Friday, 28 December 2012
The Snowmen - further musings...
Musings - and questions. The biggest question is, obviously, what is it with Clara? We've had two Oswin Oswalds so far and both have died - and we were presented with a modern day third one at the end of The Snowmen. I suppose we now have to think that this is finally the real new companion - but is it? Who's to say there might not be a fourth, or fifth? Imagine a different Clara in every episode. That would be funny. Or irritating.
The mystery of Clara is obviously the arc for the last few episodes of Series 7. The only similar character we have seen like this is Scaroth of the Jagaroth - an alien split across time, each aspect of him looking the same but being individual, though with a psychic connection. I sincerely doubt Clara will pull her face off to reveal a monocular mass of green tendrils any time soon, however.
The new TARDIS interior is superb. I especially like the revolving upper part to the time rotor - but the flashing wall lights were a bit naff and a distraction.
The Doctor has been sitting on that cloud for a very long time it would seem, though judging by the ship's battered exterior it has seen a few other adventures.
I liked the fact that the Doctor used Amy's reading specs. He has either consciously, or subconsciously, expected to return to the fray at some point, positioning himself where Vastra and co. are based. He could just have easily parked up on some uninhabited planetoid for years.
He was very quick to test Clara out and accept her as his new companion. The "one word" test was set up in advance with Vastra and Jenny for a reason. Dialogue and performance imply it has been employed unsuccessfully before. Rose, Martha and Donna had to wait a while for their TARDIS key - and Clara getting hers so quick made me automatically think that this one was going to be a goner as well.
Who brought Strax back to life? A friend of the Doctor? I suppose we have to assume River - with some residual Artron Energy?
I knew the ladder reached up to the TARDIS - but the spiral staircase was a particular visual delight.
And what of the Great Intelligence - for that is what it was. This sets itself up to be a prequel to events in Tibet, 1935, and the London Underground of 1967. So, according to this, the Intelligence began as a swarm of sentient ice crystals - some form of gestalt. It needed to copy human DNA to form a bridgehead on Earth - hybrid ice / human DNA. It shoves a nasty old governess into a pond to achieve this. When this ploy fails, the Doctor inadvertently provides a human shell for it - its servant Dr. Simeon, his memories now emptied. That fails as well, but the Intelligence now exists as a disembodied entity.
The Intelligence has evolved rapidly, and yet it is defeated by the sentimental clap-trap of people crying.
A problem I have is Padmasambhava. He must have been extremely long-lived to have survived until 1892 (when already an old man in 1630) for the Intelligence to have taken him over next. The Abominable Snowmen seems to imply the Intelligence has possessed the old master of Det-Sen for a very long time and has helped keep him alive so long.
The Doctor produces the tin with the 1967 tube map on it - suggesting he knows exactly what he's up against - yet later, in the cemetery, he goes on about the "Great Intelligence?" - the name merely ringing a bell... Something jars...
With regards the new titles and music, I still feel they're a bit cluttered. The music is trying to be too many things at once, and the visuals lack the simple consistency of all the previous versions - so at the moment I don't particularly like them. I'm never averse to change - I've been a fan since the late 1960's, so have seen so many changes - but some things maybe just take a bit longer to get used to...