This episode really felt a lot like something from the Hinchcliffe era of Tom Baker's Doctor. A horror story with aliens and other sci-fi elements.
I really liked the Saturnynes and I wouldn't mind seeing a return for them down the road sometime.
Toby Whithouse (School Reunion) delivered an excellent script with great character moments for the Doctor, Rory and Amy. It picked up after least week's episode dealing with the consequences of Amy's attempting to throw herself at the Doctor. I would have expected Rory to be a bit angrier with Amy and I would have liked if he had stood up for himself more but then that's probably part of the reason Amy is drawn to the Doctor because Rory is allowing himself to be walked all over by her. But I liked the balance of humor applied to the situation (with some truly laugh out loud scenes) and emotional resonance showing how much it did affect Rory. And the Doctor really comes across as a hero trying to awkwardly unite the two lovers whilst at the same time not knowing when not to say something. That's one aspect of the current Doctor I really like is the fact that he often seems to say things that sound better inside his head than when uttered aloud.
I loved Rory's confrontation with Francesco which was both awkwardly heroic and also very funny as well. Its also interesting to note that in the confidential Karen Gillan gets carried away with kissing Arthur Darvill and forgets she's supposed to pull away and the kissing keeps going and going. A similar thing happened in Flesh and Stone when she was making a pass at the Doctor and put her hand on the inside of Matt Smith's thigh. Apparently Miss Gillan is a method actor when it comes to love scenes. ;)
I really like the dynamic between the three members of the TARDIS crew and Rory is back again for the next episode. I hope he stays around as a permanent member of the team to freshen things up from the one companion dynamic.
Again the crack plays an integral part of the plot and builds the mystery of the ongoing story arc. Or should I say arcs as Amy's and Rory's impending wedding appears to also be a major part of the series arc as well.
The only real problem I had with the story was that sunlight only seemed to bother the Saturnynes at the writer's convenience. However, upon a second viewing, I noticed that they do try to cover up when outdoors. Apparently its only direct sunlight or ultraviolet light that can hurt them so they are just uncomfortable otherwise. I think I was applying traditional vampire rules to them whilst first watching it and they are far from traditional vampires. Amy's good fortune at being able to reflect a beam of sunlight from her compact seems a bit too convenient but she does comment on her luck with it.
Time for my Doctor Who fifth story comparison list:
1) Dalek by Robert Shearman
2) The Two Doctors by Robert Holmes
3) Remembrance of the Daleks by Ben Aaronovitch
4) Terror of the Autons by Robert Holmes
5) The Girl in the Fireplace by Steven Moffat
6) The Vampires of Venice by Toby Whithouse
7) Revenge of the Cybermen by Gerry Davis
8) Black Orchid by Terence Dudley
9) The Keys of Marinus by Terry Nation
10) The Macra Terror by Ian Stuart Black
And I would say fifth stories tend to be very strong as I really actually like all of these a lot and it made it very difficult to place them in order. The Macra Terror probably suffers from my having only seen it as a reconstruction.