Sunday, August 24, 2014

Doctor Who--"The Lazarus Experiment"

After an entertaining but ultimately lackluster Dalek story, we get an entertaining but ultimately lackluster monster of the week story to which Martha’s sister is conveniently attached. At the very least was the creature was often visually stunning and creepy, although the human face attached reminded me much of the level of technology in 1993’s Lawnmower Man than any of today’s special effects. That is the BBC for you. Sometimes they work miracles, sometimes they do not. We also got to see more of Martha’s family. I think they are much more interesting than Rose’s, but still the bickering is annoying. At least the mother is more consistent in her dislike for the Doctor as opposed to the wishy washy Jackie.

The Doctor finally returns Martha home and is about to leave for good when he catches wind that Martha’s public relations manager sister is helping promote an event tonight in which Dr. Richard Lazarus promises to change what it means to be human. The Doctor is too intrigued to pass up the event. Lazarus uses his latest invention to convert himself from 76 years old to what looks like his mid-thirties. Unfortunately, he alters his own DNA and begins to mutate into some sort of giant scorpion-- a creature evolution chose to skip. Thus begins one long romp through the building and eventually a cathedral before the Doctor ultimately stops the creature with boosted acoustics in a nod to This is Spinal Tap.

Meanwhile, Martha’s mother runs into to MP Saxon for the first time, who fills her in on who the Doctor really is. This is the first time we get a good look at Saxon and definite hints he is the Master is disguise. But why does someone like the Master want to be Prime Minister of the United Kingdom? It boggles the mind. Mother is more convinced than ever Martha should stay away from the Doctor, but it is too late. He finally agrees to allow Martha as his permanent companion. After six episodes, it is about time, no?

It was a fun romp without much else to say about it. The CGI was good in places, sufficiently creepy, but awful in others. Especially the human face on the scorpion. There will not be an episode next week, but they made up for it with an extended trailer for the rest of the season. We got our first glimpse of Capt. Jack Harkness, an imposter Doctor, and whatever the critter that was supposed to be in “The Satan Pit” look like. Should be an interesting rest of the season.

Rating: ** (out of 5)

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