Television: Doctor Who, "The Snowmen"

I understand that one of the things that makes Doctor Who fun is its silliness and, on the whole, low production values. Though "The Snowmen" looked better than an average episode (probably by benefit of being the Christmas special), it was no less silly in a number of ways. Oh, humorous too, but in a lot of ways just silly. Sentient snow? Crystalline entities? (Hey, I remember that episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.) And what really is just an ice version of a stone angel? Though I suppose this Great Intelligence will be returning to cause more mischief.

I guess what most bothered me while watching it was (a) ripping off the Game of Thrones catchphrase, and (b) overselling the Sherlock Holmes angle. Not just by the mentions of Doyle and Strand Magazine and by the Doctor dressing in signature cloak and deerstalker, but by the very fact that this new companion—who is something of a South Park Kenny in her ability to die on a regular basis—has been set up very like Lara Pulver's version of Irene Adler. She clever and a liar, and the actress even looks a bit like Pulver. (Oh, and are we doing the dead-not-really thing again?) Yes, Steven, we know you do that Sherlock show, but please try to do something original instead of simply swirling your spit from one side of your mouth to the other.

Lack of plain logic also irked me in spots. Why couldn't she get out of the carriage? She wasn't tied up. She'd gotten in easily enough. And then, when they did let her out, she didn't leave. So . . . What was the fuss about? And why are ice people the equivalent of the last day of humanity? What are ice people going to do, exactly? What reason do they have for eliminating flesh-and-blood people? Ice doesn't need to eat, just needs to stay cold. Even with human DNA . . . What does that accomplish? Frozen corpse zombies? These things were unclear and failed to make sense, the end result being I never felt the required tension of truly believing anything was at stake.

That said, "The Snowmen" did at least set up an [possibly] interesting dynamic of having the Doctor pursue this Clara person to figure out who (or what) she is. I suppose this is meant to set the tone for the remainder of the season, and perhaps longer, depending on how long she remains the Doctor's [would-be] companion. But still, what it boils down to is: the Doctor chasing a girl. I'm not entirely sold on that. The payoff will need to be pretty spectacular, the answer to who or what she is a real stunner. I won't hazard any guesses, though if I were the one writing it . . . She'd be some kind of personification of a fixed point, not in time so much as . . . Or maybe she's a Time Lady? Who regenerates in the same form? Or maybe she's just a distraction. They did that in Sherlock Holmes, too, remember. "Red-Headed League" and all. If you send the Doctor on a chase, what are you doing behind his back when he's not looking? Just a few interesting possibilities, off the top of my head. If I took time to really think about it, I could come up with more. But I have other things to do.

I wonder if the Doctor is the reason she ends up in/as a Dalek?

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