The Lazarus Experiment

* I bet there’s a shit-tonne of fan-fic set during the pre-titles, in the gap between the TARDIS leaving Martha’s bedroom and coming back. The Doctor was being a bit of an arse in his intention to leave her behind, as she’s clearly brilliant. Plus, she’s already been through so much more than Rose had by the time of her first trip back home. No wonder she gave her mum a massive hug, although I couldn’t help noting that she didn’t do the same to her sister or brother. Awks.

* I could have sworn that Gatiss wrote this one as well as starring in it, so my apologies to Stephen Greenhorn for forgetting you existed at some point in the last decade. I always enjoy it when actors are clearly having a whale of time just being in Doctor Who, and Gatiss has blatantly being practicing for this his entire life. He’s as good as you’d expect if you’d seen any of the dozens of other creepy fuckers he’s played over the years. I noted with interest that Lazarus once lived above a butcher’s shop. Did it sell special stuff?

* Always an absolute treat to see Mavis Wilton on the telly, although sadly she wasn’t in it for very long. I would have loved to have seen a version where she survived and stuck by her man, acting as a second villain, maybe even controlling the monster and using him as a weapon. It wasn’t to be, but at least we got to see a young gay man snogging an elderly woman from Coronation Street. That’s what Doctor Who‘s all about.

* You get the feeling that this could have been a really interesting talky story about all the implications of eternal youth and immortality, but every time it started going in that direction, Lazarus turned into a slightly crude CGI scorpion and just scuttled around. The dialogue between Lazarus and The Doctor was pretty good, and there was a spark between Gattis and Tennant, but the monster never felt real enough to be threatening, so it all ends up a little bit limp. Still a fairly fun story, but it could have been so much more.

* I’d forgotten about the mysterious man, credited as “Mysterious Man”, who warns Martha’s mum about The Doctor. It’s possibly over-egging the pudding a little bit, as she was already wary of him after he accidentally implied that he’d been shagging her daughter all night. But after he appears the second time, coupled with all the mentions of Saxon, you start to get the sense of a big conspiracy against The Doctor, and that’s very exciting. I’m pretty sure we’d all figured out exactly who Saxon was way before this point, but I remember it being great fun to spot all the clues and piece them together.

* The resolution to the plot is too fucking noisy. I’d noticed that, on the Bluray, I’d had to turn my volume up a couple of notches higher than normal for this episode, and then they blasted that organ music so bloody loud that it disturbed my cats. It seems intentional, which is a dick move. As is removing the “second half of the series” trailer from the original broadcast and replacing it with a 42-specific one. I firmly believe that home releases should match the original broadcast as precisely as possible, as what I’m buying is a facsimile of a live experience. There’s nothing like watching an episode of one of your favourite shows for the first time, so you want the second and third times to be exactly how you remember them.

RATING: 7

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