Doctor Who: Midnight

Recap

On the diamond planet of Midnight, the sapphire waterfall is a must-see tourist attraction, and even if Donna wants to stay behind, there’s no way the Doctor is going to miss it. Unfortunately, getting there involves a four hour bus trip across the deadly surface of the planet- bad enough at the best of times, but even worse when the vehicle mysteriously stops and something starts knocking on the outside. The planet is supposed to be devoid of life- so why is there something outside trying to get in?

Alien, Planet and Tech Guide

  • Midnight: a diamond planet that orbits an extonic star which bathes the surface in deadly light, Midnight is home to the sapphire waterfall, and also to an unknown life form that has the power to take over a human mind and learn through repetition. Some years ago, a Leisure Palace was dropped in from orbit to form a prime vacation spot, although the discovery of said planet most likely means that the planet has now been quarantined.

Episode Thoughts

Although I’ve always felt I’m supposed to look up to him and praise him, the truth is that I haven’t liked a lot of the episodes of Doctor Who penned by Russell T Davies, and sadly this one was no exception. It started well enough, but as the episode progressed it all began to feel a little pointless and overacted, until finally the conclusion left me thinking “well, what was the point of all that, then?” And the fact that we didn’t even get to see the sapphire waterfall was a real disappointment (don’t they know better to dangle the promise of gemstones in front of a fanatic like me?).

Notes and Nitpicks

  • Although I hadn’t picked up on it myself until this week, a browse of the TV.com forums shows that I should have been paying attention to the Medusa Cascade, which the Doctor offhandedly mentions in this episode, and which has appeared earlier in the season (for example, the girl in Pompeii said that the Doctor’s name was sealed in the Cascade of Medusa). Could it be that Gallifrey and the Time Lords are in there?
  • Again we see Rose on a monitor when the Doctor’s back is turned, and as we can see from the preview, she will be back next week.
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10 thoughts on “Doctor Who: Midnight

  1. “well, what was the point of all that, then?”

    Exactly what I thought at the end of the ep too. I found the Doctor Who Confidential (which I usually don’t watch) ep about the making of Midnight much more interesting than the actual ep.

  2. I agree… I’m a big fan of the Dr. but this one left me wanting it to be over quickly “sad to say” but i did stay to the end like a good fan. can’t wait until next weeks episode “Hello Rose long time no see” 🙂

  3. Absolutely dreadful. The repeated voices, the repeated angry babbling was both incredibly annoying and decidedly aggravating.

    I was surprised to learn it was a Russell T Davies episode at the end, throughout it I thought it was just written by some guest writer we’d never see again.

  4. I must be in the minority. I thought the episode was brilliantly written. You have a threat, but you are never sure of what it is. And you’re never sure if it’s really gone when it’s “killed.” The episode had to rely on the actors and their emotions, and not on special effects, to get across the terror. They did good jobs.

  5. To be honest, i am really quite surprised that this episode was written by RTD. And i understand that they were on a low budget for this episode but they could have done so, so much better even on such a small budget! This episode, the plotline, the ideas and concept had so, so much potential but to be honest they were -in a sense- murdered? brutally f*cked? and yeah tbh i was left at the end just thinking ‘what was the point.. of .. that?’.
    anyways cant wait til next episode, rose!!
    and yeah i must check out this whole medusa cascade thing, blatantly it is something big..?
    also did anybody else notice at the end how he kept repeating himself at saying ‘dont do that’.. ‘dont’.. ‘dont’.. ‘dont’..?

  6. I thought it was the perhaprs the best stroy ( in a weak season ). It shows that you don;t need flashy effect , and usualy the real monster is within us.

  7. Im pretty sure the term Medusa Cascade is the word used for the Milky Way by the timelords and other DW aliens. I could be wrong,though.

    Also,I think it was a brilliant episode. And its funny that the people who dislike it so seem to have the type of personality it was directed at. Hm.

  8. Personally, I liked this episode. It reminds me of a film I watched entitled ‘The Mist’. Without wishing to spoil the progress of the film, I could draw a parallel between the two.

    It certainly is not in the typical vein of Doctor Who, however, what it does address is how fragile our civility is.

    When all is good then we can tend to afford the luxury of civility. But what happens when we’re in a confined environment with a number of strangers and things start to go wrong?

    There is no escape, nor is there any personal space, nor is there the luxury of being able to take a wider look at what’s going on.

    It all begins quite civilised and dismissive, but once somebody starts to lose their grounding (doubt, fear, etc.) then it all descends and in comes mob rule.

    This is the power of fear and the unknown taking people out of their comfort zones and revealing their true beasts within.

    In the end, the ‘enemy’ turned out to be simply provocative. The real enemies were the people who were tearing each other apart with their own personal demons.

    I liked the episode, but I did have to put aside my expectations and see the episode in its own light.

  9. I did not fancy this episode at all. The concept of the planet Midnight was absolutely intriguing with the extonic star, the poisoned diamonds, and the sapphire falls, but the story line was relatively disappointing. The screaming and chaos was very bothersome during the episode and the characters themselves were annoying as well (except for the Doctor and Donna, of course). When Rose’s face flashed across the tele/ video screen I had a mini panic-attack and was like “OH MY GOSH IT WAS ROSE!” but then was very disappointed when the Doctor didn’t see her. But I am very excited for next weeks because of it. Overall, interesting idea, but I wish they had used Midnight for something different.

  10. The point is efficiently conveyed : civility is destroyed in face of unknown danger

    It was stressful and incredible to see people being the real enemy against the Doctor and finally the most agressive one to be the savior.

    it was also a good deconstruction of the Doctor : arrogant, weirdly mysterious, borderline mischievous, amused by deadly danger for others.

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