Doctor Who (2005– )
16 user 15 critic

The Crimson Horror 

The Doctor and Clara arrive in 19th century Yorkshire where moral crusader Mrs Gillyflower is recruiting beautiful people for her idyllic garden city. At the same time rigid corpses dyed ... See full summary »


Saul Metzstein


Mark Gatiss




Episode complete credited cast:
Matt Smith ... The Doctor
Jenna Coleman ... Clara (as Jenna-Louise Coleman)
Diana Rigg ... Mrs. Gillyflower (as Dame Diana Rigg)
Rachael Stirling ... Ada
Catrin Stewart ... Jenny
Neve McIntosh ... Madame Vastra
Dan Starkey ... Strax
Eve De Leon Allen Eve De Leon Allen ... Angie
Kassius Carey-Johnson Kassius Carey-Johnson ... Artie (as Kassius Carey Johnson)
Brendan Patricks ... Edmund / Mr Thursday
Graham Turner Graham Turner ... Amos
Olivia Vinall ... Effie
Michelle Tate Michelle Tate ... Abigail
Jack Oliver Hudson Jack Oliver Hudson ... Urchin Boy


The Doctor and Clara arrive in 19th century Yorkshire where moral crusader Mrs Gillyflower is recruiting beautiful people for her idyllic garden city. At the same time rigid corpses dyed red are piling up and the brother of one of the victims seeks help from Madame Vastra. She and her party travel to Yorkshire where they rescue Doctor Who and Clara from the clutches of Mrs Gillyflower. They discover that the woman is a fanatical exponent of ethnic cleansing who plans to do away with those who do not meet her standards - even her daughter Ada. The Doctor and his allies set out to stop her and her reclusive partner in crime Mr Sweet. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

4 May 2013 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS (DTS HD MASTER AUDIO 5.1 Mix)



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Steven Moffat originally planned to write this episode himself, but found he was unable to and turned it over to Mark Gatiss. See more »


When the Doctor pulls Clara out of the decontamination chamber his right hand switches from holding her waist to patting her cheek between shots. See more »


The Doctor: [to Mrs. Gillyflower] Planning a little fireworks party, are we?
See more »


References The League of Gentlemen (1999) See more »


Doctor Who Theme
Written by Ron Grainer
Arranged by Murray Gold
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Sweet and Sour
20 February 2019 | by A_Kind_Of_CineMagicSee all my reviews

This is a strange story. It is largely a fun and slightly silly adventure with dead bodies coloured vibrant crimson with images of the last thing they saw in their eyes, the Doctor turned into a red 'Frankenstein's monster' type figure, Strax putting in his usual comedy performance, a lot of other humorous dialogue and dashing about as well as a silly, prehistoric, red leech creature. It also though has a darker side with the grim Victorian Yorkshire factory and its bitter and formidable owner Mrs. Gillyflower (Diana Rigg) turning it into a haven for those she wishes to save from her self made 'apocalypse'. Having the great veteran actress Diana Rigg (now known well to younger audiences as the 'Queen of Thorns' in Game of Thrones) is a brilliant addition and she brings gravitas and menace in her villainous role. Her treatment of her blind daughter, well played by Rachael Stirling and her confrontations with the Doctor are the strongest part of this episode. The mixture of comedy and darkness works OK and there are lots of nice moments and touches. Unfortunately the sillier aspects of the plot and the revelation it is all based around a creepy little leech monster, bizarrely known as 'Mr. Sweet' despite his seeming need for salt rather than sugar, leaves it as a weird and unconvincing story. Why would the leech influence Mrs. Gillyflower to wipe out humanity with its poison and why would Mrs. Gillyflower be able to build a rocket or make a jar of poison spread across the whole world in Victorian times?

This is an entertaining episode with good horror themes, period atmosphere, strong guest actors, some fun humour and darker scenes. It needed a better plot and a less silly effect for the poison to have. The over the top colour of those poisoned and the unbelievable idea of leaving an image in their eye as well as the unconvincing plot regarding the leech and the rocket hold this back from being better. I rate this 6.5/10.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 16 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed