As with any long-running television show, there are many things that happen behind the scenes and during the course of filming that may not come to light as the episode first airs, but that are later presented as a wonderful look back in the history of the show. Recently the BBC released a few videos about from and about the making of the Series 3 episode The Lazarus Experiment.
In the middle of David Tennant’s second series as the Tenth Doctor, we were told the story of a man who wanted to turn back the clock of human aging and “change what it means to be human.” Richard Lazarus, played by Mark Gatiss, creates a machine that will alter his DNA and cause it to rejuvenate. But, of course, things don’t go as well as he plans, and the situation turns dangerous for the Doctor and Martha, played by Freema Agyeman, the woman he has taken on “just one trip” as a thank you for helping him, as well as her sister Tish, who works for Lazarus, and the rest of their family.
Here we have clips of the Doctor and Martha attempting to escape the monster as well as Martha and her sister luring the monster into the tower of the church while trying to stay ahead of him.
The Lazarus Experiment is one that tends to divide the Doctor Who fandom. Some see it as too reliant on special effects, given that the villain of the episode spends half of it as a fully CGI monster. Some see it as just too far beyond the plausibly believable, which is an element that makes the best science fiction stories as good as they are – they have a basis in some possible reality, even if it is one that is a far off future. This may be especially true given that the episode came right after the 2-part Daleks In Manhattan/Evolution Of The Daleks, which had some rather wild and insane moments. Others however see it for the wonderful, almost over-the-top performance given by Mark Gatiss.
Here we have Gatiss getting into character as the still human Richard Lazarus.
However you feel about it, the episode is an important one in Series 3, as it lays the groundwork for a major plot line for the rest of that series – Martha’s mother’s distrust of the Doctor, their strained relationship, and her family’s involvement in future events. The end of the episode also marks the Doctor’s taking Martha on board the TARDIS as his full time companion.