Doctor Who: Midnight

Posted Sunday, June 15, 2008, 5:38 PM

Every season they have an episode of Doctor Who that has less of the Doctor and Companion than normal, as they try to jam in the making of 13 episodes into a 12 episode space. In this case, they have separated the two of them, with this week's episode having almost no Donna, and next week's will have almost no Doctor.

Midnight is an exercise in simplification, with more of a psychological terror assailing the Doctor, in a confined space, where other passengers in a beleaguered tourist vehicle, when beset by panic and fear, retaliate by accusing another to be a danger that must be stopped, violently. The Doctor's attempts to placate them only make them turn their invective upon him, and he suddenly finds himself in his greatest danger. This disappoints and frightens him considerably, and his faith in humanity is shaken.

A very powerful episode by Russell T Davies, who normally doesn't write as he has done so here. His attempts at being epic usually come across as childish, whereas this time he has minimised his scope, and it works considerably more successfully.

An interesting trivial note: The character of the professor is played by David Troughton, who is the son of Second Doctor actor Patrick Troughton. But, also, it's directed by Alice Troughton, who rather interestingly is not related to the aforementioned.

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