Here it is Whovians and new-to-whoer’s alike – the annual Doctor Who Christmas Special is here and this year the bad guys are snowmen!!!
The show opens with teethed, snapping snowflakes falling to the ground in England in time past. There’s a little boy building a snowman who never talks or plays with other children. His snowman talks back to him. The snowman tells him he can help him. And the voice of the snowman is none other than Magneto himself – the always excellent Ian McKellan!
Flash forward 50 years later and Dr. Simeon grown. He’s observing workers scraping snow off of snowmen. There’s a giant snow globe now talking to him. He promises to keep its secrets. He goes out to the balcony and there’s a group of hungry men waiting to be fed. Suddenly a group of ravenous snowmen pop up and eat them all. He smirks – I promised I’d feed you, I didn’t say who to.
A serving girl comes out the back of the tavern and sees a snowman. She asks the passing stranger if he made it. He says no and turns back – it’s the Doctor. He muses that perhaps the snow remembered how to build itself. She tells him her name is Clara. He tells her she should keep the snowman. He leaves her there disappointed.
Clara hears the crack of a whip and hoof beats and heads off down the alley after him, but he’s already gone. There’s a speaking pipe in the carriage talking to him and it’s a woman’s voice commenting that she’s glad he’s taken an interest. He says the girls can’t find him again – she doesn’t even know his name – that he’s the Doctor.
The top of the carriage pops open the girls head and shoulders flopped in and she says – Doctor – Doctor Who? And the theme starts – wow – there’s a new time tunnel and cool new intro.
Dr. Simeon is there and is discussing that the Governess drowned and is now frozen in the pond. He tells the man that there’s something growing in the pond and it belongs to him.
Simeon is confronted by Silurian detective Vastra and her wife Jenny. They want to know what the secretive Dr. Simeon has been up to. Vastra says she knows the snow is sentient and that it learns. She said she hopes it’s not in the wrong hand.
Simeon says the winter is there and it’s the last winter for mankind. He tells Vastra she can’t stop him. She says she knows someone who can. Simeon quips that he can’t wait to meet him. Jenny tells Vastra that the Doctor won’t help – that he won’t help anyone anymore. (I’m assuming since he lost Rory and Amy).
Meanwhile the Sontaran Strax tells the Doctor they’ve sampled snow from all over London. The Doctor says the snow is new and possibly alien. Strax proposes an attack and says he’s opposed to the Doctor’s apathy. Strax said they should be trying to destroy it. The Doctor said it’s not his problem. He said after 1,000 years of saving the universe, he’s learned the universe doesn’t care.
He tells Clara that she’s going to forget who he is because he’s got a memory worm. Apparently Strax absorbed the memory worm and can’t remember who they are, why it’s snowing and what happened to the worm. The Doctor finally recovers the worm and caps it in a jar.
He wants to know why Clara isn’t running. They swap barbs and a snowman crops up and then another and another. They sprout fangs and move forward. Turns out the snow feeds off psychic energy. He instructs her to envisioning them melting and they all explode in a gush of water. He tells her that at least now she’ll know what to do and she says unless I forget – implying if he uses the memory worm to make her forget him she’ll be helpless. Ha! He’s hamstrung!
The Doctor shoves Clara into a carriage and instructs her to forget about him. She tells him they should be warning people – he says it’s not his concern. He tells Strax to drop her off where they found her. She slips out of the carriage and tails the Doctor who hops a fence and walks off whistling Silent Night.
He hops up seemingly into thin air and grabs a ladder which he pulls down and then climbs up. The ladder retracts after he scales it. Clara is nearby watching and can’t see anything. She jumps up and tries for the ladder – which she can’t see – and falls. On the second leap, she grabs it and it pulls down. She climbs it and at the top waves at people down below only to find she can’t be seen.
Then she notices a spiral staircase which she also ascends. The ladder retracts below her. She climbs and climbs up higher and higher into the London sky, up into the clouds. At the very top, she sees stars all around and the Tardis! There are clouds all around and she’s not sure where to step but then braves it and steps out on the clouds and walks to the Tardis. She touches the door, then raps on it. She hides at the side as the Doctor opens the door. He steps out saying hello. She slips around the other side and then takes off back down the stairs before he can spot her.
The snow globe guy tells Dr. Simeon the time is almost upon them. Clara awakes smiling and walks away from the tavern job and back to her old one – Governess for Captain Latimer – at the mansion where the other Governess drowned and is frozen in the pond. Latimer tells her his daughter is having nightmares. He welcomes her back despite her unexplained and unexpected absence.
Clara goes to see Francesca and Digby who are thrilled to have her back. Francesca tells her she’s dreaming about their mean Governess that drowned and that she’s going to come back on Christmas and hurt them. Clara notices that all the other ponds are thawed, but theirs is oddly not. Digby says she needs a Doctor. Clara goes to try and find him where the ladder was and is shouting his name when Jenny comes to find her. She brings her to Vastra’s house.
Jenny tells her Vastra will ask her questions and she must answer in one word answers only. Vastra wants to know what she wants with the Doctor – she says help. She says he seems kind. Vastra says he is not kind and does not help people – that he’s not her protector or salvation. She asks Clara if she understands. Vastra tells her the Doctor was once kind and a hero – a saver of worlds – but he suffered losses and now prefers isolation to risking more pain.
Vastra tells Clara that they are the Doctor’s friends and help him in his isolation. She instructs Clara that she will convey a message about the snow, why she needs help and why he should help but tells her she can only do it in one word.
A phone rings in the Tardis – the Doctor answers. Vastra tells him Clara is concerned about the snow and that she gave her the one word test – the word she gave: Pond. That got the Doctor’s attention.
Dr. Simeon has a guest announced as Sherlock Holmes – but it’s the Doctor in disguise being weird. Simeon tells him Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character and to get out. He wants to know why he’s there. The Doctor attacks the snow globe and it wakes up – the voice in the globe says you’re not of this world. The Doctor responds ‘takes one to snow one’.
The Doctor asks the snow globe what it is – he wonders if it’s a flock of space crystals. He muses that once it’s learned enough, what will it do? He thinks it’s evolving. The Doctor uses the sonic screwdriver to lock up the doors. He says they would need a crystallized version of a human. The Doctor finds the news clipping about the drowned governess.
Strax meets the Doctor at the pond and offers him hand grenades. The Doctor said he’s not investigating anything just because some girl asked him. The Doctor asks him who he thinks he is and he says Sherlock Holmes. The Doctor doesn’t appreciate his sense of humor. He tells him he’s the clever one and Strax is the potato one.
Clara is waving to the Doctor from the window and she gestures him upstairs. Dr. Simeon pulls up in a carriage and Vastra, Strax and Jenny watch him. Strax wants to torture and interrogate him.
Clara is tucking the children in for the night and tells them there’s a man coming to help them. She tells them a bedtime story about the Doctor. She thinks she hears the Doctor’s footsteps, but it’s the crazy ice Governess come to attack them. Clara tells Francesca to imagine her melting but she can’t. The children scream and want to know where the Doctor is.
There’s a little hand puppet behind the stage saying Doctor – Doctor Who – the puppet has the sonic screwdriver in hand and aims it at the ice governess who explodes. He tells the children he has a new setting on his screwdriver – anti-freeze. He notices that he’s put back on his bowtie. He forgot how cool they are.
Dr. Simeon begins spraying the pond and lawn of the house with snow. There’s ice caking on the outside of the house and then the ice governess begins to reform under the carpet. The children want to know if she’s going to punish them and he says she’ll probably eat them – he tells them to run and the four of them take off.
The kids come running down the stairs and into Captain Latimer. The maid runs in and tells them they’re snowmen growing in the garden. The maid opens the front door and there’s Vastra saying she’s a lizard woman from the dawn of time and introduces her wife Jenny. The maid screams and runs and there’s Strax – he tells them the house is under attack – be calm human scum. The maid screams again.
The Doctor explained his presence as the Governor’s man friend who’s been kissing her. Latimer only seems to notice the notion that Clara has a boyfriend.
The ice governess is there and Jenny throws up a grenade that forms a barrier that traps her. Strax says the snowmen are not attacking – they are in defense form. They want the ice woman – she’s the perfect fusion of ice and humanity. He tells them if the snow gets hold of the ice governess, they will be able to take over the planet.
He cracks his neck and tells them to stay there, but Clara follows. He tells her she doesn’t listen and she says that’s why he likes her. She kisses him, he blushes. At the door, there’s Dr. Simeon who is backed by evil snowmen. He tells them they have five minutes to release the ice governess to them.
Clara and the Doctor run past the ice governess to the roof and she pursues them. She breaks into snow particles to pursue them. They pull the ladder up and head up into the clouds. The ice governess follows them which is what the Doctor wants – it will keep her away from the snowmen.
Clara asks if he really lives in a cloud in a box. He says he no more lives in cloud in a box than she is a governess. The Doctor throws open the door to the Tardis and Clara follows him in. The new Tardis set up is amazing. Clara hops back out and walks the perimeter. She pops back in and says it’s smaller on the outside. That’s the opposite of what everyone else says! He wasn’t expecting that.
She wants to know if it’s magic, if it’s a machine. He tells her it’s the best ship in a machine. She asks if there’s a kitchen and he says that’s another first. She tells him she likes making soufflés – does everybody remember her from Asylum of the Daleks cooking up soufflé after soufflé? She wants to know why he’s showing her all this. He says she followed him.
She says he’s a foot taller than her and didn’t need to bring along the umbrella – she says he brought it for her. He hands her a key to the Tardis and tells her he never knows why, but he always knows who. He tells her to remember the day because it’s the day everything begins. He’s overjoyed. But then Clara is grabbed out the door by the ice governess who teeters off the edge of the cloud and they both fall off. Clara’s falling to her doom! And worse yet, the ice governess is falling toward the snow!
Jenny and Vastra hear a noise. It was Clara falling to the ground. Latimer says they have to bring her inside. Vastra tells them she’s dead. You hear the Tardis sound and Vastra says he’s bringing her in. He lands the Tardis around her. Clara is alive and Latimer wants to know how when she was dead before. Strax tells him they have technology his puny mind can’t understand.
Vastra talks to the Doctor and says their equipment can only keep Clara alive for a little while and her injuries were extensive. The Doctor has the ice governess in the Tardis and says she can’t reform in there so they’re safe for now.
The Doctor tells Clara she’ll be okay. He pops the Tardis key back in her hand again and kisses it. She asks if he will be the saver of worlds again. The Doctor says if he does, will she come away with him and she says yes. He kisses her on the forehead and says Merry Christmas.
He turns, smiles, adjusts his bow tie and heads out to see Dr. Simeon. He holds out a container and says he has a piece of the ice lady that will tell them everything they need to know. He heads back in and slams the door and tells them he’ll see them at the office.
Vastra and the Doctor hop in the Tardis. He tells her he’s got to make it right and she says – let’s go save the world. Simeon gets back to his house and finds the Doctor waiting there. The Doctor diddles with his sonic screwdriver and strips out the voice disguise. It’s a child’s voice. It’s Simeon’s. He tells him he created the monster. It was a parasite that fed on the fears of a child.
The Doctor tells Simeon it was a very Victorian plan. Simeon grabs the box that has the piece of the ice lady in it. He opens it and screams. The memory worm bites him! The Doctor says he’ll have no one to mirror any more – he’ll have nothing left. The globe says to stop and cries out. Simeon collapses, but then the globe comes back to life! It hasn’t stopped. It asks him if he really thought it would be that easy.
The Doctor wants to know how he survived the loss of Simeon’s memory. He tells the Doctor when he erased Simeon he made room for him. Simeon rises and starts looking all ice and snowy. He knocks Vastra out of the way and attacks the Doctor. He holds him down and puts his hands on him – the Doctor screams and his skin is turning all frostbitten and icy looking!
Strax is telling the ailing Clara to fight for her life. She tells Latimer the children are frightened and he needs to hold them. Jenny watches out the window as the fanged snowflakes fall.
Vastra tells the Doctor it’s starting to rain. Simeon keel s over dead and Vastra wants to know what’s going on. He says it’s reflecting something else – another emotion. He tells her the snow is reacting to something at the house because that’s where it was concentrated. Vastra realizes it’s salty rain. The Doctor says it’s tears. He says the whole family must be crying on Christmas.
The Doctor and Vastra rush back in the Tardis. Strax tells the Doctor she only has moments left. He tells her he saved the world. She wants to know if he’s going back. She tells him he’s a clever boy and passes away. It’s Christmas morning. They are at Clara’s grave discussing the weakness in the London underground and the “Great Intelligence.” It’s the initials on the business card!
He sees the headstone reads Clara Oswin Oswald and it all finally clicks. He finally realizes that Clara is Oswin who was the soufflé girl that was turned into a Dalek. He tells Vastra and Jenny he’s got to go find her and dashes off. Her headstone says “Remember me for we shall meet again.”
Clara is in a graveyard – a different graveyard staring at her own grave stone – it’s the same stone in London, but it’s a century later! Her friend is asking her if they can go – that the graveyard is creepy. Clara smiles back at her and says she doesn’t believe in ghosts.
Back in the Tardis, the game is afoot. The Doctor is on the hunt to find Clara – the girl who’s died twice. He’s got to find her – he’s obsessed and back in the game! There’s a brief preview of the coming rest of the season that picks up in April – he and Clara are back together! The Doctor’s got a new companion! Yippee!