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Best of Matt Smith: The Snowmen

best-of-matt-smith-snowmen

Across the next couple of months Doctor Who TV is running a series of polls to celebrate Matt Smith’s era. We want you to cast your votes on every story and at the end we’ll be comprising a list to find the top scoring.

We continue with the 2012 Christmas special, The Snowmen. All you have to do is rate the story with your score out of 10, so get voting and join us again tomorrow for the next episode.

Step back in time...

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186 comments
ericbfg
ericbfg

Atmospheric but ultimately a hotch-potch of ideas which didn't feel cohesive. 



Polyphase
Polyphase

8/10 The best Christmas special since The Runaway Bride :)

DawnTime
DawnTime

10 10 10 10 10 -- On of my all time favourite Doctor Who stories - Also the best Christmas episode by far.  For - Costume-s - Acting - Story - Atmosphere - Comedy - and the sheer amazing chemistry between Matt and Jenna.  Brilliant. !!!!!!!

Anthony Retondo
Anthony Retondo

After 4 episodes I would just consider good, Moffat has a return to form here! Terrific episode that is wonderfully paced and written. One of the small few in series 7 that I feel leaves an impact. 

DrWhoGoesThere
DrWhoGoesThere

Okay - but not the best Christmas special ever.  Things like the Ice Governess (the Snowmen needing human DNA to keep from melting) and the TARDIS on a cloud (If the cloud was solid enough to hold up the TARDIS, why didn't it fall down and crush everyone) kind of detracted form the episode.  So although this was an okay episode, partly due to Clara being better here than in the majority of series 7, it didn't really stand out.  6/10



DW_girl
DW_girl

10/10. Brilliantly written. The themes throughout were very christmassy, and I always find it very clever when something that is supposed to be a happy symbol of the holiday (the snowman), is turned into something truly terrifying. Always reminds us that Doctor Who is about the monsters, and is not a lovey-dovey fanfiction (On that note though, I really didn't like it when Clara kissed The Doctor. There was absolutely no reason for that to happen). Clara was great however; she was clever, feisty, enthusiastic, curious, adventurous, possessing all the qualities a good companion needs. She brought a light to the episode's dark feel, and The Doctor's misery. I also liked Vastra, Jenny and Strax in this episode, and the reference to Amy ("Pond", in the one-word test) was lovely to watch.

HisNameIsTheDoctor
HisNameIsTheDoctor

Christmas specials so far: 

  1. The Snowmen - 10/10
  2. The Time of the Doctor - 10/10
  3. A Christmas Carol - 8.5/10
  4. The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe - 7/10
  5. The Christmas Invasion - 7/10
  6. The Runaway Bride - 6/10
  7. The End of Time - 6/10
  8. Voyage of the Damned - 5/10
  9. The Next Doctor - 4.5/10


MOFFAT FOR THE WIN!!!!! (fav showrunner)


(Oh yeah, and Matt Smith too! (fav doctor) and Clara too! (fav companion)







The Eternal
The Eternal

One of the best Smith episodes - 10/10

wutetka
wutetka

Going with 10/10, why the hell not. It's the best Christmas Special I guess, gave me a lot of emotions, I've seen it hundreds of times and know it by heart and I'm still not bored with it. Plus, it was the first episode I've watched "live" and actually had to wait for.

WhoPotterVian
WhoPotterVian

10/10- By far the best Christmas special so far.

Romanadvoratrelundar
Romanadvoratrelundar

This episode is, by far, the best Christmas special. So much about it was perfect, but I will never stop going on about what is, in my opinion, the one of the best Doctor Who moment ever - when the Doctor flicks on the TARDIS lights and "The Majestic Tale" starts playing. It send shivers up my spine every single time because I feel it sums up my love for this show.

The rest of that scene just tops everything off, with Clara working out the Doctor's umbrella trick and a fantastic "it's smaller on the outside" followed by the magical moment where the Doctor gives her a key. And the loved the rest of the episode because, well...I never know why, I only know that I do.



grumpyoldcow
grumpyoldcow

I should warn any readers right now about the gushing. I have been constrained and tried hard to just present the facts.

But. Series 7b is mine. Moffat and Company and Matt Smith own me. Matt, as the Doctor, the man who would never walk away, has indeed left the building, and I only have these last episodes to talk about how great they are, before PC takes over center stage, so be forwarned, I'm throwing caution to the wind and am gonna gush.

grumpyoldcow
grumpyoldcow

The game, Dr. Simeon, is on! And my head explodes as my two favorite tv programs collide! In the Who universe Sherlock is fictional, the stories written in the Strand Magazine, as we learn not by a green lady, or even a green lizard woman, but just a "woman" LOL! How hilarious is that!? And in the Sherlock universe there is Cumberbatch and Freeman, and . . . the game's afoot or something or other, and . . . oh sorry, got a bit distracted there, and there's a banging in my head as we learn Anderson is indeed a Whovian. Yes, he is. He has a drawing of the TARDIS on his wall.

So, the Snowmen. I should warn you right now so you can hit your ignore button or arm your laser or whatever you need to do to delete my rambling because I'm gonna gush and you may want to look away.

Seriously, this is one of the finest episodes of Doctor Who ever written and directed. Wonderfully entertaining. Greatness on my tv screen. (I told you I was gonna gush.)

All about the Doctor and how he got his groove back, with alittle help from his friends, and one Impossible Girl. Starting with the Doctor reading the Strand magazine, and notice the phone is on the console where it should be, this is the story of the Doctor and how with deductions or deducing, I can never remember which it is, he decides to give in and live again.

I love this episode. It is so brilliant. Can we talk about the directing? This wonderful Saul Metzstein, brilliant Saul Metzstein, notice how he minimizes the height difference between Jenna and Matt in so many inventive ways, utilizing camera angles and physical strengths, like the interior TARDIS stairs, the winding staircase, falling in the snow, etc. Brilliant. And how brilliant was that one continous camera shot from outside the TARDIS to inside. Enough said.

Can we talk about Matt is the deerstalker hat. Cool, Doctor. There I said it for you.Can we talk about how, as the Doctor reengages in life his actions around the console reflect this? From his first almost hesitant flipping of switches and levers, he progresses to a brisk walk as he sets off to a dead run by episode's end. Brilliant.

Can we talk about the greatness of Richard Grant? Brilliant, Mr. Grant. If you haven't seen this

actor in "Posh Nosh", do try to find it. Hilarious. You'll never see him as "just" a disembodied GI again.

Sure, the Paternoster gang is there, and there's the bit with the memory worm, and the bitey snowmen, but it all seems like side dressing. All these seem to be involved in an elaborate dance with the Doctor and Clara, but by episode's end its all sorted out brilliantly.

What I want to know that I will never know is, who knew Clara to put her name on the headstone? We were never told in episode that the guy running the pub was Clara's uncle, so he wasn't. Fingers in ears, lalalala, I can't hear you.

So I'm done. Did I remember to mention what a brilliant episode this is?

ilyootha went into hiding
ilyootha went into hiding

10/10. Pretty much a perfect episode, and even if I had some problems with it, I can't recall any right now!

I've had an Accident
I've had an Accident

9/10. Only ever seen it once, and that was when it was aired. Thought it was great though.

Ninjauthor
Ninjauthor

like the episode but can't remember much other than the ending which I didn't like so 7/10

Judge Claude Frollo
Judge Claude Frollo

Well...I do love this episode, but I have a grudge against it...you see...

Do you want to build a snowman?

Me:Uh...

Come on, let's go outside and play!

Me:Uhhhhhhhh....

We used to be best budies.....

Me:ELSA NO

Taz C
Taz C

10/10, rounding up from 9.5 - It loses half a point for Strax being in it just a leeeetle bit too much at some slightly strange points. Just before 11 goes to meet Clara at her house, for instance, he seemed quite out of place. The rest though, perfect.


TheNightmareChild just got fitted for a loincloth
TheNightmareChild just got fitted for a loincloth

8/10.  The first Steven Moffat Christmas special that didn't make me vomit black bile out of pure irritation.  The setting and the tone were just perfect for me.  Dr. Simeon was somewhat lacking in development and character, but the Great Intelligence is a fascinating and formidable foe, and its relationship with Dr. Simeon is creepy and disturbing.  And the performances overall from everyone were very good, with Matt Smith in particular giving one of his best performances in the whole series.

Baker Street is In the Forest of... Earth!
Baker Street is In the Forest of... Earth!

"Madame Vastra will ask you questions. You will confine yourself to single word responses. One word only, do you understand?"

"Why?"

"Truth is singular. Lies are words. You met the Doctor, didn't you?"

"Yes."

"And now you've come looking for him again. Why?"

"Curiosity."

"About?"

"Snow."

"And about him?"

"Yes."

"What do you want from him?"

"Help."

"Why?"

"Danger."

"Why would he help you?"

"Kindness."

"The Doctor is not kind."

"No?"

"No. The Doctor doesn't help people. Not anyone, not ever. He stands above this world and doesn't interfere in the affairs of its inhabitants. He is not your salvation, nor your protector. Do you understand what I am saying to you?"

"Words."

"He was different once, a long time ago. Kind, yes. A hero, even. A saver of worlds. But he suffered losses which hurt him. Now he prefers isolation to the possibility of pain's return. Kindly choose a word to indicate your understanding of this."

"Man."

"We are the Doctor's friends. We assist him in his isolation but that does not mean we approve of it. So, a test for you. Give me a message for the Doctor. Tell him all about the snow and what fresh danger you believe it presents, and above all, explain why he should help you. But do it in one word. You're thinking it is impossible that such a word exists, or that you could even find it. Let's see if the gods are with you."




In the TARDIS:

"Yes? What? I'm trying to read."

"Miss Clara and her concerns about the snow. I gave her the one word test."


"That's always pointless. What did she say? Well? Well?"

"Pond."


Balatsoukas Pavlos
Balatsoukas Pavlos

Yes, another perfect one. 10 out of 10, just like that - plain and simple!

Baker Street is In the Forest of... Earth!
Baker Street is In the Forest of... Earth!

10/10. There are very few flaws with this story, and it is one of Moffat's better ones in my opinion. Every aspect has a little magic to it, be it Matt's alienated Doctor, Jenna's curious Clara, the great Great Intelligence, or Moffat's sublime script.

I'll actually start with what flaws there are though. The biggest one is Strax. He's still likeable, he got some particularly funny moments (such as "I think I've been run over by a cab!") and it was nice to see him return, but his character had deteriorated since A Good Man Goes To War. I just wanted him to say one serious line! The other little niggle I have with this one is how the snow is stopped by sentimentality, which shouldn't be used as a plot device as much as it is. However I can kind of forgive it in this situation, as the explanation given by the Doctor sort of makes sense.

Now onto the good parts, starting with the Doctor. I love how much his character changes over the course of the episode - we start with an unfamiliar, reclusive alien, but we finally get to see the madman towards the end. The moment when he gives Clara the key is pure gold, and his realisation that Clara was Oswin is great. So 10/10 for Matt Smith, who gives it 111% as ever. Next up is Victorian Clara, who is actually my least favourite of the three. But I still adore the character, which shows how good Jenna Coleman is. The sassiness, determination, curiosity and intelligence combine to form a sensational companion, and the way Jenna portrays the two completely different sides of Clara is amazing. It's a shame we didn't get to see more of her, and I especially liked her friendly flirting with the Doctor. Thirdly we have the Great Intelligence, which was… well, great. Richard E Grant portrays the icy (pun intended!) Dr Simeon brilliantly (he is a really intimidating villain), and one of the highlights of the episode for me is the reference to The Web of Fear. How cool was that? Anyway, the Great Intelligence really was a "big bad", and Sir Ian McKellen's booming voice only reinforces this fact. And finally I have to praise the script. The whole plot is very well played out, while underneath we have the intriguing subplot concerning Clara; Moffat loves to tease here doesn't he? The moment she mentioned soufflés I did a little giggle, but that was cut short the second she was dragged off of the cloud. I must admit, I wasn't expecting that. The Paternoster Gang get some nice moments and don't feel wasted (well, Strax suffered a little), and their 'one-word test' is my highlight of the episode, just beating the scene with Matt Smith as Sherlock (Moffat couldn't resist, could he?) - that was a mental 2 minutes! The 'one-word test' is some of Moffat's best ever writing in my opinion, and I kept trying to guess what word was coming next (I always got it wrong, Moffat's too clever for me). But the final word seals the deal, and as the Doctor takes off Amy's reading glasses we hear the wake-up call for the Doctor and Moffat's genius: "Pond."

So overall a great, magical episode, that is beautifully complex underneath and boasts some great performances and dialogue.



commanderthunderushmkii
commanderthunderushmkii

Loved the intro scenes, the music, Strax's grenade fixation,  the charm of Victorian Clara discovering the TARDIS in the clouds, and the new TARDIS interior. But my favourite scene was Vastra's "truth is singular" trial. 

JailBanksters
JailBanksters

I'm not sure why others rated it a 10, I didn't think it was that great.


The Rani
The Rani



10/10 I absolutely love this episode. It's definitely my favorite Christmas Special, well for now anyway.  You never know what to expect with Who! :D







Clara_Oswin_Oswald
Clara_Oswin_Oswald

10/10

I absolutely loved the episode. It is the best Christmas special ever! :D

Angie Whodini has Ravio's bracelet
Angie Whodini has Ravio's bracelet

I have been studying so I have only been checking article titles lately, but I just had to pitch in and say


I absolutely love this episode. Don't ask me why, I don't even know myself. But so many things work and so much happens emotionally that I just feel this episode as one of the best pieces of television I've seen. You may think I exaggerate but I swear I just adore this episode. 


stargazer0118
stargazer0118

I like parts of this very much, especially Clara finding the TARDIS and Matt's performance. Jenna was likable in this too. But the story and the resolution (Clara's tears magically saving the day) were weak, IMO, just too much like a fairytale and very little realism and Sci-Fi. But Jenna, Matt and the score and visuals were good so I'll give it 7/10. Wanted to go a point higher but it doesn't have much rewatchability for me.

Planet of the Deaf
Planet of the Deaf

10/10


I absolutely love this episode, it's so enchanting and special to me, a perfect Christmas episode

Jenna as Clara Oswin/Miss Montague was enchanting, and then to kill this version of Clara off was a stunner.

The children were much more likeable than the Maitland children, 

I loved the idea of the Doctor, hiding from the world on a cloud, in that crooked hat

The scene (and music) of Clara climbing the stairs to the TARDIS was lovely, and the scene of her entering the TARDIS brilliantly done.

I love the Strax scenes, especially the memory worm, and the use of Vastra and Jenny

Great direction from Saul Metzstein, and music from Murray

Sherlock Who...

And then the final reveal (Whose Enigma) that another Clara might be alive, sublime stuff :-)

sontaran17
sontaran17

Christmas Specials So Far:

1) The Time of the Doctor 10/10

2) The Snowmen 10/10 

3) A Christmas Carol 10/10 

4) The Doctor The Widow and the Wardrobe 10/10 

5) The Runaway Bride 9.5/10 

6) The End of Time 9/10 

7) The Voyage of the Damned 8.5/10 

8) The Next Doctor 8/10





supermoff burning bright
supermoff burning bright

I suppose, to rank all the Christmas specials:

A Christmas Carol (10/10)

The Time of the Doctor (9.5/10)

The Snowmen (9/10)

The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe (8.5/10)

The Christmas Invasion (8/10)

The End of Time, Part 1 (7/10)

The Next Doctor (7/10)

The Runaway Bride (6/10)

Voyage of the Damned (2/10)



DW_girl
DW_girl

@HisNameIsTheDoctor  

1. A Christmas Carol- 10/10

2. The Runaway Bride- 10/10

3. The Snowmen- 10/10

4. The Christmas Invasion- 9/10

5. The Time of the Doctor- 8/10

6. The End of Time- 8/10

7. The Next Doctor- 7/10

8. Voyage of the Damned- 6/10

9. The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe- 4/10

A mixed bag of Christmas specials from both Moffat and RTD for me.

Maryanne123
Maryanne123

I suspect you won't be alone in gushing although that was 7A and season 6 for me but even the least best Matt is better than anything else!

Romanadvoratrelundar
Romanadvoratrelundar

@grumpyoldcow With regards to your headstone arguement, surely Clara would have told somebody her full name, even if that man wasn't her uncle? I think the kids' father probably tried to find her family, and maybe discovered that her name was actually Clara Oswin Oswald somewhere along the line.

Or, you know, it could have just been the universe making bargains...

TheDreamer... the Oncoming Planeteer.
TheDreamer... the Oncoming Planeteer.

Maybe the kids' father looked into it and found out who she was so he could have her name on the headstone. The Doctor told him that his current governess was in fact a barmaid called Clara. Granted, it would be a long shot, unless he knew the name of the place where she worked as a barmaid... but that's what I've been telling myself. That or she might have had some sort of papers with her name on it in her belongings.

grumpyoldcow
grumpyoldcow

"..a great, magical episode." Amen.

Thank you for a great post.

Maryanne123
Maryanne123

My rankings

1. Christmas Carol 10/10

2. The Snowmen 9.5/10

3. Widow 9/10

4. Christmas Invasion 6/10

5. Next Doctor 4/10

6. Runaway Bride 3.5/10

7. Voyage.of the Kylies 2/10

8. The End of Time (the rankings don't go low enough)

I put Time of The Doctor both above all of these and also outside as although it's a Christmas episode and a great one at that, I find I am still absorbing its impact and don't feel I can rationally give it a rating as yet. It just seems much richer in content and meaning and Matt's performance so beautifully layered that I am still digesting it!

Amy is uniting the Earth Kingdom!
Amy is uniting the Earth Kingdom!

@sontaran17  For me, it would go:

1) The Time of the Doctor - 10/10

2) A Christmas Carol - 10/10

3) The Snowmen - 9/10

4) The Christmas Invasion - 7/10




5) The End of Time (Part One) - 6/10

6) The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe - 4/10

7) The Next Doctor - 4/10

8) The Runaway Bride - 3/10

9) Voyage of the Damned - 2/10





Notsosmartguy's got no strings on him
Notsosmartguy's got no strings on him

For me it would be out the ones I seen:

1) The Christmas Carol 10/10

2) The snowmen 10/10

3) The time of the doctor 9/10

4) the next doctor 8.5/10

5) the the widow and the wardrobe 6.5/10

6) the end of time 3/10

Kiki Kiki
Kiki Kiki

@Maryanne123  I actually quite liked VOTD and TEOT.  For me it's The End of Time (9/10), Time of the Doctor (9/10), the Snowmen (8.5/10), Voyage of the Damned (8/10), Christmas Invasion (7.5/10), Christmas Carol (7.5/10), Next Doctor (7/10 – would've been higher without the CyberKing), Runaway Bride (6/10), Doctor Widow Wardrobe (3.5/10 – would've been lower without the crazy "retrofitting")