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TDP 199: Night Terrors and Torchwood Miracle Day Ep 8

Reprinted from Wiki Pedia with all due respect

"Night Terrors" is the ninth episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, and was first broadcast on BBC One and BBC America on 3 September 2011.

Contents

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[edit] Synopsis

The Doctor decides to make a "house call" after his psychic paper receives a message from George, a frightened 8-year-old child, asking his help in getting rid of the monsters in his bedroom. On arrival at a council estate on present-day Earth, the Doctor, Amy, and Rory split up to try to locate the child. The Doctor, taking the guise of a social services worker, finds the right flat, and meets George's father, Alex, while his mother Claire is working a night shift. Through Alex's photo album, the Doctor learns that George has been frightened all his life, fearing many of the sounds and people around the flat and is helped to cope by various habits, including metaphorically placing his fears within his wardrobe.

Meanwhile, Amy and Rory, while taking the lift down, suddenly find themselves in what appears to be an eighteenth-century house, but shortly discover most of the furnishings are wooden props. Other residents of the estate appear in the house, but are caught by life-sized peg dolls that laugh and sing like children, and transform the residents into more dolls. Amy and Rory witness one transformation and try to flee, but Amy is caught and becomes a doll herself, joining the others in chasing Rory.

The Doctor, suspecting that the wardrobe is containing the evil that George fears, opens it to find its contents are simply clothes and toys, including a doll house. The Doctor suddenly recalls from Alex's photo album that Claire did not appear pregnant in the weeks leading up to George's supposed birth, causing Alex to remember the fact that Claire was unable to have children. The Doctor asserts that George is a Tenza child, an empathic alien who took on the form of Alex and Claire's desired child through a perception filter, and has the ability to literally lock away his fears within the wardrobe. George begins to panic from this revelation and the Doctor and Alex are pulled into the wardrobe, joining Rory in the dollhouse. As the dolls descend on the three, the Doctor calls out to George to face his fears; George is able to open the wardrobe and appears in the dollhouse, but the dolls turn to advance on him. The Doctor realises that George is still frightened that Alex and Claire plan to send him away, having mistakenly interpreted a conversation they had earlier that night; Alex rushes through the dolls to embrace George as his son. They all soon find themselves back at the estate, restored to normal. Claire returns the next morning to find George no longer scared while Alex and the Doctor make him breakfast. After being thanked, the Doctor rejoins his companions to set off for their next adventure.

[edit] Continuity

The Doctor refers to "Snow White and the Seven Keys to Doomsday", "The Three Little Sontarans" and "The Emperor Dalek's New Clothes" as being among his childhood nursery stories, referencing the 1974 stage play Seven Keys to Doomsday[1] and the Sontarans and the Emperor Dalek, two of the series' recurring monsters. He also repeats his predilection for tea and Jammie Dodgers from another Gatiss-written episode, "Victory of the Daleks". He expresses his irritation that his sonic screwdriver still does not have "a setting for wood," a criticism also made by Rory in "The Hungry Earth" and "The Curse of the Black Spot" and by Donna Noble in "Silence in the Library".

Rory states "we're dead again" after dropping down the lift shaft, referring to his previous deaths in "Amy's Choice", "Cold Blood", "The Curse of the Black Spot" and "The Doctor's Wife", and Amy's in "The Pandorica Opens". The episode's final shot continues the story arc for the second half of the series, showing the Teselecta file on the Doctor's date of death from "Let's Kill Hitler".

[edit] Production

The life-size dolls in "Night Terrors" are based on the peg dolls of Germany and the Netherlands.

Mark Gatiss told Radio Times that he had always been scared of dolls, and was surprised that Doctor Who had never used them before. He was especially interested in peg dolls, which he said were "the stuff of proper nightmares".[2] In order to achieve a greater variety of stories in the first half of series 6 "Night Terrors" was moved to the second block of episodes, having been filmed as episode four.[3] This necessitated minor changes to the episode, including the removal of a sequence featuring Madame Kovarian.[1]

[edit] Broadcast

The episode achieved an overnight figure of 5.5m viewers, with an audience share of 25.9%, and Doctor Who was the fourth most-watched programme for Saturday

[edit] Critical reception

Reception to the episode has been largely positive[4]. Assignment X gave a positive review "There’s plenty of tension to be had in awaiting the arrival of the episode’s central creatures – the creepiest dolls you will ever see. In fact, the horrific, bone-crunching transformation of human beings into dolls may trump the gas mask zombies as one of the most unsettling body horror moments in modern DOCTOR WHO. Amy’s scene is probably the most affecting, although it’s slightly undercut by the knowledge that she’s going to be all right."[5]

Crave Online gave a positive review saying "This episode was reminiscent of "Fear Her," from the second season of the revived "Doctor Who." But "Night Terrors" fared a little bit better because it didn't rely on Jamie Oram's George to be anything more than a scared little boy. Matt Smith carried the day with another impressive outing as the Doctor. I think the key to Smith's tenure as the Doctor has been the sheer manic energy he throws into his performances. Some online commentators are already suggesting that the writer, Mark Gatiss might be the next showrunner after Steven Moffat."[6]

Dan Martin of the Guardian also commented on the suggestions of Gatiss as a future showrunner, commenting that the episode was an improvement on Gatiss' previous two episodes ("The Idiot's Lantern" and "Victory of the Daleks"). He complimented it overall as "a classy, creepy episode of retro Doctor Who" in comparison to "Let's Kill Hitler", though he saw its plot as over-similar to "The Empty Child" and other episodes written by Steven Moffat[7].

[edit] References

  1. ^ ab"Night Terrors - The Fourth Dimension". BBC. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  2. ^Jones, Paul (19 August 2011). "Doctor Who: Mark Gatiss on new episode Night Terrors". Radio Times. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  3. ^"Episodes shuffle for the 2011 series...". Doctor Who Magazine (430): 7. 9 Feb 2011 (cover date).
  4. ^http://www.buzzfocus.com/2011/09/04/doctor-who-season-6-episode-9-review-night-terrors/
  5. ^http://www.assignmentx.com/2011/tv-review-doctor-who-series-6-night-terrors-review-1/

  1. ^http://www.craveonline.com/tv/reviews/173724-doctor-who-609-night-terrors
  2. ^http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2011/sep/03/doctor-who-night-terrors

    End of the Road (Torchwood)

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    39 – "End of the Road"
    Torchwood episode
    Cast
    Starring
    Others
    Production
    Writer Ryan Scott
    Jane Espenson
    Director Gwyneth Horder-Payton
    Producer
    Executive producer(s)
    Production code 108
    Series Miracle Day
    Length 55 minutes
    Originally broadcast 26 August 2011 (US)
    1 September 2011 (UK)
    Chronology
    ← Preceded by Followed by →
    "Immortal Sins" "The Gathering"

    "End of the Road" is the eighth episode of the fourth series of British science fiction television series Torchwood, and was first broadcast in the United States on Starz on 26 August 2011.

    Contents

    [hide]

    [edit] Plot summary

    The Torchwood team arrives at the Colasanto estate led by Olivia Colasanto, Angelo's granddaughter. At the estate, Jack finds Angelo, now an old man and in a coma, having lived that long trying to find out about the secrets of immortality. Olivia reveals that the ones responsible for the Miracle are called "The Families", the three mob bosses who bought Jack when he was captured in 1928 and were able to create the miracle, in some manner related to his blood. Jack explains that his immortality doesn't work like that, but the Miracle is real, and a lot of his blood was taken while he was imprisoned. Angelo initially tried to join the alliance with The Families due to their common goal, but Angelo was rejected because they frowned on his homosexuality.

    While Olivia explains this, a CIA team led by Brian Friedkin captures everyone in the mansion. Friedkin is trying to cover up The Families and his treason. Rex explains that he set Friedkin up, so that he could expose him to the CIA at large. Using the I-5 contact lenses, he transmits Friedkin gloating straight onto a monitor in front of their superior, Allen Shapiro. With their names cleared, Jack and Gwen decide to work with the CIA in order to find the whereabouts of The Families, and stop the Miracle. But one of their only leads is destroyed when Friedkin kills himself with a bomb along with Olivia.

    Jack then takes some time to say goodbye to his former lover, as alarms go off around him announcing that Angelo's just died. In annoyance he turns off the machines, until he realizes that unlike everyone else on the planet, the rules for the miracle do not apply to Angelo either; as he dies in front of Jack.

    In Dallas, Texas, Oswald asks Jilly to get him a prostitute on a whim, claiming he wants something normal in this new world. Jilly gets a new intern, unaware that she is a CIA agent. When the prostitute arrives at Oswald's room, she is surprised to learn that Oswald just wants to have dinner with her. She rejects his offer and tells him that as a celebrity, he is worshiped, but as a man, he's still hated for what he did and soon will become a "Category 0". Demanding answers, Jilly reveals that there is a new law that is being worked on that will classify criminals like Oswald as Category 0s and send them to the modules. Angered that PhiCorp used him for their plans and intended to abandon him once they were done with him, Oswald batters Jilly and runs away. Later, Jilly is met by a representative of The Families, who shoots the CIA mole. The mole's identity was revealed by another Family agent (and presumably member) within the CIA, Charlotte Wills, who happens to be a former teammate of Esther and Rex. After a one-question job interview, he takes Jilly to meet The Families.

    Esther gets in contact with her sister, who's currently in a secure mental facility, and finds out to her horror that her sister wants to volunteer herself and her children to become "Category 1". In desperation, Esther ignores Jack's pleading not to reveal a critical detail she noticed about Angelo's room (the floor). After removing the floor panelling, a mysterious device is discovered. After Shapiro orders Gwen to be deported, Jack explains it's a null field transmitter, which interferes with the morphic field he previously postulated was behind the Miracle. Although he claims to be broadly unfamiliar with the technology, he is forced to help disable it so it can be taken to Langley.

    Jack modifies the Null Field to target sound, so he can converse with Rex and Esther without being overheard. Jack explains the reason for his reticence: he is trying to protect humanity from technology they should not have access to, due to the damage to the timeline. He also explains that the tech is alien, and that it came from the Torchwood Hub. It was buried in the ruins as shown in the third series, but Angelo had people salvage the transmitter, preparing for the miracle. It's suggested that Jack is mortal because Angelo used the device to target him as well through his blood. Jack begs Rex and Esther to help him escape, to help save the shining future he's seen. He takes a critical piece of the technology so nobody can replicate it. On the way out, an agent shoots Jack and sees Esther helping. Rex knocks the agent unconscious, and Esther drives a wounded Jack away.

    The episode closes with Esther begging Jack to reply, as she drives not knowing where to go, while at the same time Gwen is on the plane leaving the US for the UK.

    [edit] Reception

    The HD Room gave a positive review "Cryptkeeper Angelo did more for the plot progression of the arc in Torchwood: Miracle Day 'End of the Road' than every line that has come out of Rex's mouth up to this point. Jilly's flip out was a long time coming and didn't disappoint and again, the writing is subtle and effective, like watching Ali fight. All in all, 'End of the Road' is another great episode that allowed all the players, even Mekhi Pfifer as Rex, to showcase their skills as actors/actresses. Tons of questions are answered, and tons more presented. The giant ball that is Torchwood: Miracle Day's story arc is now rolling at full speed."[2]

    Den of Geek gave a positive review "The beauty of Miracle Day is that there are so many things going on that, if one element isn’t working for you, there’s something else not far away."

    "The three families, though, is just one of the balls that this episode was attempting to juggle, with sizeable success I should add. Esther, played impressively as always by Alexa Havins, is facing the tragedies and difficulties within her own family. If we follow the usual path of Torchwood, that suggests she’s got a horrific decision at some point to face, and just two episodes in which to make it. Rex, meanwhile, hints at what’s troubling him, in that his days might be numbered the minute the miracle is reversed. Which, presumably, it will be. Will he, and many others, just instantly die? That might make for a haunting final episode? We also get Jilly Kitzinger coming out of the shadows of Oswald Danes, and more importantly, being recruited by the three families. What, exactly, do they want her to do? Whatever it is, lots more Lauren Ambrose in the final two episodes would be very, very welcome. I still think the more focussed work in Immortal Sins has provide the highlight of the series to date. But I also liked that End Of The Road was so keen to tell so much story. Credit to Star Trek veteran John De Lancie, who eats up every minute of screen time he’s allowed. His contribution is a welcome one. And given that few showrunners can put together a momentous penultimate episode to a series as Russell T Davies, I, for one, can’t wait for next week…"[3]

    In the UK the episode was watched by 3.5 million viewers, a 15% audience share.[4] Dan Martin states that after weeks on end of the same episode, Miracle Day seems to finally becoming into it's own with a tidal wave of answers. Most of the answers are however nonsense but viewers positively embrace it. The series still has two hours left but it finally feels like it's moving on, with Martin hoping that we the audience may see some aliens before long. While the return of Jilly and Oswald sets things up nicely for the conclusion of their story arc.[5]

    [edit] References

Direct download: TDP_199_Night_terrors.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 8:14am UTC