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Best of Matt Smith: Night Terrors

best-of-matt-smith-night-terror

Across the next couple of months Doctor Who TV is running a series of polls to celebrate Matt Smith’s era. We want you to cast your votes on every story and at the end we’ll be comprising a list to find the top scoring.

We continue Series 6 with the 9th episode, Night Terrors. All you have to do is rate the story with your score out of 10, so get voting and join us again tomorrow for the next episode.

Step back in time...

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123 comments
MeglosProductions
MeglosProductions

A very underrated episode. The second best episode of the series after The girl who waited in my opinion. 8/10

theoncomingflame
theoncomingflame

very unnderated, one of the only episodes that truly scares me. those dolls are one of the most scary if not the most scary new who montsters. yes the ending isnt great but some of moffats are worse.  8/10

Maryanne123
Maryanne123

Enjoyable but slight. Amy is great in this one and as usual Matt is great with kids. I think it is underrecognised as it is surrounded by so mnay extraordinay episodes. Season 6 has more jewels than any other season in Who's history that a decemt episodevthat would shine elsewhere ends up slightly overshadowed. 8/10

NewWho2012
NewWho2012

I quite enjoyed this one, very chilling with the dolls and everything and seeing the Doctor scared terrifed me. Don't understand why everyone hates this one 7/10

Tardis Stowaway
Tardis Stowaway

3/10 Aside from a few moments, this story was a let-down for me. It was too whimsical, and I might be one of the few who found the peg dolls uninteresting. I'm not saying they were terrible, I'm just saying that they didn't do anything for me. The acting helped carry it a bit, with the exception of George, who like others have said, was not a believable performance - but to be honest not much was believable in this - bin bags eating up an old lady and the landlord sinking into an upper-story floor? I appreciate George must have been a difficult role to cast, needing to get a good actor so young, but it has been done very well by the production team before and so that was disappointing. I also believe there surely should have been a better idea for an episode to fill the slot rather than this one and it was, quite frankly, a waste of a slot and budget in my eyes.



It saddens me that I had to write that really, I never like criticising episodes but it's what I feel this time around. However, every series has a weakest episode, and for me Night Terrors was just that.

KingOrokos
KingOrokos

I really do love Mark Gatiss; he's a talented writer, as evidenced by his work on Sherlock and The League of Gentlemen. He's also an extremely enthusiastic Whovian, which is always a plus. And that's why I don't understand how so many of his stories fail to live up to my expectations.


Whilst by no means a Victory of the Daleks level disaster, Night Terrors really didn't impress me as an episode. Visually, it was interesting, with some very well-shot scenes in the apartment complex, but in terms of content it just lacked any real impact. It was extremely by-the-numbers; Doctor goes investigating, companions get seperated from Doctor, Doctor solves mystery, Doctor and companions reunite, Doctor and companions fight monsters, TARDIS exits stage left. The gothic theme was entertaining to an extent, but the peg dolls just weren't scary enough to justify the dark tone the episode was attempting to achieve. Certainly, they lacked the complexity of a good villain, and without a satisfying antagonist the story had no sense of threat or opposition to harrow our protagonists. Additionally, though the TARDIS trio gave excellent performances as always, Danny Mays was disappointing as Alex (I previously enjoyed his work in Outcasts, and was sad to see him reduced to semi-pantomime here), and the kid playing George was one of the weaker child actors the show has employed in recent years - I think series 5 was the peak of talented child actors in Who, between Caitlin Blackwood and the siblings from The Beast Below. 


Overall, the episode certainly wasn't a failure; it didn't bore me, and any halfway-decent episode of Who has rewatch value. But I'm afraid to say that there was nothing about it that made it anything other than a thoroughly average story for me. 5/10.

TheCapaldiMasterplan
TheCapaldiMasterplan

It's not that great an episode, but I don't find it that bad. The kid isn't a good actor which distracts you from feeling any kind of sadness or fear for George. Danny and Matt make a good duo in the same way Matt and James do. I'm a little on the fence when it comes to the scenes with Amy and Rory: some good lines ("The lift fell and we're dead." "Shut up." "We're dead. Again."), but they were kind of sidelined to make way for the other residents who you didn't really care about. The dolls are actually kind of good, creepy with the sing-song poetry. Maybe the episode might have been slightly better if it had remained as Episode 4 and had whatever bit with Madame Kovarian it originally had, or it might have just become too packed. As it was, 7/10.

Balatsoukas Pavlos
Balatsoukas Pavlos

Not a big fan of Gatiss here, and this is not an exception.  A really indifferent episode, not even worth of a scond chance... 3 out of 10, just for the effort...

WhoPotterVian
WhoPotterVian

9/10- Pretty enjoyable but not as good as expected.

The Oncoming Storm
The Oncoming Storm

3/10 at a push, struggling to find any good points, such a waste of an episode slot

Matt999
Matt999

I haven't watched this episode since 2011, just because I disliked it too much to ever bring myself to rewatch it. It ranks up there with the worst new Who episodes (yep, Love and Monsters.) The child actor was terrible and largely put me off the episode. It's a shame because Series 6 is one of my favourites. I believe this was the only rotten one in the bunch. 3/10

Whogasms
Whogasms

The peg dolls could've been used a bit better, but Matt Smith works so well with kids.

gunslinger19
gunslinger19

well I loved the tick tock song, Alex was pretty good. aside from that, this episode seemed weak to me, particularly George and the whole Tenza thing seemed pretty out of the blue to me. its sad because on first viewing I loved all of series 6b, but iv started to dislike them all since :/ 5/10

DawnTime
DawnTime

This one grew on me. a good 7 from me.  George line ' Dad' towards the end of the episode sounds so lovely to me.

JailBanksters
JailBanksters

This is one those episodes that starts off bad, evens out a bit then just goes down hill. Luckily it's just a filler episode and has no connection to the series as a whole, so you can safely delete it from storage without affecting the overall story line.



commanderthunderushmkii
commanderthunderushmkii

6/10. The whole "George is a Tenza" explanation felt conjured out of thin air, like the psychic network from The Last of the Time Lords. Handwaving the plot like that feels lazy, even if it is well within the rules of the Whoniverse to just say "it's an alien". At least be a teensy bit more creative on the reveal, not so casual! But the episode was still nicely enjoyable and heartwarming, and that redeemed it, as did the debut of the chilling "Tick-Tock, Goes the Clock" nursery rhyme portent.

gingersnapgirl
gingersnapgirl

There are some lovely quotes in this episode, but aside from Eleven's speech(es) there was really nothing here for me. The peg dolls were not nearly as scary as they should have been, Amy and Rory were underused, and I hated the child actor. Usually DW casts decent kids (the Queen of Years comes to mind) but I just really disliked George for some reason. I suspect it unfairly soured the rest of the episode for me, honestly... 




Either way, this episode gets a 3/10. By far my least favourite episode of Eleven's run. 

Gallade Zero
Gallade Zero

Ehh... I don't know. I didn't really like it, but I also didn't really hate it. It was just... there. An average episode, really. 5/10.

Whoworld
Whoworld

I liked it.  It was an enjoyable episode but not an EPIC, in your face kind of episode.  Plenty of other Matt Smith episodes that out rank this one. 

Ninjauthor
Ninjauthor

I dunno what people dislike about this episode it was one of my favourites of season 6, 9/10

lukashcartoon
lukashcartoon

It has great moments when ever Matt interacts with a child. There is just something about his chemistry.. He really cares for them.

However, this episode was far from memorable- the monster not that scary, and Rory and Amy are given little to do.

Pockydon
Pockydon

I watched this again not too long ago, and it actually wasn't as bad as I remember. It's definitely not as scary as it was probably intended to be, but Alex and the Doctor were brilliant together and they pretty much made the episode. It does share the common Mark Gatiss problem of being very difficult to rewatch for some reason, which is something I've never been able to put my finger on. It's not bad, just uninteresting. 

6/10


grumpyoldcow
grumpyoldcow

My least favorite of series 6, in fact, of all the Smith era. Smith worked hard and was served by the script to save this episode from complete mediocrity. His alienness shines in almost every scene and line of dialog from receiving the distress call on his psychic paper and I do love the psychic paper, through to the end.. Smith is at his best here in a nonarc episode.

Highlights would include the use of the perception filter to mask the Tenza, er child? Tenzaling?

Revealing that the Doctor can be scared almost witless, too. "Off the scale! Off the scale!"

The Doctor so naturally at ease with George , and telling him of his favorite childhood stories.

The conversation in the kitchen between George's dad and the Doctor, actually the most amazing part of the episode, with the Doctor's poetic speech about how far he'd come to help George with references to the wonders of universes only the Doctor knows about. (Wish I had that quote now, it is wonderful.) And George's dad being completely unfazed.

But the best line that had me OTF was the Doctor crowing, "He's a cuckoo!" I couldn't look at poor George again without expecting him to sprout feathers and a beak. Does made me wonder about Tenza puberty. .

I have often wondered if some of my more bird-brained friends are cuckoos now. Beautiful word, cuckoo.

This is one of the rare times I haven't liked Gold's music. The nursery ryhme felt terribly tacked on. Were they all minimurized or in a parallel universe, or was it explained?

Next episode, please

JJ2000
JJ2000

4 - Not that great!

KingOfTheInterWebs has Kidneys
KingOfTheInterWebs has Kidneys

I enjoyed this episode myself, it's not exactly going to cause the universe to implode with awesomeness but I enjoyed it and there was some clever stuff in there that I really never expected, for example the dolls house I could not understand at all where Amy and Rory had been sent until it was mentioned on screen and really enjoyed trying to guess what would happen next, the main characters were good as always and the story's main characters George and Alex were pretty good too, I would've preferred it went in a direction of George just being normal child and the monsters being caused by something else, it would've done something a lot of episodes scary episodes I have fond memories for did (Well fond memories insofar as you can have being scared half to death and being freaked out by gas masks to this day and not wanting to drink water for a week and having to brave the possibility of being turned into the Flood. But yeah lets just roll with fond memories. :P) in which even if you knew this couldn't happen or thought it always could because you have a paranormal/a 'hey it could happen' kind of mind but seriously doubt it, it still manages to make you feel unnerved and want to check any wardrobes or closets before you go to bed and it'd probably scare kids half to death like the likes of The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit, 42, Blink, Midnight, Waters of Mars and possibly New Earth, Tooth and Claw and Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone did so well. 8/10 -Unpopular opinion I know. 

gypsyking007
gypsyking007

I rather like it. Feels like an old school Who tale and Matt Smith is so good with kids. A nice change of pace after all the frantic nonsense of the previous tale.

Stradiwhovius
Stradiwhovius

4/10. Nothing excessively bad about it. In fact, it can be pretty creepy (you all know what scenes I'm talking about...). But the rest of it is just dull.

KingoftheOod4450
KingoftheOod4450

A love ending and a serious lack of tension (and lets be honest, there's not even a clever twist to the plot). 4/10

Deus_Ex_Machina
Deus_Ex_Machina

Some nice moments, but overall not that great, like most of Gatiss's stories. 3/10.

I do like the Optimus Prime cameo though.

TheOncomingSnow
TheOncomingSnow

3. Probably the worst of the Matt Smith era...excessively dull and containing no real tension.

Nightmarish
Nightmarish

7/10. Good, but not particularly interesting. Not worth too many re watches.

Chronos the Fannibal
Chronos the Fannibal

What I would like to know is how those dolls knew about the Doctors death, even though they were a creation of George who just met him with seemingly no precognitive abilities




ClassicWhovian
ClassicWhovian

Nothing really wrong with it, some memorable moments, great atmosphere and direction, really don't see what's to dislike. Perhaps a little flat in places, but generally a strong episode, barring a poor resolution. 7/10

ClaraOswald
ClaraOswald

I know a lot of people don't like this episode, but for me it's one of my favourite episodes of this series. I love that the story arc is left alone for a little while. I enjoy the comedy in this episode and the little boy did a great job. The Doctor interacting with Alex (George's father) was a lot of fun to watch and Amy and Rory's exploring was entertaining too. The peg dolls were creepy enough to scare me, which I always appreciate.


9/10 for me.

WhoMallow666
WhoMallow666

perfectly enjoyably episode, so long as you don't look to hard at it. not really a stand-out episode, but the peg dolls are terrifying to me and the Tick Tock song that goes with them is perfect. It has some funny moment and some pretty scary ones plus the ironic twist of the terrified kid being the actual alien make this episode a 8/10 for me

Jono81
Jono81

Extremely meh episode. Some good humor, and it's eerie at times, but absolutely nothing special about it in the slightest. 6/10, second worst episode of S6

Chronos the Fannibal
Chronos the Fannibal

The peg dolls would have been better if they had a genuine motive of some kind, making them more of a villain with a purpose to what they did in the episode rather than merely a creation of George



DrWhoGoesThere
DrWhoGoesThere

I really disliked this episode the first time I watched it.  I liked it quite a bit better the second time around, but still, Mark Gatiss' first present day episode was far from a success.  5/10


TheOncomingSnow
TheOncomingSnow

@KingoftheOod4450  This is it - Gatiss makes the fatal mistake of turning Amy into a Peg Doll, so you know every character is going to get turned back at some point...so there ceases to be a point to the episode really.

Matt999
Matt999

Believe it or not, I actually really like LKH. The Ganger episodes not so much, although the second half was decent so I'd give them 6/10.

TheCapaldiMasterplan
TheCapaldiMasterplan

@Jolomonthewise @Amy the Consulting Commentator  I personally don't see what anyone likes about The Girl Who Waited. Poor use of Imelda Staunton (similar to Ian McKellen in The Snowmen), not to mention the fact that the first few minutes make Amy look like an idiot ("Oh look, I can talk to the Doctor and Rory through the door but I won't ask them what button to press. Why would I do that?"). I also literally could not care less about the whole dilemma between choosing between the two Amys; why would you even consider choosing the older one who's become bitter through decades of isolation, when you could choose the younger version and save her from that pain and suffering?

Fantastic performances from Karen and Arthur, but still an episode that I never want to rewatch (just not as bad as Love and Monsters or Fear Her).

JolomontheCube
JolomontheCube

@Matt999 I gave the ganger one a 5 or a 6 admittedly but it was way to similar to The hungry earth (which was actually better). LKH was just convoluted for my taste.