“What could possibly go wrong?” [Doctor Who – Midnight]

Last week’s episode got me really excited that Steven Moffat is taking over Doctor Who; this week’s nail-biting episode made me sad Russell T Davies is leaving it. Honestly, I didn’t have high hopes for the instalment – its trailer made it look like a by-the-numbers, cardboard-set alien attack – but Davies knocked it right out of orbit.The spareness of the plot is what made it so damn good: almost the entire thing took place in one room, with the same handful of characters and an alien threat who turns out to be one of them (sort of). And just as it’s getting really creepy, with the lesbian tourist’s intense gaze and repeating voice, Davies turns the whole thing around – it’s not this strange lifeform that’s so terrifying, but human fear and hysteria. The less-is-more approach worked brilliantly (you could almost adapt this episode into a play), especially in the climax, where the Doctor was unable to find an explanation for the strange, sinister consciousness that had attacked the pleasure cruise.

Davies sometimes has a tendency to slide into cheesy territory, which he managed to avoid here… mostly. The supporting characters were so stupid and annoying that I didn’t really care whether they died or not; to make up for that Davies imperilled Doctor himself, his safety in the hands of a bunch of terrified dopes who wanted to throw him out a window. This was some of Davies’ best work; the same can be said for David Tennant and his top-shelf, frightened performance.

Next week: Rose is back!

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One Response to ““What could possibly go wrong?” [Doctor Who – Midnight]”

  1. Flotsam Snr Says:

    I’m guessing this was Davies’ reply to criticism that new Who is too action and running-based, and that Girl in the Fireplace had hitherto really been the only ep where dialogue took front stage over – well, lots of running. And explosions.

    Can’t honestly say I felt it was entirely successful however – e.g. there had been nothing to suggest the hostess would be the sort of person to willingly and nobly sacrifice herself to save the rest of them, so it didn’t really ring true to me when she did. But points for Davies for giving it a shot and offering a story that was unique, if nothing else.

    Oh, and Jethro – yummers!

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