Saturday, 4 May 2013

Skaro's Spoiler Review - Doctor Who: The Crimson Horror

"The Crimson 'orror", you might say? Well it certainly was Crimson, very Northern and a horror. Coined the Doctor-lite episode of the series, which isn't slightly true... He just takes a long time to show up in the episode, that's all. I suppose you could say that's my "payment in advance" on the episode.

We start off with a undercover Jenny Flint, sent by the rest of the Paternoster Gang and Mr Thursday, who needs to find out about the "mysterious Crimson Horror". Until about a third of the episode, we see no Doctor, no Clara, just a lot of Northern scenary, Ada, Mrs Gillyflower and Sweetville, which for a 45 minute episode is a lot of time without the centre characters, however some may argue that the Paternoster Gang are the centre characters in this episode, which is a great change to the regular format.

The storyline revolves around the works of Mrs Gillyflower and her "silent partner" Mr Sweet, who are taking the people of Bradford into Sweetville, to recruit "only the brightest and the best" and store them "like pretty maids", to create the perfect race of humans, with the help of Mr Sweet, which itself is quite a brilliant concept, thought up in the mind of genius writer, Mark Gatiss, who in my opinion has produced possibly the best of the series, but certainly the best I've ever seen him write.

Almost every character gets a good bit of background story, some more than others though, such as the Rachael Stirling. Stirling helped build an emotion connection to the audience with her feelings for the "monster", who is later revealed to be The Doctor. I must admit, I would have liked to have seen more padding out on the characters of Mrs Gillyflower and the origin of Mr Sweet.

The directing on this episode was amazing, with such wonderful tracking shots and use of grey and green colours that made it feel very much like Yorkshire, I'd like to say it is possibly one of the best episodes I have seen directed since the New Series began, well done Saul Metzstein, I can now wait with glee for the finale!

For an episode that features very little Doctor and Clara, I felt like they were included in the story as much as needed, providing the backbone on the argument that sometimes the Doctor isn't needed to help a story move onto its next scene, that already established characters can do the same, such as Jenny, or the rest of the Pasternoster Gang. Though overall the acting was brilliant, I wanted to go and sidetrack and congratulate Michelle Tate, who played Abigail in this episode - fantastic fainting, I'm sure I could think of ways to bring her back into Doctor Who.

Overall, I'd give this episode a 10/10, the best I have given any this series so far...but I have a feeling Nightmare in Silver may also achieve this rating! Obviously people will disagree with me, Mr Controversial... what are your thoughts on The Crimson Horror?


Ann Rtist said...

Lovely review, and I have to totally agree with you. I simply adored this episode.

gbollard said...

Great episode and once again something that proves that Doctor Who is often at its best when the Doctor isn't the central character...

Brian McBehrer said...

Ada was fantastic once she grew a pair (metaphorically, of course) and started yelling at/beating the shit out of Gillyflower. Speaking of which, Gillyflower was a great villain as well;she was insane, but aware of it.

This whole episode was great. Obviously they just put all the good episodes at the end of the series. Can't wait for the rest!