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3.06 The Lazarus Experiment

The Lazarus Experiment. Hey, it's a meta title, because the show has risen again. This was brilliant! I loved it to bits, even with the few niggles there were. It seemed to be a parallel to last week's - Evolution of the Humans. And it goes just as well as it did for the Daleks.



The title is also a homage to TS Eliot's Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, which I didn't know until white_hart pointed it out. I'd never read it before, and I love it. It's very apt, very Doctor somehow. Do I dare / Disturb the universe? / In a minute there is time / For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. The poem Lazarus and the Doctor quote (Between the idea / and the reality / between the motion / and the act/ falls the Shadow and This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but with a whimper.) is The Hollow Men, which is also great.

Science Geek Doctor for the win! Even if his Science, I suspect, is a bit dodgy again. (I don't really know - I almost failed that science meme, and there was nothing as blindingly obvious as the DNA through lightning stuff last week. But it seemed likely to be bollocks.) But he got to sciencebabble! And I laughed out loud at "reverse the polarity", partly because there was an obvious lead-in to it that I just didn't notice. I particularly like Science Geek Doctor, of course, because he's not Shouty Doctor. No Shouty Doctor this ep, hurrah! Or only when people were actually a long way away, which is a reasonable excuse. Also, my attitude towards the Doctor this ep was helped by my penchant for blokes in black tie becoming scruffier and loosening their ties.

I didn't expect to like episodes with Martha's family, and I wasn't bowled over by them this episode, but they didn't annoy me either. In fact, Tish was pretty good. (Poor girl - the Doctor didn't say a single word to her, I don't think, and she just disappeared at the end.)

The locations and sets were gorgeous. I watched the Confidential (first time in, ooh, 18 months I was confident there'd be nothing to annoy me too much), and Lazarus Labs was actually the Welsh Parliament building - it's so pretty! And I like that they got to film there. I liked the look, with the black-tie dress code and the shiny newness of the building, and Lazarus's machine looked great. And had a big red button! The effects around it were fab, especially the energy wave at the end. Subtlety is good. (The Lazarus Monster was OK, but nothing special, I thought. Better than the Racnoss.) And the cathedral! It was gorgeous. I love church organs, too.

Mark Gatiss was great, of course. He's worryingly good at being creepy, but he got to do so much different stuff. He got to do young, old and monster; evil, megalomanic, cruel; sardonic, oleaginous, pitiful AND creepy! Martha: still pretty smart and independent and stubborn. The Doctor still didn't manage to actually say "goodbye" in the goodbye scene at the beginning, which was nice characterisation - he's getting there, but he's not quite there yet. I wasn't sure if I liked Martha demanding to be a full partner in the Tardis or not - it made sense because of the writing and the emotional arc of the series, but out of context it seems like "We've been seeing each other for two weeks - if you don't let me move in with you now IT'S OVER". Which, you know, sucks. And she could at least have stopped to take a bag with her at the end.

I thought the sound was particularly good this episode. The cracking sounds Lazarus made before he turned into the monster were awesome (and gruesome), and made up for the CGI monster. I loved the whispered "Security Alert", that was creepy as hell! And then we got the great stuff in the cathedral with the organ playing, and the general acoustics of the cathedral.

Intertextuality yay! Reversing the polarity, the Spinal Tap reference (turn it up to 11), the Eliot quotes and references, "two impossible things already" (I meant to count and see if they got up to six), probably more I've forgotten or didn't notice.

And we had Spooky Man talking to Martha's mum, who was actually cryptic and disturbing and didn't really get resolved. In general, I thought this episode felt a lot more adult, because of things like that. Looking forward to next week, and not just for the obvious reason. Argh, and it's not even next week. Luckily I do Eurovision as well.

Also, as I said, I watched the Confidential, and I now have a crush on the director of this ep, Richard Clarke. I'm trying to find pictures of him online.

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Comments

( 8 comments — Comment )
donbert
May. 5th, 2007 10:07 pm (UTC)
An there was another in-joke, well part-in anyway, when Lazarus sad he grew up over a Butcher's shop. One for LoG fans, I think.
pickwick
May. 6th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
Oooh. Yeah, I have no idea about that, I don't even know what LoG stands for!
donbert
May. 7th, 2007 09:12 am (UTC)
League of Gentlemen, where - apart from playing a useless vet in the Peter Davison mould - Mark Gatiss also played a sinister butcher who provided "special" meat to his customers...
pickwick
May. 7th, 2007 11:39 am (UTC)
Oh, duh, yes, I was thinking you were talking about obscure Doctor Who audios or something :D
san_valentine
May. 6th, 2007 01:12 am (UTC)
I enjoyed this episode too. The story fitted the running time nicely; some single episodes feel like they needed longer to develop properly.

I liked Martha demanding to be more than just a casual tag-along at the end. She's just been reminded of her 'real' life - family, work and all. She doesn't want to be left hanging on from trip to trip, not sure whether to be mentally prepared for a long break from her family or not. She also sees herself more as the Doctor's equal than Rose did. Martha is educated, independent and preparing for a highly responsible job, and she wants the Doctor to acknowledge that by treating her more like a partner than a dependent.
Though I thought she'd have packed some of her own clothes too. No doubt there's plenty available on the Tardis, but it's nice to have your own things.

And I loved the Doctor quoting Spinal Tap.
pickwick
May. 6th, 2007 08:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I can see her not wanting to be left hanging from trip to trip. And I love that she's more the Doctor's equal, and will just demand things rather than tagging along doing whatever he says, as Rose tended to do.
sloopjonb
May. 6th, 2007 10:40 am (UTC)
Of. It's the Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, a poem I appreciate more the older I get.
pickwick
May. 6th, 2007 08:44 pm (UTC)
Goddammit, my copying skills were really ropey last night :D I had him as Anthony to start with, as well...
( 8 comments — Comment )

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