Sunday, December 30, 2012

TV (Special) Review: The 2012 Doctor Who Christmas Special

Originally I wasn't sure if I was going to watch this let alone talk about it, just been feeling a bit burned out on Moffat's projects lately (for no real reason), but then I remembered that the new companion was supposed to be introduced in this episode and that's rather important. And, after watching the special, I realized I had a lot of thoughts about it (both good and bad) so I guess I'm also going to talk about it!

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2012: The Snowman

Summary: The events of Angles Take Manhattan are still affecting the Doctor strongly and he has sworn off helping humanity again, although it seems like he can't stay away and can't stop being curious about all the strange and unusual things around him. Like, snow with a memory and a habit for producing snowmen with toothy grins, although it's going to take that and a human girl named Clara to get him back into the saving-the-world business.  

The Good: I really liked how the Doctor was written and handled here, it's immediately clear that the end of the previous (half) season has had a strong effect on him but that he's still the same Doctor we've seen for the past few years, he can conquer grief or at least be distracted from it. And it was fun to see Clara unsettle him and show just how much he likes to show off to his companions (and the audience as well), all in all it was a pretty entertaining episode and reminded me that yes, I would like the second half to hurry up and get here already.

The Bad: I'm in two minds about Clara, on the one hand she's fun, sassy, and the dynamic she creates with the Doctor is fun (since through her actions she shows how set he is in some of his ways, also just how much the Doctor loves to mentor his companions to become greater than they were) but, well, she did come off to me as a bit shallow by the end. Sure it's hard to completely flesh out a character in one episode (and should you really completely flesh someone out in their first appearance) but the show has done that with some of it's side characters before, it's certainly possible. So yes, rather mixed feelings and I'm also a bit worried about Jenna-Louise Coleman's character for a completely different reason, apparently it was a last minute choice to have her play a character in the first half and I'm worried that Moffat is going to make the series more timey-wimey than it needs to be again. Yes Doctor Who is a show that has a lot of camp and a lot of strange stuff in it but it still needs well, call it a base of logic to stand on, rules that it can't contradict, and I'm afraid that it's about to do some very odd stuff that's going to mess with the continuity*.

The Audio: Hmm, didn't notice anything really new music wise. The intro may have changed but I was a little distracted by the (trippy) visuals to notice. All the music worked however so no complaints here.

The Visuals: Well I finally figured out why Vastra looks odd to me, despite all of the prosthetics on the actresses face it still has a very human facial structure (and eyes), I do wish in that the designers went even father with the design. Other than that small revelation on my part, no real comments on the episode. It seemed weird that Jenny was wearing pants at one point but I don't know nearly enough about Victorian era fashion to actually say if the rest of the clothes were accurate or not and as for the setting, well, you see one Christmas story set in a snowy, especially Victorian, London and you've seen them all.

It feels odd to rate a single episode so I shall sum this all up by saying that while awkward at times this was still enjoyable, even if it makes me worried about what's coming next. Which I guess is also your average Doctor Who episode.....

*for those who want spoilers, doesn't the end of it imply that reincarnation or something similar exists in the Whoverse? Which I think would just make things complicated or I could be over-thinking it, only the second half will tell and who knows when that is coming out.  

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