Alex: “Now it’s got completely out of hand! I mean, he’s scared to death of everything.”
The Doctor: “Pantaphobia.”
The Doctor: “That’s what it’s called, pantaphobia. Not the fear of pants, though, if that’s what you’re thinking, it’s the fear of everything… including pants, I suppose, in that case. Sorry, go on.”
Alex: “He hates clowns.”
The Doctor: “Understandable.”
Rory: “We’re dead aren’t we?”
Rory: “The lift fell, and we’re dead.”
Amy: “Shut up.”
Rory: “We’re dead – again!”
The Doctor: “I’m not just a professional, I’m the Doctor.”
Alex: “What’s that supposed to mean?”
The Doctor: “It means I’ve come a long way to get here, Alex, a very long way. George sent a message, a distress call if you like. Whatever’s inside that cupboard is so terrible, so powerful, that it amplified the fears of an ordinary little boy across the barriers of time and space.”
The Doctor: “Through crimson stars, and silent stars, and tumbling nebulas, like oceans set on fire; through empires of glass and civilizations of pure thought, and a whole terrible, wonderful universe of impossibilities. You see these eyes? They’re old eyes, and one thing I can tell you, Alex: monsters are real.”
Double Entendres/Sexy Talk
The Doctor responds to a message for help, sent by a seemingly normal little boy named George, who is convinced that monsters live in his cupboard. After splitting up to look for the boy, Amy and Rory get transported to a dark, foreboding house, where they are terrorized by life-size wooden dolls who have the ability to transform anyone they touch into giant dolls just like them. Meanwhile, the Doctor and George’s father, Alex, attempt to figure out the connection between a frightened little boy and the very real monsters in this closet.
This episode, written by actor/novelist Mark Gatiss (who also penned and starred in season three’s “The Lazarus Experiment”), is pretty standard Doctor Who, which, in a season full of episodes that have been set pieces to serve the seasonal arc, is actually quite refreshing. I often complain that Doctor Who doesn’t always have to be about saving the world, or even the universe, as the show is strong enough that it constantly grandstanding isn’t necessary. Neil Gaiman’s episode, “The Doctor’s Wife”, is a great example of what I’m talking about.
I will say that, apart from being mildly engaging, the episode wasn’t particularly memorable. Once again, Amy and Rory are on “run and scream” duty, meaning the writer didn’t know what else to do with them. For their credit, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill do their duties well, like good sports. Matt Smith is excellent, carrying the story forward and keeping it compelling, as one expects of the lead in Doctor Who. Other than that, there isn’t much to be said. It’s an episode that explores childhood fears and pumps the brake a little from the breakneck pace of the current season. Nuff said.
Next week... "The Girl Who Waited"