Axel-In-Charge: Waid & Samnee on "Black Widow" and the Dawn of the All-New, All-Different Era
With Melody’s fate less of a secret – Well, slightly less, at least – Doctor Who got back to what it does best this week: Making everyday objects really rather disturbingly creepy. But even spooky ooky “Night Terrors” can’t keep us from having five questions…
Haven’t We Seen This All Before?
Not only was last night’s episode familiar in lots of Doctor Who ways – At this point, children singing and the mundane suddenly becoming very, very scary should both be officially labeled as Who cliches, I think – it also had callbacks to a lot of different things: The closet sucking the Doctor, Alex and the room in? Time Bandits. The scary wooden-headed dolls? Very Dave McKean, don’t you think? Oh, and Purcell sinking into the floor… Haven’t we seen that before in Nightmare on Elm Street? Despite the familiarity, this was still a pretty enjoyable episode – maybe because the show has gotten really good at being just scary enough when it needs to be.
Is This Series Really About Age?
I loved the line about a child’s bedroom being the scariest place in the universe; it seemed to be very appropriate for this generation of Who, which is really all about children. Not just George, of course, but little Amelia, Melody, the kids in “The Beast Below” and Kazran in “A Christmas Carol,” amongst many others. It’s telling that the Doctor, the one who sorts everything out eventually, acts like a kid most of the time, but when he has to convince Alex that he’s serious, talks about his “old eyes.” How much of this particular incarnation of Doctor Who isn’t just about taking the show back to its roots as a kids’ show, but is also making a statement about the need to maintain a childlike approach to the world no matter how old you are, I wonder? And also…
Remember When Estates Were Friendlier?
Am I the only person who thought that this episode marked a noticeble difference to how the series used to portray estate living from when Russell T Davies was in charge? Neighbors were friendlier, the grime was somehow cleaner…? Maybe it’s just me, but there was an odd level of this episode being more suspicious/scared of urban life than it used to be.
Is Rory Now The Greatest Companion?
Rory has grown on me considerably since his first appearance, to the point where he now seems to be getting the best lines every episode, and has a refreshingly tired attitude about adventures at times – His “I bet this is the Tardis” grumbling last night was a great alternative to the all-or-nothing excitement normally seen on the show. It helps that he’s also someone who’s punched Hitler and apparently able to ride a motorbike successfully despite having never done it before, when the situation calls for it. I’m not quite sure where it’s come from, but Rory may have become my favorite companion… which probably means we’re about due for him to die again soon, really.
Should We Be Thinking More About Perception Filters?
A second appearance of an alien hiding in plain sight by using a perception filter in as many years… Should that be considered important? I don’t know why that stuck out at me when it was being explained last night, but between this and “The Eleventh Hour,” I can’t help but feel as if we’re being told something that we should really be paying attention to about things that might be right there in front of us that we’re not seeing…