This week we find our selves in the middle of Victorian England again. Madame Vastra, Jenny, and Strax are investigating what is being called “the Crimson Horror.” People are disappearing and some reappear but only to be found dead and covered in a red substance.
One of these victims is found to have an image of the Doctor stuck in his retina; the last thing he saw before he died.
Seeing as this is really freaking weird, Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax decide to investigate. The three infiltrate Sweetville, a commune of sorts run by Mrs. Gillyflower and the mysterious “Mr. Sweet.” mrs. Gillyflower preaches of a coming apocalypse and encourages people to come and live in her special community.
Jenny infiltrates and finds the Doctor, covered in the crimson horror (but not dead), chained in a room like a pet. Jenny rescues the Doctor, they find Clara, reverse the “preservation” process she has been subjected to and go after Mrs. Gillyflower who is planning on poisoning the entire human race.
In their confrontation of Mrs. Gillyflower, we find out who Mr. Sweet is; a prehistoric parasite that produces venom that has the power to kill everyone on the planet. As the Doctor, Clara, and Mrs. Gillyflower’s daughter, Ada, confront the old woman and her parasite, Vastra, Jenny and Strax steal the vat of venom and prevent the death of the planet (without the help of Blasters and Goat grenades or whatever Strax would suggest to use).
Having saved the Day the Doctor and Clara leave the victorian age and Clara heads home. There she is confronted by the children she babysits for, Angie and Artie, for being a time traveler. They had discovered several pictures of her on the internet form the past, including one from Victorian London ala “The Snowmen”
Another useless filler episode? Not quite, but still dropping the ball on its potential.
First, lets start with the positives. We see the return of Madame Vastra, her ass-kicking wife, Jenny, and their battle hungry Sontaran butler, Strax. The first half of the episode is almost entirely this trio and it’s a good breath of fresh air. Sometimes its nice to step away from the Doctor and see a story from someone else’s point of view. These three are fantastic and fan favorites. Do we smell a spinoff show in the future? (Like the Sarah Jane Adventures). So yes, having those three return was a big plus for the episode. Plus, Strax is hilarious.
Now for the not so great. The writers missed a great opportunity to give us some clues on to who or what Clara really is. This is the first time Clara has been back to a time where her previous self lived and she has come into contact with people who she had met in another time (excluding the Doctor). Madame Vastra questioned the Doctor about who Clara was twice, and the Doctor never gave an explanation (or even a “that’s what I’m trying to figure out”) The second time he acted secretive as if he KNEW something, yet we know he doesn’t. So why act that way Doctor? Why?
The writers missed an opportunity to give out some clues as to what/who Clara is, and if they did they were so small they were unrecognizable. Even with the “Bad Wolf” plot in Series 1 with Rose Tyler, the phrase kept appearing, and while the viewers didn’t know what it meant, they knew it had some sort of significance.
The only thing that connected companion Clara with previous Claras was a line she said while entering the TARDIS. She said something along the lines of “I’ve had enough of Victorian Values” Victorian Values being a theme in “The Snowmen.”
So now we’ve got two phrases that Clara has repeated throughout time and lives that might have some sort of significance. “Victorian Values” and “Run you clever boy and remember” What do these things mean? Who knows. Maybe we’ll have to wait for the big reveal episode.
Leave your theories in the comments! What did yo think of this week’s Doctor Who?