12 July 2014 at 10:10 #28903Craig @craigEmperor
This is a cracker. While visiting Midnight, a beautiful, luxury planet, the Doctor goes on a trip without Donna. During the trip a terrifying problem arises that leaves The Doctor powerless – an unseen presence outside the ship that cannot possibly exist.12 July 2014 at 10:22 #28915ScaryB @scaryb
Oh, so excited and much frustrated! This is one of my fav episodes… but no time to watch till tomorrow! (See you all then)12 July 2014 at 16:16 #28932PhaseShift @phaseshiftTime Lord
Ahhh. Midnight. Apparently the last script to be written for this series as it replaced a story that didn’t pan out.
I think this is a real gem. Apparently RTD was getting sick of some of the criticism of his approach, and decided to cast himself in the role of guest writer for once. Whatever you think about him, he took his role as show creative very seriously, I think, realising he had to play to possibly the biggest age range in TV vieweship. To him that often meant spectacle first and foremost, but Midnight with limited sets, and palpable lack of obvious crowd-pleasing visuals shows of his real writing talents, especially for dialogue.
It could only work with a good guest cast, and they pulled one together pretty effectively. Great to see David Troughton as Professor Hobbes. He appeared in his Dad’s era in his final story, War Games and in Curse of Peladon. Actually, when I had the opportunity to see Enemy of the World recently, he also has a couple of cameos in that, but uncredited. Funny to see Colin Morgan as well, just as he was about to start work on Merlin.
Real star and one of the best guest turns must go to Lesley Sharp as Sky though. No idea how hard she and Tennant worked to get those dialogue exchanges so pitch perfect, but it was worth the effort. From the slightly distant and closed-in Sky, to the savant like repetition phase to her final sneering triumphalism as she dominates the Doctor, she’s pretty incredible.
Nice to see a real Doctor heavy episode as well, and Tennant turns in a great mirror performance to Sharp’s. Contrasting Sky’s original state, the Doctor is swaggering, engaging, open and a lot of fun as he disables the entertainment system to everyone’s relief and goes about charming people. To the attack on the rover and his attempts to calm the increasingly panicked and hostile passengers, and the final site of him traumatised by his experience, and Donna’s hug (in so many ways one of the most natural and warmest gestures I’ve seen in Who, and emphasising the type of relationship they had).
It’s also great because the enemy is unseen in its natural state. A shadowy poltergeist knocking on walls and possessing people. I’ve seem some people call for a return to Midnight to reveal the mystery. I think that misses a huge point in that some secrets deserve to be kept unknown. It’s what makes the unseen creature in this so memorable. And the Doctor is only saved by the self sacrifice of someone he hardly knows. In many ways, the one member of the expedition he doesn’t try to charm.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Russell, as the writer of Midnight reveals himself as a great guest writer. I can understand why he’s in no rush to return to the roster after exhausting himself, but I hope he does so in the future. The writer of Midnight would be a boon to any series.13 July 2014 at 18:41 #28967wolfweed @wolfweed
It’s the experimental episode! Only this time it’s a companion-lite ep, not the Doctor-lite one.
The Doctor would rather talk to actual real people than watch Betty Boop! What a weirdo.
The concept of having your voice ‘stolen’ is incredibly disturbing.
It’s all about the paranoia – reminds me of The Edge of Destruction. Imagine Sky running ’round the bus with scissors like Susan! (There’s a thought)
Shows the idealism of the Doctor is very dangerous – He’d like to bring Sky back to The Leisure Palace…
Rose Easter Egg! It seems that broadcasting to parallel universes is quite tricky…
Seeing the Doctor so vulnerable is gut-wrenchingly good!
Once again in a RTD script, the Dr is not the saviour of the day – (This time it’s the Dr’s catchphrases!)
I was teary-eyed @ the end (without shame).
One of RTD’s best (& Dr Who’s).15 July 2014 at 18:21 #29029DrDwarf @drdwarf
It’s a real grity ep one that scared me quite a lot. This doesn’t mean I don’t love it like jammie dogers though.
The major thing that made it so astounding is that it shows how defenseless the Doctor is all the time. He has no gun, weapons or anything that could harm and if he could he wouldn’t, a true pacifist. Not that that’s wrong but hes says to the other people to not kill sky even though he is almost doomed because she… well kinda freezes his body.
Gota love that bit at the end though when everyone’s quite it really gives and atmospheric feel of dread and well sort of relax. overall one of the finest eps that will be remembered for a whole long time.16 July 2014 at 04:11 #29034janetteB @janetteb
Funnily enough Midnight has never been an episode that I have particularly warmed to. I can see its merits. It is very well written, directed and acted. It was certainly nice to see David Troughton again. I like the unseen, unknown monster. Some things are best left unexplained. I also like the Doctor’s conclusion at the end, that humans should move their leisure palace elsewhere. The planet is inhabited and they have no place there. It is nice for the alien to sometimes be shown respect even if it is a very creepy alien, one that defys our definition of life.
I think this story also proves that if RTD had not felt compelled to write “bigger and bangier” stories he would have been the better for it. His light touch as in evidence here is excellent.
Having said that, I still would not include Midnight in my list of personal favourites. (as opposed to next week’s episode which I have cheated and watched already.)
Janette18 July 2014 at 17:40 #29105Arbutus @arbutus
This is one of my favourite AG episodes. I was startled at one point to realize that it was an RTD episode, as it is so different from his usual style. I love that, although there is a dangerous alien element, the real “baddie” of the story is human nature and mob mentality. The story is beautifully reminiscent of classic science fiction stories, with its “base under siege” and mysterious unidentifiable threat.
I loved the arc of the story: the Doctor in his social, human-loving persona amid a mixed group of fairly unexceptional characters; the Doctor in “take-charge” mode amid a group of helpless humans that need his protection; the Doctor fighting against people’s fear to do “the right thing”; the Doctor helpless, at the mercy of both the alien and the fearful, angry crowd; and finally, the Doctor sad, angry, disappointed, disillusioned.
All the performances are just great here, and at the end, I was so glad that he had Donna to come home to!20 July 2014 at 08:38 #29190The Krynoid Man @thekrynoidman
I didn’t see this or the previous two episodes on broadcast, and in fact didn’t watch them until about two years ago. I knew who River was since I’d already seen her later episodes, but I knew absolutely nothing about Midnight other than it was supposed to be really good. Well it is really good, in fact I would say it’s probably RTD2’s best. As you can probably tell by my username, I like stories where people are slowly taken over by alien hosts. It is very dark, but I think Who should always have an element of darkness too it. Also watch out for cameo’s by Patrick Troughton’s son and Merlin.23 August 2014 at 10:35 #29930VashtaNerada @vashtanerada
Midnight is probably my second favorite tenth doctor episode, after silence in the library as you might have guessed, because the monster is unseen. That really adds an aspect of fear because you aren’t quite sure where it is at any time. And like the angels and the silence you directly interact with it- with the angels you have to look at them or they move, with the silence you can’t look away or you forget they even exist, and with the Midnight monster, you talk to it and it consumes you. I was really moved by this episode, and I have to say I spent the rest of the day thinking about it and doing the whole “what if?” thing in my head, but that’s what I love about this episode. It makes you question how humans think and how far we will go to save our own skin.23 August 2014 at 12:17 #29937Anonymous @
@vashtanerada I quite agree with you: very creepy but beautifully acted by one Lesley Sharpe who I just saw in a role when she was 30? The Full Monty. Great laughs there. But in Who, Sharpe is magically terrifying as the ‘possessed’ woman.
Kindest, puro.26 August 2014 at 00:03 #30281Anonymous @
I’m with you guys midnight is one of the episodes of tennant ever and is also where we under ALLONSY29 December 2014 at 04:45 #36596nerys @nerys
I really can’t add much to what everyone else here has stated so eloquently, except that “Midnight” was the episode that made me a Doctor Who fan. The minimalist sets and powerful acting revealed a challenging story that was well beyond the fun diversion I’d thought Doctor Who was.
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