Doctor Who

Episode Christmas Special

The Snowmen

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Dec 25, 2012 on BBC America
out of 10
User Rating
161 votes

By Users

Featured Article


    Doctor Who "The Snowmen" Review: The New Girl

    This Christmas special brought more fun, magic, and romance to Doctor Who than the show has had all series long.

  • Episode Summary


    After the loss of Amy and Rory, the Doctor has withdrawn from the universe. But when Dr. Simeon threatens Earth with an army of icy snowmen, some old friends visit the Doctor and ask for his help.

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    • Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. (Mild Spoilers)

      In all honesty, my expectations for this year's Christmas Special were pretty low. I have never been a huge fan of the Doctor Who Holiday themed episodes, they always come across as gimmicky, overly sappy and in the worst case scenario, like last year, the plot just seems to become frivolously secondary.

      Tag that along with the fact that I didn't care at all for Oswin's characterization from her surprise first appearance in Asylum of the Daleks, my feelings were tepid to say the least.

      Thankfully those concerns dissipated once it began. The Snowmen somehow finds a lot of that Christmasy wonder that several of the previously installments of the course of it's run have failed to do and it strikes a nice balance with it actually being useful to the plot, whilst not hinder it in the process.

      The way in which the Villains are defeated does seem very questionable and their origins were never explicitly explained, which may mean they will return in the future, which I don't mind.

      My biggest surprise however was the fact how much I enjoyed Clara as the new companion. Weather each version or iteration will be different ever time remains to be seen, although Clara did seemed very toned down from premiere.

      I am liking that Moffat is taking an unusual approach to his companions, while Amy having the Doctor be her imaginary friend was a far more subtle change to the normal companion introduction, Clara's is far more enigmatic and confusing, one which poses a large amount of speculation and head scratching.

      Overall, an enjoyable romp. Looking forward seeing where "The Fall of the Eleventh" and the question that should never be answered will fit in to this and the 50th anniversary.moreless
    • Confused about the episode numbers.

      It was said that The Snowmen was episode and Phantom of the Hex would be episode 7 for the seventh season. Loved the episode by the way.
    • Such a great Christmas surprise

      I can't explain how much I enjoyed this special. Or, actually, I guess I can, since I just took to the Internet to do so, but it is complicated. See, I've halfheartedly disliked Moffat's Who so far, as I've conveyed in earlier reviews. It seemed self-indulgent on top of an already self-indulgent foundation. It seemed stubborn and irreverent in all the wrong ways.

      But every now and then, there's this stuff. The legitimately funny or well written stuff. The cool characters, clever situation, striking visuals. All that stuff is great.

      But you know what? That's not why I liked this one, if I'm to be perfectly honest with you. It wasn't the funny comedy or the cool new companion or the nice victorian look.

      It was the stuff that was for me. The nods. The retro stuff. It was the tie-ins to old Who, the retro TARDIS that no longer looks like the inside of a fishing bowl, the retro opening, that again flashes the face of the current Doctor, the grumpy version of Matt Smith that now sounds more like the Doctor and less like a hyperactive little kid. Doctor Who is self-indulgent, indeed, so I indulged in nostalgia and loved every minute of it. Sue me.

      But I also acknowledge that it didn't hurt that, for a change, the Doctor got to at least be clever on his Deus Ex Machina ending and his magical solution was at least set up. It's great that there was a plot and a mystery and grumpy Doctor had more quotable one-liners than he's had in years. Yeah, I noticed all of that too while I was indulging, and it was great, too. It's not the first time I've said this, but fingers crossed that this can be kept up... although this time at least I'll get to enjoy that sweet, sweet new TARDIS and Smith's stern mug during the opening while I check.moreless
    • Doctor Who 2.0

      In my opinion the best episode so far with the new TARDIS interior and the new kickass companion. Im really looking forward to see more of the mysterious and smart new girl (not to forget hot) that died twice. I have to admit I was a little disappointed of the last episodes and got a little tired of watching but I think the series is back on track now and I cant wait to see more ...moreless
    • A new companion and TARDIS interior

      I just caught this episode off the DVR and enjoyed it. The story line was intriguing being written around a Christmas theme. That being said while it was good I wouldn't call the plot line as good as a couple of the other Christmas specials. The creation of the snow creatures from the mind of Dr. Simeon was interesting and creative but the resolution was not carried out too well. Of course along with this plot was the introduction of Clara as the new companion. She looks to be a great companion and is quite lovely. And we also got to see a new interior for the TARDIS which appears to be cleaned up and modernized from before. I think I liked the quirkiness of the old interior better as it seemed more steam punkish but the new one is ok. And it's going to take too long now to wait until April for the second half of the season with the new people and TARDIS.moreless
    Richard E. Grant

    Richard E. Grant

    Dr Simeon

    Guest Star

    Tom Ward

    Tom Ward

    Captain Latimer

    Guest Star

    Joseph Darcey-Alden

    Joseph Darcey-Alden


    Guest Star

    Catrin Stewart

    Catrin Stewart


    Recurring Role

    Neve McIntosh

    Neve McIntosh

    Madame Vastra

    Recurring Role

    Dan Starkey

    Dan Starkey


    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (3)

      • The Doctor tells Strax to take Clara back to where they found her; as Strax had touched the Memory Worm and lost the last hour of his memory, he wouldn't remember where they found her.

      • This is not the first time the Doctor has been depicted wearing the trademark style of Sherlock Holmes, the Fourth Doctor previous wore the outfit in "The Talons of Weng-Chiang."

      • Trivia: This episode is the prequel/origin of an enemy from the Second Doctor's era, The Great Intelligence. The disembodied entity appeared in two episodes in the 60s, "The Abominable Snowmen" and "The Web of Fear." However, its origins were never explained in canon until now.

    • QUOTES (17)

      • Vastra: Was she nice?
        The Doctor: I just spoke to her.
        Vastra: And made your usual impact, no doubt.
        The Doctor: No, no impact at all. Those days are over.
        Vastra: You can't help yourself. It's the same story every time and it always begins with the same two words.
        The Doctor: She'll never be able to find me again. She doesn't even have the name. "Doctor." What two words?
        Clara: Doctor? Doctor who?

      • The Doctor: When you find something brand-new in the world, something you've never seen before, what's the next thing you look for?
        Strax: A grenade!
        The Doctor: I suggest a full-frontal assault with automated laser-monkeys, scuttle mines, and acid.
        Strax: I suggest a full-frontal assault with automated laser-monkeys, scuttle mines, and acid.
        The Doctor: Why?
        Strax: Couldn't we at least investigate?

      • The Doctor: I've had a thousand years of saving the universe, Strax. You know the one thing I've learned? The universe doesn't care.

      • The Doctor: Sontaran. Clone warrior race, factory produced, whole legions at a time. Two genders is a bit further than he can count.
        Strax: Sir, do not discuss my reproductive cycle in front of enemy girls. It's embarrassing.
        The Doctor: Typical middle child of six million.

      • The Doctor: Clara who?
        Clara: Doctor who?
        The Doctor: Oh, dangerous question.
        Clara: What's wrong with dangerous?

      • Great Intelligence: Tomorrow the snow will fall and so will mankind.

      • Strax: Do not attempt to escape or you will be obliterated. May I take your coat?

      • The Doctor: Nice office. Big globey thing. Now, don't tell me. I see from your collar, sir, you have an apple tree and a wife with a limp. Am I right?
        Simeon: No.
        The Doctor: Do you have a wife?
        Simeon: No.
        The Doctor: Bit of a tree? Bit of a wife? Some apples? Come on, work with me here.

      • The Doctor: Talking snow. I love new things.
        Great Intelligence: You are not of this world.
        The Doctor: It takes one to snow one.

      • The Doctor: What are you doing here?
        Strax: Madame Vastra wondered if you were needing any grenades.
        The Doctor: Grenades?
        Strax: She might have said "help."

      • The Doctor: Don't be clever, Strax. It doesn't suit you.
        Strax: Sorry, sir.
        The Doctor: I'm the clever one. You're the potato one.
        Strax: Yes, sir.
        The Doctor: Now go away.
        Strax: Yes... Mr. Holmes.
        The Doctor: Oy. Shut up! You're not clever or funny. And you got tiny little legs.

      • Strax: It's the human male from the Institute. What's he doing here? Suggest we melt his brain using projectile acid weapons and then interrogate him. (Vastra and Jenny stare) Other way around.

      • Francesca: Is it one of your stories? Your definitely true ones?
        Clara: Ha. All my stories are true.
        Digby: Like how you were born behind the face of Big Ben?
        Clara: Accounting for my acute sense of time.
        Francesca: And you invented fish.
        Clara: Because I dislike swimming alone.

      • Strax: Sir, please do not noogie me during combat prep.

      • The Doctor: Oy, I told you to stay in here.
        Clara: Oh. I didn't listen.
        The Doctor: You do that a lot.
        Clara: So you like me.
        The Doctor: Who said I like you? (Clara kisses him)
        Clara: I think you just did.
        The Doctor: You kissed me.
        Clara: You blushed.
        The Doctor: I... when... shut up!

      • Clara: After you.
        The Doctor: After you.
        Clara: After you. I'm wearing a dress. Eyes front, soldier.
        The Doctor: My eyes are always front. (starts climbing)
        Clara: Mine aren't.
        The Doctor: Stop it.
        Clara: No.

      • Clara: Look at this.
        The Doctor: Go on, say it. Most people do.
        Clara: It's smaller on the outside.
        The Doctor: Okay. That is a first.

    • NOTES (6)

      • With this special, a new opening sequence featuring flames and swirling energy streams highlighting the 11th Doctor's face for the first time, is used along with a rescored variant of the series theme.

      • This special marks the debut of a new interior for the TARDIS. The new console room is far smaller than the 11th Doctor's previous one and features a console which is more high-tech, similar in appearance to the consoles of the original series.

      • The logo reflects the theme of the special: this one consists of a snow-filled pattern.

      • The special is loosely based on an outline by Douglas Adams that he wrote during his time as Script Editor on the series in 1979, describing the Doctor retiring from his role as savior of the universe.

      • Injoke: Clara's birthday, November 23, is the same day of the month as the "birthday" of Doctor Who: the premiere of the first episode, "An Unearthly Child," on November 23, 1963. Also, she died in December at the age of 26; the original series ended in December 1989 with "Survival", after 26 seasons on the air.

      • International Airdates:
        US: December 25, 2012 on BBCAmerica
        Australia: December 26, 2012 on ABC1

    • ALLUSIONS (1)

      • The Doctor: You're the clever one, you're Moriarty.
        Referencing the fictional nemesis of Sherlock Holmes, first appearing in order of publication in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Adventure of the Final Problem" (Strand Magazine, 1893). Although Holmes describes Moriarty as the "Napoleon of Crime" and spent months battling him, Moriarty only appears in one other Holmes story, The Valley of Fear, and is mentioned in passing in several others. Despite that, he is widely used in hundreds of derivative fictions and adaptations.