Very good with one problem that permeates every standalone episode so far and I’ll get to that problem.
As has been the trend for every episode this series – the episode starts pretty much right after the last one – this time with the Doctor picking up Amy’s fiance at his Stag (bachelor party) and whisking the couple away to Venice to rekindle their romance (or start is up the first time).
There’s an itneresting love triangle between the three with Rory being quite jealous of the Doctor because of the central role he’s played in Amy’s whole life. There are several humourous moments where the triangle comes to a head and several funny jokes (‘oh yours is bigger’).
As usual, Karen Gillan is lovely running around 16th century venice in a mini-skirt and a stylish scarf. It’s not hard to see why the Doctor and Rory are to taken by her. It doesn’t take long for her to end back up in a nighty and she also gets soaked with rain at one point. I’m starting to think the writers are enjoying sexing Amy Pond up. I certainly don’t mind.
Rory was very annoying as a character and an actor. Matt Smith was brilliant – he really is settling into the role and starting to stamp his own personality onto it. There are several moments – and some of them are when he’s on his own – that he really shines. It’s really funny when he spots a mirror and checks himself out.
The villian of the episode is becoming a broken record in Doctor Who – the last of a certain race is trying to use Earth to give itself a rebirth. I give this plot point a big sigh. I know Doctor Who is famous for recycling it’s story concepts, but this is getting a little ridiculous. That being said – we’re left with the nugget that the crack in time is becoming more and more important to the course of this series.
This episodes ‘red shirt’ was an African man who lives in Venice, who’s daughter gets taken into the wierd vampire convent (they aren’t vampires, BTW). He’s really a throwaway character and so is his daughter, but they didn’t really need to be and they wouldn’t have if they had gotten 10 more minutes of screen time and some backstory. And that brings me to the biggest weakness of the new Doctor Who series so far: the episodes are too short and it’s starting to show.
Episodes in series 5 are clocking in at under 45 minutes. While this has been the standard episode length since Doctor Who came back in2005, they’re missing an entire act of story and it’s really starting to show. They are skimping on backstory in every episode and leaving much to be desired.
The result has been, while the season has been fun and enjoyable, a weak series with the strongest episode being the two parter because they have more time to tell an actual story.
Vampires of Venice is good, worth watching. Next week looks like a mind bendingly interesting episode. I can’t wait to see ‘Amy’s Choice!’
What did you think of Vampires in Venice? Let us know in the comments!
That was dreadful. Only good bit was Amy’s sexy costume.
It isn’t just that the characterization is thin, but also that it’s unbelievable, and there are just too many sloppy holes in the plot and lazy, unbelievable solutions to problems. (Using a compact mirror to explode a fishman? Then why didn’t they all blow up when the doctor used his sun lamp before? And why do fish even care whether they’re in the sun or not to begin with, and why would they be interested in human blood? And since when does the sonic screwdriver heal wounds?)
I thought it was an exciting story, although the acting was a bit thin in spots. The action scenes were not as intense as they could be, and they were over too quick. I for one love the “They’re (insert mythological figure here)! No wait, they’re really (insert alien here)!” trope, but it is getting a little old. How did an episode seem so much fuller in the last four series?
Stu Gre says
So disapointed by this season, really can’t understand why this series is getting anything but mediocre reviews. I just watched series 1 – 4 all over again and I’d rather watch any episode of them for the 20th time than get bored by a new one. Lazy plots, poor acting, only patchy moments of charisma from the new doctor – it lacks so much it is hard to list it all! The only bright spot is Amy Pond, and not for her looks either (wel ok just a bit!) but rather the consistent quality of her acting and the warmth she brings to the screen. Russell T Davies may be much maligned by the fanbois but surely he was far, far better than this!
Oh, dear. This is getting worse.
Is the end of Dr Who nigh?
I haven’t yet seen this episode (we’re only up to the “Weeping Angels” stories here in Australia) but I have to say I’ve been sorely disappointed with what I’ve viewed so far.
Steven Moffat seems to be the 21st Century’s John Nathan Turner. There’s so many things wrong with this series and he’s the man to blame… Matt Smith is badly miscast (though he’s trying, poor lad, but he isn’t “the Doctor”); Karen Gillan’s Amy Pond is unlikable and unsympathetic (I’m a female and her long legs and red hair cut no ice with me!) PLUS her acting is dreadful. I have to assume she was chosen for her looks alone – an unforgiveable blunder when the UK can boast of having the finest of actors and actresses.
How the dickens were these two selected as the Doctor and his companion?
And the stories – weak, weak, weak. Plots, characterisation, tension… there’s nothing there to capture the imagination. There’s no “spark” in this series.
I fear for the future of Dr Who. Will the BBC put it in storage for 20 years as they did after the Sylvester McCoy series?
I hope not. It used to have so much potential… Russell T. Davies, come back! Please!
I agree with Brigid. I’m in the U.S. and we just finished the weeping angels, too. I’ve read about the next episode set in 16 century Venice. The thing that bothers me besides the weak villains (why doesn’t somebody look directly at an angel and smash them with a large hammer?) The writing does seem lazy and in more ways than that. Amy running around in a miniskirt in WW2 era Britain? in 16th century Venice? and nobody in either time period bats an eye regarding someone running around looking like they didn’t finish getting dressed? I know we dress like that now but they definitely DID NOT dress like that then.
Im lovin this series. Go Steven Moffat!