Doctor Who: The Snowmen – TV Review
I know Christmas is long done, and that’s why I’m finally getting around to this review.
If you didn’t watch the Children in Need prequel, which isn’t required to understand the episode, this will be the first time you enter Victorian England with The Doctor.
The trouble is, the experience is kind of ‘meh’ if I’m honest.
Once and future companion Clara/Oswin is a barmaid most of the time, and the rest she spends as governess to a couple of precocious children, whose father has a hopeless crush on her. The Doctor comes into play when they children’s old governess, who has been frozen to death, comes back to terrorize them. Richard E Grant is behind this whole kerfuffle. He’s listening to a giant snow globe that is helping him to create evil snowmen in an attempt to integrate their alien DNA with humans so they can exist on earth. The Doctor, with help from Madame Vastra and Commander Strax (that’s the Silurian and the Sontaran, for those who haven’t been keeping up,) oh, and also Vastra’s wife, Jenny, investigates and it doesn’t take him very long to figure out what’s going on. Fixing it is an entirely different matter. As is common with Doctor Who, the monsters are maybe a little scary for the younger kids, but that’s part of its charm – traumatising children.
There were a few good little bits in this episode. The Doctor’s cloud dwelling, the strange detective team made up of Vastra, Jenny and Strax. Clara is an interesting character, and the calls back to when she was a Dalek are going to be good for future episode. The fact that she’s died twice now in two episodes will probably be interesting at some point, but right now it just seems silly. I’m also getting a little sick of the whole ‘Doctor? Doctor Who?’ thing. It was amusing the first time, but now it just feels self serving. Similarly, Clara using the word ‘Pond’ to convince The Doctor to help her felt somewhat unnecessary. Yes, there was a pond involved, but without the previous meaning of that word (which Clara isn’t supposed to know) it wouldn’t have been good enough to get The Doctor to help. Then there’s The Doctor putting himself into isolation yet again after losing friends. We’ve been over this ground before. He can’t travel alone for too long, even his wife says so. The Doctor may be eons old, but this level of refusal to learn is bordering on the ridiculous.
Richard E Grant is good as the villain, jut as you’d expect him to be. The first interaction between him and The Doctor is entertaining. Tom Ward as Captain Latimer, the father of the house, is adorable. He’s too shy to speak on his feelings, and his dismay at the thought that Clara is romantically involved with The Doctor, coupled with his very English attempts at covering it up and being polite, is pretty funny. Clara’s death is sad, but not overly so because we barely know the woman or the family that has come to love her.
Rating: 3/5 Raging Nerds