Doctor Who – The Lazarus Experiment

Having taken Martha on rather more than that “one trip” he promised her, he takes her home. Literally. The Tardis materialises inside her home. As he’s trying to say goodbye, her phone rings: it’s her mother telling her that her sister is on TV. On a news channel, we hear a Professor Lazarus proclaiming that

I will change what it means to be human

At which point, the Doctor leaves. Martha is upset, so it’s just as well that the Tardis reappears a moment later. The Doctor pops his head out of the door and asks

Did he say he’s going to change what it means to be human?

So the Doctor and Martha attend the event in evening gear. Martha tells the Doctor that his dinner jacket suits him “in a James Bond kind of way”. We meet Martha’s sister Tish, who’s working for Lazarus (which is how Martha and family have invites). Martha’s mother clearly doesn’t approve of the Doctor[1].

Richard Lazarus, a very old man, appears, and announces that he’s about to perform a miracle. He goes into a suitably complicated chamber, and is surrounded by whirly things and lots of flashing lights. But things seem to be going a wee bit wrong – the system is overloading, and the Doctor jumps in to cut the power.

The chamber opens, and Lazarus steps out, looking no more than 40, perhaps less. He stands before the crowd and says “I am 76 years old, and I am reborn!”.

Of course, you can’t do that sort of thing without it going a wee bit wrong, and Lazarus does seem to have a bit of a genetic stability problem, which involves him transforming into a rather large and very lethal monster, which likes to suck the life out of people, including his elderly sponsor, Lady Thaw.

While the Doctor and Martha are looking into that, someone is taking an interest in their activities. A man asks Martha’s mother if she knows who the Doctor is, and suggest that she should choose her friends more carefully. Later, he tells her that there are things she should know…

The Doctor drops in a line for old fans to enjoy:

It really shouldn’t take that long to reverse the polarity – must be out of practice

More fun, games, frolics, explosions and general mayhem follow, with Lazarus in his monster form finally being cornered in a Quatermass-style manner in Southwalk Cathedral[2]. Nice use of the sonic screwdriver[3] and an organ, which set up enough vibration to make the monster fall to its death, where it transforms back into human shape.

Back at Martha’s place, the Doctor asks if she wants to come along on “one more trip”. She refuses. She doesn’t want to be with the Doctor on that basis. He immediately agrees, and admits that she was never really a passenger anyway. And off they go.

Martha’s mother calls. We hear her leave a message on the answering machine. She says that there are things Martha should know about the Doctor – things she’s been told by….

Harold Saxon himself

Ooooooooooooooh, yes! The Mr Saxon bit is building up nicely. The episode was followed by a high-speed trailer showing what’s coming in the rest of the series:

  • Captain Jack!
  • Explosions!
  • John Simm![4]
  • Captain Jack!
  • Lots of fun!

Nice to see Martha continuing to develop as a strong-minded companion, and to see her interact with her family some more. I’m sure we’ll be seeing them more as the series develops.

No episode this weekend: apparently it couldn’t be fitted in around the Eurovision Song Contest :rolleyes: :crazy: But next week, we have an episode called “42”, which has less to do with Douglas Adams than one might hope, but does promise to be something a little different…

[1] He seems to be having a lot of trouble with mothers…
[2] After doing Frankenstein in the last story, there’s clearly a theme developing here…
[3] Turned up to 11, naturally
[4] Now definitely confirmed to be playing Mr Saxon, not that there was much doubt about that