Doctor Who continued this weekend with Vampires of Venice, an episode that succeeded spectacularly in fooling everyone as to its true identity!
Sadly the same wasn’t true of the frightening alien race featured in the story – who weren’t really vampires – but hey, it was a fun runaround (if slightly scary for the younger viewers).
GallifreyNewsBase reports that Vampires of Venice recorded an overnight audience of 6.2 million viewers, a share of 30.6% of the audience available audience. As with previous weeks, delayed viewing figures (SKY+, iPlayer, etc) are likely to add to this total. The earlier start time is likely to have affected the lower overnight figure, and it certainly had an impact on Doctor Who Confidential, which started a full 15 minutes after Vampires of Venice finished.
Following the minor storm in a teacup that followed the trailer for this episode, both the Telegraph and The Guardian have provided reviews. Completely unapologetic after declaring Flesh and Stone the greatest Doctor Who episode yet, The Guardian’s Dan Martin is still feeling the love:
…if The Vampires Of Venice proved anything, it was that this series has significantly raised standards for Doctor Who. It was beautifully shot, and there was plenty to pick apart: the way every part of the vampire mythos was explained away by Who pseudo-science was delightful…
The Telegraph utilised the services of Doctor Who expert Gavin Fuller. Who? BackÂ in 1993, Fuller was Mastermindâ€™s youngest ever champion, and chose Doctor Who as his specialist subject. His review was far short of complimentary…
Worst was the sheer derivativeness. The opening scene was very similar in concept to writer Toby Whithouse’s previous Doctor Who script School Reunion (girl is taken to office of evil alien posing as human), and Whithouse also pillaged the whole aliens-posing-as-humans idea from there as well.
Oh dear. It doesn’t get better than that, I’m afraid… in fact it gets worse. In the blogosphere, there is a similar feeling, at least according to Mr Universal.
If there’s any real complaint I have about this episode (apart from the shoddy effects) it’s that I couldn’t help but feel I’ve seen this exact same plot before. Like most lazy reporters I headed to the trusty Wiki site and found out why; it was written by scribe Toby Whithouse, who also wrote the series two episode “School Reunion”, which practically mirrored the plot here.
There are certainly some similarities – not least the Doctor/girl companion/male companion dynamic. Speaking of which, UnrealityShout.com have some funny ideas about the last few weeks of Doctor Who. Still, they’re complimentary about Rory.
This was the crucial storyline that we should have had three episodes ago – the one the brings together The Doctor and Amy and her fiancÃ©e Rory. Just like the presence of Mickey Smith as Rose Tyler’s boyfriend helped us establish her character, that funny rivalry between Doctor and boyfriend helps us learn so much more about the companion.
SFX finally, and they’ve given the episode a rather generous 4 stars out of 5 (the 5 star rating doesn’t help, of course…) and have noticed something interesting about Rory.
Itâ€™s odd that Rory seems to suddenly have an angle on the Doctorâ€™s behaviour (â€œyou make it so that people want to impress you!â€) â€“ when did he become an expert? As far as he knows, Amy is the only companion heâ€™s ever had! .
Perhaps he’s been reading?
We’ll have our own review of Vampires of Venice in the next few hours.