09 May 2010

Doctor Who: 05.06: Vampires of Venice

Following from last weeks episode where Amy tried to seduce the Doctor, the Time Lord crashes Rory’s bachelor party and whisks him and Amy off in the TARDIS on a romantic “date” to get their relationship back on course. They arrive in 1580 Venice, but as is with the Doctor, all is not well in the 16th Century. According to some citizens, plague is running rampant, and the city has been placed under quarantine at the order of the city's patron, Signora Rosanna Calvierri. Sensing things are wrong, the Doctor investigates Calvierri's palazzo and discovers vampires are running amok in the romantic city of Venice.

There is a lot to like about this episode, as Toby Whithouse’s (who also wrote season two’s School Reunion) script sparkles with great humor, the actors continue to make themselves appealing and the location work (Trogir, Croatia stands in for 16th Century Venice) is absolutely gorgeous.

But I did get a sense of deja vu with story. It resembles, in so many ways, School Reunion, down to the girl being taken to a higher authority to be helped, only to discover its an alien posing as a human. Its that device, the shapeshifting alien, we’ve see many times in Doctor Who, and I’ll venture an opinion that its becoming dull and overused (and beyond that episode, Whithouse used that same idea for an episode of Torchwood).

But beyond that, and a slight comparison to the Doctor/Amy/Rory triangle from season 1 and 2 (sad that neither Karen Gillian and Arthur Darvill have chemistry), I enjoyed the episode, especially the bit of dialogue between Rory and the Doctor in which Rory tells the Doctor that he's dangerous because people want to impress him so, and then the stand-off between the Doctor and Rosanna Calvierri -where she tells the Doctor that her race “saw the silence, and the end of all things...”

As the episode ends, as Rory, Amy and the Doctor get in the TARDIS, everything falls silent. The look on the Doctor’s face seems to indicate he remember’s her words, and he seems a bit unnerved by it.

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