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Thread: Ten Thoughts About Doctor Who - The Snowmen

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    Default Ten Thoughts About Doctor Who - The Snowmen

    Sorry about the delay, life got in the way. It happens. The following contains bits by Rich and bits by Brendon.

    1. Let It Snow



    We first meet Oswin/Clara in The Asylum Of The Daleks. A planet covered in snow. What memories might they have brought with them when they came to Earth? Could snow be transferring her from place to place. Is she also some kind of mirror, reflecting that around her? Was the ice governess a foreshadowing of that? There are plenty of mirrors here, Holmes and Vastra, Vastra and the Doctor, the Doctor and Holmes, The Doctor and the Intelligence, Vastra and Jenny, Jenny and Styx, Clara just has that reflection in herself...

    2. Villains You Hate To Hate



    Richard E Grant played one of the greatest screen villains in Hudson Hawk, a bad guy that not even the most cynical member of the audience could find themselves rooting for. He isn't quite so loathsome here, his villainousness is centred in the weak power fantasy of a child. But still, he's quite a tit. He played the Doctor a couple of times before, once in Steven Moffat's Comic Relief special and then as an animated 9th Doctor. He plays the bad guy sooooo much better. Especially when he has the tragic backstory.

    3. Victoriana Vs Prop 8

    The lesbian human/Silurian partnership of Lady Vastra and Jenny give us yet one more twist, they're now married. One thing to note for those screaming about the gay agenda, this was not an uncommon arrangement. Women getting married, if not common, was accepted, even though no sexual arrangement would be presumed. It was just one of those things. And even in Victorian London, people have more important things to worry about. Such as Clara's new gentleman friend...

    4. Great Intelligence, Weak Powers Of Observation

    Judging from early reviews, the appearance of the Great Intelligence is something of a twist that pops up late in the episode. And maybe it is for people who can't read English, were watching on their phone or forget their glasses - not once but twice did we see an in-focus business card bearing the GI logo and the words Great Intelligence, very clearly. Add to this the disembodied voice of Sir Ian McKellen and this is less of a big surprise than something that sifts the fans of old Who from the newbies.

    Can we add though that we also did enjoy how the Intelligence seems obsessed with controlling snowmen, abominable or otherwise?

    5. Iced Over

    If I were The Doctor and the one word I heard was Pond, I'd probably get even more depressed. Maybe he saw it as a sign - it wasn't. It has no more to do with Amy and Rory than The Rose and Crown has to do with Clara being crowned the new Rose. Ahem.

    But he does seem to give his key away quicker than usual. Such a slut, that Doctor, opening his TARDIS doors for anyone who flutters their eyes, points out a pair of gauntlets and is handy with an umbrella.

    6. A Great Defective

    Not one but two gags about Sherlock Holmes, Steven Moffat's "other" show. First of all, the proposal that Lady Vastra was Arthur Conan Doyle's inspiration from his creation. Well, he certainly enjoyed a whole vat load of liberties if that's the case.

    And then Matt Smith in the Deerstalker, a bit of "Wholmes" fan service. It was funny and silly but I don't quite know why the Doctor took this tack, and seeing how unnecessary it apparently was, why he didn't just turn up as himself. Still, he knew that the Intelligence's servant had a penchant for Doyle's work, maybe it just got him through the door. And does he know that the French word for a type of fish is Colin? Not a goldfish, but close...

    Will we see like for like? Cumberbatch investigating an anachronistic Police Call Box that suddenly appeared on Baker Street?

    7. Eighties On The Inside

    A new looking TARDIS on the inside and it's a crash back to the eighties, if it had had a decent budget. Plastic instead of copper (and a lot less reflective surfaces for the production crew to deal with) and everything moving, this is the Pater Davison TARDIS that should have been, and Matt Smith's face in the titles. Bring on Nyssa.

    Also the Doctor going into retirement and yet being dragged back was originally a Douglas Adams that was turned down back then. Looks like Moffat managed to keep it with him.

    8. Don't Forget The Worm

    There's a bit of set-up about a memory wiping worm at the start. It's particularly fun because the structure of the episode works best if you kinda-sorta forget that it featured and "Aha!" when it pops back up. Which means you'll enjoy this episode more if you have a sort of mini-worm in your top pocket. Which most people do. It's just Brendon that doesn't.

    9. A Fairytale Of Old London Town.

    Part Mary Poppins, part Cloud Man, we are back to the Doctor being a Fairytale again. Literally with Clara here, and a man in the clouds living among us, with new worlds to show us and a set of rules to play by and puzzles to solve in order to meet him. Last series, the fairytale became a legend and then became a fact. Thanks to Clara and his faked death, he's managed to put some of that frog back in the box and has become a story for children again. And that's true about the show as well. Even though we also get...

    10. Oh My God They Killed Clara

    She's got a really nasty case of whatever Rory had. If she's even a she, singular, and not actually several shes. Is this a woman? An echo of a woman? A haunting of some kind? Clones? Moffat has promised that there is a solution, but it will be a long time coming.

    Anybody watching the show "cold" might have been surprised by Clara's demise, providing they were invested enough in her. Most of those who knew she was the "new companion" likely knew enough to know this wouldn't be the end thanks to all of the set pictures and cast and crew interviews. And that corset is seriously strong enough to keep her body from being a pile of bloody mush in the snow when it lands. Must be the alien snow.

    Things to watch for are clocks... Clara was born in Big Ben clock tower apparently, she dies with the clocks chiming midnight, it's about time. But then again it always is.

    And no one seems to obsess too much about Styx's impossible return in comparison. Never mind, take it away for some Songtaran Carols...

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QROptbXX0-0[/youtube]

  2. #2
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    All I want to know is: when does the Strax spinoff start?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Johnston View Post
    A new looking TARDIS on the inside and it's a crash back to the eighties, if it had had a decent budget. Plastic instead of copper (and a lot less reflective surfaces for the production crew to deal with) and everything moving, this is the Pater Davison TARDIS that should have been, and Matt Smith's face in the titles. Bring on Nyssa.
    That teal is a really, REALLY ugly colour for it all though. Everything else, from the big budget Abrams Enterprise to the tiny budget Red Dwarf: Back to Earth bunkroom can manage white, why can't the Tardis interior if this is aiming to be a throwback?

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    -I thought "Rose & Crown" was a tip of the hat to "Rose Tyler" and "Donna Noble" (nobility/crown)?

    -Could it be we're thinking too linear? The Daleks were asking "Doctor WHO?" in the beginning of the season. And we've already seen them use new human-like servant drones. So, could "Clara" simply be copies of Dalek servants planted in various parts of time/space to find/lure The Doctor? All they have to do is read a history book to find mentions of him primarily on Earth. Send some Clara's to different time zones he was reported to be in, and let it happen.

    -The new console room is a nod to the 80s look, but pretty much only in the steel-and-shape of the console itself. Everything else looks like the same roundels we've had since the 60's, just redone a bit in 2005.

    -Only the most fervent or old school Who Fanboy would have immediately said "GREAT INTELLIGENCE! Pat Troughton! Yeti!", etc. after a single quick flip of the card. Not many of us pause the show as it's happening. We just sit back and enjoy. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised when he started with the London Underground/Great Intelligence nod.

    -Glad it's not a white console room. It would just clash with the old and tattered look the TARDIS shell has returned. I like the old and dingy metal framework of everything. And thank GOD they eliminated the bright orange toy shop he was zooming around in. Going to miss the split-level glass floors, though. Lazy camera men...

    -You're going to ignore the breathing/moisture problems climbing a stairwell to the upper atmosphere, but complain Clara didn't explode into a gory mess when she fell? Come on fellas!

    The opening, console room, and somber Doctor are all welcome changes I hope they stick with for a long time to come. Great stuff.

  5. #5
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    Didn't Russell T. Davies solve this whole Clara mystery already with three simple words?

    Spatial Genetic Multiplicity?

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    Ah.......no.



    BTW, I will say that I thought the child actors were absolute "rubbish" (as you Brits say). The girl who was supposedly terrified of her nightmares acted sort-of-bothered when the ice nanny suddenly marched into their room. Not to mention, the boy was so scared he decided to ask about Clara's accent.

    Terrible child actors for this one. They should have used the good child actors from last year's horrible Xmas episode and we could have just pretended they were new characters...

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    King of Cool Peter J Poole's Avatar
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    Rich, purely for the Hudson Hawk reference, consider most of your 2012 sins forgiven...

    Cheers

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    BTW, serious question:

    Why is it pronounced "Cla-Ra" Oswald, yet we don't say "Sar-Ra" Jane Smith?

    Also, what's up with Jenny's accent? Is that Cockney? That actress is strange to me.

    Just curious about the accent and pronunciation thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by irrg View Post
    All I want to know is: when does the Strax spinoff start?
    Strongly seconded. The Moonnites can be his equivalent of the Daleks.

    When Oswin was falling, I couldn't help but think that it's too bad that the Doctor doesn't have some kind of time/space vehicle that has, in the recent past, used to catch someone who was falling to their death. Oh well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNate View Post
    Strongly seconded. The Moonnites can be his equivalent of the Daleks.
    Damn Moon!

    When Oswin was falling, I couldn't help but think that it's too bad that the Doctor doesn't have some kind of time/space vehicle that has, in the recent past, used to catch someone who was falling to their death. Oh well.
    This! I was totally expecting her to hit the swimming pool like River. I guess because he was watching and it didn't happen, it won't happen (if he's part of the event, he can't cross it). In fact, I'd imagine him crossing his own timestream for whatever reason may end up taking us into the 50th...
    jackmurphy1969 likes this.

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