Reviewed By: TCar96
Review Date: 11/20/16 7:48 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
Philip Martin really is a treat, packing this story to the rafters with meta-fiction, world-building and some genuinely engaging questions for the more sober viewer to chew on - whilst letting the rest of the audience tuck into an entertaining, if somewhat morbid story.
Well lit; slowly paced; diverse cast; focus upon world-building. Varos' strengths are well circulated - so I'd prefer to focus on what for me holds it back from a 9 or 10 / 10.
Vengeance is far from perfect. A bizarre complaint, but in some respects I don't think it's violent enough. Effects not quite cutting the mustard leave the acid bath and transmogrify scenes a little bereft of shock - and since its shot in a very orthodox 'show all' fashion, little is left to the imagination. As such, whilst other stories can show far less, in far less gruesome scenarios, the body horror can shock and impact to a greater extent.
There's also a pretty big issue of botched resolutions scattered throughout. The transmogrify concept is built up in truly horrendous fashion, with a great sense of dread. Whilst the effects are poorly handled, the potential is strong - before simply reversing the cellular mutation and having Peri and Areta leave utterly unharmed. Compare this to Seeds of Doom, where the dramatic focus on the impact of total cellular change is treated sympathetically; or to Creed of the Kromon, where Martin delivers a 'no turning back' gut-punch with long run emotional impact upon K'rizz - both far greater ways to make the most of a great idea.
One hanging scene, again horrible in build up and excellent in execution and world building - is left sucked of tension by some bland direction (revealing straight away the slack rope) and punchy pace (without cutting to provide the illusion of the Doctor being off screen for a protracted length!).
Finally, of course, the resolution itself. After a great hour plus of building a well crafted world with a sense of real stakes, one online memo effectively has the whole plot resolved without any proactive decisions on the part of the Doctor. In hindsight, if the Doctor were not to have appeared, one prisoner aside, nothing would have actually changed with regards to the resolution of the piece!
Despite these three complaints, VOV is still a real treat - almost that superb first episode of Armageddon Factor extrapolated for a whole story. Well worth adding to any collection.