Doctor Who Review: Winter Is Coming

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There are some really great things happening in Doctor Who Season 7, and the addition of Clara Oswin Oswald could turn out to be one of the most monumental characters in the show's history. She was back in "The Snowmen," but had the audacity to - get this - DIE again by the end. 

However, and I struggle with this, I daresay The Doctor is in love with Clara. While I never thought the idea of watching The Doctor travel the earth with a companion and lover might be a draw, I've officially changed my mind. The chemistry between Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman works in that regard far better than it would work as mere friends, as I dangled on the edge of the couch hoping Clara was not really going to kick the bucket.

A Doctor Who Christmas

The Christmas episode took us back to Victorian England and introduced us to some really fun characters. First, we had the evil Dr. Simeon, played by Richard E. Grant. Interesting casting, as in 2003 Grant played The Doctor in a mini-series, Doctor Who - Return of the Shalka. You have to wonder how he felt to be on the other side of the Tardis.

We also met a group who I can only hope are are going to be more than one-off characters. A lizard woman from the dawn of time, Madame Vastra, on whom "Dr. Doyle" may have been basing his Sherlock Holmes character and her wife, Jenny Flint; and their cohort, Strax who may or may not have been in "A Good Man Goes to War," because his kind is known to have a plethora of clones. One thing is certain, the dude had a hell of a lot of fun Doctor Who quotes to brighten Christmas day. 

Even though we've already had a run-in with The Doctor's new companion, I was completely swept up in the re-ignition of the relationship between he and Clara. With all the evidence stacked up, I didn't imagine Clara giving the correct one word answer to the test from Madame Vastra. Pond. Of course, she had no idea the relevance of Pond to The Doctor, but it made my hair stand on end nonetheless.

The Doctor was giddy with Clara. He was trying not to get involved, not wanting to go up into the house to speak with her and attempting to force himself to walk away, but he was unable to do so. I bought into every blasted moment of it. Far before they started actual flirting, I thought, by golly, The Doctor is falling for Clara! Yes, it's Christmas and I used the word golly. Rather fitting, don't you think?

Enough about love for the moment, because Steven Moffat outdid himself with Doctor Who lore and updates with the continuation of the season and "The Snowmen." Did you know The Great Intelligence were first introduced back in 1967 in an episode called "The Abominable Snowmen?" I bet you were wondering why an episode with such fierce creatures and their pointed, razor sharp teeth had a nice, pleasant title. Because The Doctor has already dealt with the abominable version, and in the process run into The Great Intelligence, who had been trying to find a body. 

They got their wish, however short a time frame, and if all goes well, we'll see even more of the GI controlling their environment to achieve their goals with The Doctor fighting against them. After all, Ian McKellen? You can't argue the casting of The Great Intelligence. With Richard E. Grant and Ian McKellen running about saying "Winter is coming," it was as if we were smack dab in the middle of Westeros.

What did you think of the newly redesigned Tardis? It was a little less busy and kind of sleek inside, with more room to rumble around. Was I the only one surprised to hear Clara was the first person to tell The Doctor the Tardis was larger on the outside than on the inside and inquire whether there was a kitchen? You'd think they would be pretty run of the mill comments. Maybe that's why I like her so much. She seems a lot like me. Less concerned with the science and possibilities and more interested in the reality of what's happening around her. She points out the obvious. And she noticed The Doctor is kinda cute. Duh!

As we move on into the season, will Clara keep dying? Is that going to be her thing? That will definitely put a crack into the idea of The Doctor being in love, if he's living a sort of "50 First Dates" with his companion situation. I think that would rip some of the magic out of their charm. Their attraction is real and I'm looking forward to seeing what it will mean to The Doctor to feel something other than platonic love for a companion. Am I alone in that wish? 

Let me know your thoughts on the episode, and what you hope to see now that you've seen Clara Oswin Oswald die her second death on Doctor Who. Clara, we barely know ye. Happy New Year everyone! 


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (97 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

Fruit salad

Feels like I'm the only one who couldn't stand this episode... the Doctor was behaving thoroughly out of character. His attitude goes against everything we've ever seen in the past 50 years, and without a proper explanation other than "the universe was mean to me" it just fell flat, and if I can't enjoy the Doctor, I just can't enjoy the episode. Not Matt Smith's fault, mind: he did a great job with what he was given, but even his awkwardness couldn't save this trainwreck. Also - Clara saved the world by crying?!


Great episode. I have my suspicions about who Clara really is...the way she says "clever boy..."...someone else used to say that alot... Also Carissa, correction, what Clara said was "it is smaller on the outside".


Wow!Matt and Jenna have amazing hot chemistry!I love them together!I agree with the other comments about how they could be the next ten and rose.I haven't seen the doctor this crazy about a woman since rose.Every doctor has his lady, ten had rose and eleven has clara. They are already smoking hot and super adorable.I especially love how flirty eleven is being with her.Its cute.


If Clara is "impossible" (as the Doctor says in the next episode) it may be because she isn't really real. She's a created being of some sort. She may even be an unknowing weapon targeted at his heart.


The Doctor is SO falling for Clara. She intrigues him in ways that he hasn't known since he witnessed the wonder and splendor shown by Rose. In fact, Clara seems to be a mix of his past 4 main companions. She is pretty, curious and adventurous as Rose; intelligent, flirty, and attracted to the Doctor as Martha; spunky, forceful and independent as Donna; and strong-willed, sexy and stubborn as Amy. As far as River, her timeline seems to be near the end based on the previous episode. She MAY already know about Clara based on her own timey-wimey adventures. Besides, the Doctor deserves a bit of happiness, and he seems to think Clara may be the one for him. No matter what, April is not getting here fast enough!


I think the Doctor is going to end up just as much in love with Clara as he was with Rose - if not more. For those saying River won't like it... It's entirely possible that we've met up with the Doctor in the time AFTER the events of Forest of the Dead. Which means River may be dead now.


I personally loved this episode. it left the door open for many plots and sub plots. Maybe Clara is River Song? O.o And why shouldn't it be? River changed form in the episode 'Lets Kill Hitler' and there hasn't been any plots explaining why it isn't possible to been done again? Quite frankly, the previous River Song was rushed, I think Moffat will explain sooner or later. What's to say River died in the Library? Why can't it be another one of Clara's ways of somehow evading death. Just another thought, although its abit far-fetched.


Oh, i loved, loved this Christmas Special! Plotwise i think the previous one was a bit better, but this one had sort of a poetic feeling in it. Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax beeter show up in the next episodes. They are a truly amazing company.
I was so looking forward to seeing Oswin again.I just loved her at the Asylum of the Daleks and now she's officially among my favorite companions. I wouldn't mind if she died again and the Doctor always had to go find her. It would kind of increase the angst. But yeah...that would take away of the plot.
And yes i agree...the Doctor is so falling for her, they have the sweetest interaction and i am hoping to see a romance getting developed there.Don't get me wrong...i like River. But 11 is not in love with her...or at least i can't see it.11&Oswin could be the new 10&Rose (i know many people would hate it...but again there are others like me who would be very excited)


I loved Clara and the chemistry was fantastic, but for me, to say he's falling in love with her already is a stretch. He finds her interesting, sure, but he barely knows her and they've both been show to flirt without serious intentions before. And yes, they kissed, but considering they'd just met, it seemed more like a 'he's cute, and he may be about to die so I might as well' thing than anything serious. So despite the potential being there, it just seems like reading too much, too early...


As to the River thing, I have always kind of thought that it is a different Doctor that River actually married. I know she clearly stated that David Tennant wasn't him quite yet, and she hasn't said it straight out about Matt Smith, but I have a feeling it isn't him either. I did really like Clara, and I kind of like the idea that for once (really since Rose) that the Doctor actually is more the moving force in making the relationship more than platonic (like, I kind of got a flirty air from Clara but sort of whatever, whereas, clearly the Doctor was feeling something more).

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Doctor Who Season 7 Episode 6 Quotes

Sir, do not discuss my reproductive organs in front of enemy girls. It's embarrassing.


Nice name...Clara...should definitely keep it.

The Doctor