Stephen Greenhorn had a terrific idea for a Doctor Who episode, but I think it was Russell T. Davies' direction that lopped off this episode's traditional Who head.
A quote from wikipedia's article on this episode even states:
"Executive producer Russell T Davies has stated that he directed writer Stephen Greenhorn to base this episode on the typical Marvel Comics plotline: "a good old mad scientist, with an experiment gone wrong, and an outrageous supervillain on the loose."
In retrospect, that's all this episode was. Some fans have even compared the episode to such Marvel adventures as Spiderman and X-Men. The plotline of the episode follows the typical pattern of a comic book caper. Naturally, with Davies' hands so deep in the script, the monster downright HAS to be a giant, slobbering CGI animation.
There were several scenes in this episode that were utterly ridiculous, and it was obvious that they were there to achieve "cheap gasps" from the viewers. Such as the scene in which a mutated Lazarus bears down on a female party guest, and as he lumbers over her roaring, the guest simply stands there screaming - which moments later leads to her demise. Meanwhile all the other slightly more intelligent guest are running and screaming for the doors, in total chaotic panic - another typical Davies mark.
Ofcourse, for the ladies watching, Tennant once again dons his "James Bond" tux, something else I didn't approve of in the new series - The first seven incarnations seldom changed their appearance simply because they were attending a black tie affair. But in order for the fan girls to get their jollies so that they would continue to tune in, Davies goes 007 on us again.
This episode also repeats the same complaint I had with Rose's tenure in the TARDIS - anytime there was trouble afoot on modern-day Earth (whether it be our dimension or another, or both), Rose's parents were ALWAYS somehow involved. In the case of "The Lazarus Experiment," Martha's sister, Tish, is working for Lazarus as head of the PR Department. Additionally, the rest of Martha's family shows up, there to voice their disapproval of the Doctor and to frequently asks, "WHO is he?" or "WHO is that man?" Davies goes a bit overboard when being playful with the title of the series and character dialogue. The "Doctor who?" gag works, but only in certain situations, and only when it isn't used regularly.
Granted, much of Pertwee's era was set on modern day Earth, but we didn't have to deal with domestic disputes because Liz Shaw's parents were always tagging along, or because Jo Grant's family and friends always seemed to be right in the middle of something they couldn't possibly have anything to do with. In reference to "The Lazarus Experiment," its obvious at these times that Davies tosses these characters into the mix for the sole purpose of stimulating the drama. This is what I like to call "forced drama," or "simulated drama." The reason being that the viewer isn't free to feel what they would naturally feel when presented with the crisis - we are bombarded with over-dramatic scenes that back us into a corner, forcing us to feel a certain way.
The same was true for the music in this episode. Once again, almost a continuous score played throughout the entire length of the episode, save for the cathedral scene where The Doctor confronts Lazarus for the first time.
Finally, one of the biggest kickers for this would-be great episode was that the pacing of the episode was way too fast. I'm sure this was so that the episode would mimic the comic book superhero format that it was attempting to impersonate, but Doctor Who works best when its stories are filled with mystery, and unfold slowly but steadily. When watching this episode, it just felt like the development of the story was always rushed from one scene to the next - for every five minutes of dialogue, we spent another ten running, screaming, and rushing off to the next phase.
I think what Greenhorn had in mind originally would have been terrific, had Davies exercised a bit more restraint. Greenhorn would later go on to write an episode for Series 4, titled "The Doctor's Daughter," which in my opinion was certainly closer to the Who formula than this one.