Well it looks like spring has pretty much set in here. The days are nice and things have dried up enough to actually be outside. The sunshine wraps around you like a warm blanket, and the weekend travelling has begun. Not time travelling, unfortunately. It seems it will take me a few days to get to watch each new Doctor Who episode. I’ll get there, though, so don’t give up on me.
As usual, spoiler alert from here on in. Watch the episode first.
The Crimson Horror started out with a nice twist. The photo of the eye was enough to peak my interest right away. I’d been expecting to see a villain in the reflection – maybe a Dalek or Cyberman or really anything we’d seen before.
Once we’d seen Vastra I was just waiting to see Strax, and didn’t have to wait long. I don’t know why I like Strax so much, but he entertains me every time.
So the beginning of the episode has the makings of something very interesting. I had my suspicions about the “monster” behind the locked door, but then dismissed them because “What about Clara?” sprang to mind. When Jenny opened the door, though, I wasn’t all that surprised to see our old friend standing there. Especially since we were about 1/3rd of the way into the episode before seeing him.
Going behind a door and then “poof” he’s-okay-again bothered me a little. It’s like they’re using the sonic screwdriver as a magic wand again. Grrrrrr…
So then we’re in flashback mode, so the Victorian crew still hasn’t seen Clara. But we do need to know how the Doctor got where he was, so it must be done. Anyone notice the name given? Doctor and Mrs. Smith? Hee-hee. Anyway, so we saw what happened to the Doctor and lost sight of Clara in the lineup. If she died, of course we know she may not be dead, or we may see her again, or whatever happens, happens.
Back to Strax. Before he can execute his horse a helpful little boy gives him directions. Anyone else think that little boy was way creepy? I mean, a GPS in a boy’s body is bad enough, but the flat voice gave me the shivers. I’m sure he was just meant to be a helpful kid, but I just didn’t see it that way.
Best line of the episode for me had to be “Oh, great, attack of the supermodels”. Even Jenny couldn’t take them out, so Strax to the rescue! He looked like a giddy child playing with his toy, and it was fantastic. He even sulked like one when he was sent outside. I also got a great laugh at the Doctor’s rather… pointed… reaction to Jenny’s cat suit. It was just subtle enough that most kids wouldn’t quite get it.
I noticed that once Clara was finally awake the dynamic between here and the Doctor was more like a couple than the usual companion dynamic (Mr. and Mrs. Smith?). It felt like there was more kissing/touching than normal. But the Doctor also kissed Jenny, so maybe I’m blowing it out of proportion. I didn’t get the reaction I’d expected from the Victorian crew, and I’m not sure how I feel about that.
So we come to the confrontation scene with Mrs. Gillyflower. Surprise, surprise, Mr. Sweet is a parasite. This isn’t new to the franchise at all. I was hoping for something a little grander but this works. Really, it’s an enemy and a crazy lady, and that’s good enough for me. It was also nice to see Clara take the initiative with the chair, and the writers to give a nod to it not being the sonic screwdriver this time.
When the rocket actually went off, I could only assume that Vastra and Jenny managed to do their part of the plan by getting rid of the venom, and right on time there they were. The ending felt a little rushed. Not much, but a little. The pacing of the rest of the episode was good though.
I’d kind of forgotten about Clara returning to the house to be the nanny to the children, so was a little surprised for a moment at the end of the episode when she walked in. Then I remembered, of course. I’m surprised that the kids found only the one photo from her future/past other life (London) and no more, as you’d expect that if all of them were there you’d find a ton of photos. Unless… Well, draw your own conclusions. Either way, that was the way to bring the kids into at least one episode.
This episode was intended to be filler, but it’s a really solid story. It really doesn’t have any ties to the grander story, but it felt like a really good episode. It had all the things I’d expect from a good Doctor Who episode, and I enjoyed it. Really, I’ve been enjoying the second half of this entire season quite a bit more than anticipated.
“The Crimson Horror” was the 100th episode since the show returned to television in 2005.
As usual, I’d love to hear your opinions, so feel free to leave comments.