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< 7.11 - Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS
7.13 - Nightmare in Silver >

7.12 - The Crimson Horror

Rating Votes
10
10%
10
9
16%
17
8
25%
26
7
28%
29
6
8%
8
5
3%
3
4
5%
5
3
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3
2
1%
1
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3%
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Average Rating
7.2
Votes
105
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Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 6/17/16 8:37 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Traffic Lights and ‘The Crimson Horror’.

In nature red signifies danger. The red light in a traffic light tells us to stop because it signifies danger. If the signifier were yellow or green a brighter intensity is required, according to The Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute . This shows us that red is a powerful signifier in a way some other colours are not. So red can have co-significance but there less obvious and more interesting one here is stop.
But before that let’s just briefly listed all the example of red in ‘The Crimson Horror’:

The titular reference
Strax’s laser beams and the lighting in general
Abigail and Aida’s hair plus the red scars around Aida’s eyes
The furnishings of Mrs. Gillyflower’s living area where they drink red wine and eat red meat
The skin of the victims and the red poison that induces the affect
Mr Sweet and his lobster like appearance

Additionally to all that, Sweetville is a match factory, think red matches and, of course, fire and again the theme of red comes into play. Sweetsville also has an unused chimney harbouring a rocket. Again the explosive capability of the rocket and traditional use of the chimney imply fire and a connection of sulphur from the matches combined with quasi-religious talk presents a hellish representation of the prison come factory with people being boiled alive in red goo.
The Victorian industrial age was notable for, among other things, Luddites. People who wanted to stop industrial progress in the same way that the symbiotic marriage of the ghoulish Mrs. Gillyflower and Mr. Sweet want to stop the progress of humanity.

The relationship between signifiers is arbitrary but also differential. The opposite of Red could be green. Mr. Sweet’s blood is green; so is the light on The Doctor’s sonic screwdriver – an opposite to strax’s weapon’s signature flash. When Jenny pushes The Doctor into the chamber that cures him the light is red and then green. Green is the colour of nature and has a relaxing psychological effect as well as, in this instance, signifying go.
Then there is: the black hatted villains. Black signifies Death. Death from the danger signified from the colour red would be an obvious lead on. Mr. Sweet’s eyes are black and Aida’s are white. Aida can’t see and you can’t see Mr. Sweet’s eyes. The phrase look me in the eye has significance here because you can’t see the truth behind Mr. Sweet’s eyes and Aida is blind to the truth about her mother for most of the serial.

Colours are made of light and we need eyes to sense them. This where octagrams come into play: The eyes have become prisons for the rays of light that are trapped and hold the image of the last thing seen by the deceased just as Sweetsville is a prison for the victims. White symbolises purity and reflects light. Jenny’s eyes repel the light and the salt fed to Mr. Sweet that he devours is white. Mr. Sweet devours the pure and absorbs all light in his eyes letting nothings out. Like Faust, Mrs. Gillyflower has sold her soul to the little red devil. Gillyflowers are usually red, white or pink.
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Reviewed By: doctorwhomoffReview Date: 12/17/15 5:17 pm
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Hilarious and that's what we need more of, stories that don't take themselves to serious in the grand scheme of things. It does have some problems and the doctor and Clara need to be in it a bit more for my tastes but that is just me.

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Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 5/1/15 10:20 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This wasn't a bad episode. There were some very realistic effects. There were some good moments with Strax, but the story had a real strong "been there, done that, seen it all before" feel to it, and there was little into it which made it stand out. The ending was a bit of a letdown as well. Overall, not bad, but not memorable either.
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Reviewed By: SibariteReview Date: 5/30/13 12:42 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

I LOVED this! For me its been the best episode of Series 7 and the episode Mark Gatiss was born to write - its feels like League of Gentleman meets Doctor Who. Completely bonkers yet also incredibly well acted (in particular Rachel Stirling) and directed ( the flashback sequence of how the Doctor and Clara got involved looks incredible and is genius in encompassing a bigger story into the 45 min slot). More like this please!