DOCTOR WHO 7.11: “The Crimson Horror”

crimson1It 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.
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A ‘Crimson Horror’ Gallery

The BBC released a bunch of photos promoting this week’s episode of DOCTOR WHO, so once again I have culled my favorites for your edification.

Here’s the BBC synopsis:

There’s something very odd about Mrs. Gillyflower’s (Diana Rigg) Sweetville mill, with its perfectly clean streets and beautiful people. There’s something even stranger about the bodies washing up in the river, all bright red and waxy. When the Doctor (Matt Smith) and Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) go missing, it’s up to Vastra (Neve McIntosh), Jenny (Catrin Stewart) and Strax (Dan Starkey) to rescue them before they, too, fall victim to the Crimson Horror!

Watch it at 8 p.m. on BBC America.

Old-Timey ‘Crimson Horror’ Clip

The best part of this clip is the pseudo-newsreel feel; the sepia tone and ersatz scratches on the image — just like old film stock.

“The Crimson Horror” features Dame Diana Rigg facing off against Matt Smith‘s Doctor, and it looks very atmospheric. Just look at the Doctor and Clara arriving in a foggy street in Yorkshire in 1893! I question the wisdom of putting two scary episodes so close together, but all I’m really looking for is a cracking good story, so…

The clip makes a couple of fun references to an old companion longtime fans will remember:

“The Crimson Horror” will air Saturday night at 8 o’clock on BBC America.

Peek at New Monsters — Including Ice Warriors!

Okay, I admit it: I was a bit underwhelmed by that promotional image for Series 7b, as the back half of the latest DOCTOR WHO season has come to be known. The Doctor (Matt Smith) on a Triumph motorcycle with Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) hanging on for the jaunty ride. Meh.

Then I realized that seemingly blah promotional image was absolutely packed with subtle information. It was practically Whovian steganography!

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DOCTOR WHO 7.5 Promises Some Good Stuff

Who’s this? It’s Rachael Stirling as Ada Gillyflower in “The Crimson Horror.”

Who’s this? It’s Rachael Stirling as Ada Gillyflower in “The Crimson Horror.”

When the back half of series seven of DOCTOR WHO finally commences — most likely sometime in April — there will be some scary stuff coming down the pike, according to the director of two of those episodes, Saul Metzstein.

The first up is episode 11, “The Crimson Horror,” by Mark Gatiss (his second story in this half of the season, following episode 8). Metzstein describes it thusly:

“It’s very tight, and has its own peculiar particularities. Its own unique flavor. It’s very funny. Terribly creepy. It’s from that genre of DOCTOR WHO where the Doctor doesn’t appear till some way into the episode. I’ve been watching some old DOCTOR WHO, and it’s that type of episode. Also, it has a massive flashback in the middle of it, which is unusual for a program about time-travel! I like its odd structure.”

The director is also helming the finale, penned by Steven Moffat, but is far more closed-mouthed, saying only, “It has genuinely scary monsters. Wait and see!”

SPOILERS! Details of Neil Gaiman’s story are revealed after the cut…
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