I don’t know if I have much more to say about Vampires of Venice than I did about Victory of the Daleks — I think almost anything after the Weeping Angels 2-parter would have felt like something of a let-down.
This isn’t to say, though, that Venice isn’t a highly enjoyable monster-of-the-week ’cause it is. It’s a nice old-fashioned Who romp complete with shape-shifting monsters, girls with questionable goals, and an exploding house.
Oh, and this:
Possibly my favorite moment in the episode. 🙂 I love it when the psychic paper goes slightly strange.
Most of this episode felt like one long in-joke, mostly to Casanova since the story kicks off with one of Matt Smith’s trademark wandering q-and-a sessions relating to a chicken he owes Casanova. Then, since Mrs. Fish was Casanova’s mother (and quite a terrible one as I recall), the whole thing just seems tied up in a knot. Rather like the Supernatural episode I just watched from the second season called Tall Tales including a long in-joke which I think was largely at the expense of ex-X-Files writer John Shiban. Not that that made it any less funny!
It also seemed to me that Venice owed something — perhaps largely unattributed — to the old 4th Doctor E-Space story State of Decay. This may be because it’s the only other DW episode I can think of to do with vampires. And I always liked Decay.
Venice never felt, to me, as though it quite found its pace. It never seemed really able to make up its mind as to what it wanted to do: did it want to be a story about the missing girl? about the vampire students? about aliens? about shapeshifting vampire aliens? about vampire aliens? about aliens taking over the world? about Amy and Rory hammering out the details of their relationship?
There was a lot of narrative ground here that needed to be hammered out and I think Amy’s Choice did a lot of it better, but Venice was a fun 45 minutes while we waited for the story to move on.
And the last scene between Mrs. Fish and the Doctor at the end of the pier was, I have to say, fantastic. It could have been loud and shouty and over the top and dramatic — and instead it was quite quiet and rather sad and resigned. Whatever the Doctor has done or has failed to do or will fail to do or whatever — the consequences are clearly enormous and growing day-by-day. Which makes it all the harder to understand why he’s still fiddling about waiting for cracks to show up instead of going in search of them.
Perhaps he’s just waiting for a fun night out?