Sunday, 5 May 2013

Initial Musings - The Crimson 'Orror

Enough to give you a case of the oopizootics that was. I thoroughly enjoyed last night's episode, sharing much of Mr. Gatiss' love of horror films, Victorian Gothic and his sense of humour.
Influences included the 1931 Universal Frankenstein (the Doctor / Monster), Gatiss' Lucifer Box novels (particularly The Vesuvius Club), The Blood Beast Terror (I'm thinking of Roy Hudd's mortuary attendant) and the episode of The X-Files titled "Humbug" (the symbiont).
A visual reference was the opening of the film Moulin Rouge (the Ewan McGregor one rather than the Jose Ferrer one) in the flashback section.
Diana Rigg and Rachael Stirling were both superb. Of the Paternoster Gang, it was very much Catrin Stewart's Jenny who got to shine - though there were some nice Strax moments. I love the way that every situation can be resolved by three bizarre sounding weapons, as far as he is concerned.
There seems to be some experimentation with story structure this season - the ending of Hide basically saying you know what happens next, so we don't really have to show you.
This week, we had the rather shocking first appearance from the Doctor, around 15 minutes in, and the resulting prolonged flashback sequence.
The story will be remembered for the amount of dark and twisted humour (this could easily have been made by The League of Gentlemen).
I particularly loved the Tom Tom joke, but you also had the sonic gag and the ever fainting Mr Thursday.
Not the sort of story you could do too often, but once in a while such episodes are fine with me.
The whole episode was bizarre and fantastical - but the only really unbelievable moment for me was how the kids happened to get the photographs of Clara (two versions). Did they hack into some police facial recognition software?
Talking of smart alec kids, I'm naturally ill at ease with their inclusion in next week's tale.

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