|Northern England in the Victorian era, monsters, lizards, Sontarans, lame GPS jokes and latched-on kidlet drama all made “The Crimson Horror” a roller coaster ride of emotion for the Three Who Rule. But was it a ride full of thrills and chills or merely a routine trundle through well-worn paths of dramaturgy? Were endless stats enough to send Warren into a fit of apoplectic rage? Do nerds get angry about any and all news about the 50th anniversary special? All these questions will be answered in this exciting episode of Radio Free Skaro! Except the nerdrage, that’s one of life’s eternal mysteries.|
– The Crimson…Horror!
Great to note so much praise around for Mark Gatiss’ contribution to the series this year.I’m thorougly impressed by the standard of his writing since it was shared with numerous theatrical commitments as well as his Sherlock responsibilities.I liked this story especially because it contained so many tributes to his formative influences,considering Brian Clemens admitted recently he watches current Doctor Who,i hope he derived some pleasure from it.I find the criticism of Strax as a comedic interpretation of the Sontaran concept to be quite exacerbated since they were introduced with a lot of humourous effect in their first story too.Still excited about Diana Rigg and Rachael Stirling appearing in Doctor Who,convinced Mr.Sweets very big eyes were much wider because of where he was discreetly situated in the story.
This didn’t work for me. I suspect it was inevitable that there’d be a few episodes of the new series 7 that I just wouldn’t care for but it’s unfortunate that two of them (still only three in total, and, yes, ‘The Power of Three’ is still the series’ low point) aired one after the other.
It’s a second part of a two parter, hence the flashback, no, strike that, it’s two halves of two separate episodes of a two part story stuck together, and it’s played half as serious horror and half as slapstick comedy. The jokes are middling to bad with some recycled from last time we had this same cast just a few episodes ago, and the horror elements are often underplayed and overacted. It doesn’t become a Doctor-light darkly comedic horror but a mishmash of absurd laughs and pantomime horror. And let’s not have the Doctor sexually assault companions like when he kisses Jenny followed by a visual gag about erections (yes it is).
It’s possible to marry the different aspects into a cohesive whole, ‘Talons of Weng Chiang’ springs to mind, but I doubt Gatiss can do it and it’d be a challenge for anyone to do in a 45 minute episode.
Is the creepy monster a stupid parasite or hyper intelligent? They apparently construct a Victorian space rocket, a bit too ‘Next Doctor’, while the little red creep is supposedly the last of its kind evolved from leeches over the past 65 million years? So it’s a third intelligent species to have evolved on Earth. It didn’t seem as if the creatures were that smart back in Vastra’s day so did they evolve into super smart things after the extinction of the dinosaurs? That means there were plenty of the little buggers around for millions of years after the dinosaurs went extinct, slowly evolving, making me wonder how Vastra would have any real idea of what it is. There is all of the universe to play with but it couldn’t just be an alien, it had to be a massive convenient coincidence where it’s some menace that a friendly Silurian friend of the Doctor’s can be around to offer insights about.
A lot of the ideas presented are genuinely exciting, making the unfortunate end result ever so much more unfortunate. The Doctor as Frankenstein’s monster kept in the spare room by the daughter who feels genuine compassion for her “monster” is wonderful, as is Jenny’s detective work, and the Victoriana. Then there is the people in giant bell jars, a victorian kid talking like and being named for an already outmoded modern gadget, a fellow fainting over and over again as well as the genreal flattening into absolute stereotypes of popular recurring characters.
I hope my enjoyment of the episode will grow on repeated viewing.
The idea of Gatiss as a potential successor as show runner makes me nervous. Kids apparently starring in next week’s episode fills me with trepidation. It was going so well there for a while.
Tegan 4 life.
At first I didn’t like CH and then I did.
Really liked it!! Liked the ending, the tone, the story…everything. Well done, and more please.
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