Doctor Who: Season 4, Episode 11: Midnight
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  • Oh, it definitely used said paranoia to its advantage, but there was clearly something there
  • Most of the show's more common tropes are inverted here and the result is horrifying and amazing
  • While the Doctor has faced bad situations before, it's made quite clear that this experience stuck with him


    • by David Finniss

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      Once again, we have a fantastic episode. Sadly, Donna sits this one out, but that gives more time for the other characters to shine (or not given what happens) as well as putting more focus on the Doctor himself.

      Interestingly enough, this trip was meant to be more recreational in nature. There didn’t seem to be any crisis looming, nor is there any impending alien invasion, and yet somehow, this threat is far more grave than anything the Doctor has dealt with before.

      The episode is very minimalist in nature. There aren’t any special effects and it all takes place in an enclosed area. It gives the episode a claustrophobic feel that only adds to the already insane amount of tension that builds over the course of the episode.

      We’re not even sure what the threat is. Some people argue that it was just human paranoia, but I’m not sure I buy it. Oh, it definitely used said


      paranoia to its advantage, but there was clearly something there. This is evident by the fact that “Sky” starts intentionally toying with the panicked crowd and goes out of her way to fuel the fires of their paranoia regarding the Doctor.

      I’m kind of surprised they bought into it, to be honest. Yeah, they’re freaking out but you can tell that something’s up just by looking at her face. She’s grinning like a madwoman and its clear that she is still under the influence of whatever the heck that thing was. It’s just too bad no one actually paid attention as it got worse from there.

      I’m also surprised that the Doctor actually uttered the line, “what could possibly go wrong?” Considering how genre savvy he is, you’d think he’d know better.

      Most of the show’s more common tropes are inverted here and the result is horrifying and amazing. The idealism regarding man is turned on its head ...


      • as we get more of a “Monsters are Due on Maple Street” type plot where everyone starts to turn on each other.

        Even the Doctor’s tricks don’t seem to work. His take charge attitude draws suspicion as does the fact that he never uses his name. He tries to go to his alias of John Smith, but they shrug that off as a blatant lie (to their credit, it is).

        While the Doctor has faced bad situations before, it’s made quite clear that this experience stuck with him. His optimism about mankind gets beaten to a pulp and left lying on the floor. The episode really does emphasize that these are just normal run of the mill people too, which makes it all the more horrifying. There’s an amusing montage where the Doctor is talking with everyone and we just get snippets of banter as they all enjoy the company. It lowers your defenses for the

        intensity that is about to follow and it also hammers in how freaked out these people are.

        “Silence in the Library” was frightening due to its eerie atmosphere, but this manages to induce fright just from sheer intensity and shock at seeing these people turn on each other. It really is spine chilling and it managed to surpass my expectations as I had read a bit about this episode going in.

        Much like the previous episodes, we do get a bit of foreshadowing. Granted, the arc words haven’t been introduced yet, but I couldn’t help but notice how the creature knocked on the door four times.

        This episode was gripping as all get out. Even though I knew a lot about it going in, it still managed to blow me away and surprise me just by how well they did it. It’s definitely a darker turn for the show, but it works and makes it yet another highlight for the season.




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