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 ...
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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
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.
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