Thursday, December 27, 2012

"Doctor Who: The Snowmen"

Doctor Who Christmas specials have been fairly formulaic. They offer the fans a bit of Who to tide them over until the next series gets going. They tend to riff on Christmas themes. They are fairly tame and forgettable.

This latest episode was different on a few points. It had some creepy moments. It had some genuinely memorable moments, mostly comedic. And it appears to tie into the coming episodes fairly strongly. In fact, it does so so strongly that the plot for this episode even suffers a bit. The story felt like it was in such a headlong race to get to the big mystery for the coming episodes, that it didn’t develop the plot as it should have.

That may be unfair. As mentioned already there were some amazingly good scenes. The comedy of Strax and the memory worm. The interrogation of Clara by Madame Vastra. Clara following the Doctor and discovering the Tardis at the top of the staircase. The Doctor playing at being Sherlock Holmes, but having no deductive prowess whatsoever. There was even brilliance in the way Moffat tied the points together at the climax of the story, bringing back things foreshadowed into the solution.

But then we got the final moment twist where “the dream outlived the dreamer” and sentimentality once again steps in to save the day in a deus ex machina moment that has become way too familiar in current Who.

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