This year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special was probably the one I had most anticipated since the first one with David Tennant starring as the Doctor. Why? Because it was once again time for the Doctor to get a new companion.
I knew going in that there would be some sort of connection between the new companion and Oswin from the first episode of this season, but what happened was definitely not what I was expecting.
The episode opens with a small child talking to a snowman, who begins to talk back, but only using words that the child said to it (in other words, as it later points out, the snow is mirroring the child’s thoughts/words and has no voice of its own).
What drew me into this episode however, is the flash-forward part and how the Doctor is isolated and withdrawn from the rest of the world. He is living inside his beloved blue box on a cloud, and above the rest of the world. A barmaid, Clara, meets the Doctor during one of his “forays” to Earth, and refuses to listen and leave him alone. She follows him to the TARDIS, and essentially plays the game where you knock on a door and then run away.
Now, I have four favourite moments in this episode. The first one is during Clara’s conversation with Madame Vastra, the “green lady”, and how she is told to only answer questions with one word. The final question, which is my favourite though the whole exchange is fantastic, is this: Clara is told to explain why the Doctor should help her using only one word. The word she chose was Pond. Now, it had been revealed that there was a problem concerning a frown pond, nothing to do with Amy and Rory, but something tells me there is more to her choice than just simply the frozen pond.
As you’ve guessed, or as you saw, the Doctor responds to that word because of its tie to Amy and Rory. This spirals into the rest of the episode.
The next favourite moment happens soon after Clara’s one word answer. The doctor goes to GI, where he impersonates Sherlock Holmes. Holmes is, of course, a fictional character, but as this is set in Victorian times Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is currently writing Holmes’ stories. That’s not why the Doctor’s impersonation of Holmes is one of my favourite moments. Rather, I enjoyed this moment because the actor playing the Doctor, Matt Smith, is friends with Benedict Cumberbatch, who actually plays Sherlock Holmes in the BBC’s television series Sherlock. Beyond that, there were rumours that Benedict would be playing the Doctor after Matt Smith left (or at least would have a role in Doctor Who). Now, those rumours have since been quashed, but the idea is still out there and to have Steven Moffat, who is the head writer on Doctor Who and the co-creator of Sherlock…well, it’s just fantastic to me to have these two series and fandoms intersect.
The frozen pond does indeed cause a problem for the Doctor, Clara, and the rest of the world really, when it sprouts a frozen version of the former governess of the children who Clara now takes care of. The Doctor and Clara run to the roof of the house where the Doctor asks Clara to tell him what his plan is, if he actually has one. Clara does so, and the two of them ascend to the TARDIS. During the moments before the Ice Lady reaches the TARDIS, the Doctor lets Clara inside and says, as we were all expecting, that she can just go ahead and say it, because most people do. She runs out of the TARDIS in shock, and walks around it. All the while the Doctor is smirking, sure that she will come back in and say that it is “Bigger on the Inside”. However, when Clara re-enters the TARDIS she tells him that it is “Smaller on the Outside”. Bang. That’s my next favourite moment. She also asks if there is a kitchen, because she likes making soufflés.
Soufflés? Didn’t Oswin make soufflés? Yes, yes she did (though it was a dream she created).
This moment leads into my final favourite moment, which also happens to be the final moment of the episode.
The Ice Lady drags Clara off the cloud and she falls down to the ground. After suffers major injuries (though really it should have immediately killed her), Clara dies. Her death, incidentally, causes the death of the snowmen as the children she was taking care of cry. During her funeral, which the Doctor attends, he examines her gravestone and finally sees her full name. Clara’s name… was Clara Oswin Oswald. Hmmm.
The Doctor remembers her from the Asylum, and rushes off to go find her again because he met her twice and she died both times. This means, of course, that there is something interesting about her. I really enjoyed this moment because, in another flash-forward, we see a figure beside Clara’s gravestone hundreds of years later (in our time, I assume). The figure turns around in response to her friend’s yells and her face is revealed to be Oswin’s, and Clara’s. So, there is something extremely interesting about this girl… Why wouldn’t there be? After all, the Doctor never knows how or why… he only knows who.
Overall, fantastic Christmas episode and I cannot wait for the rest of the season.
Merry Christmas and Best Wishes,