[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Doctor-Who-The-Snowmen-Christmas-Special-Trailer-Video_3104.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Elementary, my dear potato...]]

->''"It will build an army of ice... and it will be the last day of humanity on this planet."''
-->-- '''The Doctor'''

Written by Steven Moffat, "The Snowmen" is the 2012 ''Series/DoctorWho'' ChristmasEpisode.
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It's Christmas Eve 1892, and the falling snow is the stuff of fairy tales. When the fairy tale becomes a nightmare and snow turns out to have really sharp teeth this year, [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E7AGoodManGoesToWar Madame Vastra, her wife Jenny Flint, and their Sontaran friend Strax]] (who has by now been revived) call on the Doctor for help. But the Doctor is in mourning, reclusive and determined not to engage in the problems of the universe. He's parked his TARDIS high above the clouds and refuses to get emotionally invested in Earth issues again.

Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax investigate the snow, knowing full well that the Doctor's mourning is just a phase and that they need just the right kind of trigger to get him going again. This trigger turns out to be a young barmaid-slash-governess called Clara (Creator/JennaLouiseColeman). Her employer's previous governess drowned rather nastily in the garden, and stayed frozen for days before anyone was able to thaw her out. This, as it turns out, enabled the sentient snow (actually a telepathic alien parasite, voiced by Sir Creator/IanMcKellen) to get a blueprint of the human genome, and it's about to use that blueprint to take over the world. Helping the snow are brainwashed Victorian scientist Doctor Simeon (Creator/RichardEGrant, who has incidentally played the Doctor [[WebAnimation/ScreamOfTheShalka a couple]] [[Recap/DoctorWhoTheCurseOfFatalDeath of times]] before) and his beautiful SteamPunk lab.

When Clara mentions the word "pond" (as in what the governess died in), it sparks the Doctor into visiting Simeon's lab, pretending to be Franchise/SherlockHolmes. He realises that the snowy menace might actually threaten to destroy the Earth. After rescuing Clara and the children from the now-revived and very icy ex-governess, he takes Clara up to his TARDIS, decides to start taking on companions again, hands her a TARDIS key -- and watches in horror as she's captured by the ice and promptly falls several kilometres to her death. Strax manages to keep her alive, but just barely, and the Doctor rushes to confront Simeon a second time and destroy the sentient snow once and for all. However, when the Doctor uses the memory worm to wipe Simeon's mind and break the "link", the snow reveals it has already become its own entity, and animates Simeon's now empty body to try and kill the Doctor. But Clara, knowing that the parasite is telepathic and can be destroyed by a thought, spends her last moments wishing it to die. As it turns out, [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E13TheNameOfTheDoctor Clara's mind is able to destroy its immense power merely by thinking...]] and the tears of the children she cared for make the snow melt once and for all.

At the funeral, the Doctor finally realises that Clara's familiar voice wasn't just a coincidence, and neither was her mentioning soufflés. Her name was [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E1AsylumOfTheDaleks Clara Oswin Oswald]]. He also realizes that Simeon was working for something very familiar: the [[Recap/DoctorWhoS5E2TheAbominableSnowmen Great]] [[Recap/DoctorWhoS5E5TheWebOfFear Intelligence]], who picked up a thing or two from this encounter about the strategic weaknesses of the London Underground, and will eventually go on to bother the Second Doctor with that knowledge.

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!!Tropes:

* TenMinuteRetirement: It's been about four years (following the Paternosters' story so far) that the Doctor has been refusing to go adventuring, but since he's dragged back into the game fairly quickly, it's only for about ten actual minutes of his screen-time in the episode.
* AchillesInHisTent: The Doctor has a full-blown case of this for most of the episode.
* ActionGirl:
** Well, maybe she doesn't do much more than toss a weird grenade thingy in this episode, but Jenny definitely looks the part, especially when she corners Simeon in the alleyway.
** And Clara managed to run fast enough to jump onto a moving carriage and climb onto its roof. In a barmaid's outfit. Likely one that included a corset. Yakima Canutt, eat your heart out.
** Vastra is seen be-sworded once again, but she doesn't really get much of a chance to demonstrate her skills this time around.
* ActuallyPrettyFunny: When Clara catches Vastra in her "Truth is singular, lies are words, words, words" argument by highlighting how much she rambles about how the Doctor is not kind, it cuts to Jenny stifling a giggle.
* AllLoveIsUnrequited: Captain Latimer is clearly nursing something of a crush on Clara, but she's politely not interested in him.
* AndTheAdventureContinues: The episode ends with the Doctor racing off in the TARDIS, [[HesBack his sense of wonder and adventure restored]], to find out what the deal is with Clara, er, Oswin, er Clara Oswin.
* AnimateBodyParts / OrganAutonomy: PlayedForLaughs, as the Doctor's right hand [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E1TheEleventhHour still]] seems to have a mind of its own at times; when the Doctor intends to communicate to Clara that he's definitely not coming into the house to meet her and is leaving, much to his frustration he accidentally signals that he'll be up there in five minutes. He also goofs around with a Mr. Punch puppet and merrily pretends the puppet snogs him, then hits him. And he realises he's absent-mindedly put on his bow-tie without realizing it. Apparently, his own hands are just as eager as everyone else for him to snap out of his depression and get back to adventuring as normal.
** Possibly a CallBack to the Tenth Doctor, who had to replace his right hand when it was cut off soon after his regeneration.
* AntagonistTitle: The episode is named after the MonsterOfTheWeek, the Snowmen. Also doubles as a ContinuityNod to [[Recap/DoctorWhoS5E2TheAbominableSnowmen "The Abominable Snowmen"]], the episode where the Great Intelligence debuted. And as ChristmasEpisode the same year ''ComicBook/TheSnowman'' made a comeback.
* ArcNumber: Clara's ArcNumber is 23. (As in November 23, [[Recap/DoctorWho50thASTheDayOfTheDoctor the anniversary of the series]])
* ArcWords: Pond.
** From this ep onwards we have "impossible[=/=]not possible".
** "Run, you clever boy. And remember."
* AreYouPonderingWhatImPondering:
-->'''The Doctor:''' When you find something brand new in the world, something you've never seen before, what's the next thing you look for?\\
'''Strax:''' A grenade!
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: Captain Latimer's response to discovering the Doctor and Clara together, the Doctor's innocent insistence that he's Clara's "gentleman friend" and they've been upstairs kissing, that Clara's a working-class girl and moonlights as a barmaid, that the house is surrounded by evil alien snowmen, that there's a lesbian Silurian detective, her wife and a Sontaran butler in his foyer, that his maid's fainted and there's a demonic ice-sculpture version of his children's former governess that's inexplicably talking like Mr Punch coming after them from the top of the stairs: "You have a gentleman friend?"
* AsideComment: The Doctor's final line of "Watch me run" is delivered right into the camera.
* AsYouKnow: With a lampshade hanging; after Simeon (rather creepily) summarises the story of Latimer's previous governess drowned in his pond and was frozen in there for for a month, Latimer archly points out that he remembers the incident, and that it was unpleasant enough to ensure that he's not exactly going to forget it for a while.
* TheAtoner: Part of the reason the Doctor decides to save the day is out of guilt that Clara was attacked and mortally injured by the Ice Governess while she was under his care (and he was showing off for her).
* AwesomenessByAnalysis:
** This is the episode in which a Sontaran manages this. The Doctor is openly impressed. Appropriately enough, it's a matter of military tactics, but his clues are entirely within the way the enemy approaches them.
** Clara does a pretty good job herself when she deduces not only what the Doctor's plan is, but that he actually wanted her along as well.
* BackFromTheDead: Strax. He was OnlyMostlyDead.
* BattleButler: Strax is a more literal example of this trope than most.
* BeenThereShapedHistory: Arthur Conan Doyle was apparently inspired to create Franchise/SherlockHolmes and Doctor Watson by Madame Vastra and Jenny, except he left out the "Silurian" and "wife" bits. Despite what Simeon believes, [[HoYay/SherlockHolmes he apparently kept the absurd amounts of]] HomoeroticSubtext going on, however. Doyle seems to have [[CompositeCharacter combined]] Jenny and Strax together to create Watson, adding Strax's military and medical background to the character.
* BigDamnKiss: Between Clara and the Doctor. Oh, and the Doctor snogs a Punch puppet (or, rather, the puppet snogs him, it seems).
* BiggerOnTheInside:
** The [=TARDIS=], obviously, but Clara subverts the usual statement of "Bigger on the inside" by instead stating "It's smaller on the outside."
** The Doctor also tells Clara that the spiral ladder is "taller on the inside," to explain how they were able to climb up the ladder to the cloud so fast.
* BittersweetEnding: The Intelligence is dissipated and the Doctor finally [[HesBack snaps out]] of his funk thanks to the mystery of Clara's impossible existence, but the Intelligence will one day return to terrorize humanity in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS5E2TheAbominableSnowmen "The Abominable Snowmen"]] and [[Recap/DoctorWhoS5E5TheWebOfFear "The Web of Fear"]], and this version of Clara died in the process.
* BizarreAlienSexes: Part of a RunningGag with Strax is his constant inability to tell male and female humans apart. The Doctor notes that at least he has a good reason, since because Sontarans now reproduce by cloning, all concept of gender for them went out the window quite a while ago.
* BloodKnight: Strax repeatedly tries to encourage the situation to turn violent. To give him his due, when it actually ''does'' turn violent (and through no fault of his own), [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass he reacts to it very professionally and shows a lot of tactical knowledge.]]
* BookEnds: The previous episode ended with Amy and Rory looking at their own grave before being taken from the Doctor. This episode ends with Clara standing over a grave with her name on it, after another version of her dies as a result of his actions.
* BornInTheWrongCentury: Jenny is mentally at least a century ahead of her time. She's coping well.
* BreathWeapon: The Snowmen attack by breathing frost at their victims.
* BrickJoke: Simeon comparing Vastra to Literature/SherlockHolmes later pays off when he easily dismisses the Doctor's Holmes disguise due to reading the Holmes stories in the ''Strand'' magazine.
* BritishAccents: Clara has two. The first is the Received Pronunciation she uses in front of her employer. The other is her lower-class "secret voice" accent that she only uses around the children.
* BritishStuffiness: Captain Latimer can't open up to his children to give them the comfort they need, or admit that he finds his nanny attractive. It takes Clara's death to unwind him enough to give the children a hug.
* BubblyClouds: The Doctor has engineered some to park his TARDIS on.
* TheBusCameBack: The Great Intelligence was last seen way back in the Second Doctor serial [[Recap/DoctorWhoS5E5TheWebOfFear "The Web of Fear"]]. (Which takes place in its future.)
* BystanderSyndrome: The Doctor frequently says that the snowmen are not his problem, and does only the bare minimum for Clara at first
* CallBack: A number of previous events are major plot points in the episode.
** The Doctor's TenMinuteRetirement was brought on by being parted from Amy and Rory at the end of [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E5TheAngelsTakeManhattan "The Angels Take Manhattan"]].
** Clara mysteriously looks exactly like Oswin Oswald from [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E1AsylumOfTheDaleks "Asylum of the Daleks"]], something of which the Doctor is unaware. She also seems to like soufflés and has the same FamousLastWords. The series 7 finale, "The Name of the Doctor", reveals how it is possible.
** The episode turns out to be a prequel to the decades-old [[Recap/DoctorWhoS5E2TheAbominableSnowmen "The Abominable Snowmen"]] and [[Recap/DoctorWhoS5E5TheWebOfFear "The Web of Fear"]], showing how the villainous Great Intelligence was born.
* CameBackWrong: Invoked and PlayedForLaughs with Strax, when the Doctor comments that he isn't sure his brain "made the return trip".
* CanonDiscontinuity: It is made very clear that Franchise/SherlockHolmes is an entirely fictional character in the Whoniverse, albeit possibly inspired by Madame Vastra. (The Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse previously had a different explanation in the ''Literature/DoctorWhoNewAdventures'' novel ''All-Consuming Fire''.)
* ChekhovsGun: The Memory Worm. Which becomes a NiceJobBreakingItHero when it's used to defeat Simeon, because it turned out the Snow had become powerful enough to not need his memories any more, and in fact allowed it to use his body as a [[MeatPuppet human vessel.]]
* ChristmasEpisode: Christmas is only mentioned a few times, though.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint:
** Simeon casting aspersions on the detective's relationship with her female [[TheWatson Watson]].
--->'''Simeon:''' I doubt the readers of ''The Strand'' magazine would accept that the great detective is in reality a woman -- and her suspiciously intimate companion.\\
'''Madam Vastra:''' I resent your implication of impropriety! We are ''married''.
** There's also the moment Clara comments on how it's getting cooler, with the Doctor thinking she's commenting on how cool his bow-tie is. It's just like this Doctor to forget what time period he's in ([[DontExplainTheJoke where "cool" doesn't mean "awesome").]]
* ContinuityNod: A number of minor background references to previous events are featured.
** It only shows for a brief moment, but the opening credits displays the Doctor's face, as it did with almost every Doctor back in the classic era.
** The Doctor is seen wearing [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E5TheAngelsTakeManhattan Amy's reading glasses.]]
** The Doctor asks the Great Intelligence if it thinks [[Recap/DoctorWhoS5E5TheWebOfFear the London Underground is a strategic disadvantage for mankind]].
** The Doctor decides to [[Recap/DoctorWhoS14E6TheTalonsOfWengChiang wear a Sherlock Holmes-style deerstalker and Inverness cape to investigate mysterious goings-on in Victorian London]].
** We meet a possible ancestor of [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E8HumanNature Timothy Latimer's]], Captain Latimer. The name "Latimer" also appeared in "The Next Doctor", and in the first ''Literature/EighthDoctorAdventures'' novel.
** The boy of the family Clara works for is named Digby, the name of the unseen owner of the house in "[[Recap/DoctorWho2011CSTheDoctorTheWidowAndTheWardrobe The Doctor the Widow and the Wardrobe]]" 50 years later.
** The Doctor suggests that Simeon should [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E1TheEleventhHour delete his history]].
** The Doctor tells Clara that she has a nice name, and "you should definitely keep it." -- a reference to his fondness for the name "Amelia Pond" and his disappointment that she changed it to "Amy" in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E1TheEleventhHour "The Eleventh Hour"]].
** At the end of the episode Clara says she doesn't believe in ghosts. The Eighth Doctor said the same thing in the TV movie.
** The wicked governess is a zombie-like construct who can [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E8SilenceintheLibrary only repeat select words]].
* CouchGag: The Doctor Who logo has an ice texture in the intro.
* CrapsackWorld: The Doctor has come to see the universe as this, saying that the only thing he's learned from saving it over and over again is that "the universe doesn't care".
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Strax spends the teaser to this episode wanting to declare war on the (uninhabited) moon, bungles with a memory wiping worm, and can't tell girls apart from boys. On the other hand, he's still a [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Sontaran]] and instantly assesses a dangerous situation accurately.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Or "Ice Time Lord" in this case -- the longer he spends around Clara, the more difficult the Doctor finds it is to maintain his cold demeanour and the more hollow and unconvincing his protestations that he's not getting involved start to sound.
* DelayedReaction: When discussing the TARDIS, the Doctor remarks to Clara that it's "no more a box than you are a governess". Clara gets a head full of steam about this and angrily rants to him about how he's just like everyone else who underestimates and dismisses her -- and gets so caught up in it that as she follows him into the TARDIS she fails to notice for a few moments that the interior dimensions don't match the exterior.
* DespairEventHorizon: Losing the Ponds has apparently pushed the Doctor over the edge into this; he's retreated from the universe and no longer cares about adventuring. Or possibly taking River to Darillium was the last straw.
* DevelopmentGag: Clara's headstone in 1892 states that she was born on 23 November 1866 and that she died on 24 December 1892, meaning she not only shares the same birthday (though not the year) as ''Doctor Who'' itself but that she was also 26 years old when she died -- the exact same age as ''Series/DoctorWho'' was when it was cancelled in 1989.
* DiscriminateAndSwitch: ''Inverted'' when Simeon taunts the green, reptilian Madame Vastra, remarking on that the public would never accept her as a renowned detective due to being a... woman.
* DisneyVillainDeath: How the Ice Governess kills herself. And Clara.
* TheDragon: Zigzagged all over the place. We're first led to believe Simeon is TheDragon to the evil Snow. It's then revealed that in fact the Snow was just echoing the thoughts of Simeon himself as a child, who was bitter because he didn't get on well with the other children. Once the Doctor wipes Simeon's memory, however (in theory breaking the link), it turns out the Snow has become powerful enough thanks to fifty years of bitterness and Victorian values to no longer need Simeon's thoughts, and in fact uses his freshly mind-wiped body as a vessel through which it can act -- and nearly take out the Doctor -- itself.
* DramaticIrony: The Doctor never saw Oswin's human face in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E1AsylumOfTheDaleks "Asylum of the Daleks"]], so unlike the audience he has (or at least seems to have) no idea of any connection at all between Oswin and Clara. Until Clara uses the same dying words as Oswin, and he sees her full name on her gravestone: Clara Oswin Oswald.
* EatingTheEyeCandy: Clara makes no secret that she's enjoying watching the Doctor climb the ladder to his TARDIS before her.
* EmotionEater: The snowmen feed on thoughts.
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: If the Doctor doesn't stop the snowmen, they'll kill every human on the planet.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys / WhenTreesAttack / RuleOfThrees
-->'''Strax:''' Suggest an attack with automatic laser-monkeys, scalpel mines, and acid!
* EverythingsBetterWithSpinning: The new TARDIS interior is a ''gorgeous'' collection of circular patterns and Circular Gallifreyan. The top of the console properly spins, and there is a circle of flashing lights near the ceiling.
* EvilGloating: Simeon is not entirely immune to this, dropping hints about his plans to Madame Vastra.
* EvilSoundsDeep: The Great Intelligence... at least until the Doctor strips away their disguise.
* ExactWords:
-->'''Simeon:''' I said I'd feed you. I didn't say who to.
* {{Expy}}: Literature/SherlockHolmes, whose adventures were apparently based upon that of Vastra.
* {{Fainting}} / ScreamingWoman: Alice, the maid.
* FailedASpotCheck: At the end, the modern-day Clara appears oblivious to the fact she's standing next to a tombstone with her name on it.
* FamousLastWords: Oswin's last words were "Run, you clever boy, and remember," and since he never saw her human face, the Doctor doesn't seem to make the full connection between Clara and Oswin until she says the same words. His attention is caught, however, by mention of soufflés, and he apparently recognised her voice at some point.
* FanserviceWithASmile / LadyInRed: Clara wears a [[http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/50/f4/e0/50f4e09467363628cda43b7c803c46d5.jpg very nice]] red dress as a barmaid.
* FantasticRacism: During the Eleventh Doctor's retirement in Victorian England, he displays a lot of this towards his Sontaran ally, insulting his race's looks and suggesting Sontarans are entirely stupid, directly to his face.
* FemaleGaze: During the scene where Clara and the Doctor are climbing up the ladder to escape from the Ice Governess, Clara is staring at the Doctor's bum.
* FisherKing: A non-magical example. After the loss of Amy and Rory, the Doctor has remodelled the TARDIS interior with a darker colour scheme, the decoration has become more spartan and sterile and he's not bothering to turn on the lights. It has ''[[BlatantLies nothing]]'' to do with his depression, [[SarcasmMode seriously]]!
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Clara can effectively fight the parasite simply by thinking hard. The reason why was finally revealed in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E13TheNameOfTheDoctor the season finale]].
* FreudianSlip: Clara's employer accidentally calls her "pretty".
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: As the Doctor and Strax are arguing about the snow, we can see their stagecoach rocking back and forth and hear Clara's protests from inside.
* GlassesPull: The Doctor takes off his reading glasses when Vastra tells him the secret word to convince him to go out adventuring again. It's "pond", by the way, and as has been noted, the glasses he's wearing are actually those that used to belong to Amy Pond.
* GuileHero: Clara proves herself to be a match for the Doctor in this department when she convinces him not to erase her memories of the past hour.
* HaveWeMetYet:
** The Great Intelligence hasn't met the Doctor before. The Doctor has met it, though -- the first time was when he was still the Second Doctor. And now we know why it was rather fixated on the London Underground. However, for reasons as yet unexplained, the Doctor appears to not explicitly remember his previous encounters, only that the name Great Intelligence is familiar. But then, it has been 9 lives since he last encountered it. In real life this is believed to be an in-joke relating to the fact the two stories in which the Great Intelligence was featured were lost at the time -- and, thus, erased from the Doctor's memory.
** And as it turns out, Clara and Oswin are somehow the same person, but in different lifetimes.
* HellbentForLeather: Jenny's skintight battle suit debuts, albeit briefly.
* HesBack: Summed up nicely with one line:
-->'''The Doctor:''' Yeah it is, isn't it? ''Very'' cool... [[CatchPhrase Bowties]] ''[[CatchPhrase are]]'' [[BowtiesAreCool cool!]]
* HoldingHands: The cliché where the hero pulls the DamselInDistress along by the hand while fleeing danger is spoofed when Clara ends up pulling along the Doctor, who complains that he's the one who's supposed to do it.
* IdiotSavant: Strax's stupidity in most situations is a matter of great exasperation for the Doctor and his friends (it's implied that his mind was damaged when he was resurrected), but when he's actually put into a military situation he instantly determines the enemy's intentions.
* IDoNotDrinkWine: Madame Vastra.
-->'''Madame Vastra:''' There are two refreshments in your world the color of red wine. (''sets glass of red liquid on side table'') This... is not red wine.
* INeedAFreakingDrink: Captain Latimer's first response when things start going wacky is to head for the drinks cabinet. The Doctor pours himself one too... then hands it to the Captain.
* IronicEcho: Madame Vastra tells Clara to respond to her questions with one word, claiming that the truth is singular but lies are words upon words. When Clara responds to her question about why the Doctor would help her with the word "kindness", Vastra launches into a lengthy speech about how the Doctor is not kind, how he is a cold and distant God-figure way too far above humanity to be interested in their concerns. Clara's one-word response?
-->'''Clara:''' Words.
* JumpedAtTheCall: Clara positively forces her way into the plot, and has to [[RefusalOfTheCall drag the Doctor part of the way]].
* KissKissSlap: The Doctor and his trusty new companion, the Punch hand puppet.
* LameComeback: The Doctor doesn't quite keep up with Strax's ribbing.
-->'''The Doctor:''' Oi! Shut up! You're not clever, or funny, and you've got tiny little legs!
* LamePunReaction:
-->'''The Intelligence:''' You are not of this world.\\
'''The Doctor:''' Takes one to snow one. (''he giggles; no-one else does'')
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: The Doctor asks Strax to fetch a "memory worm" so they can wipe Clara's short-term memory, but after Strax handles the worm without proper protection (twice!), he forgets he was supposed to fetch the worm in the first place.
* LateArrivalSpoiler: The episode's first trailer gives away the TheReveal near the end of [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E1AsylumOfTheDaleks "Asylum of the Daleks"]] in the first 20 seconds.
* LivingADoubleLife: Clara works as a barmaid under her real name and as a governess under the name "Miss Montague". Her reasons for doing so have not yet been revealed.
* MaleGaze: The camera lingers on Clara's [[http://i.imgur.com/HV5oyXT.png ample cleavage]] when she's changing in the carriage for her other job as Governess.
* MeaningfulEcho: Strax first addresses Clara as "boy" when they first meet, and it's played for humour. He again refers to her as "boy" towards the end, but it's a lot more serious as he's trying to urge her to fight to stay alive.
* MeatPuppet: The Great Intelligence takes control of Dr. Simeon's body after the Doctor drains his memories.
* MeetCute: Between the Doctor and Clara, early in the episode. PlayedForDrama a bit more than is usual. The Doctor feels conflicted, as he's enjoying her company and is tempted to start making friends again, but is worried that would only lead to him getting another companion into danger, [[MyGreatestFailure something he greatly fears]]. He politely brushes off Clara's attempt at socialising and tries to force himself to stay a stoic loner by walking away. Doesn't really work, as Clara is so intrigued by him that she chases down his carriage in an effort to find out who he is.
* MissingMom: The mother of Francesca and Digby.
* MoreTeethThanTheOsmondFamily: The snowmen have mouths full of pointy teeth.
* MotorMouth: As fast as the Doctor can talk, Clara is ''faster''. That rumor that Jenna-Louise got the job partly because she could out-motor Matt Smith was proven here, especially the scene on the roof.
* MyEyesAreUpHere: Played with when the Doctor and Clara are squabbling about who goes up the ladder first:
-->'''The Doctor:''' You first!\\
'''Clara:''' ''You'' first -- I'm wearing a dress. Eyes front, soldier!\\
'''The Doctor:''' (''beginning to climb the ladder'') My eyes are always to the front!\\
'''Clara:''' (''watching him climb the ladder'') ''Mine'' aren't!\\
'''The Doctor:''' ...Stop it!\\
'''Clara:''' No!
* MythologyGag:
** Simeon is played by Creator/RichardEGrant, who previously played an unofficial Ninth Doctor in ''WebAnimation/ScreamOfTheShalka'' and the Tenth Doctor in ''Recap/DoctorWhoTheCurseOfFatalDeath''.
** Clara's gravestone says she was born on November 23, the date [[Recap/DoctorWhoS1E1AnUnearthlyChild "An Unearthly Child"]] aired in 1963. She also lived to age 26, the same age as classic ''Doctor Who'' when it was cancelled in 1989.
** The Doctor's main look is based on his second incarnation, but in this episode...
*** He's dressed in a way -- particularly with the ascot instead of bow-tie, and the added vest -- that evokes his Eighth.
*** His slightly mangled top hat is reminiscent of the hat the Second Doctor used to wear in his early episodes.
*** His use of a hook-handled umbrella as a tool for lowering a ladder recalls The Seventh Doctor's use of an umbrella as an ImprovisedWeapon.
** The rebuilt Tardis more resembles the clean, machine-like appearance seen in the classic series as opposed to the whimsical hodge-podge used in the reboot.
** The Doctor's difficulty in remembering the Great Intelligence is a meta-example -- the stories that the Great Intelligence appears in have been mostly wiped from the archives. Of ''course'' he can't remember them. Ironically, one subplot of the season involves the Doctor erasing himself from history. Ironically, within a year of the episode's broadcast, one of the Great Intelligence stories ("The Web of Fear") would end up being recovered except for one episode.
* NiceHat: The Doctor wears a top hat now. Top hats are cool.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: A TimeyWimeyBall example; when the Doctor confronts the Intelligence, he mentions the London Underground in 1967 and how it's a "strategic weakness in metropolitan living". By the end of the episode, it's revealed that the Intelligence will go on to become the Great Intelligence, which confronted the Second Doctor twice -- and [[Recap/DoctorWhoS5E5TheWebOfFear the second time]], it used the London Underground in 1967 as a launchpad for its invasion. The clear implication is that it got the idea from the Eleventh Doctor. Lampshaded by Vastra and Jenny at the end, when they gently ([[DeadpanSnarker but sarcastically]]) rebuke the Doctor about this very problem.
* NoExceptYes: The Doctor manages to move the solid cloud holding the Tardis above the Latimer house. When Clara asks if he can control clouds, he claims that's impossible. "The wind, a bit."
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Note how, having completely mangled his deductions of Simeon and his assistant while posing as "Sherlock Holmes", the Doctor ''then'' goes on to instantly peg what the sinister snow-globe machine in Simeon's office is all about and why he's interested in the frozen pond at Captain Latimer's house.
* OfficialCouple: Having merely had buckets of HomoeroticSubtext in their first appearance, Vastra and Jenny now openly proclaim that they're married.
* OneHeadTaller: The height difference between the Doctor and Clara is actually important because the Doctor wouldn't need an umbrella to reach his invisible ladder to the TARDIS, whereas she would, so the fact that he brought it with him lets Clara know that he wanted her to come.
* TheOner: When the Doctor takes Clara into the TARDIS, the camera follows them across the cloud, through the doors and into the console room in a single unbroken take. It is the first time in the show's history that this kind of shot has been done going from outside to inside the TARDIS.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: An in-universe example. When the Ice Governess bursts in and terrorizes Clara and the children, Clara reverts back to her real accent:
-->'''Clara:''' Bleedin' 'ell!\\
'''Digby:''' You're doing your other voice!\\
'''Clara:''' Yes, luv, didja notice?
* PluckyComicRelief:
** Strax
** Clara walks the line a bit too.
* PermissionToSpeakFreely: Parodied.
-->'''Strax:''' Sir, permission to express my opposition to your current apathy.\\
'''The Doctor:''' Permission granted.\\
'''Strax:''' Sir, I am opposed to your current apathy.
* RebuiltSet: The Doctor has changed the TARDIS to a new "desktop theme" following the end of [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E5TheAngelsTakeManhattan "The Angels Take Manhattan"]].
* RecurringCharacter: Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint and Strax from [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E7AGoodManGoesToWar "A Good Man Goes to War"]] return in this episode. Although not identified on screen in the episode itself, a prequel to "The Snowmen" reveals Jenny's last name, Flint.
* {{Retcon}}: Of the Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse, which revealed the Great Intelligence to be an EldritchAbomination from the universe before this one, and part of the Lovecraftian pantheon. Here, it's what happened when a Victorian scientist merged with a horde of mimetic-but-unintelligent alien snow.
* TheReveal: The audience is immediately aware of the suspicious resemblance between Oswin and Clara, [[DramaticIrony but the Doctor is not]]. He appears to make some connections through the episode (her voice and her love of soufflés), but he doesn't seem to completely put it together until Clara says the same FamousLastWords and her gravestone reveals her full name is Clara Oswin Oswald.
* RunningGag:
** Strax still can't tell the difference between male and female humans.
** He's also rather [[YourAnswerToEverything fond of grenades]].
* SafetyInIndifference: The Doctor at the start of the episode has decided that after losing the Ponds he is no longer willing to commit himself to helping Earth and humans -- it hurts too much to emotionally invest himself in his companions (and therefore humanity as a whole), only to have them die or leave. Clara breaks him out of it.
* SarcasticConfession: Vastra tells the Captain's maid the utter truth so the woman will just run away on the spot.
-->'''Vastra:''' Good evening. I'm a lizard woman from the dawn of time, and this is my wife.
* SayMyName: An unusual example because the person saying it doesn't realize the meaning to the Doctor. Specifically, the Doctor is playing AchillesInHisTent and has refused to help the Earth. Clara must convince the Doctor to bust out of it, tell him about the danger, where it is and why he should help with only one word. Which one does she use? "Pond."
* SceneryPorn:
** The dimensionally transcendental staircase leading up to the TARDIS' home in the clouds.
** There are also some great, lingering shots of the new TARDIS control room.
* TheScrooge: The Doctor wants nothing more to do with fun and adventures after being parted from Amy and Rory at the end of [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E5TheAngelsTakeManhattan "The Angels Take Manhattan"]]. It could also be interpreted as a combined hit from every loss he's suffered to date: Amy and Rory hitting hardest because by that point it's clear that he ''really'' truly tried his hardest to ensure their safety.
* SherlockScan:
** The Doctor tries this when he's masquerading as Franchise/SherlockHolmes. He's not very good at it:
--->'''The Doctor:''' Now, shut up. I see from your collar stub that you have an apple tree and a wife with a limp. Am I right?\\
'''Simeon:''' No.\\
'''The Doctor:''' Do you have a wife?\\
'''Simeon:''' No.\\
'''The Doctor:''' Bit of a tree? Bit of a wife? Some apples? C'mon, work with me here.
** Interesting, considering how he was able to dissect [[TheScrooge Kazran's]] dysfunctional relationship with his father [[Recap/DoctorWho2010CSAChristmasCarol two Christmas specials ago.]] Justified by the fact he wasn't interested in the two men, he wanted to know about the big globe with power leads in it, with snow blowing around like crazy, knowing full well it was an alien device. When he's making deductions about this and the Snow, he's a lot more on the ball.
* SkewedPriorities: The Captain is more concerned that the Doctor is a possible love interest for Clara than the impending attack on his house. Or the obvious non-humans (who just prompted one of his servants to scream and faint).
* SlasherSmile: The snowmen make big toothy grins right before they try to eat someone.
* ShoutOut:
** When the Doctor shows up at Dr. Simeon's as Franchise/SherlockHolmes, the background music briefly switches to a few bars of the theme from ''Series/{{Sherlock}}''.
** Clara's job as a governess whose two charges are haunted by the ghost of her predecessor is taken from the Victorian classic ''Literature/TheTurnOfTheScrew''.
** Dr. Simeon announces more than once that [[Series/GameOfThrones "Winter is Coming"]].
** Clara tells the previous governess [[Film/MaryPoppins "I regret to inform you the position is filled", right before floating up into the sky with a black umbrella on her arm]].
** Going from "an apple tree and a wife" to "bit of a tree, bit of a wife".... [[Series/GetSmart Maxwell Smart would be proud.]]
* {{Snowlems}}: Of the [[ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes Deranged Mutant Killer Monster]] variety.
* SociallyAwkwardHero: As is typical by this point, the Doctor responds to Clara's flirting and kissing him in the second half of the episode in the manner of a bashful ten-year-old.
* SolidClouds: Justified. The Doctor and Clara can stand on the Doctor's cloud because it's specially made of "super-dense water vapor".
* SomeKindOfForceField: The Force Field created by Jenny is invisible but glows red whenever the Ice Governess slams into it.
* StairwayToHeaven: Invoked with the Doctor's gorgeous spiral staircase.
* StayingAlive: The Doctor's curiosity is reignited by the realisation that Clara has some form of this going on.
* SubvertedCatchphrase: When Clara first sees the inside of the TARDIS, the Doctor gleefully waits for her to say it's BiggerOnTheInside...
-->'''Clara:''' It's ''smaller'' on the outside!
* SuggestiveCollision: Clara gets her bustle caught while climbing out the window, gets yanked out by the Doctor and ends up falling on top of him. His immediate suggestion that she takes off her clothes in no way helps lower the {{UST}}.
* TakeOffYourClothes: The Doctor tells Clara this after her dress gets her stuck at an inopportune moment, and quickly clarifies that he doesn't mean it like that.
* TemptingFate: The Doctor is adamant that Clara will never be able to find him again, so of course...
-->'''Madame Vastra:''' How refreshing to see you taking an interest again. Was she nice?\\
'''The Doctor:''' I just spoke to her.\\
'''Madame Vastra:''' And made your usual impact, no doubt.\\
'''The Doctor:''' No, no impact at all. Those days are over.\\
'''Madame Vastra:''' You can't help yourself! It's the same story every time, and it always begins with the same two words.\\
'''The Doctor:''' (''snapping'') She'll never be able to find me again! She doesn't even have the name "Doctor"! What two words?\\
'''Clara:''' (''dropping through the roof of the carriage'') Doctor? [[TitleDrop Doctor who?]]
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: When the Doctor shows Clara the TARDIS for the first time, his {{Leitmotif}} fires up, [[RuleOfSymbolism representing the beginning of his return to his usual adventuring self]].
* TitleDrop: "Doctor who?" is asked on 4 separate occasions this episode. Could be a record.
* TookALevelInJerkass: The Doctor in the beginning of the episode fully intends to erase (an hour of) Clara's memory rather than let her drag him into an adventure, only changing his mind when she points out she won't know what to do if she gets attacked by the snowmen again if he does. Compared to his normal attitude about memories, this is a very big change.
* TortureFirstAskQuestionsLater:
-->'''Strax:''' I suggest we melt his brain using projectile acid vision, then interrogate him. (''Vastra and Jenny stare at him, prompting him to reconsider'') Other way round.
* ToServeMan: The monstrous snowmen like to eat people.
* TragicKeepsake: The Doctor wears Amelia's reading glasses while he's in mourning. As he gets into the case, he takes them off.
* UnresolvedSexualTension:
** One-sided between Clara and her employer.
** And of course between Clara and the Doctor -- whether that is one-sided is open to your interpretation.
* WhamLine: Vastra... and oh, boy, is it a doozy. "Hello, I'm a lizard woman from the dawn of time. And this is my wife." Cue screaming maid.
* WhenHeSmiles: Since this is the first episode where the Doctor starts off looking miserable and spends a lot of time in that state, it's really noticeable when his goofy, child-like grin makes a reappearance.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Simeon was an orphan who spent 50 years filling up the Snow with all his loneliness and eventual resentment for the rest of the world. He's still treated in a fairly unsympathetic fashion, however, and even as a young boy doesn't seem to have liked other people or wanted to be around them that much.
* YouCantFightFate: The Doctor discusses this with Vastra when he believes Clara and Oswin are one and the same: since he already saw Clara's future in "Asylum of the Daleks", it is literally impossible for her to die now. Clara Oswin Oswald turns out to be something else entirely.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Dr. Simeon kills all his employees after they collect the snow for him.

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