We are a day late, but not a poun short with the review for this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special, “The Snowmen.” I actually watch the episode last night, but lacked the juice to writer a review. Good thing, too. It afforded me a second viewing today and a slight change of opinion.
“The Snowmen” feels much like a reboot. Not only is there a new TARDIS design and companion, but the doctor himself has changed. He is livin in 1892 London mostly alone. He treats his sontarian and silerian allies more as servants than friends. Some time has passed since he lost Amy, rory, and, if the series six DVD extras are canon, River. He spends much of the episode avoiding Clara Oswin Oswald, who he does not recognize by appearance from the first time they met, but thery grow closer together until she is mortally wounded by The Snowmen.
What I have just summarized is the heart of “The Snowmen.” The villain, Dr. Simeon and his great Intelligence and telepathic Snowmen are standard fare for this show. Some of the CGI work is impressive, but the villains are ultimately forgettable. The problem, methinks, is steven Moffat wanted a Lovecraft homage, but could not quite pull it off. As a Lovecraft, I may be hypercritical here. Your mileage may vary.
While I may be down on the action, I am not down on ’The Snowmen” as a whole. While the pacing drags at times, I liked the building relationship between clara and the Doctor, particularly his joy at the en when he realizes she could not possibility have died twice and goes searching or her. It has often bugged me how quickly the Doctor will hook up with certain companions while leaving scores of other people behind. Clara is something refreshingly different.
The new TARDIS interior is smooth. I am not big on the technical aspects of these things. You may be more excited over it.
“The Snowmen” is good, but not great. The BBC does period pieces beautifully. And Victorian London is wonderfully recreated. Clara and and the doctor steal the show. Jenna-Louise Coleman is going to make a great companion. The self-titled villains are the weakest link, but they are not detrimental enough to drag down the while episode.
Rating: *** (out of 5)