeon was brought back as some sort of zombie was sort of hammy, but it doesn't really affect the story that much.

I have to say the best scene of the episode was when the Doctor overcomes his grief from loosing Amy and Rory and gives Clara the TARDIS key. The music, directing, and acting were phenomenal; it really felt like a new beginning full of hope for both characters. When Clara started to cry out of happiness you really feel joyful for both characters. Suddenly the Ice Governess appears and drags her off of the cloud. Best scene of the episode.

I like how the story arc is being set up this series. Who is Clara?, and why is she "the woman twice dead?" Easily one of the most interesting arcs ever.

8.5/10
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7/10
Return of an old foe from 1967 ...
Andrew Huggett17 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Good episode – some good jokes, linear in terms of story telling for a change so it was fairly easy to follow although the ending got confusing as they set-up new complications surrounding the Doctor's new companion. I liked the references to the 1967 Yeti / Great Intelligence story and did not see that coming until halfway through. The jokes with the Sontaran and the memory worm were good fun (bit of a Star Trek 'Wrath of Khan' rip off that). Enjoyed the magical staircase to the Tardis in the clouds (a Mary Poppins homage?); I liked the new arrangement of the theme tune, Mat Smith's Victorian costume (especially the hat – Patrick Troughton reference?) and new titles – not so keen on the new Tardis interior. All in all quite a good (darkish) Christmas episode – one of the better ones – all be it much more fantasy than 'hard' science fiction.
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9/10
Carnivorous snow, a Silurian with a wife and wait... the woman twice dead ?
doctorwhofan9630 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I won't lie by saying i wasn't worried because i was, last years Christmas special was abysmal. So i had my doubts. But in the end they were put to rest. With beautiful imagery and scenes, this episode was surprisingly really good. The plot felt a bit weak for me at first but as time went on i got what was happening and loved how once again Moffat used a small detail to make a huge difference (e.g. the memory worm or the fact that the snow 'mirrors'). Speaking of which the 'Great Intelligence' (an old enemy revived for the new series) was rather menacing as the Snowmen with teeth. There was great humour thanks to the likes of Vashtra, Jenny and Strax, one of my personal favourite lines being 'Hello, i'm a lizard woman from the dawn of time and this is my wife', added with Strax' obsession with grenades (how very Sontaran). Then to top it off, Clara, the new companion. I knew she was going to have something to do with Oswin Oswald and as soon as she asked the Doctor if the TARDIS had a kitchen, my suspicions were answered. this topped off the episode and has made me very excited for the next instalment of the series. How can a woman die twice but still be alive (yes Clara dies but i won't explain how), but somehow she's alive again, as was the same with Oswin. How is this possible? I hope we find out soon because i'm full of excitement. You know when you get a feeling that something's going to be really good. I got that.
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Christmas Special 2012: Solidly entertaining mix of laughs and thrills (suggestive spoilers)
bob the moo25 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
For the 2010 Christmas special, Doctor Who managed to pull off a really good mix of festive traditions, sentiment and entertainment with its version of A Christmas Carol. It pulled it off so well that in 2011 they had another shot at it with a Narnia-inspired story involving a dead pilot and his grieving family among a lot of other nonsense – it was silly and poor, failing to do anything the previous special had done but on the plus side it seemed to have knocked the specials off the track of going for the sentimental and cloying aspect. As a result we get this much more enjoyable episode where the Christmas tone means snowmen monsters and big name guests as usual, but more importantly it is roundly entertaining, limits sentiment and links to the main series (albeit in a way that I would prefer it hadn't).

The plot sees "memory snow" creating snowmen monsters, threatening Victorian London and, by extension, the world. This produces moments that are satisfyingly frightening as we have ice monsters made from dead tutors and friendly looking snowmen with big teeth and menacing looks – all while Ian McKellen's voice gives the brains behind the operation a sense of gravitas and menace. As the show should do, this will frighten younger children but it balances it well by having the usual sense of comedy and silliness but, not as usual, it manages to keep it in check so that it is not excessive or annoying in the most part. Even the multi-species support team (which seemed like they would be stupid in the trailer/minisode) managed to work by virtue of them being used well as characters (either to be serious or to provide decent laughs); although as usual as this is new-Who, we have to have gay characters in there like it is some sort of running in-joke, which I guess it more or less is by now.

One of the main attractions for me was going to be the introduction of the new assistant, although actually a reintroduction since we had already seen her as a ghost memory trapped inside a Dalek. This offered interest to me as I hoped that she would simply be the same character earlier in the same timeline, meaning that her end was known which would mean she would ultimately be a tragic figure who would not have a big "end of the world" ending to her arch. Of course sadly this isn't the case and the epilogue and trailer suggests she will have cosmic meaning and importance, which doesn't appeal but we'll see what they do with it. As a character Clara doesn't ever threaten to break the mould either since she is yet another attractive perky girl with big wide eyes and a good line in spunky flirting – enjoyable and produces easy chemistry just like all superficial and pretty flirts do, but again we'll have to see what she does when more is asked of the character than just making a flirty and fun intro or reintro, but for now I quite enjoyed Coleman. Smith also does good work here as the material doesn't overload him with any extreme but keeps the balance even. McKellen and Grant are good with very limited time while the effects are reasonably good for the budget.

Overall this is a solidly enjoyable special that really benefits from moving away from the cloying sentimentality of the last special and just focusing on thrills, fun and the ongoing series (or, in this case, season, since we are in the middle of one). It is still a Christmas special and it does still have weaker moments but generally it serves a wide audience pretty well and I enjoyed it for focusing on its core strengths rather than losing the plot like it did last Christmas.
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8/10
Far from abominable
jc-osms25 December 2012
A new Steven Moffat written Dr Who episode introducing his new companion, the sassy Jenna-Louse Coleman, made for a fine festive treat this Christmas. Moffat continues his predilection for making inanimate objects dangerous, after the previous season finale with the statues, this time making the protagonists sharp-toothed snowmen - next series can we expect to see the attack of the killer garden-gnomes?!

Naturally the Doc is still in a period of mourning for the loss of Rory and Amy and indeed takes some time to make an appearance and snap back into his old self but when he does the action picks up and of course he gets to save the world again. The meeting with his new co-traveller Clara (in fact a reunion, for those who saw the previous series' Daleks episode) was neatly got over with the crisp sharp dialogue we've come to expect and some clever in-jokes too, not least the references to Moffat's other recent successful creation Sherlock Holmes and later the nod to Amy Pond. It shouldn't be forgotten that a Christmas perennial in the UK at this time is Raymond Briiggs' animated story "The Snowman", "Walking In the Air" and all that, Moffat making a monster out of a snow-hill to good effect.

The special effects were excellent, especially the "Stairway to Heaven", ice-monster governess and Richard E Grant's transformation into a freezing ghoul just before the end. Along for the ride are Vastra and wife, plus potato-head Sontaran Straxa for comic effect. I must admit I got a little lost with how Clara came back to life and by crying a tear destroyed the alien menace, but I'll allow Moffat his McGoffin.

Everyone acts well, Matt Smith far from bored and boring and Coleman, with her crush on the Doc, adding even more sexual chemistry than Karen Gillan's Amy Pond. This one-off episode bodes well for next year's new series, where interestingly the preview trailer showed no sign of River Song at all, but thankfully the return of my favourite Who monsters the Cybermen.
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7/10
Some Christmas Gifts for the Doctor
boblipton25 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The Doctor heads back to Victorian London and some old friends -- Vastra, Jenny and Strax from "A Good Man Goes to War" -- and evil, parasitical snowmen to resolve his feelings of loss.

For show runner Steven Moffat, snow and ice assume their symbolic senses. The Doctor is tired of saving the universe when the universe doesn't care. His heart is frozen, despite the despairing help of his friends, and it calls for Clara, the young woman who is slated to become his newest companion, to melt that cold, cold heart.

Although it is an engaging episode, it has some deeply troublesome issues. Although Moffat has announced that this season will consist of only single-episode stories, this one clearly kicks off the series with an arc that renders it incomplete. Also, because of the need to let four characters strut their stuff -- the Doctor, Vastra, Jenny and Clara -- the story feels rushed. Nonetheless, the badinage, chases and promise of mysteries to be solved are more than satisfactory for fans of the series like me.

With the new season in the offing, there have been some interesting changes. I have complained in the past that the series' composer, Murray Gold, had settled into musical forms that are a bit misguided for Doctor Who. This season he has been stretching his talent, varying the music far more, and has offered us a new series theme with a much more synthesizer-based edged to it, harking back to the original series and much more appropriate for the science-fictional nature of the show. The opening credits also include some of the "howl-around" visuals from the original show.

The TARDIS has also been reconfigured to a cleaner look. Finally, the Doctor has changed his costume to fit the Victorian ambiance, including a furry stovepipe hat of the sort worn by the Second Doctor.

I suspect these retro add-ons are intended to set matters up for the fiftieth anniversary of the show, due in November of 2013. I expect this episode will please many fans of the show, although I worry that it may be tough for newcomers to get into it.
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9/10
This is no fairytale, the darkest Christmas episode to date
Paul Evans8 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The Doctor encounters Clara for a second time, she's in the employ of Colonel Latimer, whose governess fell into the garden's pond which froze over. Doctor Simeon and his employer GI seek what's buried under the ice, they control killer snow and savage snowmen. The Doctor is still raw after the loss of Amy and Rory, it's seemingly only Clara that can help. Together with old friends Madam Vastra, Strax and Jenny the Doctor battles foes, new and old.

We have had some sweet, some soft, and some flat Christmas specials, this was much darker, it moved the Christmas episode in a totally different direction.

I said no fairytale, maybe a snippet of Jack and the Beanstalk, the staircase up to where? The redesigned TARDIS room looks fabulous, I love it, it's gone from looking organic to high tech.

Great to see Vastra, Jenny and Strax, although I thought he was killed in a Good man goes to War. Clara is a great addition to the show, it's a great performance from Jenna Coleman, so different to Asylum of the Daleks. Romance AGAIN though, seriously it's only Donna that's not been after him, please not the falling in love with the Doctor again.

Richard E.Grant is totally brilliant as Simeon, at last he's appeared in the show. He cuts a really nasty villain.

The best opening credits, since the show started I love them, feel like they are a proper continuation from the classic series.

Some brilliant special effects, I love the imagery of the frozen governess, scary as.

The Sherlock cameo was very funny, even the music felt like it belongs on that other series.

The first time we see a memory worm, these would appear again in future episodes. The Snowmen look great, technically 2012's Yeti?

I think this is contender for the best Christmas episode of all time, the introduction of an old foe worked wonders. The big reveal at the end is brilliant. It's fantastic 9/10
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9/10
A Christmas Cracker
Theo Robertson26 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
In terms of television I never look forward to Christmas . The good old days from childhood where you'd look forward to a decent movie and seeing it for the first time are long gone due to the advent of the video recorder in the early 1980s . Conscious of this TV companies or more especially the BBC countered this by making hour long sensationalist soap operas or two editions of a popular soap on Christmas Day . Fine and dandy if you enjoy the miserable goings on at Walford but I don't . When DOCTOR WHO came back the BBC were quick to make it their flagship programme but somewhat cynically it would merely light , frothy frivolous fun rather than heart stopping drama . So on the 25th of December I sat down after finishing the Christmas dinner with my parents , my brother and his partner hoping that I wouldn't be embarrassed by what was going to happen on screen believe me DOCTOR WHO can embarrass a die hard fan when he watches it in company

Things weren't looking good as we're introduced to a lesbian Silurian and her partner , a friendly Sontaran which is entirely out of character and obviously going to be used for comical relief , and " Soufle Girl " who will no doubt be speaking in Moffetisms like every female character - ie smart and totally , totally unconvincing . Oh and we we're shown a glimpse of The Doctor played by Matt Smith who will no doubt camp it up and screech " Merry Christmas , Look out leftie " and " Geronimo " . I started to think maybe the only way to keep my dignity was either murder everyone in the room , fake a heart attack or if the worse came to worse consider switching off the television . In fact I was considering all three before the episode really started

Things did buck up due to the production values . After seeing THE HOBBIT at the cinema I was struck how The Snowmen had beautiful production and set design on a par with anything Peter Jackson has put on the silver screen and this viewer genuinely did believe they'd been transported back to a cold Winter's day to the late Victorian period. it's also noticeable this is a relatively Doctor lite episode and the central character focus swings between the human villain played by Richard E Grant and new companion Clara . The scene where Clara ascends the spiral stairwell and comes face to face with the Tardis deserves a special mention . The whole mis-en-scene is one of enormous poetic beauty rarely seen in film and television and made me proud that I was a fan of the show . If it was a feature film it'd be a contender for an Oscar for musical score and cinematography

Of course production values can merely enhance the mediocre and as a fan I look for storytelling as well as the imagery that the show is legendary for . As it is The Snowmen is basically a run a round but it's so well done that you don't stop to realise this and become sweept up in the events . Indeed perhaps the imagery does help as we're treated to a scene where a creature composed of ice chases the Doctor and Clara back to the Tardis . Am I allowed to use the word " chilling " without being bombarded with negative votes ?

My main complaint with the Moffat era has been " everybody lives " at the end of the story and here we see the opposite as in " Here's a new companion . Oh dear They killed Clara " . It's a brave move on the part of Moffat and one hopes that the new season doesn't get reduced to the timey wimey nonsense that totally ruined the sixth season for me . That said all that is in the future and I'll judge these episodes when they come . In the mean time the family members who started the episode talking amongst themselves quickly became silent and watched the episode with me having a bit of giggle at the humorous bits and seemed impress with the story telling . DOCTOR WHO is perhaps the most inclusive show television has produced and anyone with any child like imagination will see this as one of the greatest episodes since the show returned in 2005 . Just a pity the technical crew won't be up for any Oscars because they deserve one
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9/10
A fine Christmas episode, fun and clever
jonathan-harvey325 December 2012
A really fun and entertaining episode of dr who, Matt Smith is excellent and the new assistant, soufle girl, looks very comfortable in the role. There seems to be a really good chemistry between Matt and Jenna Louise which bodes well for the future series. I also liked the new interior design of the tardis, quite retro looking which is an improvement on the old fire escape look. Not sure about the new title sequence, should never have changed that anyway. The concept of snow having an alien intelligence is certainly original and having Ian Mckellan as the alien voice is certainly a marvellous bonus. The makeup for the aliens is definitely improving, the lizard woman is very well done.
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8/10
Let It Snow...
Matthew Kresal20 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The Christmas specials of the Moffat era have been mixed in terms of quality with the great success of A Christmas Carol and the mixed reception to the Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe in 2011. So the two obvious questions overall then are A) How does this Christmas special rank? And B) How does this serve as the effective first story of Doctor Who's fiftieth anniversary year?

As a Christmas special, it is certainly one of the best. For the first time since The Christmas Invasion, we get a Christmas special tasked with effectively relaunching the show. There's the new credit sequence with a new theme arrangement, a brand new TARDIS interior and of course what was at least initially billed as the proper introduction to Jenna Louise-Coleman's character of Clara. The Snowmen becomes something more than just another Christmas special: it becomes the bridge between not only the two parts of Series Seven but also parts of the Matt Smith era.

Indeed, Matt Smith's performance and new costume effectively introduce a new version of the eleventh Doctor as well. The viewer, through Clara, are introduced to a Doctor apparently still recovering from what still seems to have been recent exit of the Pond's which seems to have been the straw that broke the camel's back and caused him to effectively retire. The eleventh Doctor has often been said to be an old man in a young man's body and perhaps nowhere else to date does Smith's performance bares that out more. It's Smith's performance, as well as the writing of Moffat, that makes the Doctor's journey from a man sulking in a box on a cloud to a hero once more believable. Indeed, if Smith ever needed to prove his acting chops, then his scenes with Richard E Grant's villainous Dr Simeon makes the case brilliantly.

Speaking of Grant, the story features a strong supporting cast. Grant, and indeed the voice of Sir Ian McKellan, are effectively used with Grant oozing menace with every line. That said, the two of them are underused due to the focus on introducing Clara though perhaps they are so effective because of they appear so sparingly. The Paternoster Gang of Madam Vastra, Jenny and Strax return and are put to good use with Dan Starky's comedy Sontaran (never thought I'd write those words) being the most effective scene stealer Doctor Who has featured in sometime. Even the supporting roles such as that of the family that Clara works for are well acted.

Which leads to the one person who hasn't been mentioned but whom the story centers around: Clara played by Jenna Louise-Coleman. Throughout the new series the companions have been the focus of the show and The Snowmen is no exception. Clara is the heart and soul of the story as it is her randomly striking up a conversation with the Doctor in a London street that sets events in motion. Without Clara, would the Doctor have quite literally come down off his cloud? I'm not so sure. What I am sure about, is the strength of Jenna Louise-Coleman's performance as she holds her own not only as Clara the character but also as a performer alongside Smith. It is in their scenes together that the story really comes alive with the wonderful interplay and chemistry between them. Unfortunately, a last second decision by Moffat undermines all this a bit but he instead offers something else: a mystery that reawakens the Doctor and takes him, and us, on a new journey.

The Snowmen also works as the launch into Doctor Who's fifty anniversary year. The Snowmen looks as much backwards as it does forwards. Who or perhaps more accurately what Grant and McKellan turn out to be is a case in point. The story drops all sorts of hints about it from the title itself onwards but it's only really made clear in the final couple of minutes. It's done in a way that hopefully please fans of what came before while thankfully not alienating to those who don't know the old series (indeed, given developments since this aired, one can't help but wonder what Moffat knew and when). The fact that the Doctor has effectively retired and takes convincing to return to what he's always done is an idea that Douglas Adams proposed before he got forced to do Shada instead (something which in turn might explain Adams' attitude towards that unfinished story). Given what would come in the episodes to follow a few months down the road, it's clear that The Snowmen was meant to set the tone for what was to follow and it does so effectively.

Yet The Snowmen has an interesting problem. It focuses heavily on characters, especially the journeys of the Doctor and Clara rather than on the threat posed by Simeon and his snowmen. The result is slightly lopsided as it were: the threat appears throughout the story and is certainly built up but that's not what were supposed to really focus on. For a story that makes rather a point of bringing back something from the show's past, it never really puts it to large use. That isn't to say that Doctor Who isn't or shouldn't be about character development, just that the balance here seems a bit off. How much that actually helps or hinders will certainly be a topic of debate I'm sure.

In the final analysis then, The Snowmen succeeds. It does so firstly as an effective Christmas special though 2010's A Christmas Carol still ranks as the best of the Christmas specials, this one comes a close second minus a couple of faults which can be forgiven nevertheless. It also works to help launch Doctor Who into a major anniversary year with references to and use, somewhat sparingly, of the show's past without be either gratuitous or alienating to those not in the proverbial know. What more can we ask of it?
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9/10
Introducing Clara
Tweekums25 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
As this Christmas special opens in 1842 as a young boy makes a snowman alone as the other children play; he thinks they are silly... and so does the snowman! Fifty years later the boy has grown up to become Dr Simeon and he still has the snow from his snowman; it is kept in a glass globe and together they are plotting something that will mean the end for humanity. Clara, a barmaid, sees a snowman appear where thee wasn't one moments before and mentions it to a passing stranger; he tells her how she can get rid of it then heads off; she follows wondering who he is... he is of course The Doctor. Following the loss of Amy and Rory he has vowed to stop helping humanity. Clara isn't just working as a barmaid; she is also acting as the governess to two children; their previous drowned in the now frozen pond and coincidentally Dr. Simeon is very interested in something in the pond; something that will emerge on Christmas day. If the world is to be saved Clara must persuade The Doctor to help humanity again!

Before this episode started the thing that most intrigued me was how the new assistant could be the same person who was actually the personality of an insane Dalek... previous assistants may have had minor roles before but it seemed unlikely that Jenna-Louise Coleman would be cast as a one off character after it had been announced as the next assistant... this episode didn't exactly answer that but it did let us know that the upcoming series would be about answering that question. It is too soon to say whether or not she will make a good assistant but going by what I've seen so far I feel she will do just fine. The story involving the snowmen was okay but not the strongest we've seen; it was clearly secondary to introducing the audience to Clara. The snowmen themselves were suitably creepy as was Dr. Simeon who was played by the always reliable Richard E. Grant. The 'ice woman' wasn't as scary as she could have been but I suspect she was scary enough for younger viewers. Talking of younger viewers there were a decent number of laughs; mostly provided by Strax, a Sontaran associate of The Doctors with a fondness for grenades!

Overall I'd say this was an improvement on last year's Christmas special; it had the right blend of scares, laughs and even tragedy but most importantly it set up a mystery that makes me eager for the next series to start.
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Thoroughly excellent, but perhaps too unexplained for newcomers
Savvy5426 December 2012
As a longtime fan of Doctor Who, this episode was absolutely brilliant for me. The plot's twists and turns provided just enough action and excitement while maintaining enough "still" moments to develop Clara's character. Having said that, however, the one issue with the episode was undoubtedly its callbacks to Doctor Who history--particularly, the main villain. The villain (not Dr. Simeon, but the force that Dr. Simeon is working for/with) is actually derived from Season 2 of Doctor Who, or classic Who as it is now referred. Such references for me, a longtime fan, added another dimension to the show but likely confused newcomers. Unlike past companion introduction episodes, this episode focused more on the story and adventure than truly unveiling Clara as a character, which, again, could defer newcomers.

Unlike Amy Pond, who got a proper backstory in her introduction episode, Clara seems to be getting her introduction through the arc of the season--and though I am thoroughly excited for the journey, I fear it will put off some viewers who are contemplating watching the show in the long run. My advice to newcomers would be to do a bit of background research on Doctor Who before watching this episode. Otherwise, it could just be an altogether confusing experience.
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10/10
Totally Clever & Brilliant
m-gibson702 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I disagree with the previous review, sometimes people watch an episode and cant see the bigger picture, i think 'The Snowmen' was the start of a much bigger picture and was totally riddled with clues which will lead us up to the 50th anniversary. It was a story about Clara, Clara is a very important part of the 50th Anniversary special. Her birthday for a start? i will say no more on that one, spoilers.

Stephen Moffat is a total genius, i saw the cleverness in this episode as i have with all the ones he has written and will continue to do so.

Pay attention to the bigger picture, its not always about the story line?
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10/10
Brilliant Episode
theofficeman5 April 2016
The Snowmen is another great Doctor Who episode. Jenna Coleman is a very good actress, and her interactions with the Doctor were very good. The special effects were great, too. I loved when she first went inside the TARDIS, the music was great and the direction was also on point. The script was very good, and I was shocked when she died. I really enjoyed this episode. One thing is that the snow villain and the Great intelligence weren't that threatening. Otherwise it was a great episode.

10/10

Very enjoyable- (funny, dramatic, and emotional all-in-one.)
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9/10
Classic Doctor Who.
tzblueice3315 October 2013
I'm going to be honest. Part 1 of Season 7 had me worried. I don't know what it was, but the plot-lines just......lacked. Despite the critical acclaim of Asylum of Daleks I found myself hating that episode. It felt completely off. The fact that the Ponds were still around after the somewhat closure that was given to them last season made it just...odd. I did not like the idea of the Doctor's companions only occasionally traveling with him, to the point where I wasn't very distraught by their departure. Now, I'm mystified by how Doctor Who can have so many cast changes, with viewers ALWAYS knowing that when they start loving a certain character, rather it's that Doctor (well, EVERYBODY loves the Doctor) or his companion, there's that troubling fact that you know they won't be around forever. And yet it stays completely amazing, something many TV shows likely can't pull off. I felt this episode of Doctor Who was very well crafted, fitting for Christmas spirit, as well as raising my spirit for Doctor Who after the disappointing part 1 of Season 7.
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Clara Who?
puffmagicdragon1095 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
***Spoiler alert***

We all know that loneliness, or isolation, is dangerous to one's mind. But place that on top of loss and grief, and a deadly mindset of apathy sets its roots.

This Christmas special opens up with our main (human) antagonist, Dr. Simeon, as a young boy making contact with the main (alien) antagonist, who then spends the next fifty years of his life help the snow. Why? Spoilers.

We then meet our heroine, Clara (aka. The next companion), played by Jenna-Louse Coleman. The exact actress who was Oswin.... Coincidence? Clara comes across the Doctor in attempt to find answers about the killer snowmen popping up from nowhere. But the Doctor has lost his will to help, or make any connections to people he might lose.

The Doctor we all know and love is slowly melting away for self-preservation, but he lost himself it the process.

Well the episode continues to dance between the Doctor and Clara's life as the investigation proceeds on the malevolent ice crystals, making their paths cross more and more. When there is a disturbance in the children of whom she is the governess of, Clara sets out for the Doctor's help. She comes across Madame Vastra and Jenny. Vastra warns Clara that the Doctor was once kind, but that pain of loss changed him. But Vastra gave Clara the one word test. If Clara answered in one word that sums up what's going on, why she needs the Doctor, and why he should help her, then he will answer. The purpose of one word is tell only truth, for lies are, and I quote, " words, words,words". Clara's answer was "pond".

We all know what that means to the Doctor, but for Clara it means danger for many people. I thought it was brilliantly how the writers planned this part. It got the Doctor out of his own mind, and even gave the audience something to cheer about. The portrayal of this Doctor, isolated, sad, and apathetic, is realistic of someone who has lost their own purpose, self-worth, not wanting to die, but hating their life that they have to live.

This is true for all beings the thought of loneliness is poison that brings an eternal fear that only a person can take away. But the relief only lasts as long as the person giving it. That is what the Doctor, I think, fears the most. That the fear of the fall back into loneliness and the anticipation of the pain it brings.

After such an amazing change of heart, the Doctor comes back... As Sherlock Holmes! Just kidding, well he is any way. We see the Doctor as we know and love. Smart, brilliant, and handsome as ever. After assisting Clara in saving her friends, he takes her to the TARDIS in attempts to capture what the snowmen are after, a cranky ice woman. The snow needs her in order to have a human replica in ice form so that they can, guess what, take over the world.

Plans are working, success is in reach, when Clara is attacked, and both her and the ice woman fall from the TARDIS, smashing the ice and mortally wounding Clara. Infuriated, the Doctor goes to the snow and does not show mercy, getting back in time to say good bye to Clara. At her funeral, the Docter realizes that he had never seen her full name. Clara Oswin Oswald. If you can recall Oswin Oswald was the name of the girl who died in the episode 'Asylum of the Daleks'. The Doctor confirms them to be the same girl. And so we are left with Doctor on a mission to find out just who Clara is. This leaves me with one question.

Clara Who?
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6/10
A bit disappointing
rubenvanbergen25 December 2012
Although I generally hold Steven Moffat in high regard - thanks in no small part to the brilliant "Sherlock" - this episode to me marked one too many Doctor Who stories resolved by something of the form: "humans showing a deep emotion is all-powerful". Don't get me wrong, I have no beef with a "love conquers all"-type ending; I wouldn't be watching Doctor Who if I did. My point is that I don't much like it when a big complicated crisis (typically the impending doom of humanity, planet Earth or even the entire universe) is literally and *directly* solved by something like "a mother's love", or "children crying", or everyone just wishing really hard. Why? Because it's cheating! It's lazy storytelling. It's a deus ex machina where even the deus is poorly worked out, and it means you don't get a satisfying return on your emotional investment in the plot.

So it is with this story. One gets the feeling that Moffat wasn't that interested in writing a plot for the episode to begin with. It seems like really all it was about for him was getting to the end, where we are introduced to the mystery that will presumably form the story arc for the next season. And then he hastily fills in the rest of the episode with some vague christmassy threat, only to dispel it all too easily and through very little involvement of the Doctor.

I don't want that, Mr. Moffat. I want you to care about individual episodes as well as about big, clever, season-spanning mysteries. But perhaps even more so, I would like the Doctor to be a hero again, for once. Not one of the swashbuckling, gun-slinging variety (hell no: I want specs, brains and quirkiness), but simply somebody who actually properly saves the bloody day, rather than wait until something sufficiently touching happens that automatically does the job for him. He's a Time Lord, for crying out loud!

Also, new console room: meh, Jenna Louise Coleman: meh. But I'm hoping to change my mind on those two counts.
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9/10
Nearly best Christmas episode ever!
lobequadrat25 December 2012
Sound, interesting story (well, besides some "scarf issues" = inconsistencies in clothes that appear "out of the dark"). Nicely shaped characters. The doctor has a new companion. A companion he already met before in form of a Dalek. The question is if she is able to substitute Amy and(!) Rory? We'll see ...

Still more a child story ... but the Doctor is slowly getting old ... aehm ... growing up.

This current episode continues the improved animation effects that started in the last two series in comparison to current US series.

Can't wait for the story to continue in April next year.
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7/10
Is it finally going back to be a good show?
laura-bonaventura126 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I was really disappointed by Moffat/Smith version of Doctor Who, but I finally found this episode entertaining and not completely senseless as the previous ones. The new companion introduction is almost brilliant, I'm amazed.

Now, the bad things. I believe that if you cannot manage decent visual effects you should partially give up on the script, in my opinion this was the case. I always enjoy Sir Ian McKellen, I don't know what actually happened, but if I had the chance to have him in my show I wouldn't just use half of him (his voice). I see there are still some problems in the script, mostly time problems (which is ironic). Some things are rushed, some others tend to be extremely boring, this affects especially the funny side: it's really easy to fall from "funny" to "stupid" and lately it happened a lot.

I gave a 7/10 because I see signs of an improvement, the willing to be fresh without destroying the whole show logic, but the episode itself it 's far from excellence.
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10/10
My favorite episode ever
Jack Vasen13 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The number one favorite of any show is always a personal choice. This is not only my number one choice for Doctor Who, but for any TV series. I have watched this one so many times.

It helps that Clara is my favorite companion and Matt Smith is my favorite Doctor. Clara is sassy and smart and brave and of course beautiful.

This episode has so many great moments which reflects the superb writing. My favorite is when Clara proclaims "It's smaller on the outside". In the same scene, she asks "where is the kitchen" which takes us back to the Asylum of the Daleks. There is also her sarcastic observations while Strax fumbles with the memory worm. The One Word test is brilliant and brings a tear when she answers "Pond". Another tear comes when the Doctor offers a key to the Tardis saying "I never know why, only who." Clara's second test with the umbrella is brilliant and she shows here Doctor-like intellect by solving it. Clara's imminent death brings tears to the children which appropriately is more powerful than the influence of the GI. And of course "Run, you clever boy, and remember" which breaks the Doctor's self imposed curse after Amy's loss and energizes him to find his "Impossible girl". Rarely does a one hour TV episode have so many brilliant moments and without scanning it again, I'm sure I missed some.

As for acting, I've already mentioned Matt Smith is my favorite Doctor as reflected by his great delivery of wise-cracks combined with his physical comedy. And somehow his very presence demands respect. Jenna Coleman is perfect as the sassy and intelligent Clara.
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6/10
It's not the 6th episode, this is a xmas special.
myrahyde30 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I don't like Clara much especially seeing how good Oswin version which was an excellent human being. Clara was kind of good here as well, she was not snobby she was smart. She was pretty and she knew it without acting like a 14 year old. She didn't care about the society's view on woman which was a perfect trait. But after The Bells Of Saint John, she became this egomaniac, snobby, dull character who thought she was so special and who made a bigger deal of everything and she ate my brain off. They tried to make her a strong woman figure but all they created was a dumb woman who exagrated stuff and who was so stereotypical.
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1/10
Another Dreadful Moffat Xmas Flop
Adrianapolis27 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I would love to be able to go back to 2004 and post on the various 'Dr.Who' forums that the new series should feature a comedy Sontaran, and lines like "Sir, please don't noogle me during combat prep!". I wonder what the response would have been.

Steven Moffat's first two Xmas 'Dr.Who' episodes were duds, and so was this. It was part-'Crackerjack' pantomime, part 'Mary Poppins' on a budget. It started out interestingly with the face appearing in a snowflake, and the snowman talking to the little boy, but when the girl followed the Doctor's hansom cab and stuck her head through the roof before going "Doctor Whooooooo!", my heart sank. It was the usual gibberish. After 'River Song', the last thing I wanted to see was yet another 'mysterious' companion ( especially as we all know the big reveal will turn out to be a cop-out ). The 'Merlin' conclusion ( shown on Xmas Eve ) had more going for it. There was so much wrong with this - a giant lottery machine full of snow, gay Silurians, the TARDIS floating on a cloud and accessible through a spiral staircase, the Doctor dressing up as 'Sherlock Holmes' ( how embarrassing was that? ), the frozen governess exclaiming 'that's the way to do it!', and the Great Intelligence using snowmen instead of Yetis ( all the Doctor needed to do was build a flame thrower and he didn't ) - that I hardly know where to start. The 'snowmen' were underused, and seemed only there to provide a marketing hook rather than drive the story.

Its high time Moffat moved on, and took Smith with him. If we must have Richard E.Grant in 'Dr.Who', please cast him as the Doctor. He was wasted as the villain. The best piece of 'Dr.Who' I've seen all year is the Loose Cannon reconstruction of 'The Daleks Master Plan' starring the great William Hartnell.
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6/10
Strong new character, Weakest Moffat Plot
JerrockTV3 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I always look forward to the Christmas episodes and found this one ultimately disappointing. I found it even more disappointing when it was written by Steven Moffat.

The weakest part about this episode, was that it reverted to a stale, classic Doctor Who formula we have seen so many times before. This formula is as follows: Strange alien appears on Earth>Plan to destroy earth with magic is revealed>Everything is completely hopeless>Some random magic fixes the problem. Here are just a few examples of episodes that have applied this extremely overused formula: Partners in Crime, The Poison Sky, The Lodger, and more recently The Power of Three.

Moffat has always broken the mold with interesting plots but this episode was an exception. One thing he did right was add some new twists to the fascinating overarching plot and a very interesting new Character, Clara Oswin Oswald.
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6/10
Good Stuff and still not so good stuff
John Green27 December 2012
Since Steven Moffat has taken the helm after RTD left producing the show, I have been repeatedly disappointed in the direction of the series. Of all actors that have played the Doctor, I find Matt Smith on the same level as Colin Baker in "entertainment value." I should clarify my favorite actors as the Doctor were Jon Pertwee, Peter Davison and David Tennant in that order. The scripts are also hit or miss as well. That said; I enjoyed this episode more than others from the past season. First, the opening credits are FANTASTIC! The orchestration is wonderful coupled with a return of the image of the Doctors' face in the very well done graphics! The story was okay although I expected Clara to say "Spit Spot" to the kids at some point and pull a tall lamp out of her bag. Also, using a Sontaran as comic relief seemed a bit silly. Killer Smowmen from outer space with a floating spaceship (TARDIS) in the clouds seems like a bad B-Movie plot from the 1950's and the conclusion to the episode is a bit confusing. And if we must have a villain, I don't think the "cute, sexy and lick-the-mirror handsome" Doctor Richard E.Grant was the best choice.

I am sure there was an intent of a cliff hanger but it was more of a "what in the heck just happened" moment (IMHO). There was good action, great music and Clara (Oswin) is really a perfect companion for the Doctor. Hopefully, she can hang on for a regeneration and a better Doctor will be cast in the role...soon! I long for the days when RTD brought excellent stories every week, or even when John Nathan Turner was in charge. I should clarify that Steven Moffat has had some good episodes such as "Blink" but nothing consistent.

Doctor Who is something I look forward to on Christmas Day, and I am hopeful that future episodes will improve. I would not want to see the Doctor go back on the shelf like it did in 1989.
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3/10
It must make sense to some people, I guess...
BA_Harrison26 December 2012
I'm going to be honest... very few episodes of Doctor Who have ever made much sense to me. The show didn't make a lick of sense when I was a kid back in the 70s and it's no more intelligible now that I'm middle-aged. What I always enjoyed, though, was the sense of fun, the creativity and the scary monsters, three factors that kept me watching despite often not having a scooby what was going on.

This Christmas special does feature the occasional fun moment, but the story is dull, the usually reliable Richard E. Grant puts in a forgettable performance, Ian McKellen is completely wasted, the creatures are weak (the crappy CGI ice woman was extremely disappointing and the titular snowmen did very little to send a chill up the spine), and the episode is even more impossible to follow than usual. Thank heavens for the presence of the rather lovely Jenna-Louise Coleman as Clara, who managed to hold my interest despite me not having the foggiest what was going on.
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