Published on September 5th, 2011 | by Sharp-O0
Review: Doctor Who – Night Terrors
Greetings, dear readers, to another “No, YOU’RE a TARDIS”! This week we’re looking at the positively spooktacular ‘Night Terrors’ but first, a little bit of admin. I will no longer be producing Torchwood: Miracle Day reviews. The series is so dull that I can barely remember what happened week-to-week (thank the maker there’s a recap every episode) so that’s that. Anyway, onto what you’re really here for!
Slight Spoilers Ahead!
The Doctor receives a distress call from the scariest place in the Universe: a child’s bedroom. Every night George lies awake, terrorised by every fear imaginable – fears that live in his bedroom cupboard. His parents are getting desperate – George needs a doctor. Fortunately for George, his pleas for help break through the barriers of all time and space and the Doctor makes a house call. But allaying his fears won’t be easy. George’s monsters are real.
‘Night Terrors’ is written by long-time Who fan and one of my favourite series writers, Mark Gatiss. He has written for all three of the modern Doctors with ‘The Unquiet Dead’, ‘The Idiot’s Lantern’ and ‘Victory of the Daleks’. His dark writing shines through in this episode with a great sinister overtone to it while keeping the comedic aspect of the Doctor.
I’m trying to avoid spoilers this time because I truly believe you should watch this episode. The Doctor and the Ponds are separated fairly early on so Matt Smith gets to act alongside Daniel Mays, a brilliant actor and an excellent foil for Smith, playing George‘s father. This quirky little double act go about figuring out the mystery behind George’s fears and how best to combat it. I’d describe this as a “companion-lite” episode but the Ponds do get their fair share of screen time, although they are ultimately useless to the plot. Despite this, Rory gets a sly meta-gag in about his tendency to wind up dead and Amy gets to play for the other team in the Dollhouse of Doom! (No relation.)
While the monsters in this episode are hardly the stuff of nightmares, they do unnerve just enough to add to my mistrust of all porcelain dolls. The true terror lies in the overtones of the movie ‘Poltergeist’ this episode puts out.
After the hit-and-miss ‘Let‘s Kill Hitler‘, it’s nice to have a solid standalone story which keeps you intrigued and gripped well into the third act. Highly recommended.
*creak* What was that? Hello? Please save me from the monsters…..