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Published on May 8th, 2007 | by Christian Cawley

Lazarus Experiment Reaction

Where else could you see an insane mutation defeated by a pipe organ than Doctor Who? The Lazarus Experiment introduced viewers to the second half of the series, where it seems from the trailers things are about to get very interesting indeed…

To set this up, The Lazarus Experiment shows us that Mr Saxon is prepared to invest in regenerative technology, and has an army of men waiting to discredit the Doctor at any given moment. Interesting, adult stuff, but what did SFX make of it?

And yet… the experience of watching it is something quite else, thanks to the quality of the execution. It’s slickly made, with horrendous deeds taking place in beautiful locations.

The script is played with gravitas and conviction; there isn’t a single bad performance, but Mark Gatiss’s icy, aloof turn as the crypto-fascist Lazarus is the stand-out.

Then there’s the general tone of the piece, which is curiously grown-up.

The SFX review isn’t all rosey, however, pointing out that a variation on sonic amplification has been used several times this season The Runaway Bride and Evolution of the Daleks as well as in Lazarus. General feeling in SFX is that newcomer to Doctor Who Stephen Greenhorn has done a good job with the script, as has director Richard Clarke.

Newsround‘s Lizo, meanwhile, seems to think this one’s alright, despite the talking…

…Below the surface, as well as exploring whether The Doctor thinks it’s a good thing or bad thing that he’s lived for hundreds of years, it also reflects that the most frightening enemies aren’t necessarily mysterious aliens, but things that come from inside us.

The Stage‘s Mark Wright meanwhile pulls gives us a few wrds of thought about Martha’s family.

But beneath that, there are some nice character moments as we catch up with Martha’s family. To them, Martha has been away for a day, but her mother is instantly suspicious of the Doctor – not helped by a mysterious gentleman wandering around the party who wants to tell her just how dangerous the Doctor is. My story arc sense is tingling…

Let’s finish however with the matter of CGI; SFX rated it:

The CGI monster is magnificent, possibly the production team’s finest new creation – check out that scene where it scutters along the floor and ceiling of a corridor

…but what does The Stage think?

There’s some crinkly edges to the CGI mutant Lazarus in places – bolting a badly rendered image of Gatiss’s face onto a mass of tentacles and claws looked out of place and ruined what would have been an otherwise impressive creation. As it is, the CGI construct’s interaction with the real world, considering the hefty amount of screentime it has, is pretty damn good despite this one grumble.

Interesting… such is the love for Doctor Who!

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About the Author

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A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




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