TV in Review: Doctor Who, “The Lazarus Experiment”
June 2, 2012 3 Comments
With Community and Modern Family having come to their temporary ends — not to mention the untimely demise of Sherlock– I’m back to catching up on television from years past. May 5, 2007, to be precise, when “The Lazarus Experiment” first aired on the BBC. To what exotic locale are we going this time?
MARTHA: Home. You took me home.
Oh, no! Is it time to say goodbye already? But I’m still just getting used to Martha…
With a title like “The Lazarus Experiment,” you gotta figure from the start that someone is trying to horn in on the Doctor’s territory, and try to extend their live(s).
RICHARD LAZARUS: With a push of a single button, I will change what it means to be human.
It’s a fairly straightforward episode. Mad scientist attempts to expand his life beyond the regular bounds. You know, like Icarus, only instead of flying to the heavens, it’s about eternal life.
It’s amusing how suspicious the Doctor is. On the one hand, what excuse does he have, given his own proclivity for regeneration? On the other hand, who knows better than him how dangerous these matters are? You know it’s got to be bad if it leads a well-bred Englishman to scarf down an ungodly number of appetizers at a black tie function. (Something I manage to do on a regular basis, minus the fancy clothes.)
May the better scientist win.
Lazarus is played by Mark Gatiss, which is fun for us Sherlock fans, as he plays Mycroft in that series. Both Lazarus and Mycroft are odd creatures who feel half-human.
Martha’s mom was a bit too outraged for my taste. I understand the need for extra dramatic tension, and it was okay at first, but she doesn’t even reconsider when he first saves their lives?
Defeating the monster by playing a giant church organ is also a little silly, although I appreciated the Spinal Tap reference of turning it up to eleven.
On the other hand, I appreciate Doctor Who’s willingness to grapple with big issues, and he makes a couple of nice pronouncements in the episode.
DOCTOR WHO: It’s not the time that matters, it’s the person….I’m old enough to know that a longer life isn’t always a better one. In the end you just get tired. Tired of the struggle. Tired of losing everyone that matters to you. Tired of watching everything turn to dust. If you live long enough, Lazarus, the only certainty left is that you’ll end up alone.
And then they’re off again. Martha is taken aboard, leaving behind her mother, and a world which still uses answering machines.
The BBC first aired Season 3, Episode 6 of Doctor Who on May 5, 2007.
Polentical: TV in Review: Doctor Who, “Evolution of the Daleks”
Movies, TV, and all things Pop Culture: Community and Doctor Who
Absurdly Nerdly: Daily Dose of Doctor Who
Read at Joe’s: The Doctor with His New Companion
Ghost Radio: Video: Tour the Studio Where They Film DOCTOR WHO!