The Lazarus Experiment
By DJ Forrest
‘Who Wants to Live Forever?’
Broadcast 5th May 2007
What would you do if you were an 80-year-old guy who wanted to live his life all over again? Why, you’d create a Genetic Manipulation Device, which when you climbed inside would use hypersonic soundwaves to create a state of resonance that would destabilise your cell structure and make you 40 years younger when you stepped back outside it again, of course.
Except, as this has never properly been tested, and you’re the guinea-pig of your own creation, then it’s quite possible, that you’re not going to remain that handsome young devil by the end of the party.
The Lazarus Experiment is probably one of my favourite 10th Doctor episodes. For a start, you have the Doctor in a tux, which only really hots up when he’s in pursuit of the exo skeleton monster, three times the size of a regular man, with the body of a scorpion. The Doctor goes very much 007 then. In fact, I think when this episode aired, many of the forums had Tennant pegged as the next James Bond.
Written by Mark Gatiss, who also played Richard Lazarus, this was going to have a far more complex storyline than that of a scientist creating a genetic manipulation device which he intended to make more commercially. No, if you look at it more directly, given the last three episodes of this current series, there’s a dangerous undertone, signifying the return of the evillest of Time Lords, other than Rassilon. Yes, my dear friends, this was the time when The Master was working behind the scenes, luring the Doctor into danger. Did you not recognise the symbols on the party banners?
In terms of time zones, this was theoretically 2 days before the General Election that saw Harold Saxon chosen as the Prime Minister of Great Britain, and we all know what came next?
Along with the serious side of the story there were also the hilariously funny sides, especially regarding the mother of his second companion, Martha Jones. It’s clear to see that where mothers are concerned, the Doctor’s face is going to come in for some serious slapping.
I love the little builds up to the big finale, and The Lazarus Experiment doesn’t disappoint. The villain of the piece, the chasing along corridors, hiding in the recesses, the science lab, the familiar backdrop and the showdown in Southwark Cathedral. I feel inclined to watch it again.