A roundup of coverage for The Snowmen
that has taken place in the past week or so - please note that what follows below includes some plot details that might be considered spoilers
Interviews: Steven Moffat
was a guest on the Simon Mayo Drivetime
show on BBC Radio Two on Monday. Talking about Doctor Who
's appeal on Christmas Day, he felt the show's accessibility as a "shared live viewing experience" was a great benefit:
... much more so with the Christmas one than with the others, yes, there's a big live audience for it - because, yeah, you watch it as a family. Sometimes people actually watch it later, because their family aren't there - people tend to watch it in groups, that's very true of Doctor Who.
I think Doctor Who is always a bit Christmassy, it's that kind of show, it always feels substantially madder than every other show, and we're always striving to make it an event - so you have to make Doctor Who even more so when it's Christmas Day. One thing I'd say I think it needs to be more accessible to new viewers, because more people are dragged in to watch Doctor Who on that day than on any other occasion it's on.
Talking about an initially melancholy Doctor in the episode, he explained:
What you need to remember is that the last time we saw the Doctor he had lost the Ponds - he lost Amy and Rory - he lost them to the Weeping Angels, and when you begin this story he's in a terrible place, he's in a right old grump, he's retired from saving the universe, he's having nothing to do with anyone, and although there's a building threat to humanity he's having none of it, he's just storming away being a sort of Scrooge.
The full interview is currently available to listen to via a BBC podcast
(from 12:50) until Monday.
Ahead of the press screening on Tuesday evening, Matt Smith
and Jenna-Louise Coleman
popped into the BBC Radio One Breakfast Show
hosted by Nick Grimshaw
. The duo chatted about their recent trip to New York and Jenna's arrival in the show (1:36:45), and later answered listeners' questions (1:52:55, and a clip is available to watch via the BBC iPlayer
Matt later appeared on ITV1's This Morning
(after the first ad break), hosted by Philip Schofield
and Holly Willoughby
- the first time he'd appeared on the show. He chatted about his inspirations for the character of the Doctor, the enthusiasm of fans, things he kept from the old TARDIS, and of course not really saying what to expect on Christmas Day! Enthusing about guest star Richard E Grant
, he said:
He was born to be a Who villain, he pitches it on that perfect level and tone.
The end of the week was rounded off by an appearance by Matt on The Graham Norton Show
, but although this was to promote the Christmas Special, as Matt pointed out:
As always, I can't tell you anything, this is the tragedy of the show I'm in is that you come on and you can't actually promote it!
Recorded last month, the show was still able to treat viewers to a brand new clip featuring the Doctor, Clara and Strax.
Norton mentioned that fellow guests Billy Connolly
and Jennifer Saunders
had once been suggested as potential Doctors, though the former said it wasn't true and the latter said she started the rumours herself!
Matt was also 'required' to kiss a member of the audience by other guest Dustin Hoffman
, which the actor only reluctantly agreed to as his mum was watching! A clip of this exchange is available on YouTube
and BBC iPlayer
UK Press Screening:
The press screening for the episode took place in the evening of 18th December, followed by a Q&A session with Steven Moffat
, Matt Smith
and Jenna-Louise Coleman
, during which the adventure and the further adventures next year were discussed.
As seen in the trailer, the Doctor once again gets a firm kiss from his co-star, and speaking at the Q&A of their on-screen "relationship", Matt
I think always with this show and always with this relationship in this show, it will constantly evolve. And it should. And hopefully over the course of the next eight or nine episodes that we see subsequently to this it will evolve even further. We're excited about next year now and getting into that and actually going, "Well, now we know what we know about each other and the way we work and who we are and all the rest of it..." I kind of likened it, Steven, earlier, in an interview, to an arranged marriage. Not that I know what an arranged marriage is like. But it's like, "You're married, have chemistry." Do you know what I mean?
On the other hand, Jenna
I likened it to a blind date. I felt like I was on a blind date... It's like putting two people together. Like, "Oh I know someone you'll really get on with." And then go in to save the world!
The new TARDIS interior was also discussed, with Steven
explaining how it came about:
It was mainly saying to Michael Pickwoad
(production designer), "What would you do with the TARDIS?" But we had a notion because I thought we'd been getting progressively whimsical with the interior of the TARDIS. And I started to think, "Well, why is that? It's not a magical place, it's actually a machine." So we did say 'machine' and actually, potentially, as you'll see more spectacularly later, quite a scary place sometimes. We make a lot of use of that. And it's also a lot easier to shoot, I have to say.”
Inevitably, the question of where the team would travel to in the TARDIS came up:
Matt: I'd do a few things. I’d go and pick up Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe. I'd try and marry one of them. Get them to sing to me. And maybe one of them could do both. And then I'd go and see England win the World Cup in '66. And I'd go and visit some sort of Jurassic age, I think.
Jenna: I'd go back to ancient Egypt. I was watching a TV programme – where did the pyramids come from? I'd go find out where they came from. I'd go find out how they were built. And then other than that, maybe New York in the Twenties.
Steven: I'm a perfectly happy man. I'd go right here. I don't want to go anywhere. I'm having too much fun to leave. I'd be terrified. Wouldn't you?
With thanks to Ian Wylie
for Q&A coverage - you can read his full report here
The BBC have released a couple of publicity shots to "cherish" the moment(!):
Media Coverage (United Kingdom):
Reporting on the preview, Catherine Gee of The Telegraph
For all its new features, this is an episode filled with knowing nods to please Who fans, including a reference drawn from elsewhere in the Moffat catalogue, and the return of some of the Doctor’s old friends in the shape of Strax, Vastra and Jenny. Dr Simeon's ominous warning that "winter is coming" also suggests that Moffat may be a Game of Thrones fan. . . . It's not quite as action-packed as previous specials but compared with the other sedate period Christmas Day offerings of Call the Midwife and Downton Abbey, or the impending apocalypse-free episodes of The Royle Family and Strictly Come Dancing, this festive instalment of the sci-fi series will give the post-dinner snoozers a much-needed boost.
Vicky Frost of The Guardian
New music, new titles, a fetching new costume, sleek new Tardis interior and, most of all, a new companion, make this year's festive Doctor Who special filled with surprises. . . . It is not as if the 60-minute Christmas special – which perhaps controversially comes sprinkled with a seasonal splash of romance – is unambitious: among the co-stars is Richard E Grant as the deliciously wicked Dr Simeon, a man dreaming of a white Christmas.
Jenna explained a little of her character to Neela Debnath from The Independent
I think it's one of these things where she meets this guy that she's incredibly interested in and by and wants to know more but there's also something - he has answers that she wants. She wants answers. She's on her own mission. (Clara) is the kind of girl who lives by her own means, she doesn't need other people as much to get by, so she's a bit more of an equal. As soon as she meets him - and he's not the kind of guy that you meet every day - she's interested and wants to know who he is and where he's come from and she doesn't give up and follows that track.
Further coverage of the press screening can be found from the Daily Mail
, Evening Standard
and Western Mail
Reviewing the episode, Jonathan Carley of What Culture
Put simply, The Snowmen makes the Christmas Special feel fresh again, so much so it may as well be vacuum packed and wrapped with foil. So the firm underpinning of a good script is there, and I can tell you this will reward repeat viewing afterwards to reassess the intricacies of the plot. I myself am looking forward to re-watching on Christmas day if my family can tolerate my smugness. But there is also plenty going on to keep you entertained if you're feeling quite relaxed about it.
Simon Brew of Den of Geek
The Snowmen certainly bodes very well for the year ahead. It’s a lower key story on the surface, perhaps, albeit an episode that proves once again Moffat's skill for introducing major new characters. It's also an excellent Christmas special, and quite a serious one. And whereas seasonal outings for Doctor Who have proven quite divisive in recent years, we suspect this one is going to have a lot more people on its side. It's very much worth your time.
interviewed Jenna-Louise Coleman
while on set last month and chatted about her career leading up to becoming the latest Doctor Who
sidekick. In addition, Digital Spy
have conducted video interviews with Steven Moffat
about writing his third Christmas Special and and how to entice a new audience to the show, and with Matt and Jenna
chatting about the Special.
Other general media coverage of The Snowmen
include: Daily Mail
; Daily Mail(2)
; The Sun
; Daily Star
, and Radio Times
Media Coverage (United States):
The United States press had their own screening in New York earlier in the month. Alex Zalvin of MTV
This is probably the second best Christmas episode ever after 2010’s superlative A Christmas Carol. Since the latter episode is probably my favourite episode of Who ever, that's certainly putting it in high company. The episode is laugh out loud funny, emotional, and more importantly, captures the spirit of the holidays.
There's a beautiful sequence about halfway through that might be one of the most magical, storybook creations the show has ever done, more on par with a stage play than a TV show, but by golly, it works.
Jenna-Louise Coleman is a brilliant, perfect addition to the cast. Her patter, delivery, and whole demeanor make her a female Matt Smith, and it's brilliant. She matches him line for line, move for move, and if you’re not in love with her by the end of the episode...well...you’ll be in love with her.
Other coverage of the press screening appeared in: Wall Street Journal
; and Huffington Post
At an interview held at the BBC America offices (reported by CNN
), Jenna was quizzed about her experiences of entering the very public world of Doctor Who
You see "it" everywhere and you're used to it, like I was used to seeing Matt's face all over the place. But, when I was auditioning, being sat on the Tube and you see the posters, and it was always like he was pointing at me. There's not very much time to analyze as you go. It is only now that I feel like I've just been playing with all my mates for the last couple of months, and then suddenly, I'm like, "but people are going to see this," you know?
"This" life is so exciting on a daily basis. Everything's so dramatic every day, and it's the end of the world every week. You're either running or there's a snow machine or rain machine, or you're in a harness and you're on wires. ... On an off day, I find that I get bored quickly, like, "Where's the Cybermen?"
Jenna also revealed that she had auditioned for the show before, and what her grandmother thought!
I auditioned for Amy's best mate in it, and was pretty close to getting the part, and my grandma was absolutely devastated I didn't. So, we came back around, and I don't think she can believe it, actually. It is quite surreal for her, and she's quite looking forward to meeting Matt.
As previously reported
, Matt and Jenna also undertook a Q&A
for BBC America's Doctor Who Tumblr
, fielding questions from the social networking community.
With Doctor Who
having made the cover of TV Guide
this December, the magazine also spoke to the two stars
about their first jobs, what they do in their free time, their favourite current and childhood television shows, awkward moments, and what stands out for them in the Christmas Special.Entertainment Weekly
discuss Doctor Who
and The Snowmen
in their latest InsideTV podcast
. Other US-based coverage included: Miami Herald
; Tulsa World
; San-Antonio Express
; and Winston-Salem Journal
; Seattle Times