Tag Archives: christmas

5 things I learned from The Snowmen


john lewis doctor who snowman

First, Steven Moffat introduced the Weeping Angels – creatures that can only move when not observed – to Doctor Who. Then, John Lewis took this principle and applied it to snowmen in their terrifying Christmas advert. Now, Doctor Who counters with horrific snowmen who DO move about, and snarl with gnashing fangs, and eat people, with the explanation that they’re made of “memory snow”.

The logical conclusion of all of this – with Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary next year and John Lewis’s 150th the year after – will be a forthcoming crossover spectacular in which the Doctor saves a branch of John Lewis from sentient carnivorous versions of those “memory foam” mattresses that are so popular nowadays. It would not be a big leap for a programme that once made an evil plastic armchair the monster of the week.


memory worm

Among all the funny lines that Strax hogged were mentions of automated laser monkeys, scalpel mines and projectile acid fish. And there’s a video game I’d happily play for hours. He also hopes for a “full frontal assault.” (Is this the first Doctor Who story to use the phrase “full frontal”? In the same episode that has someone say “enter by the back door”?!) But the must-have toy for 2013 will be the Torchwood-tinged “memory worm”. Especially if it actually lets you wipe an hour’s worth of memory. It would come in handy if you’ve just accidentally sat through the live episode of The Only Way Is Essex or something.

3. He can’t sulk in his box forever


There was a lot of gorgeous imagery in The Snowmen, with the TARDIS sitting on a cloud at the top of an impossible spiral staircase the obvious centrepiece. But to a childhood fan like me it was the revamped title sequence and TARDIS control room that had me all a-quiver. I think they’re the perfect mix of old and new.


Practically Perfect

The governess and her two young charges caught up in impossible goings-on is a nicely familiar set-up. The children terrified of the late former governess comes to us via The Turn of the Screw, but thankfully Clara doesn’t. With her cleverness, wonder and Gladstone bag she’s clearly Mary Poppins. She even gets a scene in which she ascends cheekily into the air while holding an umbrella. And as for her wild stories…



In Doctor Who terms, the most easily reached answer to Clara’s existential mystery is that she’s splintered in time like City of Death‘s Scaroth. Her claim (one of her “definitely true stories”) that she was born behind the clock face of Big Ben sounds like a nice symbolic lead-in to that sort of thing. But somehow I can’t see her recreating the most iconic cliffhanger of my childhood by pulling off a rubber mask to reveal what my sister and I always called “The Twiglet Monster”. And this is Steven Moffat we’re talking about. Previous climactic revelations have centred around Rivers and Ponds, preferably by the side of a lake. So watch out for Clara’s claim that she “invented fish”.


YouTube Watch: The dogs who stole Christmas

Dog Vs Wild Turkey There’s never a real sense of danger in this video. For one thing the poodle – yapping away and bounding about – clearly just wants to play. The turkey could defend itself if it wanted to, its beak-jabs make that clear. You forget (especially just after eating one) what imperious, silly creatures they are. Those enormous frills! That neck! Note how the dog has tried to blend in with a similarly garish collar. A nice touch.  2/5

Dog Eats Christmas Tree Here at YouTube Watch we have mixed feelings about embedded captions. On the one hand they can offer a lively commentary on the goings-on. On the other they can point out things you might not have noticed. The “This is the horrible part XD” speech bubble that appears a few seconds into this excursion is clearly meant as the latter. But even then the action – disrupted by a catastrophic camera shake – isn’t clear. What has, or hasn’t, the dog eaten? We may never know. 1/5

Pearls Christmas This is more like it. When the video begins Pearl is sat devouring a candy cane – a symbolic item that’s both decorative and tasty. In a very real sense Pearl is ingesting Christmas itself. She has the loveliest long muzzle and is a joy to watch. But everything that this video gains from its falling snow graphics it loses from its misleading description, which claims that the candy canes were stolen. We see Pearl both taunted and wilfully rewarded with these festive shibboleths. 3/5

bulldog stealing christmas presents Right, HERE’s the drama. And what drama! And so much noise! They’re right to warn us not to watch with the volume all the way up. It’s pandemonium. And that’s the thrust of this post: for Christmas to be successful it needs to tread a fine line between control and debauchery. A dog is the random element that tips the scale towards chaos. And all the better for it. 4/10

Dog Robs Store for Bone On Christmas(Dog Steals a Bone) Well this has been doing the rounds for a while. And rightly so. Allow CNN’s cheesy “Dog’s Eye View” camera reconstruction, the meat here is the genuine CCTV footage of a fearless, optimistic dog marching into a store and boldly taking what’s rightfully hers. Merry Christmas x 5/5