S33 (7) 12 – The Crimson Horror

Home Forums Episodes The Eleventh Doctor S33 (7) 12 – The Crimson Horror

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    Craig @craig


    What is Sweetville’s sour secret? Something ghastly is afoot in Victorian Yorkshire, as bodies are found with their skin a waxy, glowing red.

    davemorris316 @davemorris316

    Ha! The bit with the sonic!

    feralcat @feralcat

    Thomas Thomas – victorian sat nav !

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Yes, a very funny comedy horror episode.

    ardaraith @ardaraith

    Well, I enjoyed that!  This series has such a different feel to it!  CH was pure melodrama.  Well, done!

    “Your boyfriend.”

    I would say…this episode solidifies it for me.  Clara and the Doctor are more than platonic, and definitely a different type of familial than birth family!

    HTPBDET @htpbdet

    Well, that’s two strikes for Mark Gatiss – another cracking Doctor Who story, this time a fabulous homage to the Fourth Doctor and, particularly, Talons of Weng-Chiang and Horror of Fang Rock, with a touch of Davison for good measure – Brave heart Clara!- and a creature out of its time wreaking havoc in ye olde Yorkshire a la The Visitation.

    This is superior stuff – everyone here is doing excellent work, and this is Smith at his best yet in the role. ( Yes, I did just say that…)  Diana Rigg is delicious as the vile villainess and Rachel Stirling wonderful as the poor Ada. Strax, Vastra and Jenny were terrific as ever – not for the first time, I wondered if this Jenny was the regenerated Jenny fromThe Doctor’s Daughter.

    Clara too was excellent – she was ahead of the Doctor on the chimney ( a chimney – Mary Poppins again!) and once again, she provided the solution : smashing the chair into the controls saved the day. Interesting that she can answer puzzles but not questions about herself. And the final scene was so beguiling…

    The story was brooding and dark, a classic Doctor Who form – unsolved murders, a macabre plot afoot that will end humanity, amateur sleuthing, a false front hiding evil, a creature that must be found and stopped…and here presented in a fresh way; the flashback sequence was genius, and no loose ends. Again.   I found it gripping, funny and surprising – all Doctor Who should be.

    Yes – the photo of the Dr in the eye of the corpse in the pre-titles sequence is different from the one in the eye of the same corpse later in the programme…but artistic licence can accommodate that…surely…

    “Who is he?” “Names don’t matter here” Interesting…

    It riffs on memories and love, things hidden and coming to light, the Doctor as metaphorical/literal monster, redemption, parent and child – the themes of the arc are all there, and not so subtle.

    Interesting that this is now the second story where the TARDIS did not go where the Doctor wanted.

    Funny in jokes – the Corporation  Way sign, presumably a comment on  the BBC’s move to Salford? And the sublime but hilarious Thomas Thomas sequence foreshadowing the ubiquitous TOM-TOM devices.

    I liked, too, the fainting tendencies of Mr Thursday.

    Wow! Now I have three favourite Smith episodes  : Crimson Horror, Cold War and Snowmen…

    And next week looks sensational!

    I have not felt this engaged with the programme since The Stolen Earth. Terrific stuff.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    I actually laughed myself hoarse during that. Just fantastic. All those diabolical fiends that Diana Rigg used to fight as “Emma Peel” – well, she must have taken it all in, because that performance tops them all.

    Loved the Tom Tom joke, and a lovely bit of Yorkshire thrown into the mix. I have a feeling it may outrage some of the more serious minded, but bugger ’em.

    Great reference to the “mouthy Australian” as well.

    feralcat @feralcat

    Plus Jenny wearing an Avengers leather catsuit – priceless.

    Timeloop @timeloop

    I really liked this episode! There was so much in there that needs to be rewatched.  I tuned in a bit late so i started at the church. I try to recall as much as possible from first watching it.

    I nearly had a heart attack at the first sight of the doctor (twice, if you count the flicker of the hand). It really remembered me a lot of Frankenstein xD “Its alive!”

    @davemorris316 yeah, right?!? Absolutely fabulous! “Chairs are useful”

    The recall of events was a really nice idea, liked that part “old school”. LOVED the strax in most of his scenes – he actually had to wait outside XD~  Jenny absolutely kicks ass.

    I was a little freaked out with the Doctor kissing at random. I guess he was really happy to get out of this room. As a supporter of River that was a bit annoying – He has that in and out chemistry with Clara, doesent he?

    Too bad they didnt confront Clara with that other version of her! That was just to show the audience they did not leave it out because they forgot.

    Nobody was freaked out by the violence of the mother to the daughter and the daughter to Mr. Sweet – I found that a bit to argressive for a kids show (I mean they could have been concerned or anything, any sign..)

    Argh, it’s all just bits and pieces of the first impression – I need to rewatch it to make more sense of it.


    What did you guys think?

    Timeloop @timeloop

    And something that is bogging me from the preview: Why in the world has the Doctor a bit of Cuircut on his face?

    davemorris316 @davemorris316

    And Clara now has something of a mystery herself to work out. And ‘next time’ looks another direction for her.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    OOOoooooooh. Creeeeeepy! Diana Rigg must surely be in the running for one of the nastiest monsters ever in DW. At least “Mr Sweet” was only following its instincts. Mrs Gilliflower was doing the complete opposite of what a mum is supposed to be. (“delicious” @phaseshift says – yup, beautifully pitched) And Rachel Stirling was stunning. My heart went out to her after only a couple of scenes.  The result of parental abuse and rejection.

    And yes, hitting all the right beats for a Victorian melodrama. And great little callbacks to Baker and Davison.

    I’d forgotten all about the mysterious b/w photos from earlier till we got to the final scene. Someone’s following them and posting pics of Clara on the internet…?

    And 1893? Year of Victorian Clara’s demise. What WAS he planning to do there, and why divert to Yorkshire…?  Well, obv Mrs G, but…

    feralcat @feralcat

    So if he had managed to get to London in 1893 rather than Yorkshire, was he planning to show Clara her Victorian doppelganger? Seems a bit brutal. Or to prove they were different beings if it turned out a time paradox wasn’t created?


    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Welcome back @craig ! Thanks for setting up The Crimson Horror thread.

    Be still my beating heart, I’m in love with Jenny Flint. @timeloop she absolutely does indeed kick ass!

    What struck me immediately was the Doctor as a crimson petrified monster (as I’ve said over on The Graun). “Crimson, Eleven, delight, petrichor” anyone?

    I haven’t spotted the red settings on the sonic since Cold War on the other hand. Has anyone else?

    I just do not know what’s up with Clara and the Doc. One episode he’s grandfatherly with her, the next he’s Mr. Flirty McFlirtison.

    Can’t say I’m enamoured of Clara’s teen charges on the TARDIS. Could TPTB be setting up a new version of The Sarah Jane Adventures somehow, or was that little exchange just to underline Clara’s Mary Poppins meme yet further?



    ScaryB @scaryb

    @timeloop – never mind the violence to Mr Sweet by Ada, what about her attack on her mother, and vice versa… That is a seriously screwed up relationship. But the hatred and tension between them so convincingly portrayed.

    Loved Jenny’s Emma Peel outfit. Interesting the Dr is outmanoevred several times – by Jenny, Clara, Strax, then Ada. His peaceful vague-ish solutions are summarily ignored in favour of a more violent one (reminded me a little bit of the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indy is confronted by the impressively black clad scimitar wielding baddie in the marketplace).

    Right, off to the G blog for a while, Sat evenings are usually OK.  Tho I expect moans about overuse of sonic, plot holes, violence, Strax as a DEM and how it’s not nearly as good as it used to be and should be axed immediately for the sake of humaity 😉

    Final thought on here for now – re discusssion on JttCotT re companions in NuWho esp under Moffat, not travelling continuously with the Dr, Clara has time off.

    PS Loved the Thomas Thomas gag. And “brave heart Clara” Aww 🙂

    PPS Was it just me, or did Me Sweet look a tad phallic…?!

    ScaryB @scaryb


    What struck me immediately was the Doctor as a crimson petrified monster (as I’ve said over on The Graun). “Crimson, Eleven, delight, petrichor” anyone?

    Yup, definitely.

    Re Jenny – totally agreee!  Got so distracted by Ms Rigg and daughter, forgot the other brilliant female partnership in this – they rocked it!  And Strax is great – and he got to shoot stuff with big guns this week – that’ll keep him happy.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    And the Dr being continually referred to as “young man”. Hee hee

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    I can’t believe Dan linked to our site in his main text. I can give up my marketing badge!

    I thought it pretty convenient that the kids had discovered all this information on Clara, but it occurs that if the GI inhabits the “interwebz of fear” he may actually be bringing it to their attention for some reason? Hmmm…. some thinking required. And possibly alcohol.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @scaryb Diana Rigg was marvellous!

    @phaseshift Well done for thanking @danmartin (if that’s the actual DM) for his extremely kind rec for us in his article. Thanks Dan!

    And comrades, ignore the troll. I urge you – such beasties feed on being noticed. Let’s not.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @juniperfish – I’m sharing the love for Jenny, with a big dose of love for Vastra and Strax. I really hope that if Moffs “I’m nearer the end than the beginning” is true, he thinks for a while and the BBC decided to make them another tea-time series. So much potential.

    ardaraith @ardaraith

    @juniperfish – The kids accompany them to meet the Cybermen.  Eep!  Scary business, there!  I bet Mary Poppins Clara will kick some butt and take names.  No Cyberman is going to touch her charges.  🙂

    You know, I wouldn’t be the least surprised if River Song has known all along who Clara is, and that she was right around the corner.  Spoilers.  It also seems the Doctor has a better idea about Clara’s identity.  That last little smile, and twinkle of the eye, when responding to Jenny’s query indicated someone who has been carefully putting puzzle pieces together.

    As someone above mentioned (and I hesitate to say much about here, because some do not watch the Preview), the “equipment” the Doctor seems to be wearing in next week’s ep is troubling.

    Oh!  Before I forget…. Diana Rigg!! Attack of the Super Models!! Thomas Thomas!! Jenny!! Strax!! Fainting!! by a man!!!!

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    A great little romp of an episode.

    Mention of having a plan again…..

    Who’s been helping the Red Leeches? Is it Perfection to have one, or is Mrs Gillyflower a tad hypocritical?

    2 real faints, one fake.

    Is TomTom (the child) really a robot (i.e. more than just a joke)? Have there been other robots hidden this season? Is that who took all those photographs?

    Is the Apocalypse still on it’s way?

    Correct me if I’m wrong but we’ve never seen children on TARDIS before (on tv properly) apart from A Christmas Carol.

    A few quick blood & guts this episode.

    I wonder if anyone ate Mr Sweet? Waste not, want not…

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Setting it in Bradford was a masterstroke for this episode. The Victorian values of “remaking society better.”

    In Bradford, Titus Salt established “Saltaire” for his workers at his mill, taking them out of slums into reasonable accomodation. Good stuff, but his attitudes to alcohol made it a “dry” township.


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    I want to know how those kids got all the pics of time-travelling Clara. Seems to me somebody else was using an image match program – and then fed the information to the kids.

    Galactus @galactus

    @phaseshift it did seem very convenient that Clara’s kids had ‘discovered’ these photos. They really discovered a photo of a Russian submarine crew from 1983 in school? Would like to think something like the GI is still manipulating events.

    Anonymous @

    @phaseshift — Yes, it did make me think of Saltaire. Where I was once resident for some time quite a few years ago…

    This episode was bloody fab I thought. Gattiss firmly has my vote as new showrunner. He’s definitely been upping his game of late — maybe because he knows he’s in the frame now. Or perhaps because his role on Sherlock has consolidated his learning path…

    More detailed thoughts after some further cogitation….

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @timeloop – I suspect the Doctor and River have come to some arrangement, especially given that part of their relationship involves checking diaries to confirm whether or not they’re married yet. 🙂

    HolyMackerel @holymackerel

    Can anyone work out an anagram for Winifred Gillyflower? It seems ripe for it and there is a wolf in there!

    ardaraith @ardaraith

    @bluesqueakpip – I have a feeling the GI is behind more than we know.  With the recent Omega conversations fresh on my mind, I am more curious than ever to discover just who and what the GI is.

    I also found myself being more than a little suspicious of the kids.  Are they real?  How did they find those pics?  Did the girl tell Clara the RYCBAR code?  If so, how did she know it?  The mystery of the story arc is affecting my perception of the show;  I am progressively distrustful of what is presented in “plain sight.”

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @KatherineP over on the Guardian has neatly pointed out this:

    “Mrs Gillyflower’s ‘The bright day is done, child, and you are for the dark’; which is a near-quotation from Antony and Cleopatra (Iras: The bright day is done, and we are for the dark”

    Can you say foreshadowing?

    The Doctor is a monster and “The bright day is done and we are for the dark.”

    Dark Doctor non-believers, are you still certain? 🙂

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Woohoo! We got a link on Dan’s blog!!!! 😀

    @bluesqueakpip As I posted above – all those photos being taken in the sepia recap bit – have to be connected with the pics on the internet at the end.  Stalkerish or what. And yes, I wondered about the GI too


    davemorris316 @davemorris316

    So The Doctor seemed more knowing about Clara at the end…

    What if he’d been trying to take the TARDIS to London 1893 to test what it would do. In previous episodes, it seems to have obeyed him in terms of where he was going (in Hide, it stayed in exactly the same spot thought the more history and future of earth).

    So if the TARDIS refused to take them to London, is that because it was knowingly avoiding creating a paradox, or two people on the same timeline?

    If so, who? Or what? Is she the TARDIS? Or the Doctor?

    “I’m the boss” seems very significant. “I’m the master”?

    I also have a theory which links in to the next episode… But don’t want to infringe on Spoiler territory.

    davemorris316 @davemorris316

    The entire* history and future of Earth, blasted iPad and autocorrect.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @ardaraith Re the GI – not much known about it from the Classic series – it has mysterious origins, wasn’t defeated, it just retreated – we now know to where. So it’s ripe for any development they want to throw at it. (see my theory re it actually being the Dr’s dark side).

    Artie said he say the photos of Clara at school, which suggests he saw them on the internet, though someone could have emailed them or tagged him in them, on whatever social media site schoolkids use these days 🙂

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @holymackerel <waves at the God Fish in the machine>

    Winifred Gillyflower….

    GI red wolf in fire well ?

    Clara is most closely identified with both red and wolf tropes (little red riding hood). She’s either the puppet of the GI or the key which will thwart the GI?

    Any signs of dalekisation this week folks – eye-stalk-like objects, one eyed visions? I need a re-watch!



    ScaryB @scaryb

    2 Gatiss scripts – 1 set in 1893, the other in 1983. What other years have been name (number?) checked? <adds “look for transposed years” to list of mirrors, watery portals, bow ties, nail varnish (what do you mean you haven’t kept a record of these @juniperfish??!), doppelgangers, pocket universes, GI refs, uploaded consciousnesses/souls, (dead) mothers, fathers, kids, signs of “conversion” in the Dr (dalekisation, cyberisation, GI-ation),

    1 other thing that struck me was the scene at the end, back in (presumbly) present day. In RTD era, everyone knew the Dr, he got absorbed into the companions’ families lives, he was famous, known by politicians, Churchill etc etc. Now he’s a big secret.

    Bobbyfat @bobbyfat

    wonderful! the episode Gatiss was destined to write – shades of League, Oranges are not the only fruit and Carry on Screaming, great callback to Emma Peel with the catsuit, oh and a touch of Moonraker as well. Who would have thought it. And a big organ (the rocket of course).

    Agree with @htpbdet about the shades of Talons and Fang Rock, two of my all time fave eps.

    Loved the sepia tinged flashback and no doubt the stories within stories theories will get something out of that as well as the dark room photos (again) and the photos on the computer – wheels within wheels…

    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    My boyfriend made it home tonight for a surprise visit for a few hours (he works away). While it was lovely to share precious time together, part of me was annoyed that I had to miss Doctor Who.

    Is that wrong?

    Either way, he’s gone again so it’s just me, iplayer and a bottle of Cobra. Hope this episode is a cracker…

    HolyMackerel @holymackerel

    @juniperfish Ooh. I love that you got a GI in there too. Very good!

    Anonymous @

    @scaryb (and others) — all this talk of the various dalekisation and other conversions of the Doc has got me thinking that maybe we’ve got it the wrong way round. Maybe it’s the Doctor-isation of the various aliens we should be wondering about. It’s the Doctor’s influence upon them that’s made them such a threat perhaps. Indeed, this is specifically said in Asylum — fear of him has made them strong.

    The Doctor is the ur-Monster of the universe because he forces the others to their extremes.

    ScaryB @scaryb


    Any signs of dalekisation this week folks – eye-stalk-like objects, one eyed visions? I need a re-watch!

    Not so much dalekisation but lots of photos being taken by unknown person/thing cf looking at things thro monitor/screens etc (add to list above). (Stalker – eyestalk – best I can manage!)

    Clara “either the puppet or the key” – I like that

    It feels like the Who team has really  hit its stride in 7.2.  Love all the little callouts to past Doctors, (though no doubt there will be people complaining about lazy sloppy writing and how it’s the worst thing ever on TV)

    Just wondering – as 7.2 has been approx taking a different Dr per week, in style – we’re left with C Baker and McCoy erasfor the last 2 – both of whom were particularly dark – could be in for particularly scary next 2 weeks.

    AAAgh nooooooooo – only 2 weeks left then it’s a wait till November. NOVEMBER!!!!!!!!

    ScaryB @scaryb


    The Doctor is the ur-Monster of the universe because he forces the others to their extremes.

    oooh that’s sneaky!

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Re -isation of the Dr – this episode demonstrated he’s vulnerable, if you just get the right potion/process

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @bobbyfat Not to mention Strax going off to play with his grenades, Hehe. (Ho hum there’s always someone lowers the tone 😉 )

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @miapatrick and @ardaraith and I have been discussing the references to Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea on The Graun. Ada and the Doctor as Bertha Mason and Mr. Rochester, but which is which?

    More evidence that it is going to be hard to say who is a monster and who is not as we approach the season’s end…

    @jimthefish your Ur-Monster recalls River’s speech about the things which have been done “in fear of” the Doctor in A Good Man Goes to War.

    @scaryb re nailpolish – I know <tsk> it was very remiss of me!

    How are we going to tie-in Isis and Osiris and Omega and The Silence and red fish/ blue fish and the triple Big Bang and all the rest in two episodes?! Because they are all going to be tied in, right? 🙂

    Big cliff-hangers for the 50th…

    thommck @thommck

    Very enjoyable ep, lots of The League of Gentlemen style humour (wouldn’t want Gattiss as a showrunner though).

    suprised at the doctors lack of sympathy to the victims and Mrs G. He seemed very callous about all the tragedy. He didn’t seem to mind being blatantly called a monster either

    What a cute parasite! Where can I get one 😉

    Did anyone read the poster about the waxwork outside the church? I couldn’t make it out but could be Ganger related?

    I’m guessing Jenny isn’t his daughter after that snog

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Loved the sepia tinged flashback

    Oh – wasn’t that good? I loved that look for the flashback. Worked perfectly I thought. Mind – i was still chuckling from The Doc sweeping Jenny off her feet for a snog. 😀

    thommck @thommck

    Forgot to say, it was just like an episode of Ripper Street!

    Also, the TomTom thing was a nice joke, although a bit jarring with the boys modern voice! Then I remembered the old sontaron episode where they took control of all the sat-have! Clever link.

    At the end, back on Earth, the Doctor goes of without Clara again. Why? Those kids are a bit suspicious. Angie & Artie seem like funny names that may mean more. Angela & Arthur? Doesn’t ring any bells yet

    dalektable @dalektable

    *waves* The Guardian sent me. I heard there was tea. Also I felt the Universe needed to know that:

    1. I don’t like Clara. I think she’s a clone.

    2. I do like Jenny. Wearing leather and kicking people are both things I approve of.

    3. I don’t like children. Unless they get eaten. Apart from Kenny who blew up the school.

    4. The Doctor is married. He should not be using his lips willy-nilly.

    5. I wish I had a sonic screwdriver.


    I’m so glad I got that all off my chest. Ta much.

    thommck @thommck

    Also Sonic seemed to have extraordinary powers again. Couldn’t he have de-armed the gun with it?

    Ok, that’s me done for now, promise!

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