First Reviews of The Snowmen Arrive

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Several “spoiler-free” reviews of The Snowmen have gone live across the web today. Here’s some highlights featuring new info and early impressions.

Huffingtonpost:

  • There’s a good amount of comedy. Yes, the Doctor has lost his previous companions, but that hasn’t stopped Steven Moffat from infusing a good amount of humor into the script.
  • “The Snowmen” features more than one nod and hat tip to some of TV’s most popular shows. Three words for you: “Winter is coming.” Moffat fans will know the other references when they see it.
  • Fear not! Jenna-Louise Coleman and Matt Smith are dripping with chemistry. It’s a new era for “Doctor Who.”
  • The Christmas special features a big name guest star … but you never actually see him or her.
  • Pond is key to the story.

From Radio Times:

  • The opening shot features a snowflake that snaps its “jaws” high in Earth’s atmosphere
  • It opens in England, 1842. A lonely boy called Walter makes a snowman, which he talks to – and it talks back to him…
  • The action leaps ahead 50 years and freaky snowmen are sprouting up all over the place, emitting a “low-level telepathic field” and baring icicle fangs.
  • Jenna-Louise Coleman is dazzling and perky as Clara, and not as cocky as her looky-likey Oswin in Asylum of the Daleks.
  • In this story, the Time Lord is reclusive, retired, still stung by the loss of the Ponds.
  • Vastra the Silurian/dominatrix/sleuth and her cockney “maid” Jenny are partners in the most modern sense.
  • We also have “living” snow, a new setting for the sonic screwdriver, a heavenly spiral staircase, and a peculiar critter that looks like a refugee from the Jon Pertwee era. What Moffat cleverly gives, though, isn’t so much a nod to the past, but nods to the future…

From io9:

  • There are some enormous, huge moments that hit fast and hard, right away.
  • Coleman takes to Matt Smith’s banter like a Star Whale to space. Watching these two spar is wonderful. It’s the exact kind of character who can fill in the giant void left by the Ponds.
  • Clara is crazy assertive, she doesn’t let the Doctor win her over, she goes after him, and hard. All you need to know is, the chemistry works.
  • The plot does lean a little too much on the classic Moffat “this is way too complicated” plot line. But whatever — it’s The Doctor and he’s fighting snowmen, you have to kind of expect wildly dramatic, completely nonsensical explanations about alien snow.
  • “Victorian Values” is a huge theme and they nail it with the new villain and his wacky science lab.
  • The Doctor and the “Potato Man” are really quite fun together.

From: Wall St Journal

  • The titular snowmen aren’t your typical Frosty. When they grin, it is with razor-sharp fangs. The mystery surrounding where they come from, though, takes a backseat to the introduction of a new main character.
  • The episode gives Clara’s story time to breathe as she enters the Doctor’s world and proves she is worthy of joining him in his adventures.
  • This year’s plays tribute to another series Moffat has his hands in, “Sherlock,” as more than one character fills the role of the Great Detective, as well as a hodge-podge of elements from “Jane Eyre,” “Mary Poppins” and “Game of Thrones.”

From Forbes:

  • Clara, as with Freema Agyeman’s Martha Jones, is a thinking person’s companion, and she’s very much on equal footing with the Doctor. The episode was made stronger because she was in it.
  • When you watch the episode, pay particular attention to [the Doctor’s] clothes. They’re the “Victorianized” version of what he normally wears, even the glasses. How cool is that?
  • The episode succeeds not only because of the charms of the cast but also because of the tightness of the script.
  • There were some great lines, particularly from Strax, who is trying to be helpful despite his war-like nature.
  • OH GODS, THE ENDING! [Plot redacted.] HOLY SMOKES, WHAT A GREAT TWIST! WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN!?!