Doctor Who

Season 3 Episode 6

The Lazarus Experiment

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM May 05, 2007 on BBC America

Episode Fan Reviews (25)

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out of 10
463 votes
  • Phew...that was some ride! I am beginning to think I should hav docked the preceeding Dalek episode a point as 10 days on I feel less positive about it. But Lazarus didn't disappoint in any way.

    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.