May 12, 2013

The Crimson Horror

Title: The Crimson Horror
Episode: 7.11
Earth 1893

Guests: Dame Diana Rigg
Rachael Stirling {52}
Neve McIntosh {6}
Catrin Stewart {6}
Dan Starkey {18}

Writer: Mark Gatiss
Director: Saul Metzstein

Rating: *****

I was pleased to see this episode advertised as a "Doctor Lite" story. Its been awhile since the Doctor has not been the main focus of the story. Combined with the fact that the Paternoster Gang returns for this episode I was anticipating some great work from writer Mark Gatiss {w16}. I was not disappointed.

Guest stars Dame Diana Rigg {8}(Game of Thrones, The Avengers(UK)), and her real life daughter Rachael Stirling faced off against Jenny, Madame Vastra and their Sontaran Butler, Strax in 1893 Yorkshire.

This episode opens the idea that the Paternoster Gang could work as a spin-off series on its own, which I would love to see. Jenny and Vastra both have amazing qualities as investigators and fighters, where need be. Strax lacks the deductive capacity, but has a glorious die in battle attitude, and works great as comic relief.

One thing that perplexes me is that this episode is dated as 1893 and yet The Snowman is dated 1842. A fifty year difference and Jenny hasn't aged at all. Both Producer Steven Moffat and writer Mark Gatiss are big fans and producers of Sherlock, and don't make mistakes like that, without there being a reason behind it. What does this hidden clue mean?

At the end of the episode we gain a couple of more characters as Clara returns home to the kids she nannies.  The two kids blackmail her with the fact that they've figured out that she's a time traveler. We then see them in the trailer for next weeks episode.

Opening: 7
Setting: 8
Conflict: 9
Plot: 9 
Dialogue: 8
Aliens: 6
Costumes: 8