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Recap / Doctor Who S31 E6 "The Vampires of Venice"

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Vampires!note  Better than Christmas!

"Anywhere you want, any time you want. One condition: it has to be amazing. The Moulin Rouge in 1890! The first Olympic Games! Think of it as a wedding present. Because frankly it's either this or tokens."
The Doctor

Original air date: May 8, 2010

The One With… Vampires. In Venice. Except, not really.

The Cold Open starts in 1580, with a man called Guido presenting his daughter to be trained at a certain school run by the House of Calvierri, since there's no future for the daughter of a boat builder and the Calvierri house is considered a safehold from plague. She is accepted by Rosanna Calvierri and her son, Francesco, who wear dark clothes and smile a lot and are therefore already suspicious in the eyes of the audience. Guido leaves, assured of his daughter's future, but we're not quite so assured, since as soon as the door closes on her father Francesco displays an impressive pair of teeth in front of Isabella. She begins to scream...

Extreme fast forward to Rory's stag night. A giant cake is wheeled in, and out bursts not the woman they were expecting, but the Doctor! He then proceeds to tell the assembled guests that Amy tried to kiss him, and tries to reassure Rory by explaining that Rory's very lucky to be engaged to such a great kisser. After one hugely awkward silence ensues, the titles start.

The Doctor offers Rory and Amy a wedding gift of a trip in the TARDIS to a romantic getaway, and they end up in Venice... in 1580. This should be fun.

However, just as they're about to set out and explore, they get stopped. Apparently you need papers to travel around Venice at the moment, because of the fears of plague and such. The Doctor presents their credentials with the psychic paper ("I am so sorry, Your Holiness. I didn't realise.") and they enter the city, just in time to see Guido get blocked from talking to Isabella by members of the House of Calvierri. The Doctor is on the case! Meanwhile, Amy and Rory have a bit of a bicker, but then decide to bask in the fact that they're in Venice! In 1580! While they're basking, Francesco gets approached by a flower seller. He isn't interested in her wares, but he does want something else...

Cue the teeth, and cue the screams. Amy and Rory rush to find Francesco making a meal out of the poor girl, though thankfully he doesn't get the chance to finish as he flees... apparently into the canal. What was that about vampires not being able to cross running water again?

Guido causes a ruckus outside the Calvierri house, giving the Doctor a chance to sneak in through a back entrance. He ends up in a cellar, where he gets distracted by a mirror, before realizing that there are in fact five young women standing behind him, and none of them have a reflection. Ominous. They, quite understandably, demand to know who he is, only they do it in synchronization. More ominous. The Doctor tries to bluff his way out by using the psychic paper, but accidentally gets his extremely old library card instead. (As in, it's got his first face and his 1960s London address on it.) The girls display some rather impressive teeth — oh, now that's not right — and don't even have the decency to tell him the whole plan, so he decides to get out of there sharpish.

Meeting up with Amy, Rory and Guido again, the four try to think of a way to get inside information on the Calvierri. Guido already knows of a tunnel leading under the house; now they just need someone on the inside, and Amy suggests being that someone. The Doctor and Rory both refuse to do this, and then they manage to get into an argument about who'd make a more convincing dad, brother or fiancé for her. Oh, and the Doctor is starting to suspect that they might not be dealing with vampires after all. He is not entirely sure what the Calvierris actually are, but since they don't mind been thought of as vampires they might be something worse.

In the end, Rory ends up posing as Amy's brother in Guido's borrowed clothes. This means Guido is poling a gondola around Venice wearing a T-shirt with the immortal phrase "Rory's Stag" on the back (and a picture of the two lovebirds in a heart on the front). A nervous Rory stammers through the cover story, which leaves something to be desired, but the Calvierris seem to buy it. Francesco is showing decidedly more interest in Amy than she, Rory or the audience would like. In the girls' dormitory Amy comes across Isabella, and learns that the Calvierri are bringing about some sort of change in her that makes the sunlight burn her. There are some nasty bite marks on her neck...

As the Doctor and Rory make their way through the secret tunnel (and have a little bicker about Amy's kiss) Amy goes to the entrance of the tunnel to let them in. After succeeding in this, she is immediately captured and strapped into a chair so that she can be bitten by Rosanna. The process works thus; they drain her of all her blood and then fill her with theirs instead, making her into one of them. What with that and all that lusting over Amy's blood and being so thirsty, they must be vampires, right?

The answer turns out to be a surprising no, for Amy kicks some technological item at Rosanna's waist, the image she's sustaining fails and she turns into... a giant fish-shrimp alien.

Just then, the Doctor and Rory's arrival creates a distraction, and with Isabella helping to free Amy they all make a break for it, warding off the Calvierri with a portable sunlight lamp as they go. Our trio manages to escape, but poor Isabella gets dragged back inside the house and the Doctor, in trying to save her, gets an electric shock from the door and is knocked out. Isabella is later forced to jump into an evil bubbling canal, with something living below the water that drags her beneath.

Satisfied at a job well done, Rosanna returns to her audience chamber — only to find the Doctor, quite recovered from his shock and sitting on her throne. He identifies her as a Sister of the Water from Saturnyne. There follows a question and answer session where they learn things about each other and also answers some of the questions we've had about these not-vampires, such as why they don't show up in mirrors (the perception filter around them means that the brain that's being manipulated doesn't know what to fill the gap with, so leaves it blank). It also emerges that Rosanna and her people have had some encounters with the cracks, through which they saw silence and the end of all things.

The Saturnynians fled to Earth through such a crack, which closed behind them and supposedly destroyed their world. Rosanna intends to rebuild her race by any means necessary, and asks the Doctor to join her in her efforts. Unsurprisingly the Doctor says no, and is disgusted not just by the fact that Rosanna had Isabella executed, but that she didn't even know her name. That clinches the deal.

Rosanna isn't content to sit and wait. The final preparations have been made, after all, and so she summons the girls. She has a job for them.

Our intrepid four have a brainstorming — or rather a storming of the Doctor's brain, since he doesn't allow anyone else to chip in. They, so to speak, figure out from Rosanna's cryptic words that Rosanna plans to sink Venice and repopulate it with the girls she's transformed, as wives for her 10,000 male children that even now populate the canals and snack on anyone who displeases her. Even the Doctor's grossed out by that. You know it's bad when the Doctor's grossed out. He is then distracted as the people upstairs become rather noisy.

Guido quickly points out that no one lives upstairs.

Even the Doctor was expecting that. So now our heroes are under attack by buxom fish girls from space. Levitating buxom fish girls from space, since they're on the second floor and all. In order to save the others and avenge Isabella, Guido chooses to blow himself and the fish girls up with barrels of gunpowder he'd kept stored in his chambers. He defiantly shouts "We! Are! VENETIANS!!" as he lights the barrels. Unaware of the demise of her protégées, Rosanna begins the process that will drown Venice. The Doctor rushes to stop her, after telling Amy and Rory to go back to the TARDIS, because he doesn't want any more deaths today. Guido's sacrifice seems to have touched a raw nerve that Rory's already rubbed before: "You have no idea how dangerous you make people to themselves when you're around!"

As the people panic around them on their way back to the TARDIS, Rory and Amy encounter Francesco, who decides to take the opportunity to fulfil his ambition and make a meal out of Amy. Still labouring under the impression that he's a vampire, Rory tries to ward him off with a makeshift cross, which Francesco responds to with no little contempt. Rory's attempts to distract him are unsuccessful until an ill-chosen crack about Francesco's mother, which Francesco does not appreciate; Rory's feeble attempts at defending himself with Broom Fu pale in comparison to Francesco's expert swordsmanship, and Rory looks like he's about to become a Saturnynian feast until Amy distracts Francesco with a hint of sunlight catching her pocket mirror. This has the added bonus of blowing Francesco up. Amy takes the opportunity to critique Rory's technique and to kiss him passionately, and both make tracks to help the Doctor.

The Doctor storms into Rosanna's palace, cutting off her gloating by bluntly pointing out that the women she hoped to have mate with her children are dead; her plan has failed. Shocked, Rosanna flees, leaving the Doctor to dismantle the device which is reshaping Venice's environment, creating a storm and earthquakes which will in turn create a tidal wave which will swamp the city. Rory and Amy return; Rory's pledge not to leave the Doctor causes a certain amount of ire in light of his earlier declaration, but there's little time for an argument; the Doctor sets Rory and Amy the task of dismantling Rosanna's throne, which contains the controls for the device, while he climbs the tower and sets to work on the generator as the rain and thunder lash around him. It's a tricky, confusing clockwork device, and it's hard to figure out how to dismantle it–

–Oh. Hang on a second. Turns out there's a simple switch which, once flicked, turns off the device. The rains stop, the sun comes out, and the Doctor takes in the cheers of Venetians.

Distraught and broken, Rosanna walks to the canal containing her children. While in human form, they will not distinguish her from any other human and will devour her, which is clearly what she intends. The Doctor, arriving just as she strips down and walks the plank, tries to persuade her not to jump, arguing that it is possible to live as the last of your species (offering himself as Exhibit A); Rosanna merely reminds him coldly that he now has two extinct species to his name, and jumps in. Her children go "Om nom nom nom".

As they head back to the TARDIS, the Doctor (in full Stepford Smiler mode) muses that maybe it's time to head off to the Leadworth Registry Office for a certain happy event. Rory, a bit glumly, just suggests dropping him off back where they picked him up, but Amy, clearly wanting to make him feel better, gives him a kiss and suggests that he stays on for just a bit longer. The Doctor has no objection, and Rory — clearly thrilled — agrees. Happily, Amy disappears into the TARDIS to put the kettle on — and in doing so, misses the entire city suddenly fall deathly, unnaturally silent. Rory doesn't appear to notice anything amiss, but the Doctor, recalling Rosanna's words about the silence at the other side of the cracks, is freaked out, and the episode ends with a sinister zoom-in to the TARDIS keyhole as he shuts the door behind him.


  • Actor Allusion:
  • Actually Not a Vampire: Despite the fear of sunlight, the fangs, the blood drinking, and the lack of reflection, these are not vampires. They're Saturnynians using perception filters.
  • Alliterative Title: Because "The Big Vicious Fish People From Space of Venice" isn't quite as catchy.
  • Arc Words: The cracks, and the silence.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: The House of Calvierri is filled with deceptive Saturnynians who plan to flood Venice.
  • Art Imitates Art: Many of the costumes in the episode were taken from artwork from the 15th and 16th centuries. This included veils that women wore, which were used for the vampire girls.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Isabella, when she thinks she's going to be executed by drowning, taunts the Calvierri by reminding them that she's a Venetian. "We can all swim!" It's subverted in that, once she's in the water, she gets eaten alive by the Saturnynian children before she can swim very far.
    • Played straight by the Doctor saying that he will end the House of Calvierri.
  • Badge Gag: Instead of his psychic paper, the Doctor pulls out a library card so old that it has a picture of the First Doctor.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: The Doctor uses the psychic paper to claim he's the Pope, that Amy is a viscountess, and that Rory is her eunuch. Later on it's used to give Amy a reference from the King of Sweden, but Rosanna sees through that one.
  • Berserk Button: "Did you just say something about Mummy?"
  • Big Bad: Rosanna Calvierri.
  • Big Damn Kiss: After they kill Francesco together, Rory and Amy get their first on-screen kiss.
  • Bilingual Bonus: "Calvierri" is very similar to calvaria, the Latin word for "skull".
  • Black Dude Dies First: Black girl dies first, and her black father dies next... Well, technically, he ties for second death with five white women.
  • Blatant Lies: The TARDIS sparks and smokes and explodes. What does the Doctor say?
    The Doctor: It's meant to do that.
  • Broomstick Quarterstaff: Attempted by Rory in his fight with Francesco. He's not impressed.
  • Breaking Speech: In their interactions, Rosanna is fond of (snidely) implying that the Doctor didn't do everything he could to save his people.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: The Doctor swears to destroy everything Rosanna has built because she doesn't know the name of the woman she killed.
  • Butt-Monkey: As an illustration of what is to come for Rory, when bluffing their way past an Obstructive Bureaucrat with the psychic paper, the Doctor becomes the Pope and Amy a viscountess. Rory?
  • Changed My Jumper: The whole cast looks totally out of place in 16th century Venice, but of particular note is Amy's denim miniskirt and fishnet stockings, none of which raises an eyebrow. Amy and Rory do change to blend in for a time, and Rory hilariously ends up swapping his "Rory's Stag" jumper with Guido, who in turn looks even more ridiculous wearing it.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Gunpowder! Guido has barrels of it in his house, and later uses it to blow up the attacking Calvierri girls in his Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Francesco warning Rosanna about using her perception filter near her children. She makes sure it's working before her suicide.
  • City of Canals: It's Venice! The impossible city.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    The Doctor: She was frightened, I was frightened... But we survived, and the relief of it and... so, she kissed me.
    Rory: And you kissed her back?
    The Doctor: No. I kissed her mouth.
  • Compensating for Something: Rory and Doctor compare their torches.
    Rory: Yours is bigger than mine.
    Doctor: Let's not go there.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Doctor identifies himself to the vampire girls by showing his library card. It has a picture of the First Doctor on it. If you look at it in close up, you can see the card is in the name of Dr. J. Smith of 76 Totter's Lane, Shoreditch, London.
    • This isn't the first time that an alien race fled from the vanishing of their home planet by the season's story arc and attempted to rebuild their society in an Italian city. Coincidentally, the Pyroviles are fire-based lifeforms whereas the Saturnynians are aquatic beings, and a character played by Karen Gillan is threatened, directly or indirectly, to be turned into one of their kind in both stories.
    • It isn't the first time that a massive dark cloud filled with lightning has formed over a historical city and threatened the end of the world.
    • It isn't the first time a death has been caused by an electric door.
    • "I'll explain later" was spoofed in The Curse of Fatal Death.
    • This is the second time in the new series that the Doctor has driven someone to suicide.
    • The Doctor mentions how aliens with vampiric traits are "classic".
  • Cool Chair: The Calvierri throne is purple and gold, and a control hub for a weather device.
  • Damsel out of Distress: She can't quite free herself, but Amy does damage Rosanna's perception filter even while she's tied up.
  • Dark Is Evil: The lead Saturnynians, Francesco and Rosanna, are both dressed in dark purple. Their true forms are also mostly dark purple in colour.
  • Dead Man's Chest: Desiccated bodies of several victims are kept in trunks in the basement.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In retrospect, Rosanna shouldn't have dispatched all the girls she had transformed to attack the Doctor and his comrades and put them all at risk of being killed, seeing as how they were the cornerstone of her plan. The reaction she has when the Doctor tells her they're dead indicates she realized this.
  • Dissimile: "You're like Houdini, only five slightly scary girls. And he was shorter. Will be shorter. I'm rambling."
  • Dramatic Drop: When the Doctor mentions kissing Rory's fiancée, someone drops a beer glass offscreen.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Rory's first episode as a companion, after our earlier glimpses of him as a seemingly somewhat unimpressive individual; he and Amy both run to help when they hear a scream, and whilst Amy chases after the vampire attacker, Rory stays to help the girl because he's a nurse.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Francesco is slowly threatening Amy, and Rory's desperately trying to get his attention. After several failed insults, Rory successfully enrages him by insulting his mother.
  • "Everybody Dies" Ending: There goes another species. No more "sisters of the water". Seriously, the only characters (whether they had any lines or not) who survive, apart from the main trio, are Carlo the steward, that remarkably lucky flower girl who typically might have bought it and the official at the start.
  • Fee Fi Faux Pas: The cake scene.
    The Doctor: Funny how you can say something in your head, and it sounds fine.
  • Fish People: In their true form, Saturnynians are fish-like monstrous humanoids with a shrimp-like tail and various crustacean legs.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • After Isabella's execution, Rosanna kneels by the edge of the water, and Francesco warns her to change her form or else his brothers will eat her. She commits suicide in exactly that fashion at the end.
    • Before she kills herself, Rosanna tells the Doctor to dream of her and her race, something that will be important next episode.
  • Forgot About His Powers: It never occurs to anybody to use the TARDIS to get into the school.
  • Game Face: The Saturnynians' fangs are explained as the survival instinct overriding a perception filter.
  • Glamour Failure: The Saturnynians' go on the fritz after they have been kicked by Amy.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: The House of Calvierri must have set their perception filters to "high fashion".
  • Hammerspace: Where, do you ask, was the Doctor hiding that big light? His pockets are bigger on the inside.
  • He Had a Name:
    • "Where's Isabella?"
    • At the beginning, the Doctor makes a point of asking if someone can bring in from the cold the bikini-clad girl who was supposed to be in the cake he burst out of in front of Rory, in the process revealing that he's learnt her name (Lucy) and that she's diabetic. Contrast with Rosanna, who can't even be bothered learning the names of the human girls she's converting into breeding stock for her sons.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Guido draws the Saturnynians away, letting them corner him so he can blow up all that gunpowder we saw earlier, shouting: WE! ARE! VENETIANS!
  • Hiss Before Fleeing: Only rarely do the Saturnynians flee. Usually, it's the people they encounter, but they do love hissing.
  • Hollywood Darkness: When the Doctor and Rory first get inside the House of Calvierri, it's obvious that the characters can't see nearly as much as the audience can.
  • Hypocrite: The Doctor calls Rory out on this when Rory demands to be allowed to stay and help the Doctor save the day, pointing out that Rory himself had earlier took the Doctor to task for the way that he tended to encourage people to put their lives at risk. Particularly since the Doctor had taken this on board and had in fact arranged for Amy and Rory to return to the TARDIS where they'd be safe.
  • Improbable Hairstyle: Isabella is black and lives in the 16th century, and yet her hair is perfectly straight — centuries before the invention of modern hair straightening products.
  • Jumping Out of a Cake: The Doctor does this at the very beginning. Lucy, the girl who was supposed to jump out, is standing outside. The Doctor asks someone to give her a jumper.
  • Just Between You and Me: Invoked, to no avail, with "Tell me the whole plan!" Someday, that is going to work, but not today.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Subverted. Rory would appreciate it if he was notintroduced as Amy's brother, as he's her fiancé.
  • Literal-Minded:
    Rory: And you kissed her back?
    The Doctor: No, I kissed her mout'.
  • Mars Needs Women: The Evil Plan of the Saturnynians is to convert human girls into their own kind so they can become brides for the 10,000 male children of their species in the canals.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Francesco is the eldest of around 10,000 brothers.
  • Meaningful Name: There was another Guido who famously fiddled around with gunpowder...
  • Missing Reflection: The fish aliens don't show up in mirrors due to a technical result in their perception filters.
  • Monster Misogyny: An odd example, considering that the monster in question is female, and acquiring some more females was the entire point of her actions. However, Rosanna sends the converted girls to attack our heroes, instead of the thousands of available males, even though their deaths could ruin everything. That being said, those males in question are Rosanna's own sons, while she isn't shown to care one lick about the girls beyond their capability as breeding stock, so this could be justified.
  • Mood Whiplash: At the very end it's all joking about with Amy and "her boys", and then... silence. Utter silence. Not even the water is making any noise and everyone in the area has vanished. The Doctor wisely gets inside the TARDIS as the episode ends.
    • Isabella is murdered, the Doctor gives Rosanna a Tranquil Fury lecture about how he's going to bring her down because of it...and then we get a comic sequence of the Doctor putting hands over everyone's mouths, including grieving father Guido.
  • Mummy's Boy: Francesco dearly loves his Mum. No insults against her will be tolerated.
  • Mundane Solution: The Doctor shuts down the weather machine by... flicking a switch, and a small one at that.
  • Non-Action Guy: Rory is Mickey Smith v 2.0, or Rhys v 2.0. Quite a lot like Larry from "Blink", too. In any case, he's much less action-y than the Doctor.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Joked about. "Blimey, fish from space have never been so... buxom."
  • Noodle Incident:
    • The Doctor owes Casanova a chicken.
    • Apparently the Doctor accidentally crashed at least one incorrect stag/hen do by hiding in a cake before happening upon the correct Rory.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The Doctor gets a moment when he realises that Guido is going to use the gunpowder stored in his house to perform a Heroic Sacrifice — and he's standing right in front of said house.
    • Rory swings the broom around and jabs it at Francesco. Francesco draws a sword. Rory panics.
    • Amy has this expression a lot when confronted with a room full of Saturnynians, or one advancing on her menacingly.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: These are not the vampires from "State of Decay" or the Haemovores from "The Curse of Fenric" or the Plasmavore from "Smith and Jones". They're actually a fish-like race called Saturnynians. The lack of reflections is a simple bug of their perception filters. The fangs peek through the filter thanks to a subconscious override of the filter due to the observer's survival instinct. The fact that there are also actual vampires in the Whoniverse is alluded to when Rory says that taking your blood and replacing it with their own is "what vampires do" and the Doctor says, "Yeah."
  • Out-of-Character Moment: The Eleventh Doctor outright screams at Amy when she doesn't want to wait somewhere safe. It is a little odd since he is normally a lot nicer in this kind of situation and other episodes use Tranquil Fury to show this Doctor's anger unless pushed to the extremes. It may be a result of it being one of his earlier episodes, before the character was truly pounded out.
  • Patriotic Fervour: Both Isabella and Guido attempt to intimidate the enemy with proud proclamations of being Venetian.
  • Perception Filter: The "vampires" are using them to look human, but they don't work in mirrors, and can be partially overridden by people's survival instincts.
  • Post-Kiss Catatonia: Following the Big Damn Kiss, Rory looks like he's just been hit on the head with something very heavy, and dazedly follows Amy right where he doesn't want them to go.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "Oi! Mummy's boy!" Cue disintegration via sunlight.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "We! Are! VENETIANS!"
  • Rays from Heaven: At the climax, the clouds are roiling and storming and getting darker every minute as the city's destruction draws near. When the Doctor shuts off the storm controller to save the world once again, the clouds dissipate and sunbeams burst through as people celebrate.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic:
    • Some people have lambasted the appearance of Isabella and her father as tokenism and Politically Correct History. Venice was a port and trade city in Real Life, and it wasn't unheard of for African traders to move and set up shop there in the 16th century. See also a moderately well-known play called The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice. Also, an earlier episode points out the fact that even England in 1599 wasn't just fair youths by this point; there were a lot of dark ladies around as well.
    • Rory fending off a sword with a broom is not impossible either, provided he managed to hit the flat of Francesco's blade and not the edge.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Rory chews the Doctor out for how he instills in people the desire to do risky things to impress him.
  • Record Scratch: An electronic version interrupts the music at Rory's party after the Doctor pops out of the cake.
  • Scenery Porn: This is one of the prettier episodes, and the scenery is shown off with some really stunning cinematography. That's "Venice" for you.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: When Rosanna enacts her plan, her chamberlain (who appears to be completely human) is last seen running away with a bag full of what appears to be everything valuable in the mansion that wasn't bolted down.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: It's a switch. A tiny one, and it shuts everything down.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Rosanna inflicts this upon her sons when she deliberately feeds herself to them while stuck in her human form. Being unable to recognize her as their mother, they devour her.
  • Shipper on Deck: The Doctor with Amy and Rory. This adventure is his wedding gift to them.
  • Shoo the Dog: One of the main ways the Doctor goes about shipping Amy and Rory is sending them away. Consistency and success rate are both variable so far.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sickly Green Glow: The blood-draining torture chamber has green light. See also the picture at the top of the page.
  • Solar-Powered Magnifying Glass: Amy uses the mirror in her bag to fry a vampire.
  • Standard Snippet: "The Stripper" plays during Rory's stag party.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: The Doctor pulls off a good one on Amy when they observe Guido causing an incident while searching for his daughter.
    Amy: Oh...! I hate it when he does that!
  • Stealth Pun: It's a race of fish people disguising themselves as an educational institution.
  • That Came Out Wrong: In retrospect, the Doctor's attempting to reassure Rory about Amy kissing him by insisting that she's a great kisser was a mistake.
  • Tranquil Fury:
  • Trailers Always Lie: In the season five preview, one of the vampires leaps for Rory, without any change. In the actual episode, he changes to his alien form.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: For some reason, the sight of Amy in a miniskirt doesn't raise any eyebrows in 1580 Venice, nor does the Doctor loudly proclaiming the history of Venice within a crowded marketplace.
  • Villainous BSoD: Rosanna's son is dead, her vampire converts are dead, and the Doctor has prevented the destruction of Venice. She feeds herself to her sons, rendering the entire Saturnynian species extinct.
  • Villainous Mother-Son Duo: Rosanna and Francesco.
  • Visual Pun: When Francisco draws his sword and Rory looks terrified, the camera repeatedly cuts to the nearby chickens.
  • Walk the Plank: It's not the fall that kills you this time. It's the sudden vampire-fish-husbands at the end.
  • Weakened by the Light: The "vampires", due to actually being fish aliens. The young women they're converting develop this even before the transformation is complete — Isabella is captured during the escape because she flinches away from a ray of sunlight hitting the door, backing herself right back into the hands of her captors.
  • We Can Rule Together: After learning he's a Time Lord, Rosanna suggests the Doctor help her build a new society on Earth. The Doctor refuses due to awkward inter-species issues ("Think of the children")... and because she kills people.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Rosanna Calvierri's intention is to save her species and her family. It's rather understandable and sympathetic. The way she goes about it, on the other hand, makes her a villain.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: At the end of the episode, the Doctor doesn't seem to mind that there are still 10,000 human-eating fish aliens living under the waters of Venice. Sure, without any females they will eventually die off , but presumably they can terrorize Venetians for a few years before that happens.
  • What the Fu Are You Doing?: Rory trying to threaten a skilled swordsman by madly swinging a broom around, while making lightsaber noises no less.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Three for the Doctor this time.
    • En route to the intended rendezvous with Amy, Rory is having none of the Doctor's assurances.
      The Doctor: She'll be fine.
      Rory: You can promise me that, can you?
    • After Amy gets grabbed and they find a skeleton, Rory tells the Doctor that he's dangerous because of what he makes people want to do for him. (Essentially the same point Davros made in "Journey's End".) Later inverted on the Doctor by Rory, when he and Amy insist on helping him:
      The Doctor: Right, so one minute it's all "You make people a danger to themselves," the next it's "We're not leaving you!"
    • Rosanna implying that he didn't fight hard enough for his own people, and asking if he wants to have another doomed race on his conscience. Of course, she doesn't know that he blew them up on purpose and for the same reason he's against her; wiping out another species to preserve your own.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy:
    • The Doctor has a minor case on his part when he first meets the Calvierri girls. He orders them to tell him the whole plan, before bemoaning that he'll get that to work one day.
    • Rory trying to defeat one Saturnynian with a self-made cross. It doesn't work. Amy calls him out on this because they already knew that the vampires were fish-like aliens and would not have this weakness.
  • The X of Y: "The Vampires of Venice".
  • Your Mom: "The only thing I've seen uglier than you is... your mum!" Which in turn results in Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas, and an Oh, Crap! look from Rory.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Doctor Who S 31 E 06 The Vampires Of Venice


Rory insults "Mummy"

Rory finds something to deflect an alien vampire's attention away from him fiancee.

How well does it match the trope?

4.92 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas

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