“Knock knock” “Who’s there?” “Everyone’s already used this joke in articles Daniel, you should quit whilst you’re ahead” “…okay”
These are my initial thoughts of watching the fourth episode of Series Ten, Knock Knock.
This week I’m going to do things a little different, and nobody can stop me. I’m mad with power, I know. However there are already dozens of articles praising the script and the cast, and rightly so; David Suchet especially was absolutely stellar, and it’s a shame it’s unlikely that he’ll be returning to the Whoniverse any time soon. Anyway, to get my true initial thoughts out (minus the two aspects I plan to go into detail on), I thought that Knock Knock is proving that Steven Moffat can still be at the helm of a strong series; all he needs is the right people around him.
Now onto two aspects of Knock Knock that I want to discuss; the first being the binaural edition that was released on iPlayer. If you don’t follow my Twitter, you probably won’t know that this article was delayed by a day so that I could watch this version before writing this; with these Initial Reactions articles, I tend to watch the episode once, on Saturday at transmission, and then discuss it the following day. However, with a different version available; I had to try it. Boy is it good. I’m surprised that there wasn’t a similar mix for TV’s that supported 5.1 like mine did. I sat there on Saturday night with the surround sound all ready to go, and it didn’t work half as well as the binaural did. If you want maximum spookiness in this episode watch the binaural version. It also makes me wonder if in the future, with viewing habits changing, (I’m planning on penning a whole article about that by the way) that more shows will be tailor made for headphone listeners. We will have to wait and see.
Second of all, the ending. This is meant to be a horror story. Horror stories have death and consequences. Knock Knock had death and consequences. Right until the end when the alien lice decided to give everyone back. It made all the stakes feel for nothing and removed a lot of enjoyment from this episode for me. You’re probably sat there in your bed reading this thinking “But Daniel, nobody died, and it’s a kids show, surely that’s a good thing?” No. It isn’t. Death is a part of life, and if you do stupid things like move into a creepy land lords house, there’s going to be repercussions. That’s life. Deal with it. Doctor Who works best when it’s as true to life as possible; if the students remained dead it would have proved to Bill that the Doctor dabbles with death. She asked him in Thin Ice if he ever killed anyone; this could have been a case study for her.
It would also have meant that you won’t have students going around the university who know that there’s something special about the Doctor all the time. Unless it’s brought up later in the series, that’s going to be an issue that will forever annoy me.
Other than that gripe though, Knock Knock was yet another solid as wood episode. (I had to find a pun somehow, you know you love it.) I know that there’s more to talk about, but I’ll save that for my full review as part of Daniel’s Doctor Who Diary, which, at the rate it’s going, might not be coming out until 2050. But hey, it’ll be worth the wait.
Thanks to Stuart Manning for allowing me to use his poster at the top of this article; if you want to see more of Stuart’s amazing work, click here.