The Doctor’s Favorite Crime fighting trio return in “The Crimson Horror” on Doctor Who
This must be some sort of Doctor Who record for me: I have loved every single episode of the series since Jenna-Louise Coleman hopped on board the TARDIS as Clara. It’s not just that I love her portrayal of Clara. It’s also that Matt Smith’s Doctor has finally stepped out of the shadows of the Ponds and is now front and center as the star of the show. As it should be on a show called Doctor Who, right?
WARNING: The following contains spoilers.
“The Crimson Horror” begins in the wonderful world of Victorian England. There have been a series of murders and the victims are turning up as bright red (and dead) versions of themselves. Obviously, The Doctor and Clara have arrived on the scene to investigate, but soon go missing. Fortunately, Victorian England is home to the crime fighting trio of Madame Vestra (Neve McIntosh), Jenny (Catrin Stewart) and Strax (Dan Starkey). Soon, the trio not only find The Doctor (who finds Clara), but also uncover the mad plan of Winifred Gillyflower (Diana Rigg) to destroy the world (with the help of a red leech from prehistoric Earth) and re-make it in her own image.
From the start, this episode of Doctor Who proved it would be a lot of fun and I was delighted to see the return of Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax. As I told McIntosh at this year’s Gallifrey One, the three really should get their own spin-off series (c’mon, Stephen Moffat, make that happen!). There is a wonderful chemistry between these three actors and Strax as comic relief works every single time. By the time The Doctor and Clara turn up on the scene, the episode is prime and ready to blow (literally) and the whole adventure becomes complete, thanks to the wonderful writing of Mark Gatiss.
Coleman is still wonderful as Clara. I say that with each episode, but each episode brings me to loving her just that much more. The same goes for Smith, who is quickly becoming my favorite Doctor (sorry David Tennant). I also loved Rigg’s turn as the villain, who pulls off “mad as a hatter” extremely well. I liked that the true monster in the episode was, in fact, human, something The Doctor has pointed out in previous incarnations. More often than not, humans are much scarier than the actual aliens.
Finally, kudos to the people who created the leech alien thing. When Mrs. Gillyflower opens her dress to show that thing at her breast, I was completely and utterly creeped out. Just EW! I absolutely loved it. I also thought the end was interesting, where Clara’s young charges figure out what she’s been up to. In fact, they, apparently, get to take a spin in the TARDIS next week.
Speaking of next week, we will be seeing the return of my favorite villains (Cybermen), as well as an episode penned by Neil Gaiman. I’m calling it now – it is going to be brilliant.