Where to begin? This time around there’s poetry, references to Classic Doctor Who, and even a Spinal Tap reference. (The poem quoted in this episode is The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot.) Also? Mark Gatiss!
Ah well. Just dive right in. It’s the only way to experience things, right?
Episode: The Lazarus Experiment by Stephen Greenhorn
Rating (1 to 5): 3.3 (the .3 is for the poem, reversing the polarity, and the Spinal Tap reference.)
Baddie: Professor Lazarus (with his Jekyll/Hyde routine. Mind you…he isn’t very nice in human form either.)
The Doctor’s Death Wish: He taunts Lazarus.
The Doctor enjoys: Nibbles! Seeing two impossible things in one night.
The Doctor dislikes: Wearing black tie as it seems to invite trouble.
The Doctor apologizes to: No one that I saw…
Rose? “Some people live more in 20 years than others do in 80…”? “…Tired of losing everyone that matters to you.”?
Who fancies Martha? Lazarus wants to eat her, but I don’t think that counts.
Doctor-y Strangeness: He talks about what being really old is like.
Scary Stuff: Um…hello? A guy who turns into a monster that eats people?
Does someone local help out? Tish.
What we learn: The Doctor can actually land in a small apartment. Martha’s sister Tish is head of PR for Lazarus Labs. It is rare to see Martha’s Brother Leo in black tie. Fluctuating DNA gives off an energy signature. The Doctor can play the organ (he picked up a few things hanging around with Beethoven.) Mr. Saxon’s first name is Harold.
My Favorite Bits: The perfect landing (for once) in Martha’s apartment. “…Books, CDs, laundry.” “…Did he say he was going to change what it means to be human?” “-Black tie. Whenever I wear this something bad always happens. -It’s not the outfit, that’s just you.” The Doctor’s joy over impossible things. The Hollow Men! Martha unlocking the front door with the Sonic Screwdriver. “Nice shoes, by the way.” “Really shouldn’t take that long just to reverse the polarity. I must be getting out of practice.” “-You’re too young. -So are you.” He turned the organ up to 11.
Observations and musings:
Martha is in the thick of it again. This time she’s home…and her family is involved. Martha in finally home again, and just when The Doctor would have left, fate intervened to keep him in town. Martha has the opportunity to introduce The Doctor to her family…and her Mum eventually slaps him. This time The Doctor is Martha’s plus one. (Shades of “End of the World,” eh?) Good job Martha on getting the DNA sample. It’s a good thing that Martha comes back with the Sonic Screwdriver, later on. Is it just me, or does The Doctor let Martha wander into more danger than he did with Rose? And Martha hasn’t “wandered off” once has she? Fancy that. A companion who follows rule #1. It’s a good thing that she ends up staying with The Doctor. He’s going to need her.
Is everyone’s Mum going to slap The Doctor? This episode brings The Doctor into contact with some things that are familiar to him. A sort of regeneration and a young looking older man. “I’m old enough to know that a longer life isn’t always a better one. In the end you just get tired. Tired of the struggle. Tired of losing everyone that matters to you. Tired of watching everything turn to dust. If you live long enough Lazarus, the only certainty left is that you’ll end up alone.” Wow. The Doctor has lived a very long time. Too bad that Lazarus doesn’t listen to what he’s saying. The Doctor knows what he is talking about. He certainly knows a great deal about loss. Well, at least he has Martha along to keep him from killing himself.
Professor Lazarus goes from being a creepy older guy to being a creepy younger guy. Well played there, Mark Gatiss. Who is the mysterious man that speaks to Martha’s mum? From the Fact File on the official site: “According to The Bible (John 11:41-44), Lazarus died and then came back to life after four days when Jesus rolled away the stone from his tomb.”
See you next time.