Sunday 9 May 2010

Vampires of Venice

The Eleventh Doctor takes Amy and her fiance Rory on a romantic trip to 14th century Venice and discovers that some school girls have rather sharp teeth.

Generally this is a fun story. Doctor Who has always been good at dipping into the horror genre. Those hoping for something really scary will probably be disappointed.

I was rather hoping that the vampires would turn out to be the same kind as the ancient enemies of the Gallifreyans, as in State of Decay. However, I rightly expected that they would turn out to be just another alien species.

Vampires of Venice follows State of Decay in its use of Hammer Horror imagery, but is closer to Curse of Fenric in having aquatic, time-hopping 'vampires.' The aliens in their true form looked interesting, but were somewhat unconvincing being cheap CGI. We need more rubbery monsters; when they are done properly they work better than that CGI stuff. It is also rather disappointing that we never see the 10,000 male aliens in the Venetian canal.

I find it difficult to see why destroying Venice is integral to the alien's plans. I can see the need for turning human girls into fish-creatures, but why do they need to live in sunken Venice? Another narrative problem I had was with Isabella's father being so worried about his daughter at the school. What has lead him to be so concerned?

We might ask why the Doctor is not concerned about the male aliens left in the canal. One could reasonably expect a fair few Venetians to fall in and get eaten up by so large a group of monsters.

I am uneasy with the whole 'Amy and Rory on a romantic holiday' thing. It is just too soap opera for Doctor Who. Its nice to have a male companion for a change, but Rory does a lot of moping around. Whinny companions in Doctor Who are really irritating. That was always the problem with Tegan Jovanka.

Helen McCrory puts in a superb performance as the alien matriarch, Rosanna Calvieri. Alex Price's Francesca brings back pleasant memories of Battlefield in his being such a mummy's boy. I don't care if people disagree with me about that!

The climax has more wobbly CGI.

No comments:

Post a Comment