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

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, 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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