Review: Doctor Who: The Crimson Horror


The Crimson Horror was written by Mark Gatiss and stars Matt Smith as the Doctor, Jenna-Louise Coleman as Clara, Diana Rigg as Mrs. Gillyflower, Rachael Stirling as Ada, Catin Stewart as Jenny, Neve McIntosh as Madame Vastra, and Dan Starkey as Strax.

From the BBC Website:

Something ghastly is afoot in Victorian Yorkshire, as bodies are found with their skin a waxy, glowing red.

Don’t get me wrong Madame Vastra, Jenny, and Strax are always funny together, but there are times the humor goes too far, the prime example in this episode is the Thomas Thomas bit with Strax.  It was purely in the episode for comedy, it did not progress the story and stood out so harshly against everything else it almost hurt.



Humor is a good thing, and necessary in any story that deals with death and destruction on the scale that Doctor Who so often does.  Also, I realize Doctor Who is a family program and some things are specifically in the show to appeal to small children.  Unfortunately many people seem to think that only the most outrageous and absurd appeal to small children.  It has been my limit experience that most small children are far more intelligent and observant than most adults give them credit for.


All that said I found this episode on the whole much more enjoyable than the previous outing for the Victorian Comedy Trio.  I think a good chunk of that was the outstanding performance by Diana Rigg, she did an excellent job portraying the completely off her rocker Mrs. Gillyflower.  Rachel Stirling also gives a wonderful performance as Ada.


I liked the idea of the empty factory with a few giant victrolas playing factory sounds.  It was also a nice touch having the Doctor’s flashback done in the grainy jumpy old film style.


But on the downside the Sonic Screwdriver now apparently has a new setting.  It can now supposedly act as an anti-venom/de-plasticizer, yeah I know it’s more like a magic wand every episode.  On the upside we get a Steam Punk inspired missile loaded with pre-historic leech venom.


All in all not a bad episode, but I think it would have been better without some of the pointless humor like the Thomas Thomas bit and the guy that hired Madame Vastra fainting every time he turned around.  If you want to do that kind of stuff and that’s what you think little kids really want to see then give Madame Vastra, Jenny, and Strax their own spinoff series and keep it there.

Check out our “The Crimson Horror” photo album.

For those of you like me missing Doctor Who Confidential, here is a short behind the scenes clip from the BBC.

This week’s episode is “Nightmare in Silver”.  Written by Neil Gaiman, and features my favorite bad guys, the Cybermen.  I’m looking forward to it!