• Not sure I’m totally happy with this review. I feel that the writer’s general distaste for Moffats style misses the Christmas charm of the episode

    Certainly for the first half of the review the writer spends time berating Moffat for not developing the sub characters. Captain Latimer, Doctor Simeon for example. I think this is a flawed concept. I don’t want two thirds of the episode to be about developing sub-characters, I want to see my Doctor in action and I want that to be the key plot point. This obviously doesn’t mean we ignore the sub characters, but i felt their back story and screen time was a fair balance to the key story plot here was the connection between The Doctor and Clara, and moving him out of the dark place he was in.Doctor Whos strength is the deep and colourful secondary characters it produces, but it should never be to the detriment of the main characters, and more time for them means less time for Doctor and the assistant, or key arc of the series. For a review of a Doctor Who episode, the writer has spent very little time talking about him, which is perhaps where my problems with this review surface.

    I’ve seen many questions asking why the Doctor has been hurt so bad by Amy’s departure, in comparison to other companions. For that I’ll reference a point that Ten made in his swansong. Every Doctor is the same man, but someone entirely new at the same time. The one realism I can compare it to is like moving house. You still have your memories and your history, but it’s a new, fresh start. So in this fresh start for Eleven, he has only had one woman, one full companion in his “life”, that of Amy Pond. So when that woman is torn away from him, I’m not surprised it hit him hard. My point being I don’t think this is a strong avenue to go down when criticising Moffats style and story-telling, but it’s one that crops up often.

    I agree that the ending was rather flimsy, your general view on the Great Intelligence is identical to my own and tbh I didn’t exactly follow how the GI was defeated. Maybe a re-watch will clarify the little details for me.

    I don’t think this episode is nearly as bad as the reviewer makes it out to be, but I feel the reviewer expects something that isn’t there. I feel there was an expectation of focusing on every character evenly be it the Doctor or a one-off villain. I find this expectation unreasonable, and instead the focus was on how the Doctor and Clara interacted, setting us up nicely for the series arc and stories in the next sequence of episodes. Such a shame it’s so far away really. But I don’t feel this was a detriment to the episode, I fully immersed myself in the Clara/Doctor dynamic while appreciating the depth and skill given by the secondary characters. This is where my views with the reviewer differ I think

    • Firstly, thank you for the feedback. I can appreciate where the review is flawed; little focus on the Doctor certainly; and while I see where you’re coming from regarding his reactions to the loss of Amy, I suppose my main issue is this
      element wasn’t as focused as it might have been – the story’s both attempting
      to continue the ongoing story-arc while acting as a new beginning of sorts, and
      trying to juxtapose the Doctor in action while establishing Clara and her
      dynamic with the Doctor – the whole thing was a mess, to be honest. It needed to take its time, address a few key ideas and develop them, as opposed to
      throwing everything into the mix. I’m not saying focus on every sub character; of course not. But the story would have been stronger if it picked a theme or a couple of characters and developed them. The Doctor’s still a major player, of course; but you have other characters (like Latimer and Clara) that interact with him: we have a sense of their own history but it doesn’t detract from the Doctor’s involvement. The Next Doctor would be a perfect example, where time is taken to develop Jackson Lake’s backstory while giving the Doctor a prominent role; the villainess works just fine as well. But when you’re occupying a good third of your screen-time with the Paternoster Gang (who I remain unmoved by), it feels like time could be better spent; that’s all I’m saying. Their characters don’t appeal to me, so yes I am falling back on what I see as more positive aspects of the story – like Latimer.

      One of my major issues with Moffat’s style is that he tries to cram too much narrative within the timeframe – as with A Good Man Goes to War,
      Asylum of the Daleks, The Snowmen – the man’s a two-part writer, in my opinion.

      I didn’t immerse in the dynamic between the Doctor and Clara, unlike yourself. I’m not keen on the direction the story-arc’s might be taken, again unlike yourself. If you enjoyed the story, fair enough; but I didn’t, as I’ve clearly stated. I don’t see any fault in falling back on the alternatives (ways the story could have been developed) if you found the story, for the most part, fairly insubstantial, so long as you acknowledge positives within the final result itself, as I have within the review. Characters like Latimer were positive – I’d liked to have seen these taken further. The Paternoster Gang, I see as negative; I’d preferred their screen-time was limited (or not at all). I appreciate the show’s universe is populated with colourful and enriching side characters, that add to the show’s magic; but you can’t expect everything will work out as you might imagine.

      I don’t think him I’m berating his style, so much as addressing what Moffat
      is capable of; what he has demonstrated in the past; what I once
      enjoyed about his style and his work; that he can produce solid character-drama – as simple as a man estranged from his children or the Doctor isolated from the rest of the universe – that he needn’t rely on one-dimensional gimmicks, or mysteries around the next companion, to move a story forward. So, yes, I disagree with his current attitude; but there’s no harm pointing out why I disagree.

      Nonetheless, I appreciate your feedback; and I’ll strive to improve next time. Thank you.

      • Thank you for your clear response, I always try to be as constructive as I can with my criticism and sometimes that can be mis-interpreted but I’m glad you’ve taken my comments in the right spirit, even if we have quite differing opinions on the episode.

        I understand what you mean where Moffat tends to throw all his ideas in a pot and call it an episode, and I am in complete unison that with a couple of noticeable exceptions Moffat’s best episodes are two-parters, where he has enough time to fully develop all his large wide-spanning ideas properly (Note I don’t put Blink in the exception category, I think it’s highly over-rated but that is a debate for a different time). I don’t think Sherlock would have been nearly as successful if he and Gatiss had gone for 6 one-hour episodes, as was their original plan.

        I can totally understand the frustration of seeing what you feel as strong characters not realising full potential, I suppose I would’ve preferred to see you stating and observing how the Doctor’s interaction with these sub-characters could have led to further and better development in your review. So basically the first paragraph of your response gave me a much clearer idea on your issues with the flow of the episode, which I feel much more content with now even if I don’t personally agree

        You obviously haven’t warmed to The Paternoster Gang, again a difference of opinion, but I feel probably because they were aimed at a younger audience. And not just the slapstick of Strax, but as a whole group looking in, perhaps not totally understanding the Doctor’s logic for his isolation, but wanting to support and hopefully help to heal him. So not just the characters, but the whole dynamic of the group is aimed at a slightly less informed, possibly younger age-group of DW followers, and I found them easier and more enjoyable to accept with that understanding.

        I’m going to take your final paragraph in your response as a conclusion to your article instead; I find it a much more satisfying finish and I feel I at least understand your argument better, even if I don’t necessarily agree with it. I always await your highly intelligent articles with great interest, and I don’t intend that to change just now

    • TheDoctorsGhost

      I’m not so sure the GI WAS defeated… merely “put off”

      The GI was linked psychically with Clara. She cried as she died and so the snow turned to salt-rain. Like that bit or not, I believe that is how the GI was put to row.

      • Well, defeated in the context of the episode anyway. I don’t feel the nature of the GI being vanquished was a cornerstone of my argument, more just a follow-up point

  • Well, that was negative. Unexpectedly negative which surprised me somewhat giving as you and I usually have similar opinions. But nonetheless, it was a refreshing change to the unceasing acclaim the episode gets; the article was coherent, well written, structured, and demonstrated an extensive range of vocabulary, so well done there.
    You make some stimulating arguments; I think maybe you’ve swayed me more in the negative direction of this story, as you often do. I understand what you mean about Latimer, yes. It was, I believe, suggested towards the end that Clara’s untimely death did restore the relationship between Latimer and his children (“It’s not really my area”/”It is now”), but indeed, it could have been developed more.
    One point I do disagree with you on is the Paternoster Gang. They’re quite a fascinating posse of misfits; Vastra, the Holmes-esque detective: astute, perceptive – and her ‘fatuous accomplice’ (though I’d hope she’s not), Jenny, who is decidedly undeveloped, but as we don’t know much about her, she could potentially be a good character. Strax was quite funny; I was admittedly amused by the Memory Worm scene, and I saw no problem with adding him in as a gimmick for the Christmas special. I do think that Strax should have been brought back to life by Rory, however, which would explain the Doctor’s resentment towards him; he sees echoes of Rory in Strax, like Scrooge, Fred and Fan in A Christmas Carol and it pains him; another one of the Scrooge attributes Moffat could have aimed for, but more on that in my article.
    I found Doctor Simeon a very poor character; even the acting wasn’t particularly special from my perspective. Simeon could have become a recurring villain, turning out like the Master, Moriarty or Count Olaf to be masquerading as a blameless introvert in every episode; providing he didn’t get too clichéd.
    I have no issues with the pacing, or much else for that matter. My issues are only really negligible, so I’m fine with this episode, though it must be said, I do have a habit of going a bit too easy on Christmas specials.

    • TheScribe

      A consummate construal, in comparison to my palpably “laconic” statements about The Snowmen. ;D

      • The DDAABBII

        I love your comments, Scribe. This is a test to test out the new Disqus. Please excuse me.

        • TheScribe

          Thank you! :D

          • The Dab

            You are most very welcome, Mr. Scribe.

  • TheScribe

    Felicitations on the vindication of your stance, which is, incontrovertibly, a necessity. You have delineated The Snowmen efficaciously, and, as always, a laudable phraseology. Well done! :D

  • Wow. That was harsh.

  • Calebxy

    I haven’t actually read the review yet, but I just want to mention something I think needs addressing. The first line is quite odd. “After the underwhelming start to this current series, The Snowmen had a lot to live up to.” That really doesn’t sound right to me. If the first half was underwhelming, then The Snowmen doesn’t have a lot to live up to.

    Sorry to nitpick, but since I found it really jarring, I thought it was worth mentioning.

    • By that I meant, The Snowmen was me hoping to see something better than what we got last time. It’s gone downhill, here’s hoping we go uphill again (but I realise people largely disagree).

  • NightRises

    Well I’m certainly sad to see you didnt like the episode.
    I personally thought it was fantastic, sure it had a few flaws but altogether I thought they didnt get in the way of the story. I agree the Paternoster Gang are extremely one dimensional and I’m not very excited to witness their return.
    I hope you enjoy the next half of the series.

  • I thought the episode was ok.

  • TardisGollum

    Wow I’m quite surprised by the 4/10, I really didn’t think it was that bad at all. Sure it wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t awful either.

    For me the only character that didn’t appeal to me in the episode was Strax. It seemed Moffat only placed him in this episode to provide the comic relief and to make him the comic butt of the story so as to appeal to the younger audience. I believe that some of the scenes between with the Doctor and Strax didn’t even need to be in the episode, and that could have allowed for more story development for Latimer, Simeon, and The Snowmen – which I agree with you when you say they were terribly underused (which is a shame as Sir Ian Mckellen was absolutely fantastic IMO)

    However I was pleasantly surprised by Vastra and Jenny, I enjoyed the scenes that they were in immensely. Especially the one word test, which was IMO a stroke of genius from Moffat, it was executed brilliantly and the idea that words equal lies was IMO fantastic. I especially loved the “Pond” moment, and the Doctor slowly glancing at Amelia’s reading glasses, it was a truly poignant moment and gave the scene a sense of pathos.

    Overall I think that the whole purpose of the story was to establish the relationship between the Doctor and Clara, and to set up the arc of Series 7: Part 2. I thought the story (whilst not perfect) was a light-hearted romp which was suitable for Christmas television, as you have to remember Moffat has to use this moment to attract new viewers, so by having the Doctor become this moody and sombre character for the entirety of the episode could have dissuaded people from watching the show in the future. I’d give this episode a respectable 8/10.

    However, as ever your writing is second to none, it was a brilliant review, even if I didn’t agree with most of it (but of course that’s what happens with opinions). It is always a joy to read your work, which is always written to the highest standard, I hope one day to write as well as you.

    Well done Adam! :)

  • Brilliantly structured review!

    My Problems with The Snowmen:
    -The snowmen did nothing! At least shown them eating someone. It would have made them a more terrifying monster!

    -So the Tardis change was supposed to show us the dark side of the doctor leading up to 50th anniversary but I don’t think Moffat did this because of that because after ‘The Snowmen’, the doctor’s all happy and in the series 7 part 2 trailer, the doctor wasn’t shown to be dark. So I don’t see the reason for the Tardis and costume change.
    It all happy to quickly,the retired doctor changed in seconds.

    -The resolution was very poor-Family tears melted the snow!

    -Some parts of the episode were to dragged out.

    -They weren’t many scenes with the ‘Retired Doctor’.

    -Also, Moffat seemed to compensating for the plot holes by forcing Clara’s hotness into every scene…If you get what I mean.

    – Clara gravestone had the date 23rd November and I really hope the 50th anniversary wont focus on her because she is new to the Who Universe, she doesn’t deserve it. Why does Mofat love writing ‘timey wimey’ stories. TBH I don’t care about who Clara is and why is she dying all the time/

    I sort of enjoyed the episode and my current rating is between 6.5/10 or 7/10.

    It was much better than last years special which was truly awful. I actually prefer ‘Love and Monsters’ to that tripe. It was SO! boring. I’ve seen Love and Monsters a few times on BBC3 repeats but I’ve only seen 2011 Christmas special once.

    A Christmas Carol was written well but I hated Abigail and her singing.

    1.The Christmas Invasion/End Of Time Part 1
    2. The Runaway Bride/Voyage Of The Damned
    4.The Next Doctor/The Snowmen
    5.A Christmas Carol

    • The new title sequence was brilliant. I would have liked the theme tune to change more as the beginning of it was like the 2010-2012 one.

      The previous titles didn’t make sense because the tardis was getting shown to be electrocuted by the lightening but we weren’t shown the effects of this in the actual episodes.

      • You’re saying the titles didn’t make sense? Really?

        Titles have nothing whatsoever to do with sense. And being struck by lightning =/= electrocuted. If you did apply it to the show could have something to do with the turbulence the TARDIS experiences when traveling through the vortex.

        • The title shows the vortex that the tardis travels through.
          (This is evident in The unquiet dead/End of the world)

          • You really don’t know what I’m getting at, do you? In the vortex in the actual episode, do we see a huge logo or the names of the main cast flying around? No? Then the titles don’t make sense anyway.

          • Well yeah I admit the point I made doest really make sense.

            I hated the 2010-2012 title sequence but the new one is brilliant and much better.

    • The credence I give to your opinion is summed up by where you have ACC placed purely on the fact you didn’t like Abigail’s singing.

      • It just REALLY annoyed me! I hate that type of singing and I don’t see why people say ‘Voice of an angel’ when they don’t know what angels sound like. It really did ruin my enjoyment for the episode.

        I rate it 6.5/10 but if it wasnt for the that irritating voice, it would be around 8/10.

  • I’m sorry, but as much as I respect your opinion and writing style; I really am not happy or remotely impressed with this review. At all.

    I might expand on this later, but I’m going to see The Hobbit this evening so I don’t really have the time at the moment.

  • As you may know, you and I often have wholly differing opinions when it comes down to Moffat. It remains no different in this case; I enjoyed the episode immensely and loved most points (I’m not going to do a full review here; I’m rather tired at the moment). My only real complaints are the misuse of Simeon/the Snowmen/the Great Intelligence and the slightly cop-out ending.

    Nonetheless, a well-structured, well-written article as usual, despite my differing opinion to yours.

  • I really liked The Snowmen and I know its not perfect but it did have a xmassy charm about it and it was a lovely intro to the new companion.

  • Right, it’s time for me to properly express my displeasure with this review.

    Firstly, despite my respect for your writing style and your opinion, there is a pervasive theme I’ve noticed in some of your writing (with the exception of your TATM review, which I can’t fault) that I cannot refrain from criticising, not any more, I’ve bit my lip too many times when it comes to this. You often seem to miss the point of stories. Particularly, you seem obsessed with how things should have been, a case in point: in your Series 7 Part 1 In Perspective where these things are at least more appropriate: you say that the end of Series 6 and Series 7 Part 1 should have shown the Doctor traveling alone, You neglect to mention that this is impossible, as Karen and Arthur had not chosen to leave the show. Moffat was not in control of when they left and was forced to write around that. The ending to The God Complex, was (as well as foreshadowing the Ponds’ eventual fate) primarily done in order to have the Doctor age 200 years for the finale and go on a farewell tour, but it could well have concluded in a similar fashion to The Curse of Fenric, with Amy reevaluating why she has faith in the Doctor, whilst recognising he is not the superhero of her childhood (I might actually have preferred this, as long as it kept the foreshadowing of TATM). However, your other ideas; despite the fact that I disagree with most, do belong there I will admit.

    Such ideas are less welcome when reviewing an episode. This happens twice in this review, or three times if your opinion of the Paternoster Gang is included. The episode is very clear about what it is: a companion introduction episode set at Christmas, rather than the traditional Christmas Special. It is also very clear what it intends to do: show the Doctor moving on from the loss of Amy, introduce Clara as the companion and reintroduce the Paternoster Gang as recurring characters who return by popular demand (so Moffat views this as giving the fans what they want), and to reintroduce The Great Intelligence as an enemy (only one where I feel it could have done better, personally). It is therefore logical that these characters receive the most screentime, the episode was never supposed to be about Latimer’s family, so lamenting that he is lacking in screentime and the Paternoster gang and devising an alternative scenario which you would have preferred is pointless, as is the idea of the further exploration of Victorian culture. I feel that, when you are reviewing an episode, your job is to evaluate how well the episode achieved its aims, not to devise new ones which were never a part of the creator’s intentions.

    Regarding the Doctor ‘brightening up’ when he sees Clara and his characterisation, I’m going to have to disagree (and as this is about to introduce some psychology, I apologise in advance). The Doctor’s attitude throughout the episode is a realistic representation of the five stages of grief, if you bear in mind that the stages can be gone through many times and. The first stage; denial and isolation is evident through the Doctor living on a cloud high above the Earth, far away from where his loss of Amy occurred (in terms of time and place, Amy’s prediction that he wouldn’t be coming back anytime soon sadly rings true), and adopting a non-interventionist policy towards the affairs of the Earth. It is also evident in that when he is dragged into investigating, he uses humour as a defence mechanism through his Sherlock Holmes impression; by becoming someone else, he is denying who he is and what he has experienced. The second stage; anger, is easy to spot. The Doctor lashes out at those who just want to help (Strax, as well as Vastra and Jenny), those who are…well, a bit daft (Strax again), those who disobey his instructions (Clara, possibly because he feels if Amy had obeyed his instructions he wouldn’t have lost her), as well as disdain for things which he feels are beneath him (Victorian values). The third stage; bargaining, is easy to pinpoint, but a little unusual in that it involves bargaining the life of another dying person, but is still applicable in terms of of the grieving process for Amy and Rory. He makes a bargain with the universe that Clara’s life will be spared if he saves the Earth, and he makes another when he asks if Clara will come away with him if he saves the world (though this is also partly acceptance, the fifth stage, but more on that later). The fourth stage; depression, is harder to pinpoint, but the fact that he was up on his cloud for so long and felt that saving the world/universe was no longer worth it if he lost every friend (or lover) he made along the way is significant, as is his statement ‘It was my fault.’ regarding Clara’s fall. The final stage, acceptance, is first displayed when he gives Clara the key, and also, as noted above, when he asks her to come away with him, and lastly at the end of the episode when he realises there’s another Clara out there. It is important to note that acceptance doesn’t mean that person is over their grief, it is the recognition that the person they are grieving is not coming back and that the world will never return to the way it was. In terms of the Doctor, it is acceptance that this is not what Amy would have wanted and of some of her final words to him: ‘Don’t travel alone.’

    You say that the episode seems confused thematically and doesn’t know what it wants to be. This is not the impression of the episode that I got (though it is, however, a valid criticism of The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe), which is an episode with a clear theme of moving on from the death of a loved one, both of the Doctor and of Captain Latimer. Clara is the common denominator between the two men, and she is the instrument through which they do move on. Captain Latimer hasn’t fully moved on from his wife’s death ans is distant from his children, relying on at least two governesses to deal with them, with the excuse that children ‘Are not really my area’. As well as Clara healing Latimer’s pain through his feelings for her, (presumably the first since his wife passed away), her death also heals the rift between him and his children. By her telling him that ‘They are (his area) now’, she is telling him that he can’t hide behind governesses any more, and would have to deal with them personally from now on. Strangely enough however; your favourite scenes of the episode are also mine. So it is a relief that we seem to not be totally diametrically opposed.

    Other points of note, I feel your lack of investment in Amy as a character clouds your view of the Doctor’s decision to retire, which is not without precedent, even within a Christmas special: it is implied in The Runaway Bride following the loss of Rose (and outright confirmed in Turn Left) that the Doctor would have committed suicide in defeating the Racnoss if it wasn’t for Donna’s presence. Whether he loved her or not and this being a believable reason for wanting to do so (which, as little as I was invested in Rose, I did deem plausible); the fact remains that he had only known Rose for two years of his life. By comparison, as well as being ‘The first face this face saw.’ and a combination of elder sibling and best friend (I don’t see Amy as a mother-surrogate for the Doctor); Amy was a constant that he knew over a period of 300 years in his life. It’s also not just the loss of Amy (and Rory), it’s the view that the loss of Amy was the final straw (and, to a degree, his fault). Lastly, your view of the TARDIS and why he changed it to what he did, and the lack of in-story justification for the change, two things: there is no way to provide this without a shameless ‘As You Know’ sequence which kills the pacing and is solely for for the audience’s benefit. Secondly, it is there; how would you describe the new design of the TARDIS? The word I’d use is ‘Gallifreyan’, and this combined with his non-interventionist policy signifies the ultimate progression of Eleven’s self-hatred: despite being the incarnation most like Two, he has become what he most hated about the Time Lords.

    Other matters are a difference of opinion, and as I recognise we often have differing opnions it is best to just leave it there. I rate the episode 9.5/10, by the way.

    • TheDarkLordDeep™


    • Wow…

    • Harry Jewell

      Well Done for having the guts to type out against that! (get it type out. Not shout out because you typed it….oh….never mind.)

  • DoctorProfessorTribblestheHutt

    I do feel that there should have been more development for Latimer, but I still think I got a picture of who he is. Simeon was well-developed and very unique. I loved this special very much.

  • TheDoctorsGhost

    As a FanBoy, I MUST say Rubbish! On all points. Moffat develops his points over entire seasons. We have yet to see the meanings behind many subtleties of this episode. The only TRUE detractor from this episode was the new-tech T.A.R.D.I.S.

  • I’m slightly late posting a comment on this review. By about a week.

    Sorry, 4/10? I can understand people have many different opinions, but seriously. I can understand that ‘the kiss’ wasn’t really called for. If feel similar feelings to The Oncoming Hurricane while reading this, but I’m not going in to them as he’s already expressed them in his own comment.

    • I don’t think you can really insult the rating; it’s just how people feel towards the episode. If those points really detract from Adam’s enjoyment and he isn’t emotionally invested in the characters then, whilst I love the story, I can hardly blame him. A lot of people find it hard to believe that I only rate The Angels Take Manhattan a 4/10 but that’s because I just can’t connect with the story and I find more cons than pros.

      • BTW, can you get on DWTV? When I attempt to go on it says:

        Error. Somethings gone wibbly. We were unable to load the page you requested. Please try again later.

        I can’t get on. I hope I haven’t been banned.

        • No, none of us can get on at the moment.

      • TheDoctorIsAwesome

        4/10? What’s changed so much since your 2nd/3rd viewing when you were contemplating is it was your favourite ever episode?

        • I never contemplated it as my favourite episode ever; I couldn’t possibly replace Parting of the Ways, but I know it has. Even in my retrospective I give it remarkable reviews, but something… I don’t know. Firstly, I don’t really get what the episode was trying to be. Was it trying to be dark film-noir or was it trying to be kids entertainment? The exit was very one-dimensional; there were ways around it, and it was predictable giving the nature of the episode. The whole thing was too shallow and not dark enough for my liking. But I still understand why you like it.

          • TheDoctorIsAwesome

            Your favourite episode was The Waters of Mars then and you said you thoght it might be better than it.

          • No; my favourite used to be The Waters of Mars, but then I said that the episode might be better once my favourite was changed. At the time my favourites were:

            1. Parting of the Ways
            2. The Angels Take Manhattan
            3. The Waters of Mars
            4. The Sound of Drums/Last of The Timelords
            Turn Left

            Whereas now they are:

            1. Parting of the Ways
            2. The Waters of Mars
            3. A Christmas Carol
            Turn Left
            5. The Sound of Drums/Last of the Timelords

          • I think what I meant was that it might be better than that (which everyone knew I regarded highly), but obviously not considering it would be better than Parting of the Ways. You may, however, be right. I can’t remember exactly when I refined my list.

      • TATM wasn’t as good a story as people make it out to be. I still think the Pond’s should’ve died falling off the roof top, but, if they had we wouldn’t have the beautiful afterword.

        • So do I, and I don’t really care whether it would or wouldn’t mean having the afterword. It would have just been so much better.

  • I
    see in this episode something I see Moffat doing far too often. That
    is explaining to us what The Doctor is thinking or feeling. If we need
    an explaination of what the Doctor is doing then either the
    characterization is poor or somthing is
    wrong with the plotting. We saw this in A Good Man Goes to War, The
    Wedding of River Song, and this episode. As soon as the gang started
    “explaining” that the Doctor didn’t help people any more I felt myself
    disconnecting. I didn’t want to, Ithought the snowmen could have been
    cool, I had great hopes for the villian, and thought the TARDIS on the
    cloud was beautiful.