Last week on Doctor Who we had pulp with Let’s Kill Hitler, this week we got horror with a twist of British Social Realism.
The horror is scary, fairy tailish horror rather than gross horror. It mixed up lots of classic horror elements of abduction horror, body horror with the transformation of people into the dolls, the dolls stalking people to “play” and the spooky nursery rhymes. It’s sinister, scary but I’d think it’s the kind of scare most kids will enjoy rather than cause nightmares. The revelation of the alien and the monsters was a nice twist nicely resolved.
The social realism is more in the background than front and central to the story. We see it in urban tower block, the flats, the bin bags and the nasty landlord. With the fantasy and horror elements it’s a bit Billy Liarish.
The set dressing for the dolls house and the housing estate are quite different but both nicely done. The dolls are a good one shot villain. Daniel Mays was a good choice for the main guest star. He brings an interesting combination of normality along with something slightly disquieting. He’s a real Dad rather than an idolised one which is perfect for the story.
There are some funny lines about making a house call and after the Doctor has a bit of a monologue “You’re not from social services are you?”
All in all Night Terrors was a good episode.