After returning from a months-long hiatus with last week’s crazy-titled Let’s Kill Hitler, The Doctor goes back to his ‘helping others’ roots in his latest adventure, Night Terrors. A young boy named George is so terrified of peg doll-like monsters haunting him that his pleas for help transcend time and space to reach the Doctor in his TARDIS. This leads to him making a ‘house call’ as Amy and Rory help him find out what’s really behind all of the scary happenings there. As they get closer to finding out the truth, the peg doll monsters begin to take others from the apartment and turn them into dolls to expand their ranks. In the end, it’s comes down to George’s father and the Doctor to set things right.
I really liked this episode, as it’s always good to see the Doctor get back to what he does best: helping those in need. And we all know that when there’s a child involved, he’s going to do whatever it takes to settle things and not let anyone (or anything) get in the way. The slower, creepier pacing was good, and there were plenty of opportunities for the Doctor to let his comedic side shine, such as debating on whether or not to open a wardrobe after his sonic screwdriver goes off the scale when scanning it. The peg doll monsters weren’t as scary as I hoped, but they’re still creepy and are done really well, as they’re actual people in suits versus the so-so CG that’s usually one of the series’ downfalls. To me, it’s much better this way, as it makes things more scary when the monsters in the show can physically touch and be touched.
Which definitely holds true here, because if they touch you, they change you into one of them, zombie-style. This makes for some pretty suspenseful moments when Amy and Rory have to fight their way through a group of them, as well as the Doctor and George’s father trying to make a way past them later on. The effects for the transformations were spot on, and it was just plain creepy seeing someone turn into a giant, wooden doll. But you may want to grab some tissues, as with many of the recent episodes, the ending will tug on your heartstrings as George’s father has to overcome both emotional and physical obstacles if he wants to save his son.
One of the joys of Night Terrors was to see the series getting back to its roots with a self-contained episode featuring just the Doctor and the gang solving a problem without River Song or The Silence making an appearance for a change. Those looking for a good old-fashioned Doctor Who episode are sure to enjoy this one. Next week’s “The Girl Who Waited” looks to continue the usual Who weirdness, as the gang encounters an older, future version of Amy Pond that’s decked out in white armor while fighting off strange, robot-like beings in some sort of trippy looking facility. I hear there’s suppose to be some heart breaking decisions being made in this episode, which should make for all kinds of drama and excitement in their next adventure.