Happily, our kid seemed to really enjoy Russell T. Davies’s “Midnight.” I was a little worried it would be creepier than he prefers, but it hit a good, sweet spot with him and kept him riveted instead.
I adore this one not only for the great acting and claustrophobia, but also because it gives us lots to chew on and no answers. I think the lifeform that enters the broken down bus is not necessarily malicious at first, but once it identifies that these scared and paranoid humans are a threat, it exploits the situation in defense. The Doctor is making things worse, because his bluster and his ego are not what this situation needs, and as soon as it understands that, it knows what it needs to do to survive, and our “clever” hero walks right into it.
We saw George Pastell in an episode of Department S the other night, and that reminded me of his scene opposite Patrick Troughton’s Doctor in “The Tomb of the Cybermen”, where the Doctor explains that he knows his way around situations by keeping his eyes open and his mouth shut. You should listen to your younger self sometimes, Doctor. Speaking of Troughton, that’s his son David as the initially congenial Professor Hobbes in this one.
Our son told us that during the amazing scene where something is banging on the hull of the bus, he had thought it was Daleks out there. Nothing’s supposed to be able to live on the surface of this planet, but they’ve got those armored shells, just like the bus. We persuaded him that Daleks really don’t need to hang around 500 clicks from the only habitation on a planet where nothing organic can live just in case somebody’s tour bus breaks down. But since Daleks are on his mind, he only has five days to wait…