The Crimson Horror

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The Crimson Horror

Post by tony ingram on Sat May 04, 2013 7:20 pm

Well, that was a pretty good episode of...Madame Vastra Investigates. Very Happy

Seriously, not bad at all, particularly for a Gatiss script, and it had some nicely horrific moments as well as some nicely comedic ones (Strax and the fainting guy). But the Doctor wasn't in it until halfway through and could probably have been dispensed with completely. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, since some of the best episodes haven't been centred on the main character.


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Re: The Crimson Horror

Post by Lucy McGough on Sat May 04, 2013 9:19 pm

When he turned up, all he did was snog people. On balance, I prefer Strax's approach.

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Re: The Crimson Horror

Post by tony ingram on Sat May 04, 2013 10:12 pm

Lucy McGough wrote:When he turned up, all he did was snog people. On balance, I prefer Strax's approach.
I like Strax. I think he should have his own series.

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Re: The Crimson Horror

Post by codywillis1 on Sun May 05, 2013 6:20 am

I rather liked it. It was fun. A nice sense of grotesquery, an evil villain who stayed evil and the day being saved not by the power of lurve but by Strax shooting the old bag lol. Plus Jenny's hot.

3.

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Re: The Crimson Horror

Post by tony ingram on Sun May 05, 2013 7:40 am

I liked Strax rushing into pull off a rescue, and Vastra telling him he was "getting over excited" and implying it was caused by a sugar rush. Razz

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Re: The Crimson Horror

Post by Liz R on Sun May 05, 2013 9:43 am

Yeah that was quite good, and oddly, for me at least, and for once, didn't seem rushed - even though there was quite a lot of rushing around, it seemed quite well paced. I have a few issues with it, but basically it was sufficiently entertaining and sensible enough, and creepy enough, and for once genuinely had me wondering what was going on for about 1/2 the running time, and interested enough to care (so I won't be asking what they used for rocket fuel in an era when most stories about space flight assumed you'd be shot out of a giant cannon. Or why the villain didn't just use a balloon, given that it didn't seem to get very high before it exploded).

I think the tongue in cheekness worked quite well (also - for once) although I kind of assumed the boy Thomas Thomas was going to have some extra significance apart from telling Strax the way to get to Sweetville. And the guy who kept fainting was a bit boring. But although it was a bit unbelievable, the mother-daughter thing kind of worked, in a weird sort of way (with, of course, a real mother and daughter). I liked Dame Diana's last line.

Anyway speaking of which, I have to put my daughter to bed now...

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Re: The Crimson Horror

Post by tony ingram on Sun May 05, 2013 11:18 am

I think Thomas was only really there so that they could do the Satnav joke. But it was quite funny.

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Re: The Crimson Horror

Post by Lucy McGough on Sun May 05, 2013 1:28 pm

tony ingram wrote:I think he should have his own series.
Heck yeah! That'd be mint.

codywillis1 wrote:I rather liked it. It was fun. A nice sense of grotesquery, an evil villain who stayed evil and the day being saved not by the power of lurve but by Strax shooting the old bag lol. Plus Jenny's hot.
This is all true, except that Jenny isn't hot. Clara, on the other hand.... Mind you, we didn't see much of her, did we? It was mostly the Paternoster Gang Show. Not that that hurt. Felt a bit like The Sarah Jane Adventures if they'd let Clyde have a gun. And wasn't the Tegan joke fantastic?

Liz R wrote:I think the tongue in cheekness worked quite well (also - for once) although I kind of assumed the boy Thomas Thomas was going to have some extra significance apart from telling Strax the way to get to Sweetville.
So did I. I thought, "Aha, a mysterious child! He's probably been brainwashed like those other people and will turn out to be an important plot point." But no, Mark Gatiss just likes ghastly puns Very Happy

Liz R wrote:And the guy who kept fainting was a bit boring.
Not very robust, those Victorian gentlemen, are they? I wouldn't have fainted just on account of seeing a police box vanish. Perhaps he needed more iron in his diet.

Liz R wrote:But although it was a bit unbelievable, the mother-daughter thing kind of worked, in a weird sort of way (with, of course, a real mother and daughter). I liked Dame Diana's last line.
Me too. Now THAT was emotional realism.

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Re: The Crimson Horror

Post by Liz R on Wed May 08, 2013 9:11 am

Upon reflection I would probably sum this up as a game of two halves. It started off intriguing and atmospheric and genuinely creepy, but somehow managed to end up collapsing in a heap of loose ends and plot holes.

Another example of the fact that a lot of new Who might work better if given more time.

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Re: The Crimson Horror

Post by tony ingram on Wed May 08, 2013 11:17 am

I think if it were up to me, every story would be a two parter. Ninety minutes is the ideal length for Doctor Who.

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Re: The Crimson Horror

Post by Liz R on Wed May 08, 2013 11:48 am

tony ingram wrote:I think if it were up to me, every story would be a two parter. Ninety minutes is the ideal length for Doctor Who.
I would agree, but then I think some of the 2-parters we've had haven't been exactly great either.... So I reckon an ideal length would be an hour, which would make episodes (almost) 50% longer.

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Re: The Crimson Horror

Post by tony ingram on Wed May 08, 2013 1:03 pm

Trouble is, an hour might be ideal for the BBC, but it would screw up the schedules of the foreign commercial stations that buy it because of the ad breaks. I can't see BBC America being happy extending the running time from an hour to one hour and twenty minutes, it would throw the rest of their programming out. They'd likely have to allocate ninety minutes, a third of which would be ad time.


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Re: The Crimson Horror

Post by Liz R on Wed May 08, 2013 10:34 pm

Yes, I know why it's the length it is* - almost exactly twice the length of an episode of "The Big Bang Theory" (by no coincidence at all).

This shows that there are FAR too many ads on those stations - certainly in NZ where it is no doubt shown in an hour slot. 2/3 programme to 1/3 ads is ridiculous! ... OK, so how do other programmes cope with this? We get shows that are of all sorts of lengths here in NZ, all shown with ads crammed in, and the schedule is often up the mollyhawk - things just start at 8.30 and end at 9.35 or whatever, rather than trying to fit into neat boxes. Maybe that's just NZ, everything here works like it was put together by a guy in his shed (well, tbh most of it was Smile ).

I guess maybe 2 parters would be at least a reasonable compromise, but somehow those don't seem to work very well either. Perhaps they just need better writers and a sensible system of production. I'm reminded of the credits for COFD

Written by: Steven Moffat
Script Editor: none

*PS why did I hear that in a Dalek voice? Oh yes, the MP for Flydale North. "Yes, we know who you are!"

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Re: The Crimson Horror

Post by tony ingram on Thu May 09, 2013 7:04 am

I don't think that approach to scheduling is popularin a lot of places. Neat chunks divisible by half hours seem to be the norm...

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Re: The Crimson Horror

Post by Liz R on Thu May 09, 2013 7:26 am

tony ingram wrote:I don't think that approach to scheduling is popularin a lot of places. Neat chunks divisible by half hours seem to be the norm...
Yes. The Beeb having to allow 1/4 of the running time for adverts is a bit much, but ... well, I get the point.
So 2 (or more) parters ... and decent writers...!

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Re: The Crimson Horror

Post by tony ingram on Thu May 09, 2013 8:04 am

Like Neil Gaiman? Or, judging by his last script, Mark Gatiss (never thought I'd say that)?

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Re: The Crimson Horror

Post by Liz R on Thu May 09, 2013 9:19 am

tony ingram wrote:Like Neil Gaiman? Or, judging by his last script, Mark Gatiss (never thought I'd say that)?
I think both of those stories would have been improved by being longer, yes. TCH started off well but (imho) managed to undo all its good work by the end. The story really needed to be given time to breathe, not to mention time to explain how come there didn't seem to be any investigation into bodies being fished out the canal, people vanishing, etc (answer - because there wasn't enough time to really say anything about that side of things). TDW could also have been extended to 2 parts, although it wasn't so obviously in need of it. But I'd expect Gaiman to know what he's doing, and given a two parter to come up with some extra depth to the story.

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Re: The Crimson Horror

Post by tony ingram on Thu May 09, 2013 9:40 am

Liz R wrote:
tony ingram wrote:Like Neil Gaiman? Or, judging by his last script, Mark Gatiss (never thought I'd say that)?
I think both of those stories would have been improved by being longer, yes. TCH started off well but (imho) managed to undo all its good work by the end. The story really needed to be given time to breathe, not to mention time to explain how come there didn't seem to be any investigation into bodies being fished out the canal, people vanishing, etc (answer - because there wasn't enough time to really say anything about that side of things). TDW could also have been extended to 2 parts, although it wasn't so obviously in need of it. But I'd expect Gaiman to know what he's doing, and given a two parter to come up with some extra depth to the story.
He can certainly deliver the goods given time. Have you ever seen Neverwhere?

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Re: The Crimson Horror

Post by Liz R on Thu May 09, 2013 9:44 am

No. "Coraline" was good, though. I'm sure I've seen/read other things by him... including one of my favourite quotes which I can't remember verbatim but fortunately I have in a word file...ah yes here we are.

Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot.

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Re: The Crimson Horror

Post by tony ingram on Thu May 09, 2013 9:56 am

He does have a way with words. A lot of his Sandman series is amazingly well written. Even characters who only show up for a panel or two really come to life on the page.

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Re: The Crimson Horror

Post by karatattoo on Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:32 pm

tony ingram wrote:Trouble is, an hour might be ideal for the BBC, but it would screw up the schedules of the foreign commercial stations that buy it because of the ad breaks. I can't see BBC America being happy extending the running time from an hour to one hour and twenty minutes, it would throw the rest of their programming out. They'd likely have to allocate ninety minutes, a third of which would be ad time.

That is just what happens here. BBC America runs all of the extended-length episodes, including the Christmas specials, in a ninety minute time slot. The number of commercials, commercial breaks and the lengths of the breaks depends on the actual running time of that particular episode.

I agree that some stories would benefit from a longer running time, but I think a multi-part format as opposed to an extended episode, would be the best way to go.

This last season consisted entirely of single episode stories. I'd like to see a return of two-parters. I wouldn't mind seeing a three-part story from time to time.

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Re: The Crimson Horror

Post by tony ingram on Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:51 am

I actually think the average series of Who would work better as six two part stories and one single parter. 90 minutes is the long proven optimum length for a Doctor Who story.

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