Doctor WhoTV

Doctor Who – 2013 Season: The Crimson Horror by Mark Gatiss.

Doctor Who: 2013 Season

observations by: GF Willmetts

As with the SFCrowsnest Forum in recent years and this time there and here on the, my comments on the latest season of ‘Doctor Who’. These will mostly be impressions – here’s my Doctor one, still ‘Geronimo!’ – rather than intentional plot spoilers. If you’re living in a country that hasn’t seen these episodes yet, read with caution but I’m not going to give too much away. If you can watch it first, that’s even better.

Doctor Who – 2013 Season: The Crimson Horror by Mark Gatiss – 04 May 2013.

The return of the Siliurian Vastra (actress Neve Mcintosh), her human female wife Jenny Flint (actress Catrin Stewart) and bodyguard/chauffeur Sontaran Strax (actor Dan Starkey) is something that I was waiting for and not disappointed. Not too sure about humans fainting when they see Vastra and Strax though, because that becomes as much over-used as the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver.  However, they really do need a series of their own to flourish because they essentially carried this episode until the Doctor appeared. Imagine what would happen if they took over Torchwood as it surely must have existed in 1893!

Doctor Who - 2013 Season: The Crimson Horror by Mark Gatiss.
Doctor Who – 2013 Season: The Crimson Horror by Mark Gatiss.

As to the main gist of the plot where Mrs. Gillyflower arranges for people to enter her factory and turned into dummies, this has too much in common with ‘Carry On Screaming’. How many of you were prepared to cry out, ‘Frying tonight’?

Considering the toxicity of the leech venom, I’m surprised that the Doctor hadn’t absorbed enough to regenerate.

Tonight’s reference to the past is to Tegan Jovanka and never getting her to London Airport. Biggest disappointment is returning Clara back to her own time and job. Doesn’t this go against the Doctor wanting to find out who or what she is? Having companions safe after an adventure sorta removes the danger issue although it looks like it’s a set-up for the next story. Speaking of which, there is far too much reveal of the next story.

There are some good points to this story. Diana Rigg as Mrs. Gillyflower and her daughter as a part and real life, Ada played by Rachel Sterling weren’t short-changed with dialogue or action. It’s a shame that more wasn’t done to explain their purpose other than to conquer the world. Judging by the number of extras and scenes used, I can’t help wondering if short-changing the earlier stories allowed more to be spent here.

This story might not be perfect but is actually probably the best of the bunch so far.

GF Willmetts

May 2013


Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

2 thoughts on “Doctor Who – 2013 Season: The Crimson Horror by Mark Gatiss.

  • I quite enjoyed this episode. Perhaps because the Doctor didn’t show up for the first third! I think a series of four short episodes with Vastra, Jenny and Drax would be enough of a spin-off. The characters work because we don’t see them too often, look what happened to River Song.

    Rachel Sterling played a blinder if you’ll pardon the bad joke. I thought she might have been the weak link in the episode but her rant against her on- and off-screen mother was great.

    Not too sure about kiddies in the TARDIS for next week, it’s a bit ‘Sarah Jane Adventures’. Nothing wrong with that show but I’d expect the tension to be ramped up with only two episodes to go. Unless something really tragic happens in this episode…

  • Hello Aidan

    Matt Smith is playing the Doctor a little airy-fairy but that could be the fault of the material.

    As to the Victorian trio. It depends on what kind of story they’re given. As they’re the SF ingredient, it would make sense if they had a more down-to-earth crime to sort out that was beyond the police.

    Re: Rachel Sterling. I kept thinking they should revive ‘The Avengers’ and have her playing Emma Peel’s daughter.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.