It was only a matter of time until Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax made another appearance on DOCTOR WHO and, given their tie-in to the mystery of Clara from Christmas, that time was going to come sooner rather than later.
Yorkshire, 1893. Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh), Jenny (Catrin Stewart) and Strax (Dan Starkey) investigate when the latest victim of “the Crimson Horror” is discovered to have an image of the Doctor (Matt Smith) burned into his retina. The trail leads to Sweetville, a Utopian society operated by Mrs. Gillyflower (Diana Rigg), which accepts only exemplars of the human form. Jenny infiltrates the society and discovers the Doctor chained in a secret room, his skin turned crimson and waxy, just like the deceased victims of the Crimson Horror.
You might call this “Inside the Spaceship — the Extended Cut,” because at last DOCTOR WHO explores more of the Doctor’s wondrous stolen vehicle than ever before. On the (slightly) downside, this story was a pretty much what I was afraid it would be: a travelogue of the TARDIS, providing teasing glimpses of the interior over the course of a narrative concerned with other matters.
Inside the spaceship: The Doctor (Matt Smith) wants to help smooth relations between Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) and the TARDIS by teaching his new companion how to fly the ship, so he puts it in “Basic Mode.” Almost the instant Clara touches the controls, the TARDIS is rocked by power loss, explosions and music is heard. Outside, the TARDIS grasped by gigantic metal magno-grab arms and cast onto a pile of debris aboard a salvage ship run by the Van Baalen Bros: Gregor (Ashley Walters), Bram (Mark Oliver) and the android Tricky (Jahvel Hall). As the Doctor frantically tries to regain control, Clara asks if there’s a way to fix the damage. “Oh, yes, big, friendly button,” he tells her. Then the console explodes. Something rolls toward Clara and she picks it up, but it’s too hot to handle and she drops it. Aboard the salvage ship, the Van Baalens think they have a derelict escape pod, but Tricky spots two feet in the junk pile — which belong to the Doctor. He blames them for breaking his ship, and then realizes Clara is trapped inside. He enlists the brothers to help search for her, promising them the salvage of a lifetime.