Vampires of Venice: SPOILERS!!!!

Idiom's picture

Idiom - Posted on 08 May 2010

“Yours is bigger than mine!”

“Let’s not go there.”

What fun! After last week’s corker, I was really preparing myself to be disappointed by this one but series five delivers yet again.

It looked beautiful, the dialogue was sparkling and witty, and it was the episode which my daughter found scariest so far.

I liked:

·         Rory! A great addition to the crew. And for those nay-sayers of last week’s final scene between Amy and the Doctor, we now know that it was there for a reason. The Doctor doesn’t want to make the same mistakes as he made with Rose and the set up from the previous episode leads to this ‘romantic’ outing to Venice. But is this the only reason that he wants Rory and Amy together?

·         The Doctor: I like the bit when they say it’s bigger on the outside! And his glare at Rory as if to say: how dare you upset my view of the world.

·         The stag party. Ha ha! Greta. And I also liked Rory’s stag t-shirt on the gondolier.

·         Bill Hartnell! The library card! Oh the fans love references back to the classic series.

·         The vampire girlies – brilliant! This really reminded me of one of my favourite films: Polanski’s Fearless Vampire Hunters. Totally crazy, madcap and Baroque! And who knew that fish from outer space would be so...well...  buxom.

·         And the monster was a good looking design and the perception filters a great idea for explaining why they had no reflection. However, a question – if the clothes were part of the perception filter’s doing (as they clearly were) why did Mother Fish need to undress before throwing herself into the canal at the end?

·         Shades of the Shakespeare Code and Evolution of the Daleks in the finale. But how is it that Moffat can copy what’s gone before and just do it so much better?

·         So now we know that Amy’s relationship with the doctor is not another Rose-like affair or Martha unrequited-moping, and thanks to the Doctor Amy and Rory are in a good place by the end of the episode. Yes, this is definitely what this Doctor would do. This three-way relationship bodes well and as a huge fan of the Fourth Doctor-Harry-Sarah crew, I’m hoping that Rory hangs around for a while.

I’m sure I’ll think of more to say about this later. But for the moment, a very credible 4 out of 5!

daveac's picture

I enjoyed tonight's Dr Who - no real disappointments although I would have liked it to be darker.

However this is a 'Family Show' so I should judge it on that.

More series 'story-srcs' appearing now - Not disappearing planets as in RTD - but disappearing Races!


Cheers, daveac

Believe it or not, I'd give this a 5/5 or a 9/10. I think it's the best story of the season to be honest so that's 2/6, not a great track record but anyway...maybe Moffat should let others write his seasons and he just oversee them.

I've seen other reviews that tear this apart and frankly there are flaws but nothing like what's being said. The humor works. The one thing that did not work for me was the Doctor coming out of the cake. It's not funny, just mean and then he tells Rory that his fiance kissed him. Does the Doctor have no sense of humanity or the norms of society any longer? He just came off dumb as rocks and stupid as if it was a mistake he made.  Yes, at times, it is very reminescent of Mickey/Rose/Doc9 and 10 but here it seems a bit different. Still, I would like something different but the thing is: Rory is a better character than both Amy and the Doctor here although the Doctor isn't as mean and evil minded about Amy as 9 and 10 were about Rose or winning Rose over...

Rory is funny and the scene where the Doctor gets him to cover the other man's mouth while he covers Rory's and AMy's is laugh out loud funny and AND fits the scene to the tea. I was not too crazy about him being over the moon and happy about fnding vampires or about AMy's attitude...all jiggly and happy about vampire killing people as if they NEED a mystery and this harkens back to an equally poor attitude Rose and the 10th Doc had in TOOTH AND CLAW that added up to 'Oh let me just see a werewolf tear a man apart and I'll be so happy and turned on" "Werewolf!" "I know" some of the worst Doc10/Rose dialog and the fact that people are dying doesn't seem to bother them as long as they get their rocks off with dangerous adventure so that part of it I don't really like but...

The aliens work, even if the effects are as other says sort of...poor. The monsters look scary and their build up just right and the atmosphere was good...castles, bodies, dark foreboding, bites on the neck, mysterious waters, something looking up at AMy, a comp in over her head, and this time, good people that we know from the beginning die. THe start was okay...with the thing set was the lead in just before the still horrid theme TUNE that did it...that cake thing and the Doc clueless about human norms and ettettic...that was poor.

Still, there is a lot of exciting running around this time and most of it made sense this time. It was thrilling.

SOme say the DOc solved it too easily. Well, no, he had to climb a bloody tower. Okay that came from let's see LOGOPOLIS, IDIOT'S LANTERN, that horrid two part Dalek Martha thing--Empire State Building anyone, AND THE LAZURUS EXPERIMENT. I also seem to recall   THE STONES OF VENICE, an 8th Doctor story that actually has Venice sink I believe. Can't recall much else except that I think I liked it but that was so long ago. Frankly I think this was better because it's very visual and for once this season I felt we actually went somewhere back in time and someplace all worked and came together for me. The humor fit in with it all, too. Toby did a great job, now maybe he can repair the damage that was done to BEING HUMAN (did HE write that mostly  awful second season?).

Matt Smith excells as the DOctor in almost every episode, good or bad scripts. This one is a good script so he works even harder. His face down with the lady is just grand. Matthew's Doctor avoids the conceited bravado of the Doc10 Tennant and I'm glad for that. He's much calmer, much less conceited ("Hello Handsome" aside) and in his tone I'm reminded of a more modest Doctor. His scenes with Rory excell and Rory be a much better comp than AMy...

Ahh, yes Amy: at first it was hard to give her any sympathetic feelings but as the story went on, she really got much better. She's still amoral or immoral but I'll forgive her that if the Doc and Rory can and they both seem to. Still, the retread of both a wedding and a trio trianlge of 'love"/hate is not really something I would have gone for...and I"m still not convinced totally it works but it works better than I expected.

Some of the tension is lost when the Doc just sees vampire women and just starts talking to them/himself. That part was not funny and the humor there should have been lost. In any event, it does not spoil the entire thing.

For once this season, I was totally into it, totally enjoying it, laughing, thrilled and excited by the visuals and the time travel feel of it. THAT was GREAT DW...again, not without some minor faults and annoyances but better than all the other episodes this season.

Another complaint someone had was that the Doc crept up on the lead fish lady as she was about to kill herself...well, he had to...because he wasn't sure what she might do...she could pull him in or bite he had sneak up on her...or maybe they feel the DOc wanted her to die..and maybe he did. I LOVE the fact that he felt that the lead lady should have known Isabella's name...and didn't. One thing I don't think I   heard was that fact that he could have asked them if he could take them someplace and give them a new start as the Doc's done so many times before or at least offered (CYBERMEN in DOOMSDAY and ARMY OF GHOST, Teripletils in THE VISITATION, and others). Maybe he was too pissed off or maybe I missed a bit of that dialog. 

Loved the "tear everything apart deal" although it didn't work as it did in THE SAVAGES.  

In any event, this time the threat was felt, the logic someahat sensible, the action action, and the setting well used. Well done everyone, even Karen did a great job this episode. 



daveac's picture

From Chase:-

'One thing I don't think I   heard was that fact that he could have asked them if he could take them someplace and give them a new start as the Doc's done so many times before or at least offered (CYBERMEN in DOOMSDAY and ARMY OF GHOST, Teripletils in THE VISITATION, and others). Maybe he was too pissed off or maybe I missed a bit of that dialog.'

That's a really good point.

The doctor seems to have switched from the view of 'help my foe' to 'no second chances'

Cheers, daveac

Dalzo's picture

This was a good, fun episode. Not as good as the two-parter that proceeded it but still continues the extremely high quality of this season so far. There hasn't been a bad episode to date and this is shaping up to be the best season of Doctor Who since it came back in 2005!

Personally, I would have liked it to have been a little darker. I think if it had been set in Winter (similar to the excellent film "Don't Look Now") it would have been truly unsettling and frightening, That said, it would not have made sense for the Doctor to bring Rory and Amy to a wintry Venice! I was also a little disappointed that they weren't true vampires but once again, this isn't a criticism, more of a personal taste! Besides, this was meant to be a fairly light-hearted episode.

I thought that, once again, the dialogue was absolutely excellent with many a great one liner and many laugh out loud moments (the Doctor shutting everybody up was fantastic). The plot was fairly straight forward although I didn't understand what happened to the "piranha" like fish who ended up eating the Matriarch. The Doctor just seems to have left them! I assume they will die out in time with nobody to mate with but I pity the careless gondolier who may accidently fall into the canal before they do!

As for the new companion, Rory. I am very pleased that we are breaking with the current convention and having two companions. It gives a breath of fresh air and I hope that he remains aboard the TARDIS for the remainder of the season (and possibly beyond). I am looking forward to watching him grow because one thing I struggled to believe in was the fact that he would have survived that "sword" fight. Realistically, he should have been killed. At the moment he is unable to look after himself and I will be happier when he has a bit more experience in adventuring. I am also pleased that Rory will  be the "love" angle with Amy as opposed to the Doctor, there was no sign of jealousy from the Doctor at any point, in fact, the Doctor took him aboard to prevent that kind of thing. He has learnt from his mistakes with Rose and Martha and has corrected them!

Matt Smith, yet again, gives a very strong performance. As a character I think there is a chance that I may end up preferring the eleventh Doctor to his previous incarnation, although whether his acting abilities are up there with Tennant is still to be tested. We haven't witnessed him do "sad" acting yet and whether he can pull that off like Tennant is yet to be decided. That said, what we have seen so far has been the 11th Doctor growing into himself. In the first few episodes I really felt that the dialogue written could easily have been said by Tennant. But, I really couldn't see Tennant speaking the 11th Doctor's lines in the last 3 episodes or so. It seems like he has been gradually growing out of his tenth persona and into the eleventh. This shows immense skill in the writing and collaboration between Matt Smith and Steven Moffat and could turn out to be one of the most interesting regenerations... not just lasting the first episode but the first season. When he said he was cooking, I think he was on the simmer and was being slow cooked.

That is all I will say for now but may comment further once I have seen it again. Oh, but next weeks episode looks like it is going to be amazing... I, for one, am dreaming about next Saturday...

I didn't like it much.

It was beautifully shot, though, and I'm coming around to Matt Smith a lot more.

The Matriarch was just elegant and lovely. really good.

There were the elements of a really good story there, but I found the pacing and the execution a bit too rushed and dizzying, and this spoiled everything else for me.

I'm really getting really worried about certian aspects of the new season, including what seems to be unconcious derivitveness: this love triangle aping the Rose-Micky-Doctor one, Amy's biography being integral the way Donna's was. It's all feeling a bit tired.


Troy Baker's picture

This episode (to me) was a mixed bag.

I loved all the set work - the beautiful scenery costumes and settings looked wonderful.

The inclusion of Rory answers the question of what the Doctor was going to do when Amy tried to "jump his bones" in last weeks episode. It provides a way for Amy to remember her future marriage and 'cool' her feelings towards the Doctor. It looks like the Doctor is more interested in 'friend' companions as opposed to 'close' companions.

About Rory - I'm holding my judgement about him for a bit. We've only seen him in "The Eleventh Hour' and this story but in this story he was still suffering from 'shock' about the way the 'Doctor' entered back into his life and the overwhelming feeling of being in the TATDIS for the first time. Later he did show that he could be a good traveling companion with the Doctor when he and Amy went back in an effort to help him. I'm a little mixed on the comical 'sword-fight' that Rory had but it did prove to Amy his willingness to protect her (even though he didn't do a very good job - they wound up running away from the fight). He has the potential of being a comical version of Ian from the first Doctor's time, we'll just have to wait and see.

The 'Vampires' - Again I have mixed feelings, They had the 'look and feel' of classic vampires, but when the truth was revealed - they were fish? I'm going to assume that they were modeled after piranhas - that whet the teeth reminded me of. It explains why the girls were being hydrated - rather than feeding, without the liquids they would have died

Guido (the shipbuilder) - I liked his portrayal, he really acted like someon who was worried about his daughter (Isabella). When he couldn't find her he went to great lengths to find her. The scene where he found her and she didn't recognize him was a turning point in the story for him. It made him determined to find out what was doing this and stop it. It helped create a mutual goal for him and the Doctor. When he found out about her death that made him more willing to work with the Doctor - even sacrificing himself to stop the alien's plans.

The silence - When the everything became silent at the end of the story why didn't the Doctor investigate that. It looks like we've traded the crack for the silence. Could this be the coming silence we've been hearing since the first story this season. We'll just have to wait and see.


That enough for now. Wink


PS: Didn't the Doctor's appearance at the party seem like a buzz-kill to the bachelor party - OUCH!


BTW: The alien species in this episode were Saturnynians (according to TARDIS Index File). The word was never used but the name of the planet was mentioned -Saturnyne.



Tardis-Knight's picture

In complete agreement (with Chase) that the Doctor in the cake was nonsense - other than that, no real complaints at all - as good as anything else in this so far wonderful series. 

Proper creepy at times,

Possibly (if being picky) a historical version of "Aliens Of London" & possibly better if it had been just the Doctor and Amy - but I'm not really complaining.


Nothing Dies Of Old Age On Skaro!

Another average story as far as I'm concerned.  Not much to say about it.

- I like Rory.  Not sure how long he'll stick around in the TARDIS, but he's likable.  I just hope he doesn't let Amy walk over him like Rose did to Mickey.

- I didn't get the scene where Rory was telling off The Doctor, about how the companions always try to impress him and it gets them in danger.  It seems to me like this conversation would've been more appropriate from somebody that's been travelling with The Doctor for a while, or at least known him for a longer period of time.

- Loved when Isabella's father had Rory's shirt on.

- Matt Smith = great

- Ironically, the best thing about the episode might have been the preview for next week.  That seems like it'll be a good one!

- It's tough to pinpoint what exactly I didn't like about this.  It just didn't do anything for me.  However I think it may be due to the fact that I watched this after having just watched Lost, so my mind was still sifting through what happened on The Island, and wasn't in full-fledged DW mode...

- 2.5, maybe 3, out of 5.

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