Doctor Who and The Snowmen

The Snowmen

Drwho-Snowmen_SmithWritten by Steven Moffat
Story 7.06
Transmitted 25 December, 2012
I never know how, I only know who.”’

The Doctor is sulking in Victorian London with the former Sontaran soldier/nurse turned butler Strax, the Silurian warrior Lady Vastra and her wife (shock) Jenny. Depressed by the loss of Amy and Rory, the Doctor has sworn off adventuring for fear of endangering others. Despite his attempts to remain on the sidelines, he is called out of his reverie by Clara, the feisty barmaid/governess/mystery girl with a quirky grin. Snow is the culprit this time around and it could kill all of humanity by Christmas night. Guest-starring Richard E Grant as the evil Dr Simian, a distorted and angry young boy grown into a dangerous old man and Sir Ian McKellen as the voice of the Great Intelligence (though surely not the one from the Yeti adventures Abominable Snowmen and Web of Fear), The Snowmen is a wintry period piece of whimsy and fanciful fun for all… or is it?

There are some very well tread notions that are used in this story that are downright shameful given the level of popularity Doctor Who is enjoying and the fact that it is in its seventh year on TV and about to celebrate the program’s 50th anniversary. We really should be beyond many of the cliches that Moffat leans heavily on here and while The Snowmen does hint at a payoff later on, this particular tale is a vapid one.

The story opens with Dr Simian collecting snow using manual labor. Once again the working class or disenfranchised are depicted as helpless victims (see Age of Steel, Daleks Take Manhattan, The Next Doctor, etc), as Simian ‘feeds’ his staff to monstrous Snowmen. He’s so evil that he has no need of a plan at all, aside from collecting bits snow for a giant snow globe and talking to an evil disembodied voice about how well everything is going.

Dr Simian should really meet the Master (the proper Delgado one) for lessons in hatching evil schemes.

DrWho_the-snowmen_SmithColeman

The new companion is introduced as a barmaid (previous companions for the new series have included a shop girl, office temp and kiss-o-gram. Only Martha Jones -remember her?- stands out as an exception being a promising medical student). The BBC Wales series seems obsessed with the working class as the heroes/victims and the gentry being the villains, all but omitting the middle class with Amy and Rory possibly being the only exception. In meeting Clara, the Doctor attempts some silly scientific investigation before wandering off into the night. Into the second half of his third year now, Smith has matured quite well and wears the mantle of lonely wanderer like it was made for him. He doesn’t over-sell it, an impish smile hints at some real joyful memories of his marvelous adventures, sadly in the distant past.

I keep saying this but the worse the story the more apparent it is to me how flipping perfect Smith is as the Doctor. He is a genuine childlike eccentric and he embodies the part with so much exuberance not seen since the late Patrick Troughton (his self-professed influence in the role of the Doctor).

Unfortunately, Moffat has yet to learn the skill of subtlety and places the Doctor and his TARDIS literally on a cloud overlooking the city… yes, he is actually refusing to look down at the world and is above it. I’d like to remind you that this guy won awards for writing.

Apparently the phrase ‘Doctor Who?’ was not a one-off fascination of Moffat’s as it is now referred to as ‘what starts adventure’ and a kind of secret phrase to get into his Victorian inner circle. We are also once more saddled with other characters telling us about who and what the Doctor is while he does mostly nothing. What’s more, he is called a savior and protector of the world. Additionally, call backs to the previous companion is used as a motive, much the same as Rose haunted two solid years of Doctor Who.

uktv-doctor-who-xmas-2012-15

Because Moffat is writing this series for his son, he feels the need to include LOTS of children. In case the cliche is lost, Clara plays headmistress (not that kind, Hal) to the children of Captain Latimer and entertains the kids Julie Andrews-style with whimsical tales to distract them from their sexually frustrated widower father. She presents the Doctor as a fanciful magical uncle-type, or Mary Poppins in trousers. What’s peculiar (as SJV has pointed out), is that the Doctor has stated that he has to stop being such an icon to the universe and ‘go silent.’ Despite that, children are told that he will save them and is a special kind of person who fights off horrors (once again, let me point out that even though Clara tells the children this he has not only done no such thing but he has defiantly refused to get involved in anyone’s business).

The naughty headmistress who had become encased in ice is brought back via psychically sensitive snow… or ice… and transformed into an angry and embarrassing computer effect. In what could be the weirdest self aware moment of the entire new series, the Doctor appears as a Punch doll bearing his trusty sonic screwdriver which shatters the monster to pieces (though remember, it is NOT A WEAPON).

Doctor Who Christmas Special

As if the comic characters of Lady Vastra, Jenny and Strax were not absurd enough, their arrival at Captain Latimer’s house causes the maid to scream then faint like an am dram drop out. It’s all very sad. Captain Latimer may as well have spouted, ‘This is most peculiar!’ and I’m kinda disappointed that he didn’t.

Drwho-Snowmen_guests

Assaulted from without by Dr Simian and his deadly snow maker (?) and from within by an ice woman who can’t get down a flight of stairs, things become far more familiar for long time viewers. The program is notorious for ‘base under siege’ plots in which the heroes are holed up trying to think of a way out while the enemy closes in. It’s also a handy way to chew up run time and fill in the odd plot ole such as what the ell is going on. For all of its many faults, the inability to actually tell a story while introducing characters and setting is the most damning. Doctor Who was once the most innovative TV series, today it cannot chew gum and skip at the same time.

Dr Simian is working for an alien intelligence (presumably not the other Great Intelligence from the similarly entitled classic story Abominable Snowmen featuring the fan favorite monster the Yeti) who are attempting to gain corporeal form through snow, ice and a fusion with the human body. Why not grass, brick, muffins or pantaloons? All of these things are in large supply in Victorian London during Christmas time.

In fact, I demand next year we see pantaloon monsters.

P

One massive tragedy is that Richard E Grant is absolutely wasted in this. I’m not saying that he is the most amazing actor ever, but I do enjoy a bit of Withnail and I. Finally making an appearance in the new Doctor Who, he not only has not much to do at all, but puts in some superb evil guy performances while Smith minces about like a loon. Sure, REG played the Doctor in the animated special that dare not be spoken of… but that’s different.

Thinking (?) quickly, the Doctor and Clara direct the ice governess away from the snow which can apparently not fly up and over the roof like snow could but must dutifully wait to be invited in. Using the magic staircase into the clouds, Clara bosses the Doctor into action (haven’t we done this three companions in a row now?) and we finally see the new console room. After all of the pretext over the redesign, it looks like a frigging carousel. I was on the fence about the static design but now that I see that the ceiling twirls about, all that is missing are ponies to ride on. It is nice for the TARDIS to have dials and switches again rather than cranks or rubber balls, but is still the most far out and goofy console room ever.

Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor seems to say that he is beginning an adventuring relationship with Clara and through Moffat’s eyes that may be the only reason the Doctor ever does anything. It’s peculiar and takes the notion of the Doctor being a romantic character to a whole other level of inappropriateness. It also flies in the face of what Doctor Who was before RTD and Moffat got their hands on it… an adventure program. It has become a romance in which the Doctor is moved to action by a pretty girl. What is up with that?

And of course it is at this moment when Clara is attacked by the ice governess and pulled to her death. The action comes to a complete stop while the Doctor feels guilty over her possible death. Even Lady Vastra remarks that the snow and ice are still problems, but again they dutifully wait.

Drwho-Snowmen_Confrontation

The Doctor confronts what is definitely not the Great Intelligence from Abominable Snowmen offering up a shard of the ice governess in a box bearing the map of the London Underground circa 1967 (when the Abominable Snowmen was screened) and Richard E Grant is subsumed by camp villain acting that will haunt him to the grave. On her death bed (her damned insides must have been crushed from the fall) Clara tries to reconcile Latimer’s lack of intimacy for his children (who all serve no purpose in the story) then turns the snow to rain by crying… um… of course.

Clara dies somehow and the Doctor realizes that Dr Simian’s business card is for the Great Intelligence and that it may have melted into the ground but could have maintained knowledge of the London Underground (which was invaded by the Yeti in 1968’s Web of Fear)… but it is surely not the Great Intelligence from Abominable Snowmen.

The Doctor also realizes that Clara was somehow on the Asylum for Wayward Daleks where she also died… and the multi-part mystery in which the companion takes importance over the Doctor begins anew.

Peter McKinstry's new Yeti design

Peter McKinstry’s new Yeti design

As each year of Doctor Who traditionally focuses on the return of a classic monster or villain (The Daleks, Cybermen, Master, Davros, Sontarans, Silurians and more have all come back as the main focus of each series), it could be that this is all leading to a showdown with the Yeti which could mean that Sir Ian McKellen may return which is nice as well. Designs of the Yeti have been circulated for ages so it does add up. However, the program has thrown curve balls before such as bringing voice actor Gabriel Woolf back for the Impossible Planet which led many fans to rightly interpret that Sutekh (from the very popular Pyramids of Mars) was on his way back.

Most finales involve River Song, marriages, heartbroken lovers or other such things, so I doubt that I am right in thinking that the Yeti are on their way… but dammit that would make sense. Instead we are going to be treated to the ‘mystery of Clara Oswald Oswin’ through the second half of series 7.  Ah well… the teaser looks pretty.

Next time…

 

Special note: I will be on vacation for the first time ever for the next four-five days. Don’t panic, I will be back and make sure to check in on my tumblr feed for updates as I find them. Happy Holidays and Merry X-Men!

42 thoughts on “Doctor Who and The Snowmen

  1. Okay, where to start. Pros first. Like the Doctor’s costume, like the title sequence, and like the new Tardis console room. I didn’t mind the spinning top. I wouldn’t say its the goofiest console room ever. Granted I’d take Classic Era and definitely McGann console room any day over this but this is might be my favorite New Who console room. I like that they’ve actually scaled the room down more.
    I agree that Richard Grant was completely wasted in this episode. He could’ve become one of the great one-off DW villains here but he has little to say or do except glare. If they were going to reference the Intelligence again why Snowmen and not Yeti?
    The “Doctor Who?” has officially been strangled to death. Before it was a once-in-awhie cute gag, in the New Series it was in every Doctor introduction scene, and now its obnoxious like everything else is.
    Clara / Oswin: Found her annoying in “Asylum of the Daleks” and I found her annoying here. I’m all for tough, smart, independent female characters but there’s a difference between a smart female character and a smug smartass. Amy wasn’t that but we have River Song. Oswin is almost the same as River Song. Also I find a bit offensive that Moffat writes women who immediately throw themselves onto strange men they barely know. I guess because she’s doing it and the Doctor is shocked at this, its suppose to be okay. Its not. A peck on the cheek as a thank you is fine but this was a full-on kiss and later is checking out his ass. I maybe wrong in this assessment but am I the only who is disturbed by this?
    The resolution: Classic example of deus ex machina. Will Moffat explain how Clara’s single tear made it rain in London? Unless she’s a god or something I’m calling bullsh*t.
    Overall: Meh. Very, very meh. I was willing to forgive some things and go along with but the Clara’s behavior and the tear ending is what prevents me from calling this a good episode.

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  2. I DEMAND TO HAVE SOME BOOZE! What, we’re not talking about Withnail and I? Pity. Great review, Jameson, just one thing – could you not hold back so much, tell us what you really think ;). I’m too tired to leave a mini-review yet but I will say you were pretty dead-on. Read the SFX review if you want to see how Moffat gets away with bad lazy writing and regurgitation; the “critic” praises even the worst, most bone-headed elements unreservedly or even worse fails to notice the things which you, Chris, and myself identify immediately, he accuses anyone who criticizes the nth “love conquers all” deux ex machina ending of being a “grinch”, which is amusingly pathetic and conservative. Apparently one should just swallow any old shit if its popular, wouldn’t want to stand out, would we? Quite how Moffat gets away with using the same ideas ad infinitum ad nauseum while being called a genius is beyond me. You’d have to be either pretty naive or wilfully ignorant to think that this poorly-constructed, narratively and emotionally unmotivated mediocrity was sophisticated or fresh. Shameful. Is the family stuff *supposed* to be laughably false and anachronistic? And “Doctor Who?”, surely Moffat is taking the piss with the reiteration of that asinine, senseless question/”joke”? Only morons could find it intriguing or funny, one would hope. It seems some cowards think that popularity puts certain things beyond reproach or proper criticism. How sad and school-like.
    “Headmistress”? Tsk tsk, Jameson. Even I with my love of dubious puns didn’t think of that as meaning anything else! Sorry to disappoint. Surely Moffat can see that his women characters are samey and problematic, even if his acolytes can’t?

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  3. If every episode of Doctor Who is going to begin with “Doctor Who?” then I will begin every reply to Hal with “What are you doing Hal?” (best read in an emotionless low-volume male voice… yeah, I went 2001 on this)

    Ok… so the curious thing is that while everything everyone has said is 100% true… I didn’t find myself hating this episode. Maybe I am becoming numb? Maybe the Great Intelligence has infested me? But I didn’t dislike this as much as I usually do…

    That said…

    The biggest plot-hole to me… had to be… Ice Queen and Clara fall… Clara is mostly dead (she almost got better) but the Ice Queen shatters into shards. It takes a while for the Doctor to come down there and collect her… so… umm… why didn’t Simian or a snowman scoop up a shard of Ice Queen? A fall from that height would have spread out the shards over a good distance… as many snowmen as there were, surely one of them could have gotten a shard and ended the world. The fact that it didn’t happen AND nobody within the episode explained that… says someone hoped we wouldn’t ask that question!

    Clara Who? Ok, it isn’t as “cool” as bowties or the “Doctor Who” question… but is she a clone of herself? Why else do we have Strax? Does she not really die for some reason? Mystery to be solved later of course.

    One question answered… another question smacked in our faces… Strax died last time we saw him… the Doctor mentions this, then mentions someone bringing him back to life… which means this takes place after Strax died last series. Ok, fine… except… so… the Doctor has a friend who can bring the dead back to life and he brings back Strax? Of all the people the Doctor has seen die around him… and Strax gets brought back to life? Really?

    Nobody in Victorian times seems bothers that a lesbian lizard lady is wandering around? Mind you, I have no problem with lesbians, lizards, or ladies… but it seemed like people were most surprised at her being a Lady, a lesbian, and not at all a lizard. I would have thought “lizard” would have been an issue. In fact, since everyone did react to Strax… it wasn’t because they were all used to seeing weird things… just apparently being a woman with stature was more surprising than being a lizard woman.

    The Doctor knows the Ice people can’t take over the Earth… Why? His “death” last series was a fixed point. We were beaten over the head with that… some points can change others can’t… thus, no way anything back can happen in the Earth’s past prior to the “fixed point” of his death… thus, did he really have to do anything at all to save the Earth?

    Jameson is right to notice how much the Doctor is not staying out of people’s business. He parks his Tardis in the clouds, yet keeps venturing outside. Infinitely big inside but he goes outside where people are… people that he doesn’t want to be around… he could just stay inside. And again, why is he with a brought-back-to-life-somehow Strax?

    Since we keep getting Christmas specials lately with obvious homages to classic winter stories (Scrooge, Lion/Witch/Wardrobe, Frosty the Snowman)… My fingers are crossed that next season’s Christmas special will be an homage to that classic “Jingle All the Way”… Can’t wait for Arnie to say “Dak-Da Hoo?!”

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      • Venomous? Hardly. Considering you use this site to criticize and do it in the public domain, your lack of a thick skin comes across as rather pathetic, and the comment about this person’s e-mail address is creepy, and slightly threatening. Are you planning to send him abusive e-mails in retaliation?

        Your reviews of New Who are some what samey and snarky to the point of why bother.

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      • Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule Mr. Clarke. The remark was spiteful (like your own) with no purpose at all and added nothing. I have been reviewing during my free time with no real advertising since 07 so the fact that you and he ended up here is because my words are gaining notoriety. That’s not to say you personally agree, but my opinion has become sought after (I even got published, so there). If you have something constructive to say that adds to the conversation, even if you disagree with me,, go for it.

        But if your goal is to undercut me and tell me to stop writing the material you chose to not only seek out but read… go elsewhere. If you have plans to attack me by calling me pathetic, please do stay so that we can have a wonderful conversation. It sounds lovely.

        ‘some what snarky’?? SOMEWHAT??? I think I have graduated to full on snark, thank you,

        Also, just to be clear,.Wordpress does not require that you register or provide a valid email address in order to comment (as you have discovered). I have received far more damning messages from others who politely provide a way to track them down as well that I wonder what they were thinking. I have never used anyone’s email address to do them harm to date, but easily could. My opinion is that they are their own worst enemy.

        If your own goal is to go online and set someone straight by spitting on them, you have problems that neither I nor a TV program can solve.

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  4. I’d prefer “Open the podbay doors, Hal”, perhaps then I could sing you a song? “Daisy” seems likely. Ha.
    As to your questioning why the Doctor is hanging around with a back-from-the- dead Strax and why Strax of all people was revived? Steven Moffat created him would seem to be the answer. When Moffat wants things to happen in his stories, they happen. Whether it makes sense or not. In the future this may become known as the Moffat Manoeuvre. This forces me to retitle a Billie Piper “song”, yes, it’s “Because He Wants Too”!

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    • Hmm… you may be onto something… The Moffat Maneuver… would that be:

      1. Can I ask you Sir… Mr Moffat… how did you do? How did you beat the no-win scenario? *I* don’t believe in the no-win scenario… you’re looking at the only man who ever beat the no-win scenario. How? *I* re-programmed the computer so it was possible to win.. He cheated!

      Thus… Mr Moffat rewrites the rules of critics and fans such that all that he creates is enjoyed because it must be because he has changed the definition of “crap” to “cool” thus the crap becomes cool.

      OR

      2. All Federation starships are made of “corbomite” so that if they are captured they cannot be taken, it will self-destruct and destroy everyone and everything.

      Thus… IF you ever manage to trap Mr Moffat into realizing his “crap” the content of the show causes you to have a brain hemmorhage and you forget that you didn’t like it.

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  5. “The only force that could melt the snow, a whole family crying at Christmas” – The Snowmen, Steven Moffat, 2012 causing projectile vomiting.
    My Review in Miniature: If you expected a plot that made no real sense, a generic “feisty” companion, a few strung-together images with no thought-through underpinning, lots of teeth-itching dialogue, and more uses of “Doctor Who?” than any reasonable person would countenance, then your expectations were answered; all that and a predictable set-up for the “second half” of the season. What have we done to deserve such bounty?! Note: Sarcasm.
    The Snowmen has the germ of a good idea – an alienated, devastated Doctor no longer wishing to get involved. The problem is Moffat isn’t really prepared to follow through with this, he feints at doing this but while the dialogue tries to manipulate us into believing the conceit he still resorts to a cavalcade of poor jokes and worse catchphrases, plus some embarassing on-the-nose imagery involving the Doctor “in the clouds” above it all. Another problem is that the New Doctor Who began with a similar premise and has revisited it since. The fact that this is a Christmas Special and has to cram in lazy Moffatian Christmas cliches including the “sad family” and some things related to the season means that the storytelling is even more clogged with the lachrymose and the unfunny. Cont’d

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  6. The reintroduction of the Great Intelligence is an interesting, exciting idea but the execution is, to say the least, muddled. In common with many (most? ALL?) Moffat scripts this one leans toward frivolous self-satisfied clever-cleverness rather than anything really *intelligent*. Moffat’s propensity for groaners such as “it’s smaller on the outside” and business cards with Great Intelligence on them is truly wearing and showcases a kind of “anti-wit”. The living snowmen make for a momentarily memorable image but the combination of shabby CGI, illogicality (why would they eat?etc), and the fact that they look silly and can’t do much makes them a cold damp squib, while the Ice Queen is similarly rubbish. Richard E Grant is wasted playing a non-character over-shadowed by CG nonsense. The Great Intelligence itself is treated like a joke while the notion of invading ice/snow beings (reminiscent of Kim Newman’s the Cold from his Who novella, Simon E Forward’s Who novel Drift, and Ramsey Campbell’s superior horror tome Midnight Sun) doesn’t line-up and reminds one of how much better The Abominable Snowmen and particularly Web of Fear were in the sixties (despite Moffat appearing to mock the latter).
    Having said that, The Snowmen was well-shot and certainly preferable to the dreadful Christmas Carol (2010) or last year’s Wardrobe. I particularly liked the wonderfully stupid dialogue from Strax (“May I take your coat, human scum”!) even though neither it nor he seem to belong in Doctor Who, certainly the Doctor’s treatment of Strax is unpleasant and bullying. One more thing, that the Richard E Grant character was shy as a child, that this is characterized as unhealthy and that he becomes a monster as an adult doesn’t say much for Moffat’s empathy or thoughtfulness. Does he wish to encourage bullying or indicate that everyone should be the same? Unpleasant even if unintentional.

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    • “One more thing, that the Richard E Grant character was shy as a child, that this is characterized as unhealthy and that he becomes a monster as an adult doesn’t say much for Moffat’s empathy or thoughtfulness. Does he wish to encourage bullying or indicate that everyone should be the same? Unpleasant even if unintentional.”

      You made several great points as usual, Hal, but this is one that really stood out to me. Moff seems obsessed with emotional themes such as an inability to connect with adopted children in ‘Closing Time’ but it’s all so misinformed and flawed that he comes off as a sociopath.

      Being shy and awkward leads to commanding a platoon of evil snowmen through the streets of London? Why? A single tear can lead to the sadness of a family that destroys psychic snow monsters? Was this written by an alien who doesn’t understand what emotions are or how they work?

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  7. Just read the SFX review. This backs up my claim that either critics are idiots or afraid that if they criticize the show the wrath of Nu-Who fans will slay them. “Let’s Kill Hitler” got good reviews apart from the Daily Mirror. And calling critics a grinch for liking the “emotional” resolution is absolute bullsh*t. I’ve gotten that when I criticized last year’s C.S. Lewis rip-off, I mean Christmas Special with the words, “Its a Christmas episode.” I get it. We’re suppose to turn off our brains when watching it because its Christmas.
    I think of the “All in the Family” Christmas Special “Draft Dodger” which was a serious episode that dealt with a controversial subject of the time. And this was a comedic sitcom. There was nothing whimsy or cute about it. So I hate that criticism that we’re suppose to ignore lazy writing and plot holes because its Christmas. To that I say “Bah! Humbug!” =)

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    • Forgot to put ‘not’ in “And calling critics a grinch for liking the “emotional” resolution is absolute bullsh*t” between ‘for’ and ‘liking’

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  8. Indeed. Gotta drink that Kool Aid, man. Before I clicked on the SFX review I tried to guess the likely rating, knowing the exact attitude that SFX exhibits and the craven way it plays to the peanut gallery I decided that 4 and a half stars would be the most likely score, hoping, of course, to be wrong. I was not. Predictable.
    The argument for the Christmas Specials is that they *have* to strike that attitude and that they are aimed at children. What an insult to children, look at Toy Story or E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial or Watership Down or the real Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Many children are not that stupid. Heck, children have enjoyed much darker or complex books and films, The Empire Strikes Back or the Earthsea books for instance. As for adults who settle for this and even *praise* it, it is to weep.
    You are correct about the adolescent, bullying posturing that heads off criticism, and the vacuous cravenness of many critics. Uhrm, I’ll calm down now! It’s just sad. I am not necessarily asking for genius but I do expect things that are essentially mediocre to seen for what they are rather than praised to a ludicrous degree.

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  9. Speaking of the Kool-Aid and Chris’ reaction to the “critics”…

    When I read most reviews or online talk of Doctor Who… I am eternally reminded of a funny Saturday Night Live skit from years ago. It was about a Hypnotist on Broadway… and they were asking people out of the show what they thought of his performance… and increasingly expected, each viewer had the same appraisal:

    “I loved it… It was much better than Cats… I am going to see it again and again…”

    The sort of mindless “Moffat’s episode was one again clever and brilliant, nothing could be improved, I can’t wait for the further brilliance to shine” reviews we have all come to know and love 🙂

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  10. On a crazy note… I’m starting to see some rumors that I don’t feel comfortable about…

    Series 6 was split to give us a cliffhanger mid-season and so that it spread out a bit more over the year instead of the long gaps… or so we were told.

    Series 7, however, didn’t start until late in the 2012 year… so nearly a year from the end of series 6 to the start of series 7… and we only got 5 episodes + the recent Christmas special. We were told it was a move to Fall/Spring and this would be the new normal.

    But now I’m reading… that in April we get the next of the 8 episodes planned for 2013… and there is a documentary that might be cool… but the only other episodes I see mentioned are one in November for the Anniversary… and the 2013 Christmas special…

    So… it is looking like we went suddenly from 14 episodes a year to… 6 one year and 10 the next… which despite all Moffat was spinning, surely seems to be less episodes per year than we had become used to!

    On top of that… someone quoting Matt Smith as “hoping” to be part of the 2013 Christmas special… that sounds ominous, though he has said he is in for another year and “until 2014″… but this would actually be true if he only is part of the 10 known episodes for next year.

    Something uneasy this way comes.

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  11. I would be surprised if after 2013 we’ll be getting a new Doctor especially considering we’re creeping on the end with Doctor #13. There are a couple of scenarios which I feel uncomfortable with: Matt & Moffat leave (given how Series 6 & 7.1 have turned out Matt’s, like David, tenure as the Doctor will be known to me as another era of lazy writing with only good season) or Matt leaves & Moffat stays on. I sorta get the feeling if Matt goes Moffat will go too as he essentially created the 11th Doctor. All for the better in my opinion as I felt Moffat was a better writer when he wasn’t a producer. Moffat said himself that he can’t see himself running the show for a long time. I only hope that the new showrunner shakes things up rather re-tred what’s been done since 2005.
    We miss you Philip Hinchcliffe =(

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    • I kind of have that feeling too… I wish we could keep Matt Smith and try without Moffat… but I have a feeling like they might go out together. Still, that could be a good thing for the show IF a stronger showrunner comes along. We all angst whenever the Doctor changes, but usually it is alright as long as the show itself is kept up quality-wise. I like all the Doctors, which is actually quite a feat of casting over 50 years when you think about it.

      The Master long outlived his “original” regenerations, so I would be fine with a workaround that lets the Doctor keep going past 13. Actually… IF they would actually do the “evil” Doctor story that we were teased with early in Matt Smith’s tenure that was a call-back to the Colin Baker story… I would be fine with that and then they do some one-shot magic workaround to resolve that. I’m willing to let them have one magic thing now and again… just not every single episode like it seems.

      Also… a couple of other interesting plays we have potential for that I would LOVE to see them take a stab at…

      Do a series or three with Paul McGann. Lots of room to explore there and I gather he would be keen to work if they wanted him.

      Do early Doctor Who… a “prequel” if you will with a younger version of William Hartnell’s Doctor. Again, lots of area to play with there AND lots of things would be new to the Doctor even if we know about them already.

      And if they wanted to be really clever? Do a series of one-off episodes one year… where each episode features a different still-living Doctor. It could be a Doctor Who Anthology series where every episode has a different actor in the role. Instead of a multi-doctor story, do a multi-doctor series!

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      • I’ve recently been pondering about whether or not Doctor Who will continue beyond the 13th Doctor. On one hand the nature of the show allows for possibilities that could extend the Doctor’s life (i.e. the Master extending his life). But on the other hand it would be nice to see the story of the Doctor come to an end just to have a complete scope of his life (on screen that is). I’m sure since DW is a cashcow for BBC they would do something to extend either the show’s life or do something like a spin-off. The problem with extending the show is that its technically cheating. I know certain ideas and notions have been introduced and later drop, but the 13th regeneration limit has cropped up a number of times over the course of the Classic series. The Master extended his life via evil methods, something the Doctor wouldn’t. Then there’s the question of whether the Doctor would want to go on. Also suppose they reach a point beyond the 13th Doctor that they finally reach the dead end point and decide then to stop the show at Doctor 15 or 16. It wouldn’t make sense to stop it there when logically it should’ve ended at 13.
        My own view is that 13th Doctor should be the last. And it wouldn’t be the end of Doctor Who material. As long as there’s books, comics, audio plays and other media. But in terms of the linear DW storyline we’ve followed since An Unearthly Child it should end. Afterall, all good things must come to an end =)

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  12. Oh my…. I just made a startling realization!

    Earlier I said this year’s Christmas special was a tip of the hat to Frosty the Snowman… Well, to quote the Fonz, I was wrrrr…wrrrrr….. wrrrrrr… I was wrong!

    It was a homage to that classic “Spirit of Christmas: Jesus vs Frosty” by Matt & Trey of South Park fame!

    And wait for it… Clara is the new Kenny!

    You b@$tard! You killed Clara!

    And then she comes back next week 🙂

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  13. SJV, You are on a wacked-out roll, keep it up! “He has changed the definition of “crap” to “cool”, thus the crap becomes “cool”. Ha. You caught my Star Trek reference too (don’t forget “the Picard Manoeuvre” as well!). It remains to be seen how many episodes they’ll be next year but it won’t be the first time that changes have been misrepresented as something “wonderful” when they were really anything but. I suppose we can but wait and see. The splitting up of the “season” is awkward, they should just air in Winter but the inescapable Christmas Special makes that difficult in storytelling terms because they are only willing to write them in a particular way.
    I would like to see a Doctor handled by more than one showrunner in New Who certainly.
    @Chris, unless the ratings plummet or something else happens I sincerely doubt the series will end with the Thirteenth Doctor. There’s always a way out and there’s no real reason why they can’t change things. It could even be well-written and imaginative! ;). You never know!

    I find it hard to see how anyone could badmouth Dailypop for being a fanboy; if he *were* just a fanboy he would credulously praise New Who’s every episode no matter if he was fed any old shit, he would then reject or attack any dissenting opinion as if there weren’t legions of slavering fanboys worshipping the show out there. No, *he’s* not a fanboy.

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  14. Since Doctor Who is about the anagrams… I saw somewhere where someone pointed out that “Oswin” can be anagram-ed to “I snow” which may or may not be significant…

    So… for fun sake… about about anagram-ing “Steven Moffat”

    I came up with: Venom Fat Fest

    I wonder what that means?

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  15. jeeperz, lighten up people! x-mas specials are supposed to be light hearted fun romps of yule time travel! plot holes will be filled in due course i assure you. i loved this epp and can not wait for the rest of the series. have a bit of fun guys, don’t be hard on it just because it’s not JNT, or Hinchcliffe, or Sherwin. just be thankfull we don’t have RTD lol.

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  16. Regarding critiques of Dr Who… I still watch, so I still enjoy… but I could be enjoying more.

    I would never criticize anyone for enjoying anything. I quite enjoy some really mindless, dumb, and hard-to-defend movies and TV shows… the difference is that I don’t automatically equate what I enjoy with great writing. I enjoy some dumb mindless stuff sometimes… and even if I pick it apart, I still enjoy.

    What gets my hackles up are people that will claim “clever” or greatness in the new Who… it simply isn’t clever or great most of the time. It could be… but it usually isn’t. So if you enjoy it, fine… I enjoy it as well… but don’t confuse personal enjoyment with high quality writing, plot, and character development.

    In fact… some really well written, well-developed stories are not my cup of tea either… There are some arguably great classic literature that bore me to tears… but it doesn’t mean they aren’t great literature.

    So… me enjoying doesn’t = awesomeness… and me hating doesn’t = crap.

    I think Dailypop is pretty fair in his critiques… and that he keeps watching surely means he is getting some enjoyment out of it as well. I mean, it isn’t like he reviews all TV shows right?

    Besides, it is a kind of irony to get all emotional and mad because you perceive someone else as emotional and mad… isn’t it?

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  17. @SJV, Well said. I like that kind of more complex and reasonable perspective.
    @Dailypop, thanks for your kind words above.
    @Dave, “It’s Simeon (as in Maigret), not Simian (as in you).”. Um, if you’re going to be gratuitously nasty due to a typo (and because – I presume – you didn’t like the negative review) you might want to make sure that you don’t make mistakes either; it’s *Simenon* not Simeon. And hey Dr Simian sounds like a great character – he’s a doctor and he’s an ape, like Dr Zaius! C’mon, there’s lots of reviews out there that praise The Snowmen up the wazoo and I doubt you’d leave a disparaging comment if one of *those* commentators got a character’s name wrong, would you? Just as I wouldn’t post a reply to a glowing review just to call the critic an idiot.

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    • Simeon was the name of Maigret’s dog, which you would of known if you had ever read any of Simenon’s novels and not just googled ‘Maigret’. A typo indeed! You really are a bum licker of the highest order, and yes, I would of left a disparaging comment on a glowing review, as I thought the Snowmen was cack. That and I’m mentally ill.

      P.S. Can I have a nude photo of you?

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  18. “I have been reviewing during my free time with no real advertising since 07 so the fact that you and he ended up here is because my words are gaining notoriety. That’s not to say you personally agree, but my opinion has become sought after (I even got published, so there)”.

    I can’t help but read that in the voice of Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons.

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  19. Charming, but at least you admit what you are. I’ll admit to not having read any Maigret or Simenon so I bow to your superior knowledge of fictional police officer’s dogs. Well done. I didn’t have to google Maigret to be aware Simenon created him, impressive I know. So Nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah!
    Since when was it sucking up to agree with someone? Nah. Don’t answer. No one wins here.

    Like

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