Knock, knock. Who’s there? Doctor. Doctor Who?
Season 10, episode 4 “Knock Knock” is nearly upon us, and in case you’ve been away and missed some things, here’s what to expect. The Doctor, in his final form as Peter Capaldi, is zooming across space-time with new companion Bill, who ends up on her own in a haunted house. The supernatural is nothing new to the Doc, but poor Bill quickly becomes unnerved by the odd goings-on around the estate. And by the creepy goings-on, I mean the knocking sounds coming from all directions.
It’s a bit early for Halloween. Of course, when you have a time machine, that point is well past moot. Actual frights on the screen are difficult to pull off, but Doctor Who has a pretty darn good track record of getting it right. Vashta Narada and the weeping angels, anyone? So far the tenth season has been met with majority approval, and dropping the heroes into the middle of an old-school haunted mansion is a bold maneuver considering how tropish those things have become. Look at the premise – Bill and a couple friends are just moving in to a new place rented to them by the Landlord, just like half of every horror movie ever made.
See where this is going? It will be interesting to see how Doctor Who will take a classic concept and add their own special blend of Timelord flavoring to the concoction. Part of what makes a scary Doctor Who episode scary are the mechanics of whatever monster they’re up against. The flesh-eating shadows instantly devoured anything they touched, leaving only the bones and resulting in no way to really defend yourself, and the angels made you want to turn and run, despite that being the absolute worst thing you could do. The make or break for Knock Knock will be the monster at the center of it more than anything, and with a whole house at its disposal, there’s plenty of room for danger.