Doctor Who ‘Night Terrors’ Review

Posted: September 24, 2011 in Review
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609 – Night Terrors

Last series Mark Gatiss gave us the abomination known as ‘Victory of the Daleks’. To describe the episode as a stinker is an injustice to all the other bad episodes there have ever been. ‘Victory of the Daleks’ was pure, unadulterated eye cancer. So with trepidation we step into Gatiss’ latest episode, knowing that he has a hell of a lot to make up for…

Actually, it’s not a bad episode at all, although it does step once again into that familiar territory of strange domestic problems (something Gatiss uses a lot). The story flits wildly between engaging and wonky, although the whole affair is pretty much saved by an excellent villain. The creepy Dolls are quite wonderful, appearing both sinister and believable all at once. The only real problem is that once it’s revealed that they grab people and change them into Dolls, all the tension is lost – it becomes painfully obvious that the Doctor will just undo everything at the end.

There’s also a fantastic supporting turn from the always likeable Daniel Mays as a panicked father and some incredible use of sound, such as the ‘breathing’ lift and those skin-crawling children’s giggles.

So does it make up for ‘Victory of the Daleks’? Yes, easily. While the episode is flawed in several places – easy to figure out, the Doctor doesn’t do much, not enough is done with the Dolls and the ending would be better if the father killed the child – it’s still entertaining enough. Not the best, but it’s nowhere near as bad as the last episode Gatiss wrote.

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