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Clara’s White Christmas
NB: Watch ‘Demons’ Run: Two Days Later’; ‘Vastra Investigates’ and ‘The Great Detective’ before ‘The Snowmen’.
It’s ‘Series 7 – Part 2’ of ‘Doctor Who’ with Matt Smith as the Doctor and Jenna Coleman as Clara! This is where the next chapter in the Eleventh Doctor’s life begins. I feel that this is where I was getting into Matt Smith’s Doctor and enjoy him more compared to the previous seasons he’d done.
This is also where Jenna Coleman properly joins Matt Smith’s Doctor for the rest of Series 7 as the new companion called Clara Oswald! This new chapter of the Eleventh Doctor era is refreshing, especially as Clara comes aboard. I was looking forward to see how this new TARDIS duo worked out.
Clara is a fresh approach on a ‘Doctor Who’ companion compared to Amy and Rory. I love Jenna Coleman in ‘Doctor Who’! Her performances as Clara shine throughout for me, even if some of the stories with Clara became mixed and varied in later seasons, but that’ll be a discussion for next time.
‘Series 7 – Part 2’ is a collection of ‘Doctor Who’ stories that paves the way for a new direction of the TV series with Matt Smith. There’s a new ‘Doctor Who’ theme tune, a new TARDIS console room and there’s also some interesting revelations about the future of the series, particularly with the climax.
‘The Snowmen’ is the 2012 Christmas Special of ‘Doctor Who’. It is set in Victorian London, 1892 and sees the Doctor live a life of retirement in London, as he’s still mourning for his loss of Amy and Rory.
The Doctor becomes sulky and he doesn’t want to help out anymore in defeating alien menaces and invasions. He then meets Clara, who seems pretty fascinated by him (and perhaps crushes on him).
The two discover an army of scary-looking Snowmen that attack and devour the people of London. The Doctor tries to avoid getting involved with this matter, but Clara gets to change his mind for him.
This episode is notable for having the return of the Paternoster Gang! This includes Neve McIntosh as Madame Vastra the Silurian, Catrin Stewart as Jenny Flint and Dan Starkey as Strax the Sontaran.
These three characters featured before in ‘A Good Man Goes To War’. I’ve met Catrin Stewart at a ‘Memorabilia Birmingham’ convention in November 2011 and it was good to see Jenny return in this.
Strax returns! Hang on! I thought he died, didn’t he? No! Apparently he was brought back to life! There’s a weak explanation on how he ‘resurrected’ by the Doctor, but I am glad Strax has returned!
For me, the highlight of this episode is of course Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswin Oswald, the Doctor’s new companion. I first saw Jenna on TV as Jasmine in ‘Emmerdale’ and she had killed her boyfriend!
Jenna has appeared in ‘Doctor Who’ before in ‘Asylum of the Daleks’, since she played Oswin Oswald. In this tale, she plays someone who is a part-time barmaid and a governess for two children.
The story’s villain is Richard E. Grant as Dr Simeon. For ‘Doctor Who’ fans, Richard E. Grant had played two Doctors before – one in ‘The Curse of Fatal Death’ and another in ‘Scream of the Shalka’.
Here Richard E. Grant plays a rather cold and sinister character in Dr. Simeon. Simeon has no humour at all and he’s also in league with those Snowmen that are formed by the Great Intelligence.
The Snowmen themselves, I found pretty disappointing. There wasn’t enough of them in the episode and I would have preferred them to be subtler in being scary than what they eventually looked like.
The Great Intelligence is voiced by Sir Ian McKellen, who I thought was really great in this episode. However, I did find the villains rather underused here since they didn’t have the great impact on me.
At the end of the episode, Clara dies and the Doctor is upset. But how can she die when she’s supposed to be in the rest of the season? That is where this great mystery for Clara Oswald begins!!!
The Doctor recognises the name ‘Clara Oswin Oswald’ on her gravestone and remembers Oswin Oswald from ‘Asylum’. He begins to realise that they were both the same person and they both died.
But how can the Doctor have met the same person and seen both of them die?! That’s the mystery the Doctor needs to work out, as he sets the TARDIS off on a new destination to look for Clara again!
‘The Snowmen’ is not the greatest Christmas special that I’ve seen by Steven Moffatt. It has flaws, but it does set things up for what’s to come in the rest of the season, which I was looking forward to.
The DVD special features on this episode are as follows. On Disc 1 of ‘Series 7 – Part 2’, there’s the behind-the-scenes making-of featurette called ‘Clara’s White Christmas’, featuring some cast and crew interviews. There are also the two prequels, ‘Vastra Investigates’ and ‘The Great Detective’.
On Disc 3 of ‘The Complete Series 7’ of ‘Doctor Who’, ‘Clara’s White Christmas’ and the two prequels ‘Vastra Investigates’ and ‘The Great Detective’ can also be found on there. There’s also another prequel called ‘Demons Run: Two Days Later’ that features Madame Vastra, Strax and Jenny in it. There’s also a commentary with production designer Michael Pickwoad and supervising art director Paul Spriggs.
‘The Snowmen’ rating – 6/10
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