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< 3.5 - Evolution of the Daleks
3.7 - 42 >

3.6 - The Lazarus Experiment

Rating Votes
10
1%
1
9
2%
2
8
3%
3
7
27%
28
6
18%
18
5
32%
33
4
16%
16
3
0%
0
2
1%
1
1
0%
0
Average Rating
5.8
Votes
102
Director:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: MercuryReview Date: 1/29/19 11:51 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

There is some over the top criticism of this episode in my opinion. I do agree with some of the reasons it gets criticised but some people overstate the issues I think while others, like me, acknowledge some positives whilst being realistic about its shortcomings.

The first 20 minutes of this episode are great. It basically is a body horror like 'The Fly' where a mad scientist carries out an experiment on himself which goes wrong and causes them to turn into a monster. It harks back to greats like The Brain of Morbius where they took aspects of Frankenstein and made a superb horror based Doctor Who story. The build up through the first half of the episode is excellent in many ways. That horror feel permeating the episode which could be traced back as far as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as well as 50s science-goes-wrong movies and 80s body horror films, is perfect for a Doctor Who episode. It feels hugely promising up up to and including the initial change by Dr. Lazarus into a monster. The transformation scene is great and evokes yet another horror classic An American Werewolf in London for a moment before cleverly leaving the finished appearance of the creature to the imagination. The husks of bodies from the creature's victims is effectively repulsive too. All is set up for a classic episode despite a couple of less interesting scenes along the way. With a great second half and a well designed monster this would have been awesome. The acting is also great as guest stars Mark Gatiss and Thelma Barlow put in fabulous performances as well as regulars David Tennant and Freema Agyeman. Gugu Mbatha-Raw is solid as Martha's sister too though the character is weak and a pale shadow of the wonderful Martha.

The problems begin when we see the monster properly. It is not so much the CGI which is at fault, it is the design of the creature. It is reasonably scary looking but is unconvincing and over the top. The idea that it is a genetic throwback from Lazarus's DNA is a nice idea but a huge scorpion like beast just seems the wrong thing entirely. It wastes the opportunity for a terrifying and believable body horror.

In addition the plot goes nowhere once the monster arrives. It goes straight into a big monster on the loose action sequence that then seemingly ends only to repeat in an overly similar sequence in Southwark Cathedral which has a rather silly resolution. The acting maintains its quality when Gatiss and Tennant get their moments towards the end but the episode overall has by then dropped away from the promise shown earlier on. It would have been much better with some good make up and a scary but basically humanoid monster. Gatiss could have carried it off well and it could have been fabulous and frightening as well as thoughtful. Instead it went overboard on the monster and its marauding about. What a pity. I still give credit for the great first half, the ideas and the acting but a possible 10/10 drops down to a 7/10 for me.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
5
Plot Rating:
4
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
3
Effects Rating:
5
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: NewWorldreviewsReview Date: 9/30/17 9:45 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

While The Lazarus Experiment has a nice central premise, and a superb guest turn from Mark Gatiss, it's a story that, sadly, leaves the viewer underwhelmed with it's simple plot, strange structural choices and some flat out baffling design decision.

The idea of a scientist rejuvenating himself is a sound one, and follows the RTD principle of taking an aspect of modern-day life (this time plastic surgery) to bizarre levels. However, the story has no real momentum, despite the lightning fast pace. As such, the whole thing ends up feeling hollow: nothing more than surface details to both plot and character. It doesn't help that the final 15 minutes appear to have been tacked on at last minute, leading to a conclusion that falls flat because we've already been through one seemingly definitive conclusion. Then, there's all the forced (and I mean forced) set-up for the finale, which just doesn't work, because it lacks total subtlety. Every scene draws attention to it, instead of integrating it into the narrative successfully. This was also the episode where it became apparent that Martha's family just don't work at all. They're so one-note and bland, and Russell spent no real time building them up that it just feels like a waste. Whereas Rose and Donna's family's at least try to ground themselves in reality (even if with Jackie, Pete and Mickey it felt like Russell was hitting you over the head with it), but Martha's family are built out of stock clich├ęs from Eastenders.

Overall, while The Lazarus Experiment shows some promise, it just fails to deliver on that promise to any extent. Lazy storytelling and characterisation couple with some terrible CGI (seriously, that Lazarus creature?) and the usual Tennant era irritants to make a poor story that could have been so much better.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
2
Plot Rating:
2
Acting Rating:
1
Replay Rating:
1
Effects Rating:
2
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 11/9/15 9:48 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

I think the problem with this is it goes onto long. After 30 minutes the ambulance goes off and you think it's all over, you could wrap up there, another five minutes to resolve everything like the Doctor telling Martha she can go with him on his next adventure but basically the run around in the church just repeats the chase in the building for no real good reason. I think that's the main flaw, but also the monster is crap CGI, Martha's sister fancying the younger Lazarus (despite the older one being a creep) and Martha's mother's overreaction to the Doctor (how dare you talk to any man!) are details that just don't help. Just not a strong story and too long by about 10-15 minutes.