Wednesday, 12 May 2010

The Blink Review: The Vampires of Venice

The epic two-part adventure featuring the return of the popular Weeping Angels had proved to be an instant success, setting the bar extremely high for the rest of the series. However, ‘The Vampires of Venice’ manages to continue the fabulous run of episodes that have been produced this series, and is perhaps even better than the previous story which received such high ratings.

This story manages to mix pure gothic horror with the beauty and charm of Venice, as well as plenty of humour and action along the way. Toby Whithouse creates a gorgeous atmosphere in his script, and manages to capture the long history of Venice with his powerful dialogue from the Venetian people. He also delivers one of the greatest openings to a Doctor Who episode, which suddenly changes from the horror of Vampires to the comedy of the Doctor bursting out of Rory’s stag cake, and provides an unusual awkward silence from the Doctor.

The only disappointment with the script came when the Doctor climbed up the bell tower to save the day, which seemed like a copy of the dramatic climbing scenes from ‘The Idiot’s Lantern’ and ‘Evolution of the Daleks’, although there were still plenty of original ideas in the story to make up for the slight copy, especially the idea that the Vampires were in fact fish-like aliens from outer space.

Despite the superb script, this episode did still have some negative factors, in particular the special effects which once again ruined what could have been a faultless episode. The Vampires in their humanoid forms were very effective and chilling, particularly in the way that the young girls talked in a sinister synchronisation with each other, before revealing their sharp fangs.

Once they changed to their natural fish-like appearance though, they looked incredibly fake as the CGI did not manage to capture much light or texture, and therefore they lost all sense of threat and spoilt the tense scene where they smash through the windows. The actual face of the computerised Vampire also looked rather similar to the face of Prisoner Zero, with sharp fangs, yellow eyes and wrinkles from their mouth to their forehead.

Nevertheless, the excellent story still made up for the poor effects, and showed that ancient Vampire tales can still be told in new and exciting ways, without straying too far from their blood-sucking origins. The episode also managed to combine every emotion imaginable, and was once again performed by a superb cast. This series is really looking ever stronger by the minute.

Rating: 5/5 stars

The poll results for ‘From Venice with love…’ will be released on Saturday.


Mr Dalek said...

Brill episode! Definately better than the first three episodes. I think it is as good as time of angels/Flesh and stone but this had more humour.

George-nox said...

Great episode
The Eleventh hour is still my favourite of this series, not really sure why though

Blink said...

Thanks for the comments.

My favourite episodes in order are:

1. The Vampires of Venice
2. The Time of Angels
3. Flesh and Stone
4. The Eleventh Hour
5. The Beast Below
6. Victory of the Daleks