jeudi 3 janvier 2013

Doctor Who - The Snowmen (Winter is coming)

Version française ici
The Christmas special has always been a much expected event in the Whoverse. This year, the expectations were particularly high since it’s the first episode since Amy and Rory’s departure and we knew we were going to meet the Doctor’s new companion. The stage is set in London, in 1892, on Christmas’ Eve. Scary snowmen start to pop up all over town. A woman drowned in a frozen pond. The snow seems alive and intends to enslave mankind. But what is the Doctor up to? He shuts himself away in his TARDIS, high in the clouds, and won’t take care of the problem. Why bother, since the two people who had become his family are now dead? 
On the surface, I liked « The Snowmen ». The visuals we had seen on the Web had me convinced we would get pretty pictures, pretty sets and pretty costumes. And, indeed, the episode delivers it all. I loved the multiple cultural references to Dickens, Mary Poppins, Game of Thrones and even The Hobbit courtesy of sir Ian McKellen’s voice. The moment I enjoyed the most was the Doctor impersonating Sherlock Holmes (with the deerstalker hat, of course). He then launches into a not so brilliant series of deductions while the soundtrack plays a tune highly similar to Sherlock’s main theme. (Very funny since the two shows share the same showrunner.) This tip of the hat to two or three of the biggest hits of the year in pop culture is the most successful aspect of this Christmas special. As if Steven Moffat was telling us: “Hey, you like these and I like them too.”
Yet, it’s one thing to establish some kind of proximity with the watcher and another thing entirely to bring him or her into your story. Moffat failed to do so. I admired his usual virtuosity, but I did not engage emotionally in the story that was unfolding before me. The same thing happened for me on the episode that closed the first half of season 7. I should have trembled with fear in front of the Weeping Angels, my favorite monsters, and I should have cried over Amy and Rory’s departure. But I didn’t feel emotional at all during “The Angels Take Manhattan” and it wasn’t much better during “The Snowmen”. I blame the script which turns the 11th Doctor into a spoilt brat sulking over the disappearance of his favorite toy, when truly he is traumatized because he lost, once again, his beloved companions. Although I did notice that Matt Smith, over the course of this episode, sometimes showed us how much he’s grown up even though the script doesn’t leave him much room to do so. So kudos to him, really, for he is a great Doctor.

I’m very intrigued about Clara, who is a nice character. But I’m not sure I trust Moffat to take us in the right direction with her. He likes to dazzle us and lose us in his very complex, multi-dimensional narrative, as he demonstrated in the previous two seasons. I think he is a better writer than a showrunner, and I don’t believe it’s a good idea to leave him alone at the helm of this show. (Just like the Doctor wreaks havoc when he doesn’t have a companion to watch over him.) Lately, the best episodes were the standalones, "The Girl Who Waited", "Closing Time", "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship". It’s “The Snowmen”’s major flaw, actually. Its purpose is to introduce Clara’s character and develop the storyline of season 7, which is a shame, because it’s completely devoid of Christmas magic and doesn’t make for a great Christmas special.

In the end, I had a good time watching “The Snowmen”, but I found it frustrating and I’m not so sure I’m gonna like the end of season 7. (Dear Steven, if you read this, I would love it if you could solve the mystery concerning Clara’s identity before the end of the season. Please do not drag it over the course of two seasons like you did previously with “The Silence will fall”. Oh, and if you could stop putting the “Doctor? Doctor who?” question in your characters’ mouth in every episode, I would be very grateful, because it’s really starting to get on my nerves. I know you like playing with the pun and it seems like you’re dying to answer the famous question. But I’m afraid it can only lead to disappointment, so I’d rather not know. Thank you, no hard feelings there.)

And you, did you enjoy it?
Rendez-vous sur Hellocoton !

2 commentaires:

  1. depuis le temps qu'on me parle de cette série, je vais m'y mettre, tiens


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