Saturday, May 11, 2013

Doctor Who Scares Our Pants Off... but all in good fun.

Oh man. I had mixed feelings about the earlier episodes of this year, but the season is coming to a close with a bang. Not a literal bang like Season 5, but still a climax of good stuff.

Spoilers follow for "The Crimson Horror" and "Nightmare in Silver."

Mark Gatiss may not write my absolute favorite episodes, but he writes really good ones and "The Crimson Horror" was no exception. Sure you could poke loopholes in it, but it was (imho) work glossing over a few things in order to take the time with the things the episode did well.

First let's talk about the awesome homage to the Victorian penny dreadful. Gothic, outrageous, dramatic, damsels in distress, monsters, and fainting... only thing missing was highway robbery! The episode did a great job with it, starting with the title, the 'image captured in the eye' and the awesome early film style flashback to explain the Doctor and Clara's adventures. 

And can we cheer for more of the Paternoster gang? While Madam Vastra and Strax were in fine form, this was really Jenny's episode to shine, and shine she did! Even got herself a kiss from the Doctor! Which she didn't appreciate... that's a first!

Matt Smith deserves major kudos for his acting abilities here. You could have knocked me over with a feather when it was revealed that he was Ada's monster, and he was barely able to move or talk. Poor Doctor. Of course, a few minutes with the sonic screwdriver and a high tech chamber and he was right as rain.

Which... let's be honest. The Sonic Screwdriver has become the magical wand of fixing everything. It doesn't always work perfectly, but it sure is being a lot more powerful than it used to be. More episodes without it would be intriguing at this point.

Back to the good, or should I say best part of the episode? Ada. Oh man. At first I thought she was going to be annoying, but then she turned out to have so much depth and strength and if we don't get to see her again on the show I'm going to be majorly disappointed. My hope? The Paternoster gang gets a spin-off show and Ada is a regular.

Of course that will only happen if Doctor Who's ratings go back up. They've been falling rather drastically. So please, if you can, watch it via a legal method so that your viewings are counted! BBC, BBCA, itunes, iplayer, amazon... help us out so we can get more awesome!

Speaking of awesome...

Last season I liked "The Doctor's Wife" but was slightly underwhelmed by it. And I say that because I adore Neil Gaiman and know how much brilliance he's capable of. This time away he met every expectation. What I thought was going to be a parody of Willy Wonka became something clever, frightening, and fantastic. Watching Matt Smith play an evil version of himself, watching Clara in charge, and seeing the brilliant Warwick Davis take on a serious and noble role... ah, I'm happy! The cybermen were still not the scariest Who villain ever, but they were quite a bit more formidable than they've been. I do rather wish this had been a two-parter, as I think it could have worked in an expanded form. I did like the whole use of the chess game, and that the Doctor saved the day by being clever without relying on the sonic screwdriver. 

And the end! When Porridge proposed to Clara! That was so adorable. And it was funny because earlier in the episode I'd been thinking "I wish that Clara could have a bit of a love thing with someone other than the Doctor."

I love it when the Doctor is grandfatherly to Clara. But I can't deny there's a flirting there. He is definitely noticing her 'ahem' curves. And the Cyberplanner told Clara what was floating in the Doctor's mind, even if those were thoughts the Doctor didn't want to have and would never have revealed.

Although something else that the Cyberplanner said struck me as interesting. He called Clara the "flesh girl." Which could just refer to her being human, but... one theory out there is that she is made of flesh. Which, yes, the Doctor should have found this out, but maybe it's an upgraded form of the Flesh? He also used the phrase "wakey-wakey" which those of us watching immediately associated with Madam Kovarian. So. Hmm. Food for thought.

Well, it's the finale next week. I'm not entirely sure what to expect... but I can't wait!


storylover said...

Oh, thank goodness! I thought I was the only person who liked this one better than "The Doctor's Wife". It's got so many ideas, and Matt Smith's acting was just chilling, and I loved Clara's marriage proposal scene and...this is reaching Series 5 levels of ecstatic joy for me.

Andy Hauge said...

I thought it was a fantastic Gaiman-style episode, though personally I still adore "The Doctor's Wife". Porridge, though...what a classic Gaiman character! He was superb!!

(Also, Jenny's not the first one to not appreciate a Doctor kiss; I don't think Brian or Rory necessarily fancied theirs. ;-) )