The Lazarus Experiment was a great episode of Doctor Who. I really enjoyed watching because Martha's family is involved in the major plot line of the episode. The story was well written and fun. There was some great character development as Martha's family questions her about The Doctor and a someone feeds information about him to Martha's mother. Lazarus was an interesting character and his idea was intriguing. I liked watching what happened and the action scenes. The special effects were superb. I loved the ending where Martha calls The Doctor out on the "Let's go for one more ride" bit and how she felt about it. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!
Not the best episode ever, even with the Doctor as the star and a great story, the Lazarus experiment does not really work as well s others. The graphical effects are kind of disapointing compared to other monsters. It is a worthwile episode to watch, but it isn't a golden one. I like the whole "Make yourself a little tiny bit younger" story, but that has been done in many sci fi series before it, so nothing special. A few funny bits and a few scary bits(and a few heroic bits) make the Lazarus Experiment worthwile to watch once, but that's it.
Sorry, but I miss Rose (Billie Piper). I know, get over it, right? But Martha (Freema Agyeman) seems like such a lightweight, more a groupie than a collaborator - and that family (especially the mother)! Piper had more gravitas as an actress, sprinkled with a pinch of darkness. And her mum, Jackie (Camille Coduri), had more strength and down home charm than that upper-crust iceberg Martha is stuck with. The Doctor, as usual, had great verve and energy, but he was very second fiddle to the Jones family storyline. Add to that - the (CGI?) monster was a bit soft an blurry as well. So there you have it : compared to the best of Doctor Who, this one was, well, soft and blurry.
It was great to see Mark Gatiss on screen, and he gave Doctor Lazarus a wholly believable aspect (though my wife thought the "old man" makeup was poor). I was expecting a kindly old gentleman but what we got was a creepy, smarmy, dirty old man - right from the get go you realise Lazarus isn't nice even if he obviously is not evil. That often makes for the best of villians, they are more believable if you can see they're not just bent on destruction. Lazarus has a motivation for what he is doing, and in the same circumstances many sane people might do the same.
We also got to see Martha's family for the first time since "Smith & Jones", but isntead of the soap scenes with Jackie Tyler we are treated to an altogether more satisfactory situation where they are attending Lazarus's great unveilling of his life's work.
And what of his invention? Something akin to a regeneration chamber funded by Mr Saxon...if the rumours are true Saxon might well have good reasons for funding Lazarus's reserach! It is worth pointing out at this juncture that I have been pleasantly surprised that Saxon has not been mentioned every other sentence this year, I felt there were far too many Torchwood references last year.
As we all know, Laz's experiment goes wrong and his DNA becomes unstable forcing him to change into a hideous monster...and back into the young Lazarus. I felt the monster was good, but not necessary. Some of the dialogue between the Doctor and young Lazarus was truly excellent, a treat in an era of modern soundbites and something we wouldn't have had from a Davies-penned script (though his humour in Gridolck was fantastic).
The twist, where we think Lazarus is dead with 15 minutes to go was well handled. I really felt we were going to go off on some other tangent, and hoped it wasn't a prolonged family scene chez Jones. When it became Lazarus wasn't dead after all that was a nice surprise.
Also wonderfully written and acter was the scene where the Doctor tries to leave Martha behind. I really found myself wondering if he was going to leave her! Given how well Martha's character is working out I was very glad he didn't.
The final scenes in the cathedral made for a thrilling climax, with the Doctor's organ playing quite an appropriate way to do away with the monster in a non-violent fashion.
Overall this was very strong, if not perhaps a classic. Stephen Greenhorn's script is among the very best in terms of dialogue and the pacing of the direction was superb.
Dr Who ~ The Lazarus Experiment: There are times that I just can't believe how bloody brilliant this show is. It keeps getting better and better. David Tennant is absolutely sensational in this role (not to mention hot!!!). Not that Eccleston did a bad job of it either. I am adoring Martha. I love the fact that she's curious as well as stubborn. (again ... not knocking Rose out there). This episode was singularly special in the fact that it's an age old quest to find the 'fountain of youth'. I suspect that at some point Lazarus' experiment will be taken back up and refined and thus ... everyone will live forever, but hopefully that will be in the long time future. I thought the dialogue was really well executed, the action was believable and the suspense fulfilling. These just keep getting better and better. I was taken aback by the end of the episode and the plea in Martha's mother's voice about how dangerous the doctor is, it'll be interesting to see this storyline play out.
The Doctor turns into James Bond. I have to say i didn't see that one comming. It was a great episode with a few twists. I liked how they brought in Martha's family even though her mother seemed very stuck up. Like the Doctor said, "all the mothers. It's always the mothers." Her little sister seems to be a lot like her.But the rest of her family were alright, just your typical dysfunctional family.
I liked the special effects as always and how they've started setting up a story ark for the season.It's looking like an interesting year for the Doctor and Martha No complaints here!
hmmmm. As usual with my reviews of this season there were loads of things about this episode I loved and a few bits and pieces I just did not like at all. The plot and storyline were great and exciting. I loved the Doctor in his tux all dressed up like James Bond! His friendship with Martha is becomming more solid and she is showing herself to be an excellent companion. I do wish they would stop trying to make it romantic as it seems forced. Martha's family were slightly annoying but I thought her sister Tish was brilliant and I would definitely like to see more of her. Her mother was just plain annoying. What is this obsession with companions' mothers? Anyway, great episode and good fun. Great villian and lovely to see Barlow from Corrie on our screens again!
with great effects. The practical and CGI effects were fantastic, although...
...the face on the beast looked one dimensional although I know it must have taken so much time, effort and money. Perhaps I need HD-TV to appreciate it. (although i don't think this series is HD?)
Mr Saxon has made an appearance after a few not so subtle references, much in the vain of bad wolf. And really this annoys me greatly. I feel as if the actual plot and acting were great in this ep. But it is the background story arc that pulls me out of the show and gets me thinking about the way the show is planned and written.
The first two 'new' series were outstanding.
I just don't feel that this episode or anything I have seen this season stands up to comparison.
There are some future episodes coming up in season three that do excite me.
All in all, this was an entertaining ep.
I think that the episode of doctor who is a great episode but I think they could of done a bit better on making the monster(Lazerus). This is one of the best doctor who episodes so far, it was just great I just never would get boured of it. This episode is trying to show you a bit more of what Marthas parents are like and it did a really good job of that, it showed everthing you would want to know about Marthas parents. The thing I like about this episode is that it is in london not some planet 1,000,000 solar systems away.
The Masters Definitely on the way back. Mister Saxon being an anagram for master no. six is just a little revealing.
If everyone remembers Toruchwood rearranged gives you doctor who. I think the writers have a bit of a fetish for anagrams. Staryl heres one more reason for you: Master no. six refers to the number of incarnations of the character throughout the show.
1) In the war games in the 60s - Although they never mention his name, its pretty obvious who he is now.
2)Roger Delgado in the 70s
3)The sick and dying version against Tom Baker in several episodes
4)Anthony Ainley who took over a human (Tremus) in Logopolis
5)Eric Roberts in the movie With Paul Mcgann (Doctor no8)
AND MASTER NO.SIX (Mister Saxon) In this series
I'll forgive a show anything, if it's rollicking good fun. So if a monster is going to be destroyed by sound waves in a cathedral – fantastic! But if I am to overlook a plot that has more reversals than a sine wave, then that church better resonate to hair-splittingly baroque chords. And if you're going to serve up a formulaic chase, then that cathedral climax absolutely better have lurid lighting and corny gothic camera angles, with Danny Elfman-esque music to boot. Unfortunately ‘The Lazarus Experiment’ doesn't manage any of that, so its just a big fat raspberry to director Richard Clark.
Still, point for point, ‘The Lazarus Experiment’ wins against ‘Evolution of the Daleks’: it's more focused and truer with its observations about the human condition. And although the setting's dull and `the Mysterious Man’ an irritation, Thelma Barlow oozes class (I never thought I'd say that), and Mark Gatiss is not half bad either. So not a write off; I just hope there's better to come.
A few important things happenned in this episode, but none were so revealing as the Mr. Saxon references. I am now absolutely convinced that he is the master. Here are my reasons;
1) Mister Saxon is an anagram for Master no. six
2) The face of Boe told the doctor he is not alone, hinting that there is another timelord out there. Tennant said on commentary that although the face of Boe isn't wrong, neither is the doctor when he said there wasn't another timelord. The answer is somewhere in between. The Master was last seen inhabiting human bodies etc, so not technically a timelord, although he is one, so it fits in every way possible.
3) The Master was always obssessed with staying alive at any cost, Mister Saxon funded the research for Lazarus' experiment into prolonging life.
4) Series Finale is called Last of the Timelords - come on (Also in this point it should be mentioned that in the last two episodes a trap closes around the doctor and Martha. Who would know how to set a successful trap better than the Master?)
5)Tennant says about the character 'more than a match for the Doctor in ways he hadn't thought possible'
6)We have seen two of the three most famous enemies of the doctor (the cybermen and the daleks) so the master is the only one left to come. Russell T Davies said in an interview about the new arch villain 'I wonder who it could be...?'
Anyway enough about my positiveness about the master's reappearence and on with the actual episode.
It was quite mediocre I have to say, there was some great dialogue from the doctor and from Lazarus, and most of the characters stood up okay, but the plotlining just wasn't great. Mad scientist turns himself into scary monster, scary monster tries to kill everyone, doctor stops scary monster, not exactly original. The best bit about this episode was the preview of what is to come which looks amazing. I especially can't wait to hear 'The Sound of Drums'
Starting to warm up more to Martha. I would usually love her character but I'm still a bit too attached to Rose. I'm really glad the doctor didn't get over her too quickly as that would have made his relationship with her meaningless and subsequently any other relationships he has (i.e. with Marhta) would also be unbelievable. I like feeling confident that the doctor really cared about Rose and isn't just finding a replacement. So, not much more to say really, happy viewing people!
Perhaps not the best Doctor Who episode in this series, although the beginning worked really well, but it sort of went downhill after that. Mr Saxon made an appearance by telling Martha Jones' mother to be careful of the Doctor that he was dangerous. The SFX were a little overdone I thought with the CGI effects which tended to spoil the episode at times. Plot wise I'd give this a 7/10, not the best, but not the worst. **SPOILER ALERT**
I am getting the impression that Mr Saxon might be the Master. Am I correct? Mister Saxon = Anagram for Axons & Master No Six. Is there any logic in my thinking?
(On TV)"Tonight I am going to perform a miracle that will change what it means to be human." (The Doctor)"Bye" (Martha, Angry)"Bye then.." *The TARDIS Dematerializes*
*The TARDIS Materializes
(Doctor)"No.. I'm Sorry - Did he just say he was going to change what it means to be human?
So, the Doctor and Martha visit Richard Lazarus. Lazarus steps into a small cylinidarly shaped machine, and the controls are put on. All the News Reporters, and the Doctor and Martha, watch in astonishment as the machine flashes and makes loud noises. Then there is a small electric explosion of some kind, and the Doctor screams "It's overloading!" and runs over to the Controls. Everybody thinks he is the one causing the problem, but eventually he shuts the machine down.
Martha walks up to the machine and the Doctor opens the door. "Ladies and Gentlemen. I am Richard Lazarus. I am 76 years old.. and I am reborn!"
A young man steps out. There is no sign he was ever old.
However, it all messes up (I won't explain in TOO much detail, don't like spoiling stuff) and he soon becomes a massive creature that the Doctor has to battle. Same as ever, then. But well worth watching :)
Often, it's hard to choose one of the canned "classifications" when writing a review. In this case, it wasn't difficult at all.
Dr Lazarus invents a machine that tricks his DNA into making him young again - and things go horribly wrong. People die and, in the end, the Doctor and Martha save the day. OK, maybe we're supposed to get the know Martha's family a little better? Well, her sister is acting...the same as the last time she was on screen. And Martha's brother is... the same as last time. And her mother is ... still strident, acidic and annoying (like last time.)
I honestly don't know what we were supposed to get from this one. It seems every time a famous comedian plays the villain, the show goes into the loo.
Ageing is one of those things you really have zip all choice in and while you can combat some it’s effects with the right diet, exercise, beauty products and if seriously desperate a bit of the old plastic surgeon. Those things can make you age gracefully enough but they don’t stop you from actually ageing so this week’s plot involving the change of ageing has disaster written all over it left, right and centre.
After facing Carrionites, Macra and the Daleks, Martha’s joy turns to annoyance when it’s suddenly time to come home and in a rather feckless stance, The Doctor does expect her to get on with her life. I think Sarah Jane articulated wonderfully last season that readjusting to life after what The Doctor has shown you are a hard thing to do but obviously The Doctor wasn’t paying enough attention to her.
Treating Martha like a one night stand makes you pity the would be doctor but at least she gets to have him on the Earth for an adventure when fishwife Francine leaves a message about Tish being on the TV.
Already one thing I do like about the Jones’ is that with Tish especially, the writers are going out of their way to show that their lives don’t necessarily revolve around Martha even if they do use her for emotional support. Tish’s TV moment is more to do with Professor Richard Lazarus, who has made quite the discovery that could change humanity as a whole.
Not only does that announcement keep in with this season rather anvil like theme of humanity and human nature but it’s enough for The Doctor to become Martha’s plus one at the big do Lazarus is holding, which of course has been organised by Tish herself. I liked Martha’s big sister back in “Smith And Jones” and by the end of this episode, I like her even more.
She’s a bright thing with a witty remark when her employer Lazarus tries to hit on her and she’s the first person to actually greet Martha and not treat The Doctor with disdain when he strolls up uninvited to Lazarus’ big bash, which is more than Francine did when clamping eyes on The Doctor. She looked at him as if he just took Martha’s virginity.
From the trailers we have seen since last December, we all knew what Lazarus’ big revelation would be so it’s no surprise that the minute he steps into a machine known as a Genetic Manipulation Device to a packed audience, the next moment he pops out as a man half his age and even though things had gone wrong beforehand and the machine was overloading, it looks like it’s victory in an instant. But of course while both The Doctor and Martha could pinpoint the flaws in Lazarus’ new discovery, it didn’t take much for anyone else watching that they were significant flaws in his idea from the start. We live; we die and try as we might, none of us can evade death. On paper this may have appeared to be a solution but it was obvious that this machine would cause more damage than actual good.
For instance, Lazarus isn’t a very likeable man to start with as his conceit and lack of morals is what makes him a danger rather than a genius and having Silvia Thaw as his partner in crime was further proof that these two were up to no good.
Yeah they wanted to make a profit while cheating death and both of them ended up getting royally shafted as a result as Lazarus’ erratic DNA, which was cleverly acquired by Martha had him mutate into a scorpion like beast that sucked Lady Thaw dry after Lazarus had done his best to crush her hopes of a relationship between them.
I have to admit that this was my first gripe with this episode – the killing of Lady Thaw! Although Thelma Barlow gave a decent performance in this episode, she was more or less wasted in the entire episode by being snuffed within the first fifteen minutes. I know it would help Lazarus out by doing her in but still, what a waste of a character.
As for Lazarus, his tastes become more for the nubile when he lures Tish off to the balcony and before she learns what has happened to her boss, there’s a surprisingly intimate conversation between the two of them where Lazarus’ surprise of how things don’t always go the way you’d prefer them to, are effective. Tish is even great in her moments of her honest ambition as well.
Then before the girl becomes victim number 2, The Doctor and Martha arrive and of course, Tish makes the grave error in thinking her baby sister is trying to jeopardise her attempts of copping off until the realisation of a monstrous Lazarus has her legging it with her sister and the mystery man in a suit.
If we weren’t going to get an episode scripted by Mark Gatiss this season, then I suppose the only fair thing was to have the man appear in this episode and deliver a great performance as the deranged Lazarus and true to form, he doesn’t disappoint and rather predictably, his scenes with David Tennant are nothing short of electric to say the very least.
It’s a great thing that Gatiss is so brilliant as Lazarus because alien wise, the creature he has to transform into is one of the worst looking creatures we’ve had on Doctor Who this season. After the brilliance of the Judoon, Carrionites, Macras and the Human Dalek, this scorpion beastie looks well naff for words, so there are times when the acting carries the threat of the creature rather than the physical presence of the creature itself.
Suffice to say after barely escaping that things grasp, The Doctor, Martha and Tish are more or less trapped and soon enough scorpion beastie is snacking on all and sundry who do their best to escape but mostly fail in the long run as The Doctor saves Francine and Leo from getting eaten by goading Lazarus to chase him down. Well a Time Lord is going to be more delicious to a beast desperate to avoid death rather than mere mortals.
As back to reality episodes go, this is certainly a better one than the Slitheen two parter in Season One but Francine’s reaction to The Doctor having this hold over Martha is more or less similar to Jackie’s when Rose was on the scene. Instead of trying to understand, Francine slaps The Doctor but that’s nothing compared to what else happens.
Being tipped off earlier on by some mysterious bloke, I got the impression that when Francine was berating Martha for not knowing The Doctor very long that she was forcing Martha to choose between her family or this mystery stranger. Even when both Leo and Tish try to use reason, Francine doesn’t seem interested in understanding Martha’s attachment to The Doctor. Is it me or is this woman something of a control freak?
Elsewhere between rather pointless chase moments and taunting between Lazarus and The Doctor, it’s amusing to see that the latter’s plan to blow up the deranged scientist is a failure but the moment shared between him and Martha as she surprised him by coming to his aid is rather sweet.
When big explosions fail, the next option is for The Doctor and Martha to step into the Genetic Manipulation Device and do enough tweaks to have the thing spin wildly out of control and turn the monster back into the scientist. With fifteen minutes left in the episode, you just know that can’t be it and it isn’t as Lazarus manages to escape.
From what we learned about him in the space of a night, the only place of sentimental attachment for a rather cold and detached person like Lazarus was the very church he sought sanctuary as a child during the Blitz and while once again, The Doctor wanted to go solo and get Lazarus, back up wouldn’t take a backseat.
Amazingly not only did Martha follow him but so did Tish, which is also isn’t that shocking as she’s been the most vocalised Jones family member outside of her bolshy mother and soon enough she proves her worth every bit as Martha has done so far by being quite useful in times of crisis.
Once in the church, The Doctor and Lazarus more or less resumed their argument about the pros and cons of ageing and dying but this time round, the writing clicked a lot better and both Tennant and Gatiss played their dramatic strengths to perfection as did Freema Agyeman and Gugu Mbatha Raw.
The Doctor has been around long enough to emphasise the cons of staying alive forever to know that the pain of losing people you love again and again along with suffering yourself is not manageable stuff but with Lazarus’ arrogance of wanting to stay young, he views killing people and becoming a beast that he has no control over as worthy prices to pay. No need to point out that turning into the lame creature he does is no worthy price. He would’ve been better off if he had gotten a Plasmavore to have turned him in comparison.
With Lazarus refusing to listen to reason and Martha and Tish using themselves as bait, The Doctor using the noise of an organ times 100 to botch up the creature and his youth during a tense moment where Martha was nearly killed is reasonably good as you really don’t know for sure whether or not Lazarus is dead but you do know his anti-ageing product won’t be a commercial threat anytime soon.
However the real meat of the episode is in the last scene as with the TARDIS firmly parked inside Martha’s apartment, the breakthrough between her and The Doctor that would seal her continued travels in the TARDIS came and boy, it was satisfying.
The Doctor tried to blow Martha off and she finally stood her ground by more or less indicating that she was here for the full hog and after an amusing misunderstanding, I was glad The Doctor accepted her as full time companion. Martha has more than deserved to be a companion and The Doctor’s open fondness while keeping her at arms length has been dealt with nicely.
Of course there are several other things about this episode that really rock and all of them are connected to this season’s buzz words Mr Harold Saxon, who not only funded Lazarus’ scheme and probably has connections to Tish but the mystery man that had warned Francine about The Doctor is on his payroll. These bitty moments alone give the episode a bigger edge than the actual plot and will make you hunger for the remaining episodes just that bit more.
Also in “The Lazarus Experiment”
I liked how the opening scene was the TARDIS travelling through a vortex before arriving in Martha’s apartment. The Doctor actually knowing where he lands can be a rare occasion at times.
The Doctor: “One trip we said”
Martha: “Well I suppose things kind of escalated”.
Lazarus: “It is an interesting perfume, what is it called?”
When Martha and Tish are around each other, Tish does actually look younger than Martha. Am I the only one who thinks that?
Lazarus: “Ladies and gentlemen, I am Richard Lazarus and I am 76 years old. I am reborn”
Lady Thaw: “He did it, he actually did it”.
I was watching this episode and I sort of laughed at her disgust over Mark Gatiss and Thelma Barlow sharing a snog. Kids eh?
Martha: “Commercially? It’ll cause chaos”
Lazarus: “It’ll cause change”.
Lady Thaw: “We can be rich and young together”
Lazarus: “Do you think I’d waste another lifetime on you?”
On a shallow note I have to commend the sheer hotness of David Tennant in a tuxedo and Freema Agyeman all dressed up. The Doctor was right about wearing a tux being an omen for disaster.
Martha: “Are you okay?”
Tish (re Lazarus): “I was gonna snog him”.
Tish (re Martha/The Doctor): “Maybe she loves him”
Francine: “She’s only just met him”.
It’s a pity we didn’t get to see Clive and Leo’s girlfriend there. Tish would’ve surely wanted the former there even after Analise ruining her brother’s birthday.
The Doctor: “The Blitz”
Lazarus: “You’ve read about it?”
The Doctor: “I was there”.
Would Lazarus have remembered some things from “The Empty Child”/ “The Doctor Dances” even if not The Doctor, Rose or Captain Jack?
Lazarus: “I will be feeding soon”
The Doctor: “I’m not gonna let that happen”
Lazarus: “You haven’t been able to stop me so far”.
I loved that 90 second trailer at the end giving us spoilers for the remaining seven episodes of the season. We’ve got some much goodness on the way and that stupid Eurovision is delaying some of that for us.
Tish: “It’s your doctor you should be thanking”.
Chronology: 12 hours since “Smith And Jones”, which is definitely better than a whole year anytime.
Not a personal favourite of mine, I have to admit. That being said “The Lazarus Experiment” does have a lot of interesting things to say on the nature of ageing disgracefully and with Martha finally knowing where she stands, coupled with the neat details about Mr Saxon, at least this episode kept us on our toes.
The Doctor and Martha made an excellent team despite Martha not being 'the helpless companion', which I love.
I also think it's obvious they're trying to prevent a Rose/Jackie situation. This time Doctor will NOT be loved by the entire family, so there won't be Christmas dinners at Martha's home. Martha's mum does NOT like the Doctor, but I guess Martha's sis does. Perhaps a family split over divided loyalties?
I thought the special effects of the machine were very good, I thought the 'monster' looked a bit iffy but not too bad. The hints at Mr Saxon sound promising.
I am going to start this review with a rant. Why replace next week's Doctor Who with the Eurovision Song Contest? It's not like we're going to win so why should anyone care? A mix of tactical voting and truly atrocious song will make sure of that.
Now we will resume normal services. On with the review.
I liked this episode, good story, cool action and some really great moments. The Doctor has returned Martha home and is about to leave until he hears about a man who will "change what it means to be human." This man, Professor Lazarus has worked out a way to make himself younger. But this comes with a price. He turns into some freaky monster that was apparently a reject when humans were evolving.
*The Doctor being quite happy to be called a science geek. Well, he is obsessed with it.
*The end bit in the Cathedral. Lazarus' fear of death stems from being in the Blitz. And the Doctor said he was there too! Which he was.
*Another reference to the mysterious Mr. Saxon. He's told Martha's mother aboutt he Doctor and she thinks he's dangerous. Unfortunately, Martha had just left in the TARDIS.
Ok, I'm off to seethe for a fortnight until the next episode.
First off, I enjoyed this episode, the characterization, script and the whole humanity/evolution segments where great and typically Doctor Who.
Overall I felt slightly disappointed, I expected more pivotal moments from this episode, but all we ended up with was a mysterious man whispering into the ear of a woman whose eyebrows looked like a caterpillar.
The beast of the moment was very well done, I especially loved the reference to Spinal Tap "Lets turn it up to 11", but overall my feelings are mixed. This review feels kind off premature because in the long run this episode might become pivotal.
I’m surprised by how much I liked The Lazarus Experiment. From the trailer, I was expecting it to be a passable, kind of enjoyable but not particularly special episode. I was wrong. I found it to be second only to The Shakespeare Code as my favourite of the series so far. The Doctor takes Martha home as promised, only to return when he hears Professor Richard Lazarus on television saying that he will change what it means to be human with a touch of a button. The seventy-six year old scientist has built a machine to rejuvenate and regenerate human cells, making himself forty years younger. However, that does not come without a price. Deep within Lazarus’ body, a struggle is happening and a deadly mutation is occurring. The Doctor and Martha must do all they can to prevent a wholesale slaughter, as the monster within Lazarus breaks free… Some great CGI, a nicely-written debut script by Stephen Greenhorn coupled with some wonderful performances makes this an absolute gem.
Top performance of the episode must go to Mark Gatiss. He shifts between the old Lazarus and the rejuvenated one effortlessly and gives a wonderfully pitched performance throughout. It would have been so easy to make Lazarus an over-the-top mad scientist cliché, but the script and the performance wisely eschew that tack for a more intelligent and even sympathetic angle. Lazarus, scarred by his experiences of the Second World War, vowed to fight death and has tried admirably. The genetic mutation and subsequent killing spree take the gloss of this skewed but noble attempt. The final scene between Lazarus and the Doctor in Southwark Cathedral was just amazing, with both Gatiss and Tennant on top form. Indeed, David Tennant puts in a nice turn tonight; gone is the anger and rage and shouting that came through in the Dalek episodes, here he is more gentle, more world-weary in a way. It works well.
Freema Agyeman is also good, again proving Martha’s worth when she charges back into the lab to help the Doctor. We also get to see Martha’s family again (as her sister Tish is Lazarus’ PR) and they too are all great, especially Adjoa Andoh as Francine who delivers one almighty slap to the Doctor’s face when- prompted by a mysterious man also at Lazarus’ launch- she finds out who he is. Her frantic phonecall to Martha at the end, along with the other mentions of Mr. Saxon throughout the episode, foreshadow something great to come- hopefully. Gugu Mbatha-Raw is also good as Tish. Rounding off the cast is Thelma Barlow, best known to generations as drippy Mavis Riley from Coronation Street. Well, here she’s totally different as the severe, manipulating and calculating Lady Thaw who meets her end as the first victim of the Lazarus creature. The casting people at Doctor Who certainly know how to confound expectations, don’t they?
The CGI of the Lazarus creature is expertly realised and looks quite freaky as a skeletal scorpion-like beast. The scenes within the experiment hall (filmed at the Senedd, the Welsh Assembly Debating Chamber in Cardiff Bay) looked fabulous too. The script neatly weaves together several ideas, the nature of time and the transcience of humanity, nicely punctuated by two lovely quotes from T.S. Eliot’s ‘The Hollow Men’ and the notion of what people will do to stave off death. Greenhorn’s script is wonderful and I’d like to see him write for the series again. All in all, it was a superb episode. Too bad we have to wait two weeks for the next episode, thanks to the BBC’s coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest. Apparently, an early start time for 42 wouldn’t be ‘appropriate’, so it’s been postponed. So annoying. That said, the ‘coming soon’ trailer (which covers from episodes 7-13) looked fantastic. We are in for a treat by the looks of things. Bring it on!
Am I stil watching Doctor Who? I thought that after the 'experiment in Manhattan with the Daleks to see if we can do anything as long as some popular villains are involved' failed, it couldn't get worse. But it did. Again. This isn't really a story - it's an idea for a story. There's not really a lot of plot, and nothing much actually happens during the course of the story. I got so bored I went on MSN while watching it. I have never done that before. Ever.
On the plus side, David and Freema are once again excellent, Mark Gattis turns in a decent, if irritatingly Doctorish performance, and the monster looks half decent.
The trailer was the best bit...in fact, all the trailers so far have been more excititng than the episodes themselves...
Sometimes doctor who can be too suspenseful, sometimes it doesn't have enough, here it took about twelve minutes for the killing to begin. Now I'm not complaining about it or anything, if the revealing of the lazurus creature had been postponed for say five minutes then it probably wouldn't have made too much difference, but the whole episode did feel like everything flowed together too quickly, like they could have had more focus on certain aspects of the episode, like say the whole thing between Lazurus and the second actor from the tv series "Dinnerladies" to appear this series" Which wasn't the only thing this episode had in common with smith and Jones, when the weird monster was wrecking the lab and scaring the people, I wasn't thinking omfg, what the hell is that thing, I was thinking that I'd seen this set somewhere before. I know that sounds a bit shallow, but I was more focusing on the fact that Lazurus' lab doubled up as a hospital reception. But still, all episodes have their faults and I can't really focus on that when this is my favourite episode of season 3 so far, there were a lot of things it did right.
Despite the fact that the build up lasted about three or four seconds, the rest of the episode was done brilliantly, I like the whole action part of Doctor who just as much as the build up, and the action part was strong here. Lazurus' insane rampage through the lab, he final confrontation in the church, it was brilliantly made stuf, but with a little more build up may have made me savour the action a bit more, that's how it got my attention in dalek from season 1.
Anyway, I'm not gonna focus on that while my attention span for this review is failing. The whole monster thing was really well designed, you gotta love cgi, its much easier to make a scary monster these days, back in the old days closest you got to cgi monsters was a tin pepperpot and a creature made out of seaweed, which back then probably had about equal effect. Anywayz, the whole thing was well put together in some places, and needed some thinking over in others, but I enjoyed it so I'm not complaining in that area.
However I am complaining in the other area of 2 weeks until the next episode. How the hell, did those stupid wankers at scheduling, put a song contest involving z grade pop stars that over the last few years has become more or a joke than a contest, come before one of the most succesful shows ever? I don't understand, for the show that has basically been the BBC's centre of being for over 45 years, could come after a song contest that most people gave up on after it turned 20. The beeb are neglecting dr who, and this is a very bad sign. Watch the documentary on the survival dvd on why who got cancelled in 1989 and you'll see why I'm worried. This is the second time that the beeb have attempted putting something else before who, and I urge all fans out there to let the BBC know that we won't tolerate this!!!!
This epiosde wasn't as good as lat weeks but it was stil a pretty good episode. The mysterious mr saxon is mentioned 3 times durign the course of this episode. The doctor and martha arrive in the present day where they see professor lazarus use amchine to make himself younger. not long afterwards though he turns into a monster due the the machine changing his DNA. The doctor eventually stops him of course but there seems the be a person clled mr saxon working behind the scenes, he was probably behind professor lazarus turning into a monster. we also see martha's problems with her family. her mum dosen't like the docotor at all. and she apparently gets some information form mr saxon saying that martha isn't safe.
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