IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE EPISODE DO NOT OPEN THIS PAGE. BE SUITABLY WARNED AGAINST SPOILERS!!!
The Doctor has gone into Victorian retreat in 1892, mourning the loss of the Ponds into a past he cannot retrieve them from and knows their fate. He’s no longer saving the universe or any planet’s people who needs help. Logistically, I’m not sure if that really matters. After all, he’s a Time Lord. He can always get there another time (sic). If he wants to.
Protecting his back in this particular past is the Siliurian Vastra (actress Neve Mcintosh), her human female wife Jenny Flint (actress Catrin Stewart) and bodyguard/chauffeur Sontaran Strax (actor Dan Starkey). There is some odd logic here, as neither the Silurians nor Sontarans were known to the Earth at this time and both seem to be beneficial and everyone seems to accept their appearance without comment, other than does it hurt? You would need to see the ‘Vastra Investigates’ two and a half minute special than appeared a few days ago on the BBC channel 301 to have learnt that. Methinks there is a potential spin-off series in the making here because all three characters deserve more than this episode.
It seems that in the past fifty years, a non-corporal intelligence has been retrieving bits of itself as snow on Earth in preparation for its plan to conqueror the Earth. It reacts to certain people’s thoughts. The Latimer children and their governess, Alice Montague who also goes by the name of Ciara Owin Oswald. This bit can hardly be considered spoiler as she’s been seen before in ‘Asylum Of The Daleks’. Don’t tell the Doctor because he didn’t make the connection. Mostly because he’s never seen her before.
In fact, if I tell you any more, the entire plot becomes spoiler. It didn’t take much connection to work out what the intelligence actually is nor its real danger nearly seventy years later.
The TARDIS has had a bit of an interior regeneration and lost its lower level. Whether that was for budget, mobility or loss of the Ponds is hard to say. It certainly looks a lot more sleeker than convoluted. There’s certainly no explanation as to whether the extendable ladder and stairway up into the sky is something from the TARDIS or created by the Doctor.
The convolutions of time is still writer Steven Moffitt’s trademark and he’s set up several things for the thirteen season and ‘Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary. Actress Jenna-Louise Coleman as Ciara or Clara depending where you read is going to fit in nicely. An air of mystery as to who she is and it appears she has the hots for a certain Time Lord. Matt Smith has been never better, this time with a bit of crazy playacting as Sherlock Holmes before he gets down to some serious business. In many respects, apart from some emoting, actor Richard E. Grant seems a little wasted as Dr. Simeon. If ever the Master was to return, I’d love to see him take over the part though.
An interesting story but they really do need more space to breathe as they are becoming too much like fast food than being truly memorable.
PS I swear I didn’t know the line ‘the universe doesn’t care’ from my editorial this month was going to be used in this story.