Doctor Who Richard E. Grant guest stars as the villainous Dr Simeon in The Snowmen

Published on December 24th, 2012 | by Christian Cawley

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The Snowmen Spoiler-Free Reviews Roundup

We don’t want spoilers of course – but it would be nice to know that the 2012 Christmas Doctor Who special is going to be one to remember, right?

Richard E. Grant guest stars as the villainous Dr Simeon in The SnowmenAs such we’ve searched the web for previews published by websites and newspapers fortunate enough to have already seen The Snowmen. There are no spoilers in any of these links, but if you’re of a spoilerphobic nature we urge you to move along to the next article…

We’ll begin with the Telegraph, where Catherine Gee rates the episode 3.5 stars out of 5, without giving anything away. Their spoiler-free review spends a few lines on Richard E. Grant’s Dr Simeon.

Dr Simeon’s ominous warning that “winter is coming”, also suggests that Moffat may be a Game of Thrones fan.

Sadly Grant’s emotionless stiff face makes him less menacing than hoped – it seems more like you could stop his evil doings with a quick slap to the face with a leather glove. But fortunately, our CGI adversaries more than hold their own in the scary stakes.

Over on io9.com, Meredith Woener offers a nice angle on the theme of the story. We wonder if it might be something that goes beyond the Christmas special…

As for the actual plot of the Christmas Special, it does lean a little too much on the classic Moffat “this is way too complicated” plot line. But whatever — it’s The Doctor and he’s fighting snowmen, you have to kind of expect wildly dramatic, completely nonsensical explanations about alien snow. It happens. “Victorian Values” is a huge theme and they nail it with the new villain and his wacky science lab.

Meanwhile WhatCulture – a website that is generally so overly critical about Doctor Who that we don’t know how they gain access to press events – observes the differences between Clara and previous female companions.

Clara’s character just fits into the Doctor’s life and Jenna-Louise Coleman builds upon her previous experience in the Doctor Who universe to make a fun, cheeky and yet inoffensive character of Clara, unlike previous companions who have interpreted ‘feisty’ as rude, frosty and at times pain in the backside like Amy Pond or Rose Tyler.

Finally, if you’re like us and have been left thinking with previous Christmas specials that perhaps not enough effort is made in making them dark and scary enough (perhaps a production-side nod to Christmas Day being a wider audience?) then fear not. Den of Geek has revealed that Christmas is merely a setting, a backdrop rather than a plot point.

The Snowmen is also the most sombre of the festive episodes to date. It’d be wrong to call it outright dark, as there’s a skilful tonal juggling act at work here. But the one year the Doctor Who Christmas special gets moved to an earlier time slot – it’s on at 5.15pm – is the one when it least seems to suit it.

Wonderful how there are no spoilers here, yet we just build up the excitement, isn’t it?

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About the Author

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A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




One Response to The Snowmen Spoiler-Free Reviews Roundup

  1. avatar TimeChaser says:

    Hoping this one will be brilliant. Last year’s special was a bit of a mess in my opinion, so I’m hoping we’ll get something this year to rival A Christmas Carol, which is the best special of the bunch so far.

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