The Doctor and Amy cross swords in more ways than one with a horde of blood-sucking vampires in 16th century Venice.
This is an episode that is average overall, made notable by the fact that it’s the first one to feature Rory in companion mode. For the first time the audience is getting a taste of what the show will be in the future, once Rory has come on full-time. And that is exactly what elevates this episode from kind of a crappy grade.
It’s almost immediately noticeable just how different things are with Rory, the third wheel on board the TARDIS. Okay, maybe calling him a third wheel is a bit harsh, but he sure feels that way. And the way both The Doctor and Amy are running around in show-off mode, it sure comes off that way.
This episode takes the first steps towards separating the Rory/Amy dynamic form the Rose/Mickey one in that Amy shows that she really does want Rory in her life.
Sure, the cute moment at the end where she kisses him is linked to their just surviving certain death, so adrenaline and history might have more to do with her feelings than… well, you know, actual feelings.
But still, it’s a step in the direction the show will eventually take, bringing him on board full-time. The next several episodes will deal with just how strong her feelings for Rory are.
The story itself is pretty straightforward and manages to continue the overarching crack plot by blaming the alien baddies predicament on it, which, like last week, is a nice job of tying the two story lines of varying importance together.
Using the cracks as motivations for the villains actions is a nice touch, but it doesn’t save the baddies from feeling kind of lame. The idea of supernatural creatures plaguing Venice is a pretty cool one, and even vampires would have been awesome. However, I don’t quite get how we make the leap from vampire to “praying mantis sea monsters.”
Sure, the creatures are interesting enough, but they would have been a hell of a lot cooler if they were actually more tied into the vampire myth. I mean, come on, bat creature – that one’s staring you in the face.
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: it’s set in Venice, so of course sea creatures will crop up. But think about it, no one would expect the bad guys to actually be vampires when they’re so busy trying to figure out what the creatures really are.