Saturday, February 16, 2013

My favorite Doctor Who episode : Midnight

Doctor Who: Midnight

Note:Spoilers, the episode Midnight, season 4, episode 10, doctor 10

I decided to launch this officially by blogging about my favorite episode of the recent Doctor Who.

In MIDNIGHT, the Doctor tries unsuccessfully to get Donna to come along on a sight-seeing shuttle to the Sapphire Waterfall. He then enthusiastically boards the shuttle himself and sets out on the adventure with a handful of other people from all walks of life.

Right away this episode grabs me. The Doctor gets on the shuttle and everyone is starting to get lost in their own little world, as travelers often do. The fellow passengers are plugging in and tuning out, but not the doctor. The Doctor wants to engage his fellow travelers. With a flick of the 'ol sonic screwdriver, he shuts down all the entertainment and suggests they all get to know each other.

This reminds me of going to punk rock shows in the years before cell phones. When you would meet cool people in line while waiting to get in, then you'd meet more cool people when you all settled your places in the crowd. Back when you used to be able to smoke at all indoor concerts here in NY, these little circles would form throughout the general admission floor crowd. Simply getting into a circle or two would almost guarantee you a new friend or two. Back then, you'd actually have to TALK to each other to pass the time. I've met some great people chatting it up with fellow punkers between bands. In fact, it's how I've met some absolutely amazing people.

So, the Doctor settles in with everyone and they all get to know each other. Then the tide of the episode starts to turn. It isn't often that the Doctor is out, alone, away from the Tardis, and gets himself into a situation that is so sticky you can't see his way out from your couch. This episode strikes that chord dead on. Within minutes, the Doctor is on the verge of being thrown out of the shuttle and to his certain death. These passengers do not know him, or the wonderful things he has done, they only know they are afraid and will do whatever they can to survive. Just when it looks like it's all over for Doctor Who, the flight attendant grabs the real enemy and throws them both out the door. She saves the Doctor's life.

It's rare that a person, who is not a companion, saves the Doctor from certain death. Every time it happens is magic, but this one was really something. She saw through the situation and saved him, at the cost of her own life.

Then the Doctor returns to Donna, who has been relaxing and getting pampered, and gives her a solid hug. The relief is written all over him and it hits you just how close even he believed he was to death. He then sits with Donna and tells her everything so they can reflect and assess what happened. This moment reminds me of the end of the "Turn left" episode, where one of the main characters has been through an incredibly traumatic experience. It is refreshing to see that a series based on leaders and companions can still branch out and give our heroes separate mountains to climb and conquer.

1 comment:

  1. Midnight is also one of my top favorites ever, for many of the reasons you listed. It was so out if the ordinary it has with me since then.