Doctor Who: The Vampires of Venice

Posted: May 12, 2010 in Review
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506: The Vampires of Venice

If that incredibly cheesy title sets your teeth on edge and has your buttocks clenching in preparation for another duff episode, fear not – it’s actually quite good.

After Amy threw herself at the Doctor last week, he’s decided that spending some time with her fiancé Rory will do her good, taking the two of them to Venice in 1580. Unfortunately, there’s sinister vibes in the air as women are being sent to a very private, exclusive school run by a reclusive lady and are coming out with a peculiar aversion to sunlight…

The easiest and best way to summarise this episode is to say that the monsters are a bit crap but the chemistry between the cast is excellent.

Adding Rory into the mix is a genuine stroke of genius – he brings a refreshing viewpoint to cast, highlighting the Doctor’s many flaws and giving Amy something new to fret over. He’s actually a much more interesting cast member than, say, Mickey was in the second series because he does a lot more than just whine about the relationship he’s not part of, and it’s this wonderful tension that crackles and sparks throughout the episode. Alongside this is the lovely sense of playful humour that now gets to ride over the trio during their adventure.

The plot itself is actually lacking a lot – aliens want to sink Venice, Doctor intervenes, credits roll. What makes the episode at least fairly tolerable is that the aliens aren’t on screen for a huge chunk of it. It’s a merciful and crafty idea that keeps a silly sci-fi story grounded in reality and although it’s a massive shame that the ‘vampires’ are just crappy CGI monsters, it’s good step that they were used.

Another downside is the fact that the alien’s diabolical contraption – and they have around four, all of which suddenly appear in the final act, a confusing idea – has a bastarding ‘Plot Undo Button’ built right into it. It’s such an offensive and hateful idea that the episode looses an entire mark simply for including it.

Still, it’s not a terrible episode by any means. Lifted out of mediocrity by a clever sense of humour and some really very funny scenes, it’s a wobbly step, but not a crippling one.

6/10

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Comments
  1. Alex says:

    Somehow Moffatt manages to destroy the idea of 6 hot girls in nighties sucking…..blood.

    Yes its vampires and the Doctor has Rory and Donna 2.0 along for the rip-roaringest of rip roaring adventures. Unfortunately its less fun that heating some pot noodle. Yeah the Doctor finds some vampire girls, but instead of having a focal point among them distracts himself with a black dude whose daughter sucks………..blood. And some countess whose trying to sink Venice! Except at that time Venice was just transitioning from the Slave Trading centre of the Christian World to a more investment based economy so essentially sinking it would have….killed people who made money selling black people.

    (Historical Note:

    You see to make it profitable they used to lay slaves down on planks about a foot apart so that they stacked them up like baked beans some had to turn their heads so they could fit in. Then they would sail them to wherever they wished, for however many weeks that would take. And if they died from the poor food given to them, once a day or every other day, had to keep those profit margins, food costs money, then the rats would eat em, well some of them. And the rotting corpses were often discovered after a few days or weeks and thrown overboard. Sometimes. If those laying shoulder to shoulder next to them got sick because of that. Well that’s called spoilage. )

    Do I have a problem with that kind of inhumanity? Yes! Sink Venice! Sink it! But then this is about Piranha people or something.

    So back to the acting, Rory attempted to fight, and sucked, he and Donna got on okay. Though Donna is still wet as october for the Doctor. Thighs like the Ganges. Oh no, like a clean river, then, any clean river.

    There a nefarious contraption and its about to sink venice, oh wait weirdface fixed it. Dear me isnt the Doctor awesome. No.

    4/10

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