Doctor Who – The Snowmen

OK, the time has come. You’ve all had plenty of time to watch the episode at least once, so I can now ruminate[1] on the subject in my usual rambling way. But just in case you’ve been trapped in a well, or isolated from civilisation, I’ll give my now-traditional warning before going on;

Here be spoilers!

Some time has clearly passed since we last saw the Doctor in The Angels Take Manhattan. Time for him to settle down in a grumpy kind of way in Victorian London. Time to set up a permanent parking slot for the TARDIS on some kind of frozen cloud fitted out with a dimension-bending spiral staircase that not only allows quick access to cloud level but quite handily can’t be seen from below. Time for the TARDIS to have acquired some external damage. Time for the TARDIS to have a new interior. Time for him to settle near his friends Madam Vastra[1] and her assistant and wife Jenny, not to mention the Sontaran nurse Strax, who is somewhat less dead than last time we saw these characters in A Good Man Goes to War.

But so far, he hasn’t had enough time to return to being the Doctor we all know. He’s withdrawn. Given up on saving worlds, beaten down by the loss of his friends and, not to put too fine a point on it, sulking.

But all it takes is the right person to come along, together with the wrong alien threat, and soon enough he’s back on form. Fascinated by Clara, a young woman with at least two sides to her life, and some very odd snow, he gets involved again.

There is, of course, lots of running around, a nasty ice woman, the rather unpleasant snowmen, and their apparent leader, Doctor Simeon, who turns out to be a mere pawn in the incorporeal hands of a formless intelligence. A Great Intelligence, which shows an odd degree of interest in a map of the London Underground from the 1960s that’s on a tin the Doctor happens to have. This rings a vague bell in the Doctor’s memory, and a big loud clanking one in those of older fans. Could this be the same thing that he had problems with in Tibet and London who knows how many years ago for him? Could it be the same thing that isn’t yeti ready for its more serious attack on earth[4]?

But all this is really a side matter to the real story. The heart of this isn’t even the Doctor returning to what he does best – getting involved, and generally messing around. No, the real issue here is the massive question of who (or what?) Clara Oswin Oswald actually is. Somehow, a young Victorian is the same person who was actually a Dalek in Asylum of the Daleks. Same voice, same lines, same character. Even down to the souffle thing. And dead in both times and places. Now this is interesting. I think we’re going to be teased a lot over the eight episodes which will be showing from April onwards…

[1] Silurian[2]. Detective[3].
[2] Yes, yes, we know. Wrong name, but we’re stuck with it.
[3] The real inspiration for Sherlock Holmes, of course
[4] Yes, I did go there. Sorry[5], but it had to be done
[5] Not very, of course

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  1. Pingback: Doctor Who – The Crimson Horror | Losing it

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