He’s back! The Doctor’s back! It’s been a few months since the last episode, so if you need a refresher, check out our last recap.
This year’s Christmas special finds the Doctor in Victorian England, where there are evil snowmen popping up everywhere. These guys are pretty terrifying—like what would happen if Frosty was a vicious, flesh-eating monster. They’re controlled by Dr. Simeon, former creepy child/current creepy adult.
Naturally, the Doctor should be all over this kind of thing. But when a barmaid named Clara asks about the snowmen, he doesn’t give her any answers and leaves immediately. Clara, of course, follows him (I’m already liking her more than I thought I would at this point). While they’re together, the snowmen start attacking, and Clara and the Doctor figure out that the snowmen feed off thoughts—if you imagine them melting, they will.
Even though fighting off evil snowmen is an AWESOME bonding experience, the Doctor leaves Clara behind again, and, sure enough, she follows him again. He leads her straight to the TARDIS, which is parked in the clouds. I still miss Amy and Rory, but it’s always fun watching a new companion discover the Doctor’s world.
Back on earth, the snow is thawing. We find out that Clara’s also a governess to a family whose last nanny drowned in a pond in their backyard. The girl she cares for keeps having nightmares about the old governess coming to get her, and let’s face it, who wouldn’t? But Clara knows something’s up, so she goes to find the Doctor. Instead, she meets Madam Vastra and Jenny, two of the Doctor’s friends. Madam Vastra asks Clara to describe the danger of the snowmen and why the Doctor should help, all in one word. That word?
The Doctor is so psyched about her answer that he starts investigating. He finds the pond in question, the one where the nanny drowned. The snow wants to take her DNA to make itself even more powerful. While the Doctor’s there, the drowned nanny breaks through the ice and starts attacking Clara, the Doctor, and the children. And as she does, a whole army of evil Frosties takes shape outside.
Ice Nanny chases Clara and the Doctor onto the roof, where they head up to the TARDIS. The Doctor shows Clara the inside, and he gives her a key. Before they can go on world-saving adventures together, though, Ice Nanny pulls Clara out of the TARDIS, and the two of them fall to the ground, leaving Clara almost dead.
The Doctor goes to find Simeon, and through a little sonic screwdriver magic, he discovers that the snow is really just feeding off Simeon’s negative thoughts. Everything’s looking pretty bleak, but then, the snow turns to rain. Clara’s down to her last breaths, and the whole family is crying. Since the snow is basically a giant copycat, it becomes tears.
Clara dies, leaving me very confused (Wait! Why was her name in the opening credits if she’s not the new companion?!), but not for long. The Doctor realizes she’s the same person (Dalek) he met during the season premiere—soufflé girl! He concludes that she must have been reborn somewhere else in time, so he heads off to find her.
That’s it for the Christmas special! It was a fun installment, and it definitely got us excited for the rest of the season. Most unfortunately, we have to wait until April for the next episode. Why, Doctor Who, why?
Let us know your thoughts on the episode in the comments!
Catch up on past Doctor Who recaps:
Episode 2 — Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
Episode 3 — A Town Called Mercy
Episode 4 — The Power of Three
Episode 5 — The Angels Take Manhattan
Background photo credits: © Adrian Rogers, BBC/BBC Worldwide