Matt’s Doctor Who Review: Night Terrors

Cast and Crew

Matt Smith as The Doctor
Karen Gillan as Amy Pond
Arthur Darvill as Rory
Daniel Mays as Alex
Jamie Oran as George
Emma Cunniffe as Claire
Andy Tiernan as Purcell
Leila Hoffman as Mrs Rossiter
Sophie Cosson as Julie

Written by Mark Gatiss

Produced by Sanne Wohlenberg

Directed by Richard Clark

Originally shown on the 2nd of September 2011


A child sends a message to the Doctor’s psychic paper: “Please save me from the monsters”. The Doctor decides to make a house call to the scariest place in the universe: a child’s bedroom.

High Points

  • Bin bags that eat people are pretty scary.
  • “He hates clowns.”
  • “First things first. Have you got any Jammy Dodgers?” The Doctor is clearly a man of impeccable taste.

Low Points

I wasn’t sure what the point of the landlord and the rent was. I could see where it could have fed into the situation, but it never actually seemed to, like they’d run out of time to fit it all in.


The Doctor claims to be over a thousand years old now. It’s once again quite obvious that the Doctor doesn’t actually know exactly how old he is. Which is convenient for the script writers.


Originality: Some familiar elements, wrapped together in a slightly less familiar way. They didn’t give us any particular surprises though. Three out of six.

Effects: Fairly minimal but largely effective, except for the devouring carpet. Four out of six.

Story: Interesting, but not particularly intriguing. Four out of six.

Acting: Arthur Darvill is going from strength to strength. The guests were competent, but not brilliant, however it didn’t really seem to matter. Five out of six.

Emotional Response: I never really got very engaged in it. I wasn’t completely disinterested, but I couldn’t get totally into it. Four out of six.

Production: Very nice, a lot of good use of lighting colour and intensity for different environments and moods. The dolls’ house set was great. Five out of six.

Overall: Enjoyable filler, but not a standout episode. I find myself wishing River was in it every week. Five out of six.

In total, Night Terrors receives thirty out of forty-two.

7 replies on “Matt’s Doctor Who Review: Night Terrors”

  1. The landlord thing was just a good excuse to distract the father so that The Doctor could play with his toys, I think.

    As for the thousand years ago, I’m pretty sure that was rounding up for plausible-exaggeration. I myself have used the phrase “when I was your age, oh, 1000 years ago”. It just sounds better than “when I was your age, oh, 943 years ago”.

    This episode was OK for a non-arc, but I think this week’s Torchwood was better than this week’s Doctor Who (:

  2. I thought the dads chat with the landlord while the Doctor plays with the kidprovided an interesting comparison in what terrifies adults as opposed to what terrifies kids, and a counterpoint to what the Doctor can and can’t (or maybe does and doesn’t) deal with.

  3. Fighting off creepy doll-people with giant scissors was a pretty good moment. Overall though, clearly a low-budget filler, a little reminiscent of the older series.

    • Reminiscent of the old series.. :)

      Made it even better!

      Loved watching the Confidentials after…

  4. I k now they explain sorta kinda how the Doctor receives the call for help, but isn’t this rather like praying? When did the Doctor become God?

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