Tag Archives: The Crimson Horror

Doctor Who – The Crimson Horror

5 May

I want to get one thing perfectly clear before I start.  I hadn’t been a Dr Who fan since the Jon Pertwee years when I was very young.  I hadn’t liked Tom Baker’s Doctor, then had nosed around Peter Davison’s version, and been mildly interested in Colin Baker’s.  The modern reboot hadn’t registered on my radar at all.  Until last night.

I discovered that the episode “The Crimson Horror” was written by Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss.  As a devout admirer of that man’s twisted mind, I felt that the episode would be worth watching.  It was.

I’m trying to write about it without spoiling it for anyone who hasn’t yet been fortunate to see it.  Try to imagining a Doctor Who episode collaborated on by Jules Verne, H P Lovecraft, Mary Shelley, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and you get “The Crimson Horror” – more or less.

It was weird.  It was dark. It was totally enchanting.  And we didn’t get to see the Doctor until it was almost half way through.  When I was a kid the Doctor tended to be front and centre from the opening credits.  This, oh this was so very, very different.

I’m going to have to spoil a tiny bit.  If you don’t want to know, look away now!  Thank you.  Right, everyone else huddle round.  Matt Smith does a brilliant impersonation of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Frankenstein’s monster.  Those who, like myself, weren’t fortunate enough to see him on stage, watch the Sherlock episode “A Scandal in Belgravia”.  Matt Smith lurches up a corridor EXACTLY as Benedict lurched around Sherlock’s bedroom.

Speaking of Matt Smith, the Doctor has well and truly changed from the early days.  He’s running around, admiring the female form and smooching women!  When did the Doctor discover sex?  He was always such an asexual being.

I’m quite taken with Matt Smith’s Doctor.  He has all the eccentricity that I loved about Jon Pertwee’s Doctor, combined with the hyperactive energy of Tigger on anabolic steroids!

The last thing I expect from Doctor Who is to fall off my chair laughing.  But Mark Gatiss managed to do that to me last night.  There is a small boy giving directions.  I thought “He sounds like a GPS”.  Then the boy’s name was given as Thomas Thomas.  Tom Tom being a best selling brand of GPS units.  That was the point I landed on the floor in an untidy heap laughing hysterically.

Dame Diana Rigg turned in a wonderful performance as the villain.  She was such a joy to watch.

Mark Gatiss’ wonderful script has catapulted me straight back into Dr Who fandom.  Mr Gatiss is a Dr Who pusher…enabling my addiction once again.

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