Spoilers for "Night Terrors"
When I was a kid, there was one movie that was sure to send me diving behind the sofa (actually, since our TV room was in the basement, I would run halfway up the stairs and hide there). I was scared-to-freaking-death of "E.T. - The Extra Terrestrial." Laugh if you must, but when you see that weird little alien staring back at you from the midst of all those stuffed animals, it's enough to make a four-year-old sleep with the light on (as I did for years - STOP LAUGHING!)
I do not do scary movies very well. I don't do haunted houses and there are times that I just cannot watch the news. I can handle some creepy things, but out-and-out, wet-your-pants scary - no thank you. Even when I saw movies like "Titanic" and "Armageddon" I had a hard time sleeping (and I was in middle school for those two, for pity's sake!) I've gotten better as I've gotten older, but there are still times that I have to just turn the light on for an hour or so in the middle of the night.
So, now Doctor Who brings in "Night Terrors" - and I was really nervous about this one. I actually recorded it last night and didn't watch it until this morning (Sunday morning) because everyone was talking about how scary this would be. This would be real and proper Doctor Who, complete with the scariest monsters and kids hiding behind the couch.
Turns out, I didn't need to worry. In one sentence, I would describe "Night Terrors" as sufficiently creepy, but not so much that you're going to have nightmares. Sure, walking dolls is enough to make anyone wet themselves (that was something else that freaked me out as a kid - though it didn't stop me from playing with the dolls I had back then). In fact, once you find out that the adorable little boy, George, is the one controlling the monsters, it's okay!
Can I just spend some time on George and the fact that he's a Tenza? Because that is a really cool concept - an alien that becomes whatever you want/need? I really hope they get to explore those creatures again, just because there's a lot they could do with that. I also wonder if they aren't setting something up for the Tenza to come in at the finale. I don't know what it would be, but I just think it's too cool of a creature to just use in this one episode.
Also - I saw some good Amy moments. Rory had a few too, but Amy just had a few scenes where she really shone. They were small moments, but they were pretty good. Just a few off the top of my head - she realized the "copper" pot was really made of wood, she thought to grab the copper/wooden pot as she and Rory are wandering around the dollhouse, Amy also thought of letting the dolls in the room so she and Rory could get away (with mixed results). I guess I feel the need to point these out because so many people keep carping about how Amy is just there to fill a mini-skirt and doesn't have any real purpose - which I think is a bunch of crap. Especially with the preview for next week's episode - like I said last week, Amy is going to have her time to shine.
Some other good things -
- The Doctor can't blame George for being scared of clowns
- Rory: "We're dead - again!"
- Rory's flashlight from "Vampires of Venice" makes an appearance - also, the Doctor makes a face in the mirror like he did in VoV (Did Mark Gatiss write that episode too? Hold on... oh... nope, he didn't. Forget I brought it up)
All in all, this was a good solid one-off story. The plot resolved itself well, the acting was good, there were equal parts scary and funny (the whole montage of the Doctor, Amy and Rory knocking doors to find out where the message was coming from - hilarious!) and I really don't have any reason to complain. Granted, I'm sure there will be the small (but vocal) contingent of People Who Simply Won't Be Pleased With Anything that'll find some reason to bitch about this episode (last week it was the Doctor's throwaway line of "She's a woman" that had everyone's G-strings in a knot... oy...), but I liked it. Monsters and all.