And now I shall give you my personal and not-so-professional opinion on the Doctor Who Christmas Special 2012. It will not be spoiler-free.
The Snowmen was BEAUTIFUL. I fell in love with Clara instantly. I feel the same way about her that I did about Donna when she showed up - she’s not Rose, but holy cow, she is a RIOT. She’s absolutely hilarious and she doesn’t take crap from the Doctor and she’s very honest about it. For example: Doctor: I told you to stay in there. Clara: Oh. I didn’t listen.
She has quite a few other really great moments, the most notable of which is her new take on the classic phrase. We all know the words that every Who character says the first time they step into the TARDIS. “It’s bigger on the inside.” But does Clara say that? No, no, no. ‘Bigger on the inside’ is too mainstream for fabulous Clara, and she chooses to instead state the opposite:
Taking a quick break from my Clara monologue to inform you of another great part of the episode: the trio of misfit toys who become the Doctor’s gang. Madame Vastra, the Silurian (lizard woman), her human wife Jenny (a friend of mine and I were just talking about how DW needs some more lesbians), and their socially inept Sontaran butler Strax.
First: Vastra and Jenny. I have to say that this was their best moment:
The best part is that this line is delivered to a maid at the house where Clara is a governess. The maid was just running around talking about how snowmen are popping up out of nowhere and sounding very distressed, but when Vastra says this to her, she screams at the top of her lungs. Like, lady, homicidal snowmen don’t make you scream, but lesbian lizard women do?
And then there’s Strax. Oh, dear lord, Strax. He was the FUNNIEST DAMN THING in this episode. Brief explanation: Sontarans are a warrior race, bred and manufactured for warfare. Therefore Strax is constantly inclined towards violence, but… he’s a butler. This results in these sort of comments:
There was also an abundance of potato comments. Poor Strax. It’s not his fault he looks like a talking baked potato (or, as the Doctor put it in this episode, a psychotic potato dwarf).
And Steven Moffat, sneaky bastard that he is, also managed to squeeze some feels in!
There’s a scene were Vastra is interrogating Clara, but her technique is a little odd. She orders Clara to answer every question with only one word, because this makes it much more difficult to lie. That’s the idea, anyway. This becomes rather difficult at times, but Clara quickly gets the hang of it. Then, Vastra requests that Clara give her a message for the Doctor. This message is meant to tell him what danger is going on and explain why he should help. What’s the catch? The message can be only one word. (Note: Clara is seeking the Doctor’s help because of a whole thing involving a governess who drowned in a pond which then froze). And which word does she choose? Why, she chooses a word which sums up her predicament AND convinces the Doctor to come down off his gloomy cloud and save the world again. She had no way of knowing the emotional impact that this word would have on him, and that’s the brilliant thing. What word does she say, you ask?
Also, can we take a moment to appreciate:
HE’S WEARING AMY’S READING GLASSES
AMY’S READING GLASSES FROM THE ANGELS TAKE MANHATTAN
Next: the TARDIS! I actually don’t dislike it as much as I did when I first saw the pictures. It’s kind of cool. The way I see it, the TARDIS’s appearance reflects how the Doctor is feeling. Up until now, it’s been a crazy, mad, playground of a space, crowded and cluttered with all this junk thrown together into something beautiful. And that reflects Eleven. But now it’s plain and cold, with none of the cool orange glow from before (she’s missing her ginger companion). It’s reminiscent of Four’s TARDIS - very put together, very neat, very organized, very remote and unemotional. And I don’t think we’re supposed to like it that much, but it’s actually not all that bad.
The exterior is different, too. I complained about the exterior of Eleven’s TARDIS in the past. I liked the look of Nine and Ten’s TARDIS - kind of worn and weathered, like it’s just been through a storm. I always though Eleven’s looked too shiny and new, and it annoyed me. The new TARDIS is even more weathered than Nine and Ten’s. 'Battered’ is a good word. The blue paint is dull in places, starting to peel off in others. The ST. JOHN’S AMBULANCE sticker is beginning to flake. It does look like it’s just been through a storm, and a very bad one, too. Which, again, reflects exactly what the Doctor is going through.
Quick segway to talk about the new intro. I like it. Deal with it. I never liked the intro of the Pond era, and the intro of the Russel T. Davies era will always be my favorite, but this one is pretty freaking awesome. It’s crazy and trippy and it really sums up the mad insanity of time and space that is the life of the Doctor. I still like the RTD one best, but this one is good too.
(OMG FACE LIKE IN CLASSIC WHO)
Anyways, getting back to Clara. She sees right through him, too, which is awesome. And their relationship is HILARIOUS. Jenna-Louise Coleman herself put it best: she annoys the Doctor into being friends with her. She follows him and follows him and follows him and he tries to get rid of her but she refuses to be gotten rid of. And then he finally opens up to her, which was an amazing scene.
But his reaction to her fate was heartbreaking - he put his heart out there after spending so much time hiding in fear of being hurt, and then he paid for it. He lost Amy and Rory, and he was so afraid of being hurt again, so he hid. He went into Scrooge mode. But then this woman, this mad, amazing, challenging woman, coaxed him out. And he thought, maybe. Just maybe. And then he lost her too.
Another great thing about this episode was the dramatic irony. We all know that there’s a connection between Clara and Oswin, because we recognize her. But the Doctor has no idea, because he never saw her face in the Asylum. Watching him slowly figure it out was great. She has so many little comments that hint at it, and you can see him starting to suspect, starting to realize that her voice sounds the same as Oswin’s. For example, the moment in the TARDIS when she asks if there’s a kitchen, and she tells him, “I like making souffles.”
And then the last thing she says is the punchline. Because as she lies on her deathbed, she utters the words of truth. Clara’s last words are the exact same as Oswin’s. Word for word.
“Run, you clever boy. And remember.”
And then, at the end of the episode, he finally sees her full name on her gravestone. Clara Oswin Oswald. Accompanied by the words 'Remember me, for we shall meet again’. Moffat, you sneaky foreshadowing bastard, you. And he figures her out. She’s impossible.
And off he goes to find her. Because somewhere in the present day, another Clara is walking around, and she’s going to run away with him.
So, in New Who companions so far, we’ve had the Bad Wolf.