Doctor Who Review – Episode 7.12, ‘The Crimson Horror’

The Doctor was not cut out to be a Jehova's WitnessJust two days left until ‘The Name of the Doctor’ and James Willets continues his rundown of Series 7b. Was he tickled pink by ‘The Crimson Horror’?

There’s still time to get your hands on the brand new Moffat Bingo cards.

‘The Crimson Horror’ marks the return of Victoriana, the Paternoster gang, and that gnawing sense that Mark Gatiss may be the most hit-and-miss Doctor Who writer since Chris Chibnall. You may remember that I really loved ‘Cold War’. I thought it was fan-pleasing without being introvertedly self-referential, action packed without being over the top, and in a setting that felt historically real enough that the cracks in the likelihood of eccentric Soviet professors knowing much about English electro-pop bands didn’t really matter too much.

This certainly isn’t to suggest that ‘Crimson Horror’ approaches the levels of ‘Fear Her’ or the inaccurately named World War Two shocker, ‘Victory of the Daleks’, in being a bad episode. Quite the opposite in fact; I found it hugely enjoyable, even on a second viewing. It’s simply uneven in a way that many of his episodes seem to be.

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Doctor Who Review – 7.09, ‘Cold War’

The Ice Warriors return in 'Cold War'We’re catching up on our Doctor Who reviews this week, ahead of the Series 7 finale. Today, James Willets dives deep into ‘Cold War’…

‘Cold War’ is the first episode so far this season, and probably the first Mark Gatiss episode ever, that I can overwhelmingly say I loved. I think it’s hard not to like an episode that doesn’t overcomplicate the horror movie concept at its heart and is content to be story about a monster in the dark.

There are a couple of neat twists that stop this from being a totally generic episode, although there is plenty here that we have seen before.

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Doctor Who Discussion – 6.09 ‘Night Terrors’

We don’t have our usual commentary for you this week, but worry not – we’ve got a terrificly spirited and in-depth discussion for you instead.

Location, location, location… how much influence does it have on Doctor Who, and how does Steven Moffat use it differently to Russell T. Davies? Plus, as Mark Gatiss returns to the show he helped relaunch, we examine his back catalogue and wonder whether we can forgive him for last year’s Dalek fiasco. Finally, we veer into a fairly serious debate about arc plots v. standalone episodes. Has Doctor Who got the balance right? (We’ll give you three guesses about Swithun’s stance on this one…)

All this, and a brand new podcaster! Join us in welcoming Sarah Burrow to our scary cupboard of fandom.



This week’s contributors: Anna Bell, P.G. Bell, Sarah Burrow, Swithun Dobson

Article: Click here for Swithun’s article, ‘Doctor Who’s Story Arc of Infinity (and Beyond?)’

We’re thinking of taking our arc plot disucssion further and would love to have your input. Let us know your favourite and most hated arc-heavy shows. Lost, BSG, X-Files… we want your opinions on the lot. Make yourself heard and we’ll do our best to include your thoughts in a future podcast!

Doctor Who Review – 6.09 ‘Night Terrors’

Scary for scary’s sake? Reviewer James Willetts asks whether last Saturday’s episode had more to it that meets the (glass) eye…

There’s a lot of talk a lot of the time about how scary new-Who can be. How it’s somehow unsuitable for children, as though terrifying them about a fictional monster is in some way going to emotionally cripple them for life. It’s an argument that most people, thankfully, have little time for, and I bring it up because ‘Night Terrors’, an episode which was seemingly designed simply to scare the crap out of small children everywhere, actually addresses it. It’s a nicely meta moment that sums up everything else within this episode; a child’s father mentions that, to stop him being scared, they banned scary television.

It’s probably a common response. If you read the message boards and speak to parents they often worry that Doctor Who may be unsuitable for their child. As though mild peril with a through-flowing message that everything will be alright in the end is a bad thing.

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