Well, here we are, sitting on the brink starring at Doctor Who‘s Season 7B finale. A rather big finale at that, where all sorts of wild things are promised: The Doctor’s name, the truth of the “impossible girl”, the Fall of the Eleventh. (OOOoooOOOooohhh.) And, how did we get here? Let’s go back, two weeks back in fact because if you’ve been paying attention you’ll have noticed last week’s episode, “The Crimson Horror” wasn’t reviewed. My bad. To get us all back on track, Nerd Bastards proudly presents, a mini-review.
Welcome to Sweetville. And, what was probably the weirdest episode this season since “The Rings of Akhatan”, and unfortunately, the weakest. Actually, that may be unfair because even after all this time I’m not sure what to think of “The Crimson Horror.” It began like one of those episodes where The Doctor wasn’t in it except as a peripheral character with Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh), Jenny (Catrin Stewart), and Strax (Dan Starkey) taking the lead. But that isn’t what this episode ended up being at all, and maybe if it had things would have worked better. Once The Doctor is back in action Vastra and Strax are basically sidelined and used entirely as comic relief. Though the episode was genuinely funny, on a second viewing a good chunk of the comedy falls flat. Jenny’s the only one of the trio given some time to shine, but even she’s eventually rendered useless.
The premise is weird, no getting around that. Mrs. Gillyflower (Dame Diana Rigg) finds a prehistoric parasite, Mr. Sweet – now a good front runner for creepiest, grossest Who villain – and by using his “necter” creates a toxic disease that’ll both preserve her chosen people for the second coming and wipe out the rest of the planet. What saves this episode are the pretty fantastic performances, especially from Rigg and her actual daughter, Rachael Stirling, who also plays her daughter. Rigg relishes the role of the absolutely mad Gillyflower, and Stirling gets a good bit of range, too, flipping from sweet, downtrodden Ada to going completely postal on her mother and Mr. Sweet. Y’know, turns out this is a great episode for Mother’s Day, even if it’s highlighting the worst kind of mother.
Plans are foiled and the day is saved, but I felt the real reveal of this episode would be The Doctor admitting something to Vastra, Jenny, and Strax about Clara. I mean, otherwise, what was the point of visiting Yorkshire in this period? Especially once they turned up and all kept asking how Clara was alive. So that was a bit of a let down and a wasted opportunity. What we are given is an ending that wonderfully sets things up for where they go next, a family holidy – The Doctor, Clara, and the kids off to visit the amusement park planet, Hedgewick’s World, in “Nightmare in Silver.”
Only yesterday we were sharing a collection of set pics from the brilliant Ryan Farrell, who’s been all over the Doctor Who set gathering intel for internets. Today’s there’s a bit more to share about episode nine of season seven titled, “The Crimson Horror.”
Guess what? Plenty more spoilers here. Avoid if need be.
First we’ve got video of the Doctor (Matt Smith) and Jenny (Catrin Stewart), yes she is indeed reprising that same role, searching for his missing companion, Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman).
What can me made out of the dialogue is Jenny telling the Doctor, Clara is dead and that Mrs. Gillyflower (Dame Diana Rigg), the “ice lady” was responsible. The Doctor responds with saying it isn’t that simple and the “the process is reversible.” We’re also assuming this has something to do with the creepy factory in town, run by Mrs. Gillyflower, which we’ve just learned is a matches factory bearing the sign, “Brightwell and Hyman – Quality Matches.”
Hmm, what is writer Mark Gatiss planning?
Our second video shows the Doctor and Clara talking to, or maybe interrogating, Brendan Patricks‘ character, Edmund.
All right, so much of this has been confirmation of what we told you yesterday, here’s the newest and most spoilery bit. Look who’s back,
Ah-ha! Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh) is returning, along with Jenny, and could very well be seen hookin’ up with Clara as the rumors suggest. Sure, she denied it in an earlier interview but she also denied her return to the show and look! She’s right there! Liar, liar, pants on fire…
And she isn’t the only returning alien. Does this guy look familiar?
It’s Dan Starkey, reprising his role as the Sontaran Strax, last seen as a nurse now it seems a butler.
There’s a lot of bits here to piece together, and if even if we did I’m sure we’d be completely wrong, but what do you think “The Crimson Horror” will be all about? And how about the return of Madama Vastra and Jenny?
Thanks again to Ryan Farell for doing the work of 10 Whovians, great job!
Another day, another Doctor Who set report. Currently the show is filming the second half of the seventh season, where we meet the Doctor’s newest companion, Clara, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman. Episode nine is where these set pics come from (courtesy of Ryan Farrel via SFX, Den of Geek, Doctor Who TV), an episode rumored to called, “The Crimson Horror,” written by Mark Gatiss.
What follows contains spoilers, proceed with caution.
Joining Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise are Dame Diana Rigg, Brendan Patricks, and Catrin Stewart. Stewart previously played Jenny, Madame Vastra’s lover, in “A Good Man Goes to War,” which seems to lend some credence to an earlier rumor. Assuming, of course, she’s reprising the same character.
We can see from the photos that the episode looks to be set in a 19th-century village and it’s where Rigg’s character, Mrs Gillyflower, also known as the “ice lady” is involved in some nefarious activity. Apparently it’s something to do with people taken to her factory where they undergo some kind of “process.” Sounds a little Cyberman-ish to me.
Doctor Who TV is also reporting this line comes from the episode, “There is something very odd about that factory—nobody who goes in seems to come back out. And there’s never any smoke.”
Hmm, maybe it’s not Cybermen but clearly something unusual is happening at that factory, and the Doctor and his companions will be in the thick of it. Check out the photos and let us know what you think. For instance, is that a new outfit for the Doctor he’s seen sportin’?