First things first: My apologies for the tardiness of this recap! I was out of town this weekend without access to BBC America, but first thing I did when I got home was fire up the DVR and watch last night’s zippy, action-packed “The Vampires of Venice” telecast. This was one of those Doctor Who episodes with ambiguously evil baddies. As Lady Rosanna herself pointed out, you couldn’t exactly damn her for wanting to trade the population of Venice in 1580 to spare her entire race. Or could you? That final shot of Rosanna disguised as a human and feeding herself to her sons contained a minor chord of sadness that was made all the more poignant by her parting shot to the Doctor: “Can your conscience carry the weight of another dead race? Remember us. Dream of us.” The eerie silence that fell over Venice afterward — and the repetition of Rosanna’s remarks — was a brief and chilling nod to the overarching “Crack in Time” through-line of the ongoing fifth season. “There were cracks. Through some we saw silence and the end of all things.”
Chilling stuff for an episode that contained plenty of light moments, especially via the reconnecting of Amy Pond and her righteously goofy groom-to-be, Rory. In the latter role, Arthur Darvill resembles an extra-befuddled Adrien Brody, and his attempt to use a broom to battle Francesco the sea creature was particularly amusing. Other good things: I particularly liked how the aliens resembled vampires only because their potential victims’ brains overrode the image-altering technology to view the part of the alien anatomy that posed the greatest threat. And I’m stoked that Amy-Rory appears to have quickly and succinctly quashed Amy-The Doctor as the running romance of this Who season. Will the postponed-through-time-travel wedding happen soon? As Rory himself noted, “I have a right to know! I’m getting married in 430 years!”
The episode’s other great quote came from The Doctor, responding to Rosanna’s come-on: “I’m a Time Lord. You’re a big fish. Think of the children.” What did you make of the episode? How are you feeling about the Matt Smith-Karen Gillan partnership? And did you have any sympathy for the water-bound aliens? Sound off in the comments, and follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak.