Wednesday, 2 November 2011


Written by Toby Whithouse, directed by Nick Hurran, 2011

TWO IN A ROW! Well, bugger me.

I was quite a fan of Being Human… to start with… even if it did quickly degrade into humourless self-importance - so I’ve always hoped Toby Whithouse’d have it in him to deliver. Much like The Girl Who Waited, a relatively tight, small-scale setting and premise is a massive benefit, as is the fact that Whithouse isn’t working to some horribly hackneyed alien-invasion template. I can’t help thinking in some ways that DW is at its best when taking a slightly mental concept and running with it, rather than just indulging in bog-standard robots-and-spaceship sci-fi-ery.

There’s quite a comic book feel to the story’s premise – nightmares in hotel rooms! – so it’s especially striking that this is then built up into something with a certain amount of genuine emotional kick. The coda may seem a little out of nowhere but works because it fits thematically, while of all the new series’ would-be companion figures, Rita is quite lovely, and feels real, and as such there is a weight to her death that, say, a more contrived character like Lorna Bucket didn’t achieve.

Stylistically, the B&W CCTV footage and various other camera affects are perhaps slightly overegged, but are unusual enough to give the story a unique feel (and it’s certainly welcome to see the show developing a visual identity beyond soap-style point-and-shoot).

Also! ‘A distant cousin of the Nimon’! I love the strange sense of validation when obscure stories are referenced on primetime BBC1.


  1. One of the best episodes of the new series, IMO.

    I love how they keep referencing / re-canonizing the crap monsters like the Nimon, the Drahvins and the Macra. It just tickles my little geek soul.

  2. Hah, yeah, I hadn't really thought of it like that, but it's actually pretty sweet. I'd like to see the Quarks 'recanonised'. And the Voord! And the Ice Warriors just plain brought back. But that's a different story...