Doctor Who: Night Terrors review

Entertainment | Published:

So did you blub? I did.

So did you blub?

I did. Mind you, I'll blub at just about anything: that bit in The Searchers when John Wayne says 'Let's go home, Debbie', the end of All Quiet on the Western Front and the moment in Field of Dreams when Kevin Costner, voice cracking with emotion, gets to play catch with his long dead but much younger father.

So, when a programme set inside a dolls' house ends with a 'you're my son no matter what' speech, while being surrounded by an army of malevolent, giant giggling toys, I'm guaranteed to quickly become a blubbering wreck.

Then again, perhaps they were tears of relief; you know, 'Hurrah, we've made it through another episode and it hasn't been smug and full of the usual clever-clever, incoherent semi-gibberish. I'm so happy I could cry." Yes, I think there was probably an element of that in there as well.

Doctor Who was back on form this week: scary, well-written, very funny - "Have you got any Jammy Dodgers?" - and offering plenty to keep the little ones in fear. And it actually engaged the viewer rather than simply trying to beat him or her into submission with razzle dazzle. I blubbed, and that's a sign that the episode has succeeded in what it set out to do. If you don't feel any emotional connection to what you're watching you might as well stare at the wallpaper for 45 minutes - and you'd have more fun doing that than watching some of the episodes in this run.

But there were little niggles. I wasn't sure about the way the River Song plot was suddenly jettisoned, and the reference to the Doctor's impending death - that's impending as in 'earlier this year' - felt a little bit tacked on for my liking. This episode could have run at any point and wasn't part of the overall narrative arc.

And I might be being a bit thick here - which is a possibility that many people have suggested over the past few weeks - but what exactly were the wooden dolly thingies? I understood what George was, but quite what the aliens were escaped me. But then, I was probably reaching for a hanky when it was explained.

But, on the whole, this was what we've been waiting for.

On to next week, then, with a mixture of fear and anticipation.

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