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Doctor Who 4.10 “Midnight” Summary and Analysis SPOILERS

Posted by Mister Random on June 15, 2008

Warning this post contains detailed spoilers for the tenth episode of the new Doctor Who “Midnight”

One Sentence Review

A good bottle episode, so merely average compared to normal episodes

Episode Summary

The episode starts off with the Doctor phoning Donna who is sunbathing and asking her to come with him to see the Sapphire Waterfall travelling on a “Space Truck” for an eight hour round trip. Donna sensibly turns him down and the Doctor heads off on his own

We then get a mockery of the normal airplane boarding routine and the warning that peanuts may contain nuts. After the hostess activates the over the top entertainment system, the Doctor deactivates it with his sonic screwdriver and the next few minutes is a montage of the passengers getting to know each other. This pleasantness is interupted when the Space Truck suddenly stops for no reason. The Doctor then used his psychic paper to get into the drivers cabin and finds out that there is nothing wrong with the truck but they have sent out a distress call.

The Doctor then convinces the pilot and mechanic to open the radiation shields briefly and as they shut the shield the mechanic thinks he sees something. When the Doctor return to the passenger cabin, knocking starts from the outside of the cabin. The knocking gradually gets worse and one of the passengers Sky Silvestry becomes convinced the knocking is coming for her. The Cabin then starts to violently shake and the power fails, when everyone recovers they find Sky cowering in a corner and discover that the pilots cabin has been torn off killing the pilot and mechanic .

The Doctor then tries to comfort the cowering Sky and as she turns round she has a disturbed look in her eyes and starts to copy everything people say with the interval gradually getting shorter and shorter until Sky speaks at exactly the same time as a person speaks. Paranoia then starts to set in amongst the other passengers initially only on Sky but the Doctor bacomes a target as well, due to his mysterious nature and unwillingness to tell them his name with his alias John Smith not being enough to placate them when he tries to convince them not to throw Sky out of the Space Truck.

Sky then starts to only copy the Doctor and eventually she apparantly starts talking freely while the Doctor starts to repeat her and is locked in place. Most of the passengers then think that the Doctor is possessed and Sky tells them to throw the Doctor outside of the truck which most of the passengers start to do. The Hostess and one of the passengers Dee Dee realise that the Doctor is not possessed and that Sky has stolen the Doctors voice. The Hostess sacrifices herself throwing herself and Sky outside the Space Truck using the airlock and the Doctor returns to normal. Everyone is rescued and the Doctor has a downbeat reunion with Donna at the Spa.

My Thoughts

In some respects this was a very good episode and in terms of bottle episodes of any sci-fi series it is one of the better ones, it is still a bottle episode however and obviously one which weakens the episode . The highlights of this episode for me were the growing paranoia and desperation of the passengers, the performance of Leslie Sharp as Sky is suitably creepy and sinister. It was also nice to see the Doctor being the one in need of help and not even knowing the name of his saviour as we are never told the name of the hostess.

I had a few problems with the episode, the first is simply why would the Doctor take a space truck, when he has the TARDIS which as we know can fly and has shielding to survive any radiation. Speaking of Radiation what is X-tonic radiation meant to be why couldn’t it simply be that the planet doesnt have any atmosphere negating the need for any techno babel. The final issue is that we actually dont learn anything about the alien and why it targetted the Doctor in particular, while I think some mystery is good, this episode left too many questions unanswered with little hope of having any answered in the immediate future. I would not be surprised if the monster made a repeat appearance in the future however.

There were also a few nods back to previous episodes, firstly the medusa cascade gets another mention, and their was another brief Rose Tyler appearance that the Doctor missed. The mystery of the Doctors real name was again raised and makes me wonder if there is a plan if not to reveal it to explain its significance in the future, perhaps along the lines of the old myth about the power of knowing a persons true name.

Liked

  • Leslie Sharp
  • The Doctor needing to be rescued
  • The Doctor not knowing everything
  • Dee Dee
  • The “inflight” Entertainment System
  • The convincing reason for Donna’s abscence

Disliked

  • That no answers were given about the alien, not even cojecture by the Doctor
  • No reason given for why he did not take the Tardis
  • X-tonic Radiation Babel

Episode Rating

7/10

Next Episode

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7 Responses to “Doctor Who 4.10 “Midnight” Summary and Analysis SPOILERS”

  1. SarahBelle said

    I think it’s satan or somethign ^^
    Jephro makes Sky say 666… i’m like HOLY SH** IS IT SATAN AGAIN! O_O
    then in the planet of the dead special the women says something about coming out the dark…. black is a dark color and its a black hole…. sorry not a science wiz liek the doctor ^^
    plusi in POTD she says kock 4 times, im like…. Satan i hate you >_<

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