The other slight downside to this episode is that it does show the limitations of the notion of a Vastra/Jenny/Strax show, because you really only have one of the three who can really travel openly (although people just assume Strax is some foreigner obviously
Oh, there are a number of ways to deal with that. Vastra in a veil would get her out into the action. Or you develop a larger supporting cast -- the "Paternoster Row Irregulars," maybe.
I'd still love to see a spin off show though, I just don't think it could sustain 13 episode runs...
For that matter, who would run the series? Moffat doesn't have the time, I'm not even sure that Gatiss has the time.
From a fannish perspective, I can think of a half-dozen things that could be done with the concept. For instance, is the Torchwood of the era aware of Madame Vastra's activities? Does the Captain Jack of that era ever cross paths with the Paternoster Gang? (If you want to get really
fannish, there's an amnesiac eighth Doctor living in that era, too.)
The problem is, once I get through the fannish ideas, what I'm left with is Sherlock Holmes or Sexton Blake but with different characters, and my interest in the idea flags somewhat. That's down to the characters themselves; I like them, but I like them as supporting characters, though I will say that Justin Richards did good work in making them stand alone in The Devil in the Smoke
Beyond that, I think the BBC would have hard questions for Madame Vastra Investigates
. How does this enhance the Doctor Who
brand? How does this fit with the rest of the BBC? How does this appeal to the mainstream audience? For that matter, who
is this series' audience?
Ironically, for a period piece, I think it could be done fairly economically. For one thing, it could be filmed in Dublin on Ripper Street
's sets; the backlot exists, so why not use it? For another thing, Madame Vastra Investigates
would be of more interest to BBC America than the BBC itself; it's something niche that they could pitch at their "Supernatural Saturday" audience, so they might be willing to go in on a coproduction deal. (Though, honestly, they would much rather go in as coproducers on the mothership.)
To sum it up, I'm not opposed to a Madame Vastra Investigates
spin-off. It's not my first choice for the next Doctor Who
spin-off, but no one in their right mind is going to make an Abslom Daak series. But I think there are a lot of hurdles that need to be jumped before it happens. And it probably won't.