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Never in doubt that she's more of a one-off character than a recurring one. The only reason of all those talks of her returning is due to Jenna's uncertainty in staying. If it's clear right from the start Jenna's staying, no one would be talking about any new companion 

3 days, 17 hours ago on Faye Marsay: There’s Been No talk of Shona Returning

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The Magician and the Witch? The Apprentice and the Familiar? 

Could both be referring to CLARA OSWALD? 

Well she is trying to be the Doctor, and she is chosen by Missy for whatever she's got. 

I've got a feeling it's going to be the best opening episode(s) ever! 

1 week ago on Missy Back in Two-Part Series 9 Opener

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Great article! Goes beyond the pop culture's boxed "superhero" representation into something truly expansive and representative. 

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Is the Doctor a Person, Or An Idea?

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And Flatline is the big winner!! Winning best visual effects, monster, director, writer! Is there more to come for Flatline? 

4 weeks, 1 day ago on Best of 2014 Awards: The Winners (Part 3)

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A vast improvement from your previous articles that I was strongly critical of Mark. That is an excellent article and I must admit, even I found it insightful even though this subject is one that I'm pretty familiar with. 

Very well researched and fairly organized. Well done! Perhaps a little less wordy (and a little more faith in the readers' intelligence) would make it even better. 

1 month ago on Sciencey Wiencey: Listen

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OH YEAH!! 

More than just the writing, monsters, the oscar acclaimed actress, the direction is one aspect which isn't mentioned enough for it's quality. Still remember the chills down my spine when the statues moved while hidden on screen. 

1 month ago on Blink Director for Series 9

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Dark Water. One of the best start to a 2 parter, totally unexpected and excellently sets up the episode for Clara's betrayal and redemption. 

I'd be tempted for Clara's "I'm the Doctor" too, but it's just too obvious as a bluff to have an impact. 

1 month ago on Best of 2014 Awards #12: Pre-Title Sequence

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Jamie Mathieson. Because the hand-out-of-TARDIS scene alone deserves it. 

And Doctor Clara of course. 

1 month, 1 week ago on Best of 2014 Awards #11: Writer

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Danny Pink returns! Now an ally of Missy, turned evil from jealousy from S9's developing relationship between his love and her love. 

With a lady of Clara, plenty of men, human or alien, would certainly fight to the death for her! 

1 month, 1 week ago on Speculating on Series 9’s Big Cliffhanger (Part 2)

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And directed by Peter Jackson! 

Or maybe Christopher Nolan is fine too. Definitely fine. 

1 month, 1 week ago on Russell T Davies Interested in Writing A Doctor Who Movie

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Great stuff! I've always find Amy's Choice to be a fantastic character piece, and a very good one to advance the series' plot on Amy's personal affections. But this article has further opened up my mind on these subtle pokes, multiple layers of story telling and of course a greater appreciation for the magnificent Toby Jones. 

Now then, time to load up that episode again! 

1 month, 1 week ago on The Lord of the Dream: Amy’s Choice in Perspective

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Flatline of course. 

Rigsy's art, the Boneless' 3Dtification, paintings that gives a 3D look from certain perspectives. 

And the Doctor's Thing moment. Best of the lot. 

1 month, 1 week ago on Best of 2014 Awards #8: Visual Effects

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My wishes:

Clara the Time Lady (Apprentice)

Clara getting her own TARDIS 

Clara settling on Gallifrey as the ultimate role a control freak can get. 

1 month, 2 weeks ago on 9 Predictions for Doctor Who Series 9…

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What I love about the previous Sciency-Wiency articles is that it talks about the real world science Doctor Who plots are inspired by. It doesn't try to explain away the science fiction/fantasy elements and instead clearly identifies them as such. It is a very educational series, not just for the young readers, but eye opening for many mature readers too. 

It is with this in mind that I hope future articles could concentrate on the relevant real world science topics, and not try to speculate into the yet-established fields. Not just on Physics, Maths, Chemistry, Biology, but also into psychology, physiology, engineering (mechanical, computing, electronic), geology, cosmology and many more. 

It would be great for future articles to touch on the brain like a computer, electrical relay signals as memories. Fear as a superpower (fight or flight syndrome) and some examples of humans breaking the limit in dire situations. The gravitational effects of our moon on the tides, satelites orbiting our planet with some hard calculations thrown in for good measure, the plants' (in fact all lifeforms on Earth) dependency on the sun's cycles as cues for their daily activities, humans' tendency to forget as an evolutionary trait to quickly move on and not dwell on the past, or the imbued fear of dark forests (or spiders, snakes, or anything our ancestors learned to be dangerous) as an evolutionary survival trait. Is the x-ray water possible (manipulating of refractive index) or what is the closest we got given our current technology? Is the gravity in the Nethersphere possible, where everything is pulled onto the inner rim of the sphere. It certainly can work if it's in a cylindrical shape (a centrifuge, and how the sensation of acceleration is indistinguishable from gravity), but for a sphere? We've all worked with touch-screen interface, but how about a hologram based interface? (Microsoft Kinect is one) Or a flat surface but with tactile feedback? (Which already exists btw, still need further development). 

And I'm sure there's many more concepts we can learn from that our favourite TV show takes inspiration from. 

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Sciencey Wiencey: Kill the Moon

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@Mark McCullough @Clara Who, The Apprentice @Mark McCullough @Clara Who, The Apprentice With regards to the making of assumptions, I gladly hold my hands up to admit I might have jumped the gun. But to be frank, your explanation kind of reinforces my point. 

It is no doubt that you're a high-scorer at the 'A' levels. And clearly, chemistry and medicine (I reckon human biology?) is your strongest suit. For that I'd love to read them with interests. But for the most parts, the level of understanding is only at 'A' levels (and a little beyond). 

Education at the adolescent age serves as the foundation building for the individual's development. One may emerge strongly from it, but it's only the beginning. Knowledge gained at this stage serves mostly as the starting blocks to more advanced knowledge that humanity has amassed over all these centuries. We started out with Newton's laws, that appropriately explain most things around us. But as we venture out, it soon became clear these equations break down at the scale of very big and very small. It became impossible to explain the finer things we observe with the simplest knowledge we started out with. Again with the analogy of conspiracy theories, trying to explain something beyond current understanding with inadequate and inappropriate explanations. 

I'm tempted to discuss a little into the imaginary number bit, but it'd be less than constructive in our discussion. I'm aware that I'm expressing some highly unpopular opinions here. For that I blame it on my ASD. But this is in the hope that subsequent articles in the series could become not just an entertaining read, but an accurate educational piece. 

Moving forward, for better articles in the future for the series, may I offer a suggestion. Crowdsource. Scour the comments/forums/reddits for plausible explanations with real science. Perhaps start a thread and invite contributions. Let the article be a compilation of ideas across the Whoternet instead, rather than an individual (or a small team) operating within limits. With your strong foundations you would have no problems sieving out the nonsensical from the rational. You'll then be the editor for the compilation.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Sciencey Wiencey: Kill the Moon

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@Mark McCullough @Clara Who, The Apprentice Hi Mark, always great to know writers like you take in feedbacks and engages them directly. I must first apologize for sounding disrespectful in my opening criticisms, but I must assure you that is not my intention. It's just that I've come across plenty of supposed experts in their respective fields bamboozling an unknowing general audience that anyone with better background knowledge could tell otherwise, that it really gets on my nerve when such misdirection potentially resulting in misperceptions occurs. In this instance, on hindsight, I perhaps have overreacted. 

Perhaps it's appropriate for me to share my version of understanding for two of the issues, which I restrict myself to real world science without resorting to the theoretical realm where strong evidence is yet lacking (eg tachyons, imaginary mass etc). 

Courtney floating in the base. Instead of saying "gravity shifted due to movement in the variable mass", it could instead be interpreted as an experience of weightlessness. Much like the "zero-gravity flights", what actually occurs isn't the subject floating in mid air, but that the frame in which the subject is in is accelerating at the same rate as the subject. What this means is the plane is in free-fall just like the passenger, but because he/she cannot see outside his/her frame, it's perceived as weightlessness. In the context of the episode, this could mean the ground below the base gave way and the building was momentarily in free-fall. 

However the biggest problem in the episode is that this occurs only to Courtney and the spider-germ but not to the objects or the people in the next room. Such highly localized effect is impossible given our current understanding.

The egg. It is entirely possible to explain it with reference to the biodiversity on our planet Earth, albeit with a few twists. It is clear that the moon-chick couldn't lay an egg with the shell bigger than itself, but it could easily lay just the egg without the shell out from its body. Even as a baby, a human female already has all the eggs stored in her body, with the ovulation coming in only after puberty. The shell on the other hand, could be built around the unprotected egg afterwards, much like a caterpillar building a cocoon around itself for protection. Given the size and spherical shape of the shell, the shell substance, possibly liquid but cools and hardens once outside the warmth of the body, should be secreted from the wings. 

The biggest problem behind the egg in the episode is the conservation of mass. The entire egg do not gain mass even as the embryo grows. The only plausible explanation is that the egg (or the fauna around it) has a mechanism to convert space materials into nutrients for the embryo. Venus flytrap is one plant which digests trapped insects as food for itself. Given that space debris is almost certainly inorganic, or at least non-carbon based, it can be assumed that the moon-chick do not have a carbon-based genetic makeup. 

Mark, from your explanations it is clear that science and maths isn't your thing, but writing clearly is your forte. Much like from my comments being clear as day, clear descriptions isn't my thing hence my refrain from attempting to explain sciency stuffs until now. 

And this is my biggest gripe, putting someone who isn't strong in a field onto a position which gives the impression of otherwise, misleading the wider audience to trust the half-accurate facts as genuine. It is the aftermath that I find unbearable, most certainly not the writing or the writer's efforts. 

PS. The c in E=mc^2 is in there not because it's the fastest speed out there, but because it's the one value that remains constant in the universe. It's also not arbitrarily chosen (as your phrasing seems to suggest) but because it keeps on appearing in the equations as Albert does his brain work. 

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Sciencey Wiencey: Kill the Moon

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I'd vote for the Boneless, but sadly they are monsters, not yet a villain. I'd then go for Half Face Man, but technically he's not entirely a villain in my books either. 

So Missy then. 

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Best of 2014 Awards #5: Best Villain

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@Alex HN @Clara Who, The Apprentice Sigh. There is a difference between "possible science" and "conspiracy theory science". Which sadly this article belongs to. 

It's pointless to try to rationalise this episode's flaws with real world science, because fundamentally it's written as a science fiction/fantasy and should be taken as so. Sadly this article is guilty of this problem, desperately trying to connect unexplainable things with real world concepts via pseudo-scientific explanations. And this is where conspiracy theories come from, explaining with incomplete and inappropriate theories. 

If however the article is meant to explain away the episodes' problems with typical Doctor Who stuffs, or at least recognizes itself as a non-academic exploration, that'd be perfectly fine. But to title it under the "sciency-wiency" series which previous articles did a tremendous job introducing hard science with Doctor Who plot, is doing the series a disservice. 

I disagree with your interpretation with the phrase "with respect to the writer". I've been an ardent follower of this site and is familiar with many of Mark's articles, many of which is brilliant, some of which invites debates. This is one of those with contents which I'd be inclined to disagree with, but that doesn't change my respect for him. 

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Sciencey Wiencey: Kill the Moon

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No, please stop. No more "next episode to discuss" if this is the going to be the quality of discussion for this topic. 

With respect to the writer, the level of physics discussed here is high school at best. Even so many of the connections made are clutching at straws at best. Even the supposed advanced maths explanations are laughable. Those are some middle-school equivalent level to the scientifically inclined. 

It does no credit to the excellent series of sciency-wiency exploration prior to this article. Like what they say about the Five(ish) Reboot or Wholock crossover, if it isn't good enough, don't bother making it. 

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Sciencey Wiencey: Kill the Moon

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@Sontaran17 And here lies the biggest problem I have with this article. People who didn't know better mistaking bad science as proper science. 

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Sciencey Wiencey: Kill the Moon

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This is an impossible list to choose from! I was initially going for Half-Face Man, then I see young Rupert Pink. Then Father Frost. And my heart is calling for my companion Rigsy too. Argh! 

Went for Remi Gooding aka Rupert Pink in the end. Given it's his first ever acting job, he did amazing. 

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Best of 2014 Awards #3: Male Guest Actor

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It's gotta be between Missy or Seb, they were the 2 given the most moments to shine and they certainly did! 

Missy for me, for she'd zap her competitors out anyway. (I'm saving Seb!)

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Best of 2014 #2: Recurring Actor

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Well Ten do have a vanity issue. 

Anyway I always felt that the line "I don't want to go" and all the mellow drama with the episode is more about RTD and Tennant leaving the show than Ten regenerating. Which also gives rationale to all the companions farewell, since they were RTD's companions and is unlikely to come back in Moffat's tenure. 

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Why I Hate the Tenth Doctor’s Regeneration

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There wouldn't be talks of Clara Who if not for Jenna's phenomenal performance. Nuff said. 

Also cause we've seen a massive improvement in Clara while Twelve is developing himself. Given the benefit of something to compare with, the advantage is with Jenna.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Best of 2014 Awards #1: Lead Actor

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Sorry to burst the bubbles of many, but I think Shona is only a one-off companion and is always intended to be so. 

Right from the off, the speculation about the new companion appearing in this episode only came about due to the uncertainty of Clara's fate. Hence we tend to read more things than there really is. Put it this way. If right from the start we're sure of Clara staying, we won't be looking at either Shona or Ashley as companion material. 

As for Shona's talk about hanging out, it's more of a characteristic of her non-existent social circle. Frankly, her Christmas day plan is all about passing the time alone. It's her desire for friendships which leads to her suggestions, not so much of hints of future travels in the TARDIS. Plus, the Doctor didn't really have much extra interaction with her than with the other guest stars. 

As for Dave, I've suggested in another thread that it's just a generic name, much like John Smith but for obvious reasons we can't use that. It's more of a message that it's the season to be jolly, plus the mini-theme of 2nd chances, so go on and forgive that guy you've upset about and mend your relationships. Especially when Shona is having a solitude day on Christmas. 

2 months ago on Last Christmas Review (Part 2): Questions, Questions

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@Notsosmartguy  @Clara Who, The Apprentice I think it kind of depends on how such relationships started. Some started as love at first sight, some started with best of friendships which then became inseparable. I'm sure we've heard of many married couples who said their best friend is also their true love. 

In many medium Jenna said that Danny is the best boyfriend Clara could ever have, "but he's not the Doctor." I think that kind of says something. 

2 months ago on 12 Great Moments From Last Christmas

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@Notsosmartguy I think it's just a generic name. That scene is more of a symbolism that it's the season to be jolly, so go forgive that someone whom you're angry with.

Also a mini-theme in the last few minutes is having a second chance. So go give that someone a second chance and forgive him. 

Moffat frequently likes to insert such messages in his christmas specials. In TimeOTD it's highlighted that everyone changes, that we're all different people at different parts of our life. In Snowmen it's about walking about of the dark depression at losing someone you love, and moving on to the next. 

2 months ago on 12 Great Moments From Last Christmas

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 "There were plenty of proposals. I turned them down."

"No one ever matched up to Danny eh?"

"There was one other man, but that would never have worked out. He was impossible." 

-----------------------------------

"So all of time and all of space, is sitting out there. A big blue box. Please. Don't even argue." 

*Reaches out hand*

That's a proposal!! 

That would explain nicely the heart shape shadow in the background too. 

While a young Clara Oswald developing a relationship with an old looking time lord would be inappropriate, I think by this time Clara has transcended past a mere mortal human being. And if my fantasy of Clara being the Magician's Apprentice holds any ground, Clara the Time Lady would be a perfect match. 

Sure they were best friends, but many strong relationships started out as being best of friends isn't it? 

2 months ago on 12 Great Moments From Last Christmas

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I'm the kind of person who goes for plot ingenuity. Christmas Carol is one of the first to really show the fluidity of rewriting time, changing the past with the present and the future all simultaneously. Last Christmas would be fantastic too, if not for a certain Mr Nolan. Also there's too many scenes scattered throughout which suggested a last minute rewrite, and the endless speculation of a new companion kept on throwing a one-off guest star into potential-companion category. 

So I'd have to go with Christmas Carol, despite how much Last Christmas featured my favourite star of the show of all time. 

2 months ago on Festive Face-Off: Last Christmas vs A Christmas Carol

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Come to think of it, Clara's fate is already spoiled in one of BBC's festive trailers, that kiss on the cheek. 

The moment the Doctor wakes up old Clara, I was reminded of the trailer, then I came to think it's another layer of the dream. The rest came as logical progression. 

2 months ago on Rate & Discuss Last Christmas

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@Antee991166  @Clara Who “Right now… Yeah. I think I do. “ Oh. You're right. Missed that. *slaps head*

2 months ago on Rate & Discuss Last Christmas

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Some days ago there was an article about the types of Christmas episodes and I shared 3 things in my ideal Christmas special. 

1) Snow

2) Milestone in character plot

3) Everybody lives. 

Last Christmas certainly made the cut! 

2 months ago on Rate & Discuss Last Christmas

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@Notsosmartguy Ahh yes I can sleep well now. Got me a lilttle worried there. 

2 months ago on Rate & Discuss Last Christmas

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Ok I'm sensing something romantic blooming between Clara and the Doctor now. 

"No one ever matched up to Danny eh?"

"There was one other man, but that would never have worked out."

"Why not?"

"He was impossible". 

And check out the scene when Clara kissed Doctor on the cheek, the image of a heart in the background (on my handle)

I'm not too sure about this honestly. Unless Clara became a time lord, that might work. That could somehow account the Magician's Apprentice too. 

2 months ago on Rate & Discuss Last Christmas

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One thing I'm a little disappointed. The opening music from the trailer was nowhere to be heard in the episode! 

2 months ago on Rate & Discuss Last Christmas

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Conspiracy theory! 

This episode could very well be originally written as a farewell to Jenna, and quite fitting (or not) for it to be in similar circumstances as Matt. That last waking up scene could easily be a last minute addition to the script. 

It was only very late on that it's decided Jenna will be staying, hence the last minute addition of final scene. In the Doctor Who World Tour earlier this year it's revealed Moffat missed out the initial stops because he had to write this episode, very possibly only after a meeting with the top brass. 

I'm speculating that it's BBC's top brass decision. Those which Eccleston didn't get along very well with. Given Clara's not too favourable feedback in S7b, it's easy to feel a change of companion is for the better. But after Jenna's stellar performance throughout S8, she can't possibly not stay! 

2 months ago on Rate & Discuss Last Christmas

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@supermoff I was thinking Santa could very well be Dream Lord regenerated. 

2 months ago on Rate & Discuss Last Christmas

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Conspiracy theory! 

This episode could very well be originally written as a farewell to Jenna, and quite fitting (or not) for it to be in similar circumstances as Matt. That last waking up scene could easily be a last minute addition to the script. 

It was only very late on that it's decided Jenna will be staying, hence the last minute addition of final scene. In the Doctor Who World Tour earlier this year it's revealed Moffat missed out the initial stops because he had to write this episode, very possibly only after a meeting with the top brass. 

I'm speculating that it's BBC's top brass decision. Those which Eccleston didn't get along very well with. Given Clara's not too favourable feedback in S7b, it's easy to feel a change of companion is for the better. But after Jenna's stellar performance throughout S8, she can't possibly not stay! 

2 months ago on Rate & Discuss Last Christmas

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Is it sad that nobody really mentioned Danny's surprise appearance in the episode? 

2 months ago on Rate & Discuss Last Christmas

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Although to think of it, the Mirror's stories kinda fits. The episode could very well end with a long farewell with old Clara, so very much like Eleventh. 

That last scene could very well be written at the very last minute given a change of heart of the relevant decision makers. 

2 months ago on Rate & Discuss Last Christmas

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Although this episode should credit Chris Nolan as co-writer, -ish. 

2 months ago on Rate & Discuss Last Christmas

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DAMN YOU STEVEN MOFFAT!!! FOR PLAYING WITH OUR HEARTS, TEARS AND DREAMS!!!! 

But thank you, THANK YOU NICK FROST for not taking Clara away from us!! 

2 months ago on Rate & Discuss Last Christmas

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@supermoff The One Word Test. One of my favourite moments in Who ever. Right up there with "All 13", Atraxi confrontation, Fear is a superpower speech. Yup that's how highly regarded this scene is to me. 

2 months ago on Festive Face-Off: The Snowmen vs The Time of the Doctor

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I just rewatched both episodes. And it just further reinforced my perception of them. Both are great, but Time only so in limited situations. You have to be in the right mood for it, and a non-Whovian would struggle to appreciate it. 

Snowmen on the other hand, you can watch it anytime, anywhere, anyone, and there'll still be something to recapture your imagination. When the Ponds left, I felt I'd had a hard time getting over them. But Victorian Clara stole my heart away immediately. Throughout S7B Clara Prime still couldn't replicate the impact V.Clara had, until S8 that is. 

2 months ago on Festive Face-Off: The Snowmen vs The Time of the Doctor

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@supermoff One of the best thing about the Snowmen, is that it's incredibly friendly to the casual viewer. You need not to be up to date with the latest Who to enjoy the episode. And that moment when the camera swerves through the door into the TARDIS is pure magic. Even the Whovian in me is enchanted. 

2 months ago on Festive Face-Off: The Snowmen vs The Time of the Doctor

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I could watch Snowmen every other day and still enjoy it thoroughly! It's also an incredibly good entry point for anyone new-to-who which could easily get them wanting for more. 

Funny conversation, check. 

Intelligent plot twists, check. 

Magical moments, check! 

Absolutely something for everyone. 

2 months ago on Festive Face-Off: The Snowmen vs The Time of the Doctor

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Pitting my no.1 and no.2 christmas specials with each other? That's just cruel.

2 months ago on Festive Face-Off: The Snowmen vs The Time of the Doctor

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Fantastic list! Well anything with the spotlight on Clara would be fantastic to be biased, but here's some additions to the impossible list to keep concise. 


Erasing "the Doctor" from Daleks' pathweb. 

Revelation of Oswin the Dalek. 

"How long can you hold your breath?'

"Oi you two SHUDDUP"

The entire Flatline, really. 

And my absolute favourite, The One Word Test. 

2 months ago on Top 10 Clara Oswald Moments… (So Far?)

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