Doctor Who: Night Terrors

Another episode that really doesn't manage to make much impact at all. Don't get me wrong, it was stupid and didn't really make any sense and wasn't as scary/creep as it was obviously supposed to be, but mostly it was just tedious. There was never any real sense of danger and I just never got even slightly interested in what the monster was going to turn out to be, which was good, because the answer was stupid.

To begin with, somehow a boy who has no connection to the Doctor and has no idea he even exists somehow sends him a psychic message asking for help. I guess the TARDIS just happened to be in the completely random direction he sent the message at the exact right time? OK, coincidences happen, the Doctor often shows up at the right place at the right time. But why bother with the message? Why not just have him show up? The message seems completely unnecessary. Although it's better than when Winston Churchill telephoned him from World War 2.

On arriving at the location of the psychic signal they have to find the boy, because apparently whatever means they used to get this far can only narrow it down to a single building. So of course they split up and knock on doors, knowing only that they're looking for a scared child. This goes about as well as you'd expect until the Doctor somehow magically figures out which flat to go to and Amy and Rory get teleported away.

The Doctor gains entry to the flat by using the psychic paper on the boy's father, and I'd like to take a moment here to point out just how awful the psychic paper is. It's not quite as bad as the sonic screwdriver, but it's pretty much a get out of jail free card. Need to get into or out of anywhere? That's OK, you have the exact documentation you need. If there were any consistency to the plots and the characters acted in an even remotely intelligent way, the combination of magic wand and magic paper should be able to solve just about every problem. There are very few things you can't do with those two items.

Anyway, the Doctor goes inside and spends a whole lot of time being dull.

Meanwhile, Amy and Rory find themselves in a house full of wooden props. Things look real but are made of wood, and instead of fire the lanterns and candles have flickering light bulbs. Also there are giant-headed, life-sized dolls that chase them around and turn people into life-sized, giant-headed dolls that join in the chasing and transforming. Eventually Amy gets turned into a doll.

Meanwhile, the Doctor gets sick of dicking about and decides to open the scary cupboard, but gets sucked into it and finds himself in the same place as Rory.

Turns out the kid's an alien that has altered everyone's memories to make them think he's the child of the human parents and the whole thing is happening because he's scared they're going to send him away, and all it takes to fix that is the father hugging him and saying they're not going to. And that's it, apart from a bit more dicking around to show that it's a happy ending, that's the stupid end of the stupid episode.

But I just want to go back for a moment to one thing I didn't mention earlier. The landlord. They go out of their way to bring that guy into the plot and have him come into the flat with his scary dog and demand his rent money. And then he goes away. It seems like either he's going to be important later or the money's going to be important. Neither is the case. They just waste a whole lot of time making the point that an entirely inconsequential character is an arsehole. Why? What did that add? In fact, why this whole episode? This episode was just bland and pointless.

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