Amph [Doctor Who] Series 7 Discussion - SPOILERS

Discussion in 'Community' started by Mar17swgirl, May 29, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    Plot holes are not a major issue to me, sci-fi in general is littered with plot-holes because it usually takes liberties with established laws & theories for the sake of entertainment. It's easy to find plot failings in almost any material, but dwelling on that tends to make you hate something more even if it was good (the Batman thread is evidence of this).

    Who is and will always be slightly cheesy & sentimental, remember it is mainly a show aimed at a younger audience than us.
  2. Sith-Lord-Gunray Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2003
    star 7
    This is how I felt about the episode.

    [IMG]
  3. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Meh, as Ritchie said, this show is meant to just be fun and sentimental most of the time. It occasionally transcends that for really great episodes, but for the most part it's not really even pretending to be more than a really fun show. If you want something sour and emo and self-important, watch something else. Or there are plenty of other good shows with a different, more down to earth tone. But come on, this is a whimsical fantasy show we're talking about.
    Last edited by solojones, Dec 27, 2012
  4. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    *headdesk* some people on other forums have already started to make the barmaid/sex worker comparison with regard to Clara. (granted 'sex worker' wasn't the exact term used, but I can't use the exact term here)

    Excuse me while I go and hit something. Presumably something soft and fluffy and inanamite.

    Oh and here's the second half trailer for those who might not have seen it yet:

  5. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    BBC Behind the Scenes of The Snowmen:



    Christmas Special Q&A with Matt, Jenna, and Moffat:



    And JLC on BBC Breakfast:

    Last edited by Juliet316, Dec 28, 2012
  6. Everton Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2003
    star 10
    Here are my thoughts on 'The Snowmen'. Almost completely positive. Apologies if I repeat anything anyone has already said - particularly Maria (my dear, that was an awesome list of random stuff :p ), but it takes one to snow one. Ahem...

    The first thing I need to say is something very calm, and controlled, and mature. Here is it:

    OMFG MATT'S FACE IN THE TITLES!!!!!!! YEESSSSSSS!!!! [face_dancing] [face_dancing] [face_dancing] The new opening titles are SUPERB. Ten times better than the Pond-era titles. I agree with all the praise they are getting and don't really need to add to it. Retro in a way that they could never achieve in the past. 'Contemporary retro'. :p Looks like they're sticking with unique title cards all the way through series seven, too.

    Right from the start. Incorporating jaws into the middle of the snowflakes is a lovely piece of design. Simple, retrospectively obvious but also really, really effective. Classic Who. Take an ordinary object, or something magical / treasured, amend it ever-so-slightly and ruin it for a generation of children. :p How could one possibly go out in the snow now? :p From that to the snowmen themselves. I love the way they pop up in a swirl of snow, so quickly. The sound effect that accompanies their arrival is great, too. Kinda pneumatic.

    The Snowman talking to the young Dr. Simeon. Creepy. The kid was totally believable as a young Richard E. Grant, btw. Firstly Ian McKellen's voice fits perfectly (Gandalf the White, indeed :p ). It's not an easy job, voicing a character we never see, that's never given form. I suppose he is given form right at the end when Dr. Simeon is reanimated (that was PROPERLY scary :D ), but somehow McKellen made the snow caught in the spherical contraption rather intimidating. I know that the villains of the episode never really came into their own - they only really served to push forward the character development of our heroes, moving them all into places they could learn about (rediscover) themselves and each other - but that's okay. I get the feeling the Great Intelligence (great monogram, btw) will play a part in episodes to come. The 'siege' of the house was far more about the interactions between The Doctor and Clara than the threat outside. Likewise when he was introducing her to the TARDIS the ice-governess was forgotten about for the perfect amount of time. Never mind. :p

    Speaking of Richard E. Grant. Sooooo great to finally see him in NuWho. :cool: He didn't get much to do, but what he did get wasn't wasted. When the true nature of the snow is finally revealed, suddenly his subdued behaviour makes perfect sense. He becomes more than just a one-dimensional bad guy. Before the reveal he's just a snarling ass... permanently set to miserable, gloomy and scowling, but after The Doctor explains about the mirroring his demeanor is suddenly (to me) that of a man who has been under a thumb for almost his entire life. No release. No wonder he's dour, and a little robotic, he's been conditioned (albeit unwittingly by himself!) for decades.

    Clara Oswin Oswald. This woman, I do believe, has the potential to be one of the best companions ever. NuWho's companions have come a long way since R***, I must say. She was a simpleton coming along for the ride. A person The Doctor picked up for no other reason (I suspect) than he wanted someone who would lick his boots. That's what he needed back then, I do think, but as a Doctor / companion relationship it quickly wore thin. But that was R***. Since then the companions have become increasingly complex and (save the wasted opportunity that was Martha) challenging to The Doctor and to us. Now we have Clara, who may even have the potential to surpass him in some respects. Perfect. She's capable, adaptable, witty, logical... but still played with enough wonder to not let us forget just how special / precious The Doctor is. Her banter with him is so natural, too - right from when they first meet each other ("What's wrong with silly?"). The mystery surrounding her (tying in with the 50th, based on her birthday) looks pretty great, too. Multiple versions of the same person strewn across time and space. Brilliant! I must admit I was a little disappointed that the Victorian version of her died and that The Doctor may end up finding a present day Clara to actually travel with (I've wanted a non-present day companion in the TARDIS for a long time), but it's a disappointment I'm prepared to shelve until I know the full story. I think that's my only true complaint about the episode. :p

    Other Clara awesomness (for the episode belongs to her):
    - the look on her face when Strax calls her a boy. :p
    - she recognises the gauntlets immediately. She doesn't run, instead wanting to understand the situation. I adored how (after escaping the snowmen) she immediately noted that her memory was now safe from the Memory Worm (a dodgy, but somehow charming practical effect).
    - she follows The Doctor (whistling 'Silent Night' [face_love] ) to the TARDIS. Without a second thought she follows him up. The scene (and music) as she climbs up the staircase ("taller on the inside") is like something out of a fairytale (particularly that first wide shot). Paced to perfection. It doesn't only work for the character, either; it works for the audience. She doesn't know what she's going to find up there, but we do, and the anticipation is overwhelming. Then the reveal, the blue box sitting out of focus behind her. The TARDIS is legend, and the show certainly knows how to play on that. I lapped it up. My only disappointment with this scene is that she didn't go in of her own accord, but again this is only a minor quibble. I don't think she would've hesitated to go in had The Doctor not poked his head out. Actually, I don't think she wanted to interact with The Doctor just yet. I think she had hoped to learn more about him on her own terms before that. So she escaped back down the stairs. She certainly wasn't scared off by her surroundings. I think The Doctor knew she was there before he found her scarf. Why? He looked in her direction when he first poked his head out (then he played along). I reckon he was scanning the outside of the TARDIS waiting for her, already suspecting that she didn't do his bidding when he 'tried to get rid of her' moments earlier.
    - her double life as a waitress and governess. If this isn't a clear pointer to multiple lives on an altogether grander scale, then I don't know what is. :p She makes a great Governess, too. :cool: Wonderfully spoken. The children are lovely - good for some necessary exposition hidden underneath layers of cuteness. :p I love Clara's reaction to the dead cow ("How exciting."). Just made me laugh. How very random. :p Anyway, as soon as Clara hears the story about the previous governess she thinks of something The Doctor said. She accepts his world completely, and is already acting on the assumption it's true without him for company. She decides The Doctor is going to help her, not the other way around. I think she's going to do that a lot in the future, put two and two together without him.
    - her 'definitely true' stories. Something tells me they are true, actually. I suspect her reasons are genuine, too.
    - The Doctor was testing her right from the moment the ice-governess first appeared, to the moment she fell from the TARDIS. Since he appeared in the Punch & Judy booth, one can assume he was watching (from a responsible distance) how Clara got the children clear of the ice-governess and how she put into practice all he'd told her re: destroying the snowmen. Then the brilliantly simple scene with the umbrella. Did she need any prompting? No. :D
    - there's something about her that volunteers the right word or phrase at the right time. "Pond", "cooler". Each one gradually bringing The Doctor we all know a little closer. She recognises his greatness (that's why she wants to bring him back) but it's these little cues she delivers that - unbeknownst to her - have true internal traction. It's more than just coincidence. Has to be.
    - when she's lifted up on the TARDIS ladder to escape the ice-governess... it couldn't be any more Mary Poppins. :D :cool:

    Also, she does look great in red. :D

    The Doctor. He wasn't quite as miserable at the start of the episode as I'd expected. I don't think he'd retired (in his hearts, really), I think he was just waiting for the right person to bring him out of his stupor. He was a bit lost and didn't know his mind quite as well as usual (losing Amy and Rory would do that). He didn't know where the next chapter was going to come from. So no, he hasn't retired, but he has acquired a degree of caution so uncharacteristic of The Doctor. No matter how many times he says the Universe doesn't care, or similar, I don't quite believe him. It's almost as if he was waiting for the right turn of events to prove that statement incorrect. I think that's why he settled on Victorian England and Vastra / Jenny as guardians. Vastra is wise, and would point him in the right direction eventually. She was keeping him warm, or as best she could. Even in the pre-titles sequence Vastra is an encouraging voice. Even when The Doctor gives Clara the TARDIS key and he says he's "giving in", I don't think he's coming out of retirement, I think he's shedding that caution. I think he's saying that despite it all he can't help but admit the thrill has returned, the right person might've come along and even though he's still hurting he just has to go with it ("I never know how, I only know who"). Anyway, in the meantime that costume is one of the stars of the show. The hat and coat are as gorgeous as I'd hoped, and the glasses an added bonus. :D

    My favourite scene of the episode is the one-word test. Not only is Vastra interviewing Clara to see if she's a suitable companion for The Doctor (as, I suspect, The Doctor hoped she would do), but Clara almost ends up interviewing Vastra to see if The Doctor is suitable for her! Clara is clever enough to turn the tables on Vastra even when Vastra makes all the rules. :cool: It's a mesmerising scene. Clara picks so many perfect words... snow, curiosity, danger, kindness... Vastra tries to put her off by lying about The Doctor but Clara sees right through that... words... and so Vastra opens up. She's on the back foot, now. The look on Clara's face as Vastra describes The Doctor as a hero, a saviour of worlds, it's a perfect mixture of awe and "I want me some of this". :p Then, finally, the one word that could bring The Doctor back... pond. Moffat, you ruddy genius. :D

    Speaking of Vastra, I had hoped to see her in combat. We didn't. Actually, she was very easily pushed aside by the reanimated Dr. Gideon in the climax. A little disappointing, if I'm honest.

    The whole kissing thing. Now, it would certainly be nice to have a companion not kiss The Doctor. Still, it's happened now and we must explain it. For my part, I don't think she's interested in him romantically. I think she's teasing him because his explanation to Captain Latimer was kissing. From the tone of The Doctor's voice and the awkwardness with which he delivered the 'explanation', she correctly deduces he doesn't really have a clue what he's talking about. Thus, intimacy is identified as The Doctor's weak spot. Thus thus, she must know how to exploit it. :D Which means some testing! There's also a bit of revenge in there, too. After all, The Doctor casually blew her cover to her employer. Clara does need The Doctor to help her escape, but that's no reason to why she shouldn't see how easy (or otherwise) it is to throw him. [face_mischief] She's always working more than one angle at once, is Clara. Don't mistake me, I think the relationship between The Doctor and Clara will be a close one - but I don't think that they are attracted to one another. They will be close intellectually. Eventually The Doctor will realise that Clara is constantly undermining him, testing him (in a friendly sort of way). There's a respect between them, a mutual understanding, a shared intellectual standing, that didn't exist between Amy and The Doctor. Somehow I can't see The Doctor ever laying down the law to Clara as he did with Amy, Rory and River when they were trying to keep his death from him (and he ended up having to trust in Amy).

    ('The Question' is asked a lot in this episode. Deliberate? I suspect not.)

    The TARDIS. Wow. My favourite console room is the Coral theme, but this is already second in my affections. The Pond-era TARDIS was good, but it never felt like a complete design, never felt cohesive. If I'm honest, a little bit of a mess. This feels complete, cohesive. It's Galifreyan... perfect for the lead up to the 50th. It's just the right size. I love the rotating symbols at the top. I love that the white light flashes around the edge when she moves, or indeed when The Doctor requires a little bit of confection (like when Clara first comes inside). I love it all. You sexy thing. "It's called the TARDIS. It can travel anywhere in time and space... and it's mine." :D :D (sort of)

    I was wondering why The Doctor couldn't save Clara by piloting the TARDIS into the path of her descent (like he did for River). My theory is that when Clara was first pulled out of the TARDIS and over the edge The Doctor was so distracted he could only think to run over and physically wrestle her free. This didn't work, but by the time he'd made his way out and watched her fall he was part of events. Thus he could not go back and save her. So that's my (possibly half-baked) theory.

    Clara's death was really affecting. As I said, disappointed to see Victorian Clara go... but it's clear we have something far more complex to get our teeth into so I can forgive. :p The tears thing was really, really clever. One of the main reasons this is my favourite Christmas special is that there was very little Christmas sentimentality. There needed to be some, of course, and the tears thing was perfect. Plus, that shot of the half ice / half snow snowman is possibly the most beautiful defeated monster since we first saw the internal workings of the clockwork robots in 'Girl in the Fireplace'.

    Liz White (Annie Cartwright from LoM). Lovely to see her. She had little to do but ham it up (lots of... screaming)... but we're now nearing a full house of LoM cast in Doctor Who. :p If they ever do an episode where they require someone to play a really distorted version of The Doctor, then Philip Glenister is your man. :p

    Sherlock references. YAY!!! The discussion between Jenny, Vastra and Dr. Simeon early in the episode was wonderful (albeit a useful bit of exposition. :p ). Dr. Simeon suggesting that Vastra and Jenny are Doyle's inspiration, mention of The Strand magazine. Heavenly. I agree with Maria that Vastra and Jenny probably didn't marry in Victorian England. :p Still, this episode only goes to prove they are a fantastic double act and deserve more than fleeting appearances in landmark Doctor Who episodes. If only a pilot episode of their own, Moffat, give them a chance! [face_praying] Then, then, then.... the Sherlock scene. Absolute bloody genius. It sailed just the right side of believable - a joy for the fans (the music alone nearly made me fall off my chair!) but also a great bit of humour for the uninitiated. His deductions were rubbish, until it really mattered. Classic Eleven - and a bit of Ten, actually. Mess about to distract his quarry as he works on the solution. It's also great to get a Holmes written by Moffat who actually likes the deerstalker. :p
    (this is the second time Eleven has suggested someone delete their history - the other being Jeff's in TEH).

    Note that when The Doctor goes out to investigate as Sherlock, and then later when he's checking out the frozen pond, his scarf is obscuring the bow tie. Thus, we only get that reveal when it's dramatically desirable. It may only be a small moment when he realises he's put it on (and then 'agrees' with Clara that it's cool) but it's actually a brilliant development of Eleven's simple comedy catchphrase into a real piece of character work. Suddenly, the bow tie does more than define his look, it's defines his mood, and therefore him. Fantastic.

    I love the little scene as The Doctor stood near the pond, and Clara in the window above. A bit of miming. It reminded me of a similar scene between Ten and Donna. :p

    Strax was so good it hurts. I know he's the comic relief, but his lines are not aimed at children... they are a little too sophisticated for that (at least, I thought). No, Strax is here for the adult audience to get a pure, unadulterated laugh. That's great for Christmas viewing, too. I will say, though, that underneath all that silly humour is a genuine guy. As Sontarans go, there's a reason this one has been placed in orbit around The Doctor. Not only does his tactical expertise come in useful, but when Clara is injured he knows how to treat her (and no longer sees it as an inferior responsibility to blowing things up). Indeed, in her last moments the comedy is dropped altogether. Well played Moffat.

    All in all a fantastic episode. Dripping with potential, light on villainy (but that didn't really matter as the focus was elsewhere)... a loaded with awesomness.

    "Remember me, for we shall meet again." [face_love]
    Last edited by Everton, Dec 28, 2012
  7. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    An absolute joy to read that excellent review, Mr E.

    "The tears thing was really, really clever."

    Indeed. She saved them with love :p
    Admiral_Volshe, Juliet316 and Everton like this.
  8. Everton Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2003
    star 10
    Grrr. Hadn't though of it that way. :p
  9. Mar17swgirl Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 26, 2000
    star 7
  10. Everton Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2003
    star 10
    I just watched it again. My goodness it's fantastic. :cool:
  11. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
  12. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
  13. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    Watching the Christmas Special in full now.

    Full thoughts later, but on the opening. I didn't hate them as much as I thought I would upon hearing they were retro... I thought it was very well done. The way Matt's face was done reminds me very much of the flashbacks in the Lodger, actually.
  14. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    Okay, finally got a chance to watch the Christmas Special, and I think I pretty much agree with most everybody's sentiments on it. It certainly felt miles away better than last year's. (I didn't outright hate last year's, but, it was much like Voyage of the Damned, where it really only got good for me towards the end and ultimately just felt like a forced plot to get Eleven back to the Ponds by the end of it.) This might actually surplant The Runaway Bride as my favorite Christmas Special thus far.(I'll have to rewatch it again soon to see how it holds up in comparison to the Snowmen). Plot was a bit muddied, but if it's setting up for something with the Great Intelligence later in the year, I don't really mind. I loved the music in this, I hope we hear it again as the second half of S7 rolls on. Especially as Clara is ascending the stairs for the first time and when the bow tie is revealed

    I'm surprised nobody has yet pointed out how Matt's hair was also utilized in this episode. It also signifies the switch from the Scrooge we see in the beginning (longish, unkempt, peeking downwards out of the hat for a good chunk of the episode) to the Doctor we are used to when he's finally prompted into action by Clara.(we can't really see it well with the deerstalker cap, but it's definitely back in all crowning stylish glory when he saves Clara and the children)

    I echo the sentiments of all those wanting a spinoff with Vastra/Jenny, and Strax.

    I'm slightly concerned by Eleven's forgetting of the Great Intelligence, and hope it's not a hint of something more sinister by the Moff.

    I'm glad Moff had Eleven figure out who Clara was now (i.e., that she's the Dalek from AotD), rather than have it be dragged out the whole season, or worst have him only figure it out as she's leaving the TARDIS for good, however long JLC's stay with the show is. At least now I have hope that we're not just seeing a mirroring of River's story.

    There just seemed to be so many callbacks to other eras of Who in this episode, not just the obvious ones with the Great Intelligence and the retro titles and TARDIS (and Clara, of course), but also in subtle ways, especially Eleven's "Watch me run" at the end which seemed like such an obvious call back to River's "You watch us run," from Forest of the Dead.

    Okay, I think I've run out of thoughts on this for the moment.:)
    PirateofRohan likes this.
  15. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    Just about to watch a repeat of the Christmas special on BBC3.
    Juliet316 likes this.
  16. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 9
    KamSolusar and Darth Guy like this.
  17. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    [IMG]
    Last edited by Darth Guy, Dec 29, 2012
  18. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    S7 & S8 speculation (open)
    Does anybody think we'll see the Silence this season? Or is Moff saving any return of them for S8 and the Fields of Tranzelore?
  19. Rosslcopter Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 3
    How do you know we haven't?
  20. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    :p

    Interesting point though.
  21. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    Now I remember the other bit of speculation that's been floating around my head:

    minor S7 speculation (open)
    I wonder if the girl in the graveyard with modern day!Clara is the aforementioned Nina from Asylum of the Daleks?
  22. Chewgumma Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 14, 2009
    star 7
  23. KamSolusar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2001
    star 2
    Thank you Doctor, but your companion is in another castle century!
  24. darthcaedus1138 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2007
    star 5
    I love how it's world 7-6, and the souffles are there.
    Random Comments likes this.
  25. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    Re-watched "Asylum of the Daleks", and after viewing the Snowmen Christmas Special, it makes it even better. Especially at the end... I think there were hints in the episode, like how she's a genius, she clearly was stronger enough to overcome the Dalek hive mind and keep her idenity (so was she really "dead"?). Clara/Oswin is already my favorite companion and from here I think she'll only get better. Great chemistry with Matt, something that seemed a little forced with the Ponds and River, although it worked when it needed to. Or at least the chemistry is better here. I'm thinking she's a Time Something or other... maybe the same species as Jack? It's going to be exciting finding out!
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.