Doctor Who Review: But Clara's NOT Dead...

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Well that certainly wasn't the image I expected to see in the optogram in the opening scene of "The Crimson Horror" - how about you? Even Madame Vastra said it was impossible. Yep! Vastra, Jenny Frist and Strax were back and on the case. It was really their hour, as they went to extraordinary measures to try to get The Doctor to come their way.

My first thought as Jenny infiltrated "Sweetville" was SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE! When she finally got to the monster and it was, again, The Doctor, I was clueless. At least the next scene showed a bunch of people ready to be dumped into a pot of red goo. Perhaps Soylent Red was people? was just a preservation process. 

Victorian Horror

It was a really fast hour of viewing, that's for sure. Mrs. Gillyflower was played by the incredible talent, Diana Rigg, known best for her portrayal of Emma Peel in The Avengers. She and her silent partner, the cutest little creature sucking life from her, literally, by living on her chest, were trying to  make perfection under glass domes before they poisoned the air for the rest of the world. The name Gillyflower was a good choice as she and her partner, Mr. Sweets, were sort of potting people in Sweetsville.

There wasn't a lot during the episode to discuss really, other than the tale itself and that it brought us back to the place where The Doctor first met, and lost, Clara. The Doctor never did tell his friends what he knew about Clara, and admitted it to Jenny. 

I still don't know if he knows anything at all. Continually he says it's impossible and it can't be, so he either knows something and refuses to accept it or we're going to find out what he knows pretty darn quick.

Filler episode, for sure, but with the Scooby gang last seen in "The Snowmen," the one that got the entire ball rolling and shifted the seasonal arc from Amy and Rory to Clara, it was a good time. I loved Jenny's outfit when she was ready for a fight and everything Strax says was golden. 

The Doctor was both funny (kissing his lock-picking Victorian chamber maid Jenny) and kind (saving Mrs. Gillyflower's daughter from a life of insecurity and sadness) and Matt Smith is always at his best when he's running about and doing a million things at once. 

The ending, when Clara got home and her charges had found pictures of her from all over time on the Internet was an "about time" moment. Kids are pretty clever when it comes to the net these days and with the way she's always trotting off, it made perfect sense they'd see if they could find her.

While she was in most of the photos, the one she didn't recognize was when she first died in Victorian London nor Yorkshire, which is most likely why The Doctor didn't take her there. Landing the TARDIS wasn't a mistake; he knew if he took it London in her own time Clara could be recognized. Little did he know Madame Vastra and friends needed his help.

So, as we roll into the final two episodes of Doctor Who Series 7 and next week's highly anticipated episode "Nightmare in Silver" penned by Neil Gaiman and filled with Cybermen, Clara is getting a better picture of exactly why The Doctor is always being so shady about her.

Chat about this weeks episode and what's coming down the pike in the comments!


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (54 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


Loved Thomas Thomas giving Strax directions


@tristan The Doctor knew the Victorian Clara was dead at the time, he got the right time but got the wrong place. I think he wanted to see if Clara had any reaction to the things/people/places familiar to the Victiorian Clara.


I loved how the Victorian gang interacts. And yes the Clara mystery has made this season very intriguing.


@tristan: "I think the Doctor wanted to see what would happen if the 2 Clara's were together; see if he can solve the mystery that is Clara." You could be right. If so, he was off not only in space but also in time since the Victorian Clara was already dead.


the Doctor meant to bring Clara to Victorian London and not Yorkshire, I think. you can sort of see him "kicking himself", so to speak, when he went to lock up the TARDIS. I think the Doctor wanted to see what would happen if the 2 Clara's were together; see if he can solve the mystery that is Clara.


Filler? That was Doctor Who, not filler! It was the best episode since "Snowmen," and it's no coincidence that it involved the same primary cast. Too bad that Clara didn't have much of anything to do other than look more clever than the Doctor in a couple of scenes. It was completely silly, but it was silly in exactly the right way for Matt Smith's Doctor. It also, at the very end, created a pretty lame excuse for bringing Clara's wards along on the next adventure. I have a bad feeling about this coming episode -- and I don't mean that I'm worried about what will happen to the characters.


Fun episode. Strax is always funny. I liked the idea that was almost the fourth horse he killed that week.
Also, the tomtom joke was funnier than it had any right to be.

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Doctor Who Season 7 Episode 12 Quotes

Jenny, Jenny, Jenny, Jenny, Jenny. Just when you think your favorite lock picking Victorian chamber maid will never turn up - Jenny.

The Doctor

Okay. Not London 1893. Yorkshire 1893. Near enough!

The Doctor