The main premise of this episode was that a young boy, living in England, was getting nightmares, only he was awake. Of course, the monsters he was terrified of were real. This made for a pretty good storyline, although not too complex or particularly compelling.
The main monsters were the lifesize dolls, which I had seen in the previews and was really looking forward to. They were absolutely terrifying, and some fantastically suspenseful moments were created using them, the dark, and the companions. I was, at times, biting my nails in anticipation and fear. The brilliant thing about them was that they looked incredibly freaky, and their childlike voices intensified my fear. Unfortunately, I don’t feel that the dolls were featured enough, and I came out the episode thinking that it was slightly short, due to the large amount of time spent on buildup. I also think that there was more potential that the team should have worked with, such as making other lifesize toys come to life as well.
The acting and script in this episode was definitely a mixed bag. The Doctor seemed particularly on form, and his lines were great. The episode was very Doctor-centric, with the other companions taking a back seat role, which is a welcome change. Rory was great as usual, though Amy seemed poorly written, especially towards the end. Some of the extra cast weren’t great either, and seemed very average indeed.
The ending of this episode wasn’t particularly satisfying, until the moment which Steven Moffat obviously wrote, just before the closing credits. This scene was great indeed, although this actually upsets me. The writing and storylines in many episodes of Doctor Who aren’t fantastic, until the final few Moffat-written seconds, which leaves a good lasting impression on you. The team need to stop doing this, and the Moffat scenes should not be carrying the episode.
Overall, this episode wasn’t one of the worst filler episodes there have ever been, but it wasn’t the best either. The episode was visually much better than last week, with the fantastic models we’re used to, but the storyline and acting was worse.
Check out the Next page for this weeks round up analysis.