Friday, September 9, 2011

Doctor Who - Night Terrors

Time for a break from the big story arc which was a nice change of pace from the last two stories. I love the arc episodes but I still enjoy a nice self-contained romp as well.


Night Terrors was not an exceptional story but it was a good one. Kind of like Fear Her with the child who can change the world around them but done much better and not dumbed down for kids. The atmosphere was very creepy and the Peg Dolls were great ideas and great creations by Gatiss. In fact I would have liked to have seen more of them but I don't think there was enough story to sustain it over two episodes so its probably best they kept it to one. The transformation scene to a Peg Doll was very like the "empty child" style ones in the story of the same name but that didn't make it any less creepy. This is obviously a man who was frightened by creepy dolls as a child. The nursery rhyme Gatiss used makes the Dolls even creepier but unfortunately the director did not make certain it was actually audible during the episode except for the last line. Here it is in full:

Tick tock goes the clock
And what now shall we play?
Tick tock goes the clock
Now summer’s gone away?

Tick tock goes the clock
And what then shall we see?
Tick tock until the day
That thou shalt marry me

Tick tock goes the clock
And all the years they fly
Tick tock and all too soon
You and I must die

Tick tock goes the clock
He cradled her and he rocked her
Tick tock goes the clock
Even for the Doctor...

Obviously some great foreshadowing by Mark Gatiss here for the rest of the series and really the only arc element in it so its a great shame we couldn't actually hear it in the episode itself.

Speaking of the arc, it seemed a bit odd that there was no mention of River considering the events of the previous episode in a series that has had such tight continuity but this episode was switched with The Curse of the Black Spot after filming was completed on it so it does make sense why nothing was in there and I can forgive it for that.

I find that these are the stories where Matt Smith shines the most. The ones where he can just be the goofy hero saving people and worlds. I loved him in this episode. And his interactions with Daniel Mays were hilarious.

The landlord side plot seemed a bit pointless as Alex was still as far as I could tell in trouble of not being able to make his rent but perhaps his landlord will be kinder now or with George "cured" perhaps Alex will have more luck finding a job.

In doing research for this review I learned the title does actually refer to a condition children can suffer from which makes it more appropriate and less generic than I thought at first, but I still think I prefer the working title What Are Little Boys Made of?.

Here's the list comparing each Doctor's eighteenth stories:

1) Resurrection of the Daleks by Eric Saward
2) The Horror of Fang Rock by Terrance Dicks
3) Planet of the Daleks by Terry Nation
4) 42 by Chris Chibnall
5) Night Terrors by Mark Gatiss
6) Galaxy 4 by William Emms
7) The Krotons by Robert Holmes

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