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THE LAZARUS EXPERIMENT


Chase - Posted on 03 October 2009

This was another one I was set to pounce upon but I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it. When I first watched it I thought Mark Gatiss went too far over the top but he didn't really. He seems to be playing the Master at every turn but a downplayed version and is really someone who is human but is completely amoral from start to finish and it's difficult to feel any sympathy for him, even though the Doctor seems to...a bit. And oh look it's a UNIT story down to the madman scientist (INFERNO, MIND OF EVIL and others?), a throwback to the past (SILURIANS and SEA DEVILS and others), a mutant, the Doctor finding out about the threat by watching TV, and a climax in a church! But it's very good on top of that. Oh and the reversing the polarity.

Tennant is very good in this AGAIN and so is Freema AGAIN. And saying lines that could have been very poorly handled by anyone else...for both of them. And yes there are basically only a handful of settings but what well done sets they are and very elaborate. Martha's mother proves to be a threat but not a powerful one but comes off as someone who DOES care for her family and for once I really thought Martha's sister Trish was a gonna. Let's face it, with such a larger family and with Trish in danger almost the entire 42 minutes, she could have died. I'm glad she didn't. Martha's family comes off a little better (dad's not here and that helps give time over to the others and her brother comes off against cliche and liking the fact that Martha has the Doctor and likes the Doctor; her sister is happy that perhaps she loves the Doctor and that's against cliche too; but mum slaps the Doctor and tha'ts pretty funny from his end of it).

The monster is so well conceived and looks great and horrific, it gives me chills as it bears down on Trish and Martha in the upper cathedral. Wonderfully done. Despite a few sympathetic beats from the Doctor, and despite this is a Pertwee type tale, the Doctor's attitude is basically Tom Baker's Doctor (making comments about how ugly the monster's face is ala BRAIN OF MORBIUS's Tom Baker or even I think CITY OF DEATH when the Doc says, "Very pretty" to the alien's real face), biding time for the others to escape, setting things to explode, releasing the gas, and making quips and comments ("Nice shoes by the way"). But again, we get the lonely Doctor and here it's nicely fitted into the story so it's not annoying by this point.

All in all a 4/5 and I'd even go so far as to give it a 5/5 and yes it's a mad doctor movie/story and a monster on the loose so it's nothing new but it's well handled, scripted, filmed, and acted and for once, the danger felt real as if Martha's family could die so it's pretty tense, too. I'd also give it a 9/10 or an 8/10 or if generous a 10/10 cause it's really pretty good and does the job.

What's with the preview of the rest of the season and why is some stupid looking guy beating the DW theme song with his hands on a table wearing a gas mask, looks really stupid. And why is Capt Jack jumping like he's humping someone screaming Doctor? Looks really bad.      

  

The first time I saw this I regarded it as one of the weakest episodes of the season. But I liked it much better on second viewing.

If you listen carefully to the dialogue, there is a lot of foreshadowing for later episodes. It gave it much more meaning.

Good use of the family. Nice to see Tenant and Freema frocked up for an episode.

The finale in the cathedral was great and Gatiss did a great job.

oh and again, Martha is put on the front line by the Doctor while he plays an organ!

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