Alone since the loss of Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill), The Doctor‘s (Matt Smith) travels have led him to 1892 England into semi-retirement… at least until he meets an unusual young barmaid/governess named Clara Oswin Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman) and a miser (Richard E. Grant) mysteriously tied to killer snowmen which feed on the thoughts and fears of human beings.
Despite his initial reluctance to get involved, pleas from Clara, a former Sontarian warrior, and London detectives Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint (Dan Starkey, Neve McIntosh, and Catrin Stewart, all reprising their roles introduced in “A Good Man Goes to War“), and an odd coincidence, or chance of fate, involving a single word, inspire The Doctor to take the case (even going so far as to temporarily impersonate Sherlock Holmes).
The Doctor arrives just in time to save Clara and the children from the kids’ former governess reborn into the first evolved living ice creature who the snowmen desperately need as the perfect template for the rest of the snowmen to evolve and take over the Earth. Of course, The Doctor has other plans.
Steven Moffat‘s humor in good form throughout the episode, especially from the returning threesome who provide several laughs. On the negative side, I’m saddened that Moffat felt he needed to underline The Doctor’s relationship with Amy and Rory and build it up even further by the loss of the Ponds hitting the Time Lord harder than any previous companion (enough to make him quit traveling all-together).
On the plus side, I’m a big fan of the show’s choice for a new companion, even if the concept behind her seems over-complicated and somewhat awkward. It appears the mystery of Clara (who made her first appearance in the season opener “Asylum of the Daleks“) will take more than just this episode to unravel as we’ll no doubt get another “first meeting” of The Doctor and his new companion, as well as the start of the investigation into a woman who seems to die and be reborn nearly as often as Rory Williams, when the show returns with new episodes in April.