Doctor Who – Vampires in Venice – Review

‘Vampires in Venice’ is schlock. Pure and simple. It’s cheesy and silly and daft and sort of naff and everything about it is just brilliant. I really enjoyed this episode.

Now, much like Daleks in World War 2 this is an entire storyline that is entirely set up to appeal to people like me. It’s an entire storyline, much like Werewolves in Scotland, which is perfectly crafted for people who love period creature features. I have a love of alternate history which Doctor Who is a regular vehicle for appeasing. Vampires have a similar place in my heart, being one of those monsters with an iconic set of features that can still be rewritten and crafted to fit the demands of the writer.

There’s almost nothing else that could be so universally malleable as the Vampire. From Anne Rice to Stephanie Meyer, Bram Stoker to Joss Whedon, you have as diverse a range of monsters as is possible. Personally, I don’t care what my Vampires are as long as they suck blood. Make them friendly, let them fly, or walk in daylight, make them mutants, infected, aliens, whatever. Vampires in my book are always cool. It takes a lot more than sparkling in sunlight to turn me away from this.

Making them into fish aliens, yeah, I’ll manage.

We open with the resolution of that kiss, which seems to make Amy out as not a little bit fickle and also rewrites it as just a kiss, which for my part, it wasn’t. But, we’re apparently going to move on from that. There’s been talk of Amy being affected by the cracks in time, there’s been talk of all sorts of stuff, but i’ll stick by what I said last week, that it doesn’t make much sense to set up your companion character as this fickle. Rory is a lovely guy, and the explanation that it would have been him if he was there kind of ignores the fact that she specifically calls the Doctor out as the one she wants.

But whatever, if they resolve all the plot points I dislike in this manner i’ll be alright with it. The addition of Rory is a brilliant touch. He’s a great character, someone who, more than Amy, presents an audience character; someone who is self-aware enough to grasp it’s a time machine with another dimension inside but who’s so awkward, and sweet and just generally loveable that every time Amy doesn’t notice it’s painful.

So the idea of them taking him along for a bit of relationship counselling is brilliant.

In Venice, we meet up with the black Venetian dude. All this just reminded me so much of the Shakespeare play, Macbeth.

He is shadowing a bunch of ladies in veils, who are very inconspicuous and in no way dafter than needed. If you’ve got an ongoing vampire conspiracy, about to reach its goal in the next few days, why send your girls out at all? Why not keep them indoors, away from curious people who may see they have fangs and dislike sunlight.

Furthermore, how are they supposed to repopulate your species? If there’s only thirty or of them, enough to be blown up in a single building, how are they supposed to provide a large enough genepool, with sufficient diversity. And unless they can have the offspring of multiple ‘brothers’ then it’s no good giving them as wives. It’s ultimately a stupid idea (which would have worked the other way round, with more women than men, but wouldn’t have looked as sexy I guess). For that matter, if all the women died, how did the mother survive?

Anyway, the point isn’t that, but this. They have some mad scheme to sink Venice, which seems to be all that happens to Venice ever. When was the last time a film featuring Venice didn’t see a plot to sink it? Shark in Venice, that’s all i’ve got. Oh, and Pokemon Heroes apparently, which was set in a Venice expy*. Even Casino Royale had them sinking a building. Which is tame by the standards of Venice really.

This seems to involve weather, and a Tsunami, and an earthquake, all powered by the same machine. It’s a special machine. It’s magic.

AH, but all these flaws, I always find, these are part of the spell. These don’t detract from it. It’s a show that can get away with this.

Still, a little worried that the cracks seem to essentially be the new missing planets, forcing intergalactic refugees to head to earth. This has a whole whiff of Pyroviles in Pompeii about it. I like this whole naming the villain and the location thing. I look forward to next week’s ‘Leprechaun in the TARDIS’. Actually, strike that, it’s written by Chris Chibnall.

*Wikipedia is a powerful thing. I’ve not seen Pokemon Heroes. I did once own Pokemon: The First Movie though. That was wicked.