- The James Bond films, obviously
- The Fly (for the capsule)
- The Quatermass Experiment (for the title, and ending up in a cathedral)
- This Is Spinal Tap (for going up to 11)
- Predator/Blade 2 (for the monster's split jaw)
- Lost In Space (for the rest of the monster's body)
- Relic (I'm told - for the monster being some sort of human throwback/sidestep)
- And of course, for a CG face unconvincingly slapped onto the front of an inhuman body, The Lawnmower Man and its close cousins, the pop videos of Peter Gabriel.
Viewers who think too much might ponder an episode of DW that shows the dehumanising horrors of science brought to heel in a church, but perhaps there really is nothing more to it than a Quatermass reference. Would've been nice if the Lazarus monster had looked like it had been drawn from the dormant bits of human DNA, and not from bits of just any old terrestrial DNA (to think, Confidential suggests the original design would have been even more of a spurious mix of animal bits). Apparently we're this far from being giant scorpions - the stinging tail, the mandibles, the external skeleton, the extra legs... the ability to suck the life right out of people? In its favour, the genetic science in this episode may have been cock-eyed again, but it was still better than last week. At least there was some effort to explain it all that sounded half convincing.
Still, two things save The Lazarus Experiment from being a mediocre knockabout action story with a big old CGI monster. One is the acting, with no obvious weak links and some pretty good bastard acting from Mark Gatiss. The other is the script, which was excellent (apart from some of the soliloquising in the cathedral, which got a bit ripe in places).
Thing is, a solid middling story like this would have looked like gold in the first half of Series 1, or rejigged as an episode of Torchwood. In the third year of New Who, it looks like 6 out of 10. But we're halfway into Series 3 now - when is it going to turn it up to 11? It was excusable for Series 1 to take a while to find its feet, but by this time last year we'd had The Girl in the Fireplace, a werewolf and ninja monks vs the heat-packin' Queen Victoria and two episodes of meaty, shiny, good-looking Cyberman action. The last month and a half pales by comparison. And we've got two weeks to mull that over while Who steps aside for Eurovision. Still, the rest of the series looks like seven weeks of continuous winners, if the trailer is to be believed.