When you come to the end of Night Terrors, you’ll realise that a lot of it is very derivative of earlier Who stories, and to a certain extent, it’s even a remake of one of the less well-regarded David Tennant episodes – but it’s got a hell of a pull about it as it goes along.
That’s helped by some great casting: Ashes to Ashes and Outcasts marked Daniel Mays out as an actor to watch for the future, and he’s fantastic in this. He could have been another Craig (James Corden’s character from The Lodger), but as befits the situation, there’s little humorous about him.
As seems to be common at the moment, the episode splits the Doctor away from Rory and Amy, and the repartee between the married couple works well, recognising the danger they’re in, yet maintaining a sanity about it. Matt Smith is in full-on Eleventh Hour/The Lodger mode, showing the Time Lord’s mind working a thousand times faster than his mouth can keep up with.
With some nice nods to the past (listen out for the Time Lord bedtime stories, and the musical motif that accompanies the creepy dolls that are much more sinister than the trailer makes them out to be!), this is that rarity among this season of Doctor Who: a true self-contained story with a beginning, a middle and an end. In that order!
Verdict: One to creep out the younger audience. 7/10
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