Well, I watched ‘The Snowmen’.
It started badly, with the loner as unhealthy future villain. Watch out for the loners everybody – they’re scary.
It briefly picked up with a rather good new title sequence.
Then we got into the mystery section, which was okay. I have serious issues with the idea that the Doctor is now mates with a Silurian and a Sontaran. Both races should hate his guts, the Silurians with good reason. He’s repeatedly failed to do anything but posture some platitudes for these Palestinians of the Who-world. And then either sit by while his mates kill them, or kill them himself. And the Sontarans don’t work as comedy pratts. I remember when they were satirical deconstructions of literal-mindedness and militarism, compared archly to medieval chivalric hypocrisy. Now they’re straight men.
But some of the jokes were funnyish, even if they did rely on the idea that it’s okay to mock people for being short, looking odd, etc.
The spiral staircase was nice.
But then… Look, it’s now clear that this show has no ambition to be anything more than put-down comedy and sentimentality, interspersed with stuff about how awesomely wonderful the Doctor is… despite the fact that he’s now a prattling, petulant, sulky, self-pitying idiot.
Fatuous tear-jerkery. Manipulative, hollow gunk which instructs the viewer to feel certain things on command. No sense of history or politics at all, beyond some nonsequiturs about “Victorian values” which connected to nothing. And we have to get preached at about how wonderful it is to love your kids and cry. The most banal and bland moralising posing as inspirational and uplifting profundity. The most cynical arm-twisting of the feelings, posing as moving drama.
And then… “the only force in the world capable of conquering evil… the tears of a whole family on Christmas Eve”. I just don’t know where to start. I literally felt sick. It’s like inhaling Steven Moffat’s farts after he’s spent 48 hours doing nothing but reading the insides of greetings cards and masturbating in front of a mirror.
And am I to understand that the Great Intelligence began as a lonely child’s imaginary friend? You know, I have no problem with continuity being rewritten… but rewritten as explanations, couched in terms of cloying sentimentality, when there was no need for explanations in the first place?
Also, on the subject of the Clara mystery… who cares? I mean, how can one get interested in the solution to a riddle when you know that the solution will be ‘some bit of sci-fi handwaving’. The interest in the best Doctor Who always used to be ‘what does this mean?‘. ‘The Snowmen’ tells you what it means (ie ‘be nice to your kids, being a loner is bad for you, Victorian Values are BAD… whatever they are, and the Doctor is amazing’. Profound stuff like that.) The interest supposedly now lies in what everyone is feeling (which usually turns out to be something like ‘Sad’ or ‘Happy’ about completely inhuman and unrelateable experiences) and ‘how will Moffat cleverly resolve this bit of apparently inescapable plot trickery?’.
Well frankly, fuck right off.
I like DW when it’s ‘just’ well-made and unpretentious escapism (ie ‘Terror of the Zygons’) but this cack isn’t escapism. Escapism would be something that took my mind off the fact that the world is turning to shit. ‘The Snowmen’ – being about the most perfect expression of Moffat’s neoliberal Who – just rubs the shit in my face while screaming “cry, you proletarian meat-puppet! CRY!!!!”
This is now not just a show I don’t like. This is now something I actively hate.
Merry Fucking Christmas.