Saturday, 3 September 2011

Doctor Who: Night Terrors

Hurrah, a New Who episode without River Song.

Night Terrors is a self-contained episode, so no plot arc implications for the Silence or suchlike. It also features guest star Daniel Mays, who was excellent as Keats in the last Ashes to Ashes series.

An eight year old chap called George is scared of monsters at night, specifically in his wardrobe. So terrified, in fact, that his fear manifests itself on the Doctor’s psychic paper, and the Time Lord and the Ponds go hunting for the boy.

They go door-knocking in a tower block. The Doctor finds the right place, and Amy and Rory have a fright in a lift and wake up in a dark, old house.

The old house is a bit strange. There’s a giant glass eye in a drawer, the kitchen utensils are wooden and made to look like copper and the hands of clocks are painted on.

Meanwhile, the Doctor discovered, by playing with his sonic screwdriver, that the wardrobe is actually ‘off the scale’ [for something or other] and becomes almost as worried as George about it. He prevaricates about opening it, eventually does so and learns that George is not actually human as his parents couldn’t have children. He’s a Tenza, an alien cuckoo in the nest that adapts to suit his foster parents’ needs. However, as George is consumed with terror the Doctor and George’s father get sucked into the wardrobe.

Rory and Amy find out they’re not alone, and get cornered by some particularly creepy dolls. Rory escapes but Amy gets caught and transforms into one of the dolls. He and the Doctor, along with the father, are reunited, but surrounded by the dolls. The doll house is inside the wardrobe as is everything (and there’s a lot) George is afraid of. The Doctor calls to George to open the wardrobe, which he does, and ends up inside the doll house. It transpires that George was terrified of rejection, and when his father reassures him the fear disappears and the creepy doll house is no more. Even better, Amy Pond stops being a creepy wooden-head.

Pretty good episode. Especially for young kids it would have been a bit scary, and it’s easy to relate to a kid who’s scared at night, or of monsters, and a parent worried about their child. Definitely better than last week’s.


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