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! 


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


That was a great Christmas special. I can't wait to see
what happens with Clara. Great job.


any one notice clara s birthday on the gravestone november 23.....same date doctor who started...conincidence,not with stephen moffat writing i bet


We have already seen the Doctor meet River for the first time, S3 Silence in the Library. It's also her death. Then she's a professor and in the last ep she was in, she was a proffessor so we're heading towards the end of River in the Doctor's life. Besides, Claira is special, she's died 2x now. BUT she has to die in the Xmas ep, the companions always do.


All the people commenting on the Doctor's relationship with River need to remember that they are traveling through their timelines in different directions. The next time they meet the Doctor might not even know who she is at all and she might be at the end of their relationship or near the end of her life. In the the Doctor Who universe everyone and anyone can appear, reappear and disappear at any point, you know spacey wacey timey wimey.


I've said it before and I'll say it again. I never thought I'd love her, the one that came after Amy. She is amazing. Still this might be why River was so angry with him in New York. I think we may be taking too much away from these two episodes. Shes interesting, intelligent and she and the Doctor are magnificent together. Frankly anything after that is just icing on the cake.


The bit where she comments on the Tardis-- the difference is that everyone always says, "It's bigger on the inside!" Where Clara said, "It's smaller on the outside!" That's what the Doctor was getting at, for some reason she sees the world a bit different. It will be interesting to see what they do about River Song. Will they explain her absence? Or are we to just forget she exists--like she disappeared along with her parents? Or, will she return and have havoc ensue due to the new cutie in the Tardis-- it's a bit different than having Mum and Dad following him around. She does seem to understand that loving the Doctor is a very tough row to how, there were some comments during the "Angels take Manhattan" episode by River that were quite sad, even though I really don't particularly like her. At first I thought that Clara would turn out to be like Jack--but if she was the Doctor and /or Tardis should have noticed. SO it will be very interesting to see what or who she really is.


I don't think he's going to fall for Clara. I think they have great chemistry but I don't see them as a 'couple' chemistry. Besides which, Steven Moffat is not just going to forget River. And, honestly, I think River and the Doctor are much better as a couple. The man is over 1100 years old. She understands him in ways that Clara can't. And honestly, I'm still very over companions that fall in love with the Doctor. The best companions in recent years have been Donna and Amy (IMO, of course) because they were the Doctor's friends. I like that much better and I truly hope that they stick with that theme.


The Doctor himself has never really shown any love interest in River Song. I mean she loves him, no doubt, and he...well he knows how she dies. She puts her life in danger time after time to save him, and honestly it's because she knows nothing else. Her life completely revolves around him and the next time they meet. He seems to more of deal with her because she knows his future.


Currently obsessing about: Jenna-Louise Coleman / Clara Oswin Oswald Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go make some souffles.


You know for a "married" man the doctor sure is a flirt.I cant complain though because, I like alot of others love him and little miss clara. Creepy snowmen aside,I loved this episode and cant wait to see more of the doctor and clara!

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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