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parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXIII(7)B.6: The Crimson Horror

May 4th, 2013 (09:04 pm)

Back on News Page Reviews duty...

Edited to add..A couple of things I did notice, but forgot to include in the review:

The near-petrified Doctor was incarcerated much like Control was in Ghost Light, and fed in the same way, but was not given a Times to read, still less a Bradford Daily Telegraph or Evening Argus.

Mrs Gillyflower's congregation sing to Parry's Jerusalem, but that wasn't composed until 1916...

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/598350.html.


Posted by: Lady Summerisle (strange_complex)
Posted at: May 4th, 2013 08:41 pm (UTC)

An excellent review, which I really enjoyed reading. You have brought out the full resonances of the plot for its northern industrial setting very nicely.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 4th, 2013 08:45 pm (UTC)

Thank you!

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: May 4th, 2013 11:30 pm (UTC)
Eleventh Doctor

I'll refrain from saying much before my own review. Picking up on a few of your points:

The near-petrified Doctor was incarcerated much like Control was in Ghost Light

I thought that too, while the incidental music seemed Ghost Lightey at times. Your reference to Francis Galton reminds me that Galton was Darwin's cousin, which may be relevant in this context...

I had no idea RTD was critical of Time-Flight's failure to build on Earthshock. It seems rather hypocritical, given his own loose take on emotional continuity (e.g. the events of The Doctor's Daughter being written to let the Doctor undergo character growth, but actually being forgotten as soon the closing credits rolled).

Reference-wise, "[T]he repulsive story of the red leech" is an 'untold' Sherlock Holmes story. I'm beginning to get a bit tired of the way Moffat and Gatiss throw these in all the time now. Yes, we know you write Sherlock! We like both series, but please tell us one story at a time!

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 4th, 2013 11:41 pm (UTC)

I don't know the sage of Baker Street well enough, as you know, to have spotted that point. To have the mind of Mark Gatiss...

I don't think it is hypocritical of RTD, but that's another matter and not for the present moment!

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: May 5th, 2013 12:19 am (UTC)
Eleventh Doctor

The Mind of Mark Gatiss sounds like the kind of cod-Hammer horror film of which Mr Gatiss would approve. Particularly if it parallels The Brain of Morbius:

MIND OF MARK GATISS IN A JAR: I am still here. You have locked me in for all eternity! Can you understand even a thousandth of my agony? I, Mark Gatiss, who once wrote The League of Gentlemen and appeared in every other Big Finish audio! Reduced to this: a state where I envy a vegetable!!!

PROFESSOR MOFFAT: Quiet, you chicken-brained biological disaster! We need a second draft of your next Sherlock episode by tomorrow.

MIND OF MARK GATISS IN A JAR: Oh, alright then. Set up the genuine vintage Edwardian typewriter and stick the telekinetic adaptor onto my bell jar...

This is probably a sign that I should go to bed now...

Posted by: Simon Bradshaw (major_clanger)
Posted at: May 5th, 2013 09:35 am (UTC)

Dear BBC: Commission the above NOW.

Edited at 2013-05-05 09:35 am (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 5th, 2013 11:22 am (UTC)

major_clanger is right. It's all very plausible. I can imagine Mark Gatiss writing this way anyway, using forgotten but effective Victorian science.

Posted by: Matthew (emperor)
Posted at: May 5th, 2013 03:10 pm (UTC)

You, sir, Win the Internet.

Posted by: Matthew (emperor)
Posted at: May 5th, 2013 03:14 pm (UTC)

Thanks for this. I think I agree that it was trying to be a bit too clever at times. Tom-tom, particularly, grated - you could have made the joke just as well with him given the directions more like a real person would have, for instance. And Strax is a little too comic-relief for my liking. All that said, I think this was one of the better efforts of what has been a rather patchy second-half-of-season, and the pacing wasn't too horrible.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 6th, 2013 06:28 pm (UTC)

The Tom-Tom joke belonged more in The Phantom Raspberry-Blower of Old London Town or similar, though that vein of sketch was definitely an influence on the whole too.

Posted by: skordh (skordh)
Posted at: May 13th, 2013 08:20 pm (UTC)

Thanks - I really enjoyed the review (and the episode). Saltaire featured prominently in my Geography GCSE so was certainly my first thought as a parallel - I think Bradford was specifically mentioned by Mrs G in her lecture?

I thought the plot was very reminiscent of the James Bond film (not the book) Moonraker: crazy industrialist tries to wipe out humanity while preserving perfect physical specimens, but is defeated with the help of a lieutenant when it's revealed they would be eliminated along with the rest of the 'unworthy'.

But as they say, 'tropes are not bad'!

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 13th, 2013 09:39 pm (UTC)

"Cliches are cliches because they work!" as Terrance Dicks once said.

I'm glad you liked this one and the review. I've not read Moonraker, but I'm sure Mark Gatiss has. Bradford was indeed mentioned by Mrs Gillyflower in her lecture, in words which owed a lot to the propaganda surrounding the building of Saltaire. I thought of Bournville first because of the 'Sweet-' element, but it became very clear while watching it that I should have looked for an antonym (or near enough) rather than an association!