Midnight (Doctor Who episode)

"Midnight" is the tenth episode in the fourth series of Doctor Who. Despite a brief appearance at start and end of the episode by Donna Noble, this episode is notable for The Doctor traveling alone.

Midnight (Doctor Who episode)

 The planet Midnight

Cast

Production

Synopsis

The Doctor is trapped, alone, powerless and terrified, on the planet Midnight. Soon, the knocking on the wall begins. Only a woman called Sky seems to know the truth – but as paranoia turns into a witch-hunt, Sky turns the Doctor's greatest strengths against him, and a sacrifice must be made...

Plot

The Doctor and Donna Noble visit a resort planet called Midnight. While Donna lounges in the hotel, The Doctor chooses to go on a tour of the sapphire waterfalls with a group of strangers.

Because the planet has 'extonic light', the vehicle seals and shuts the windows before departing, so a variety of audio/visual entertainment is provided - all at the same time. The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to disable the system, to the obvious relief of many of the passengers. At his suggestion, they talk instead and provide their own entertainment.

An engine fault causes the vehicle to stop, and The Doctor talks to the driver and engineer. He convinces them to raise the shields briefly to get a look at the planet's surface, but when the shield is lowering, the engineer spots something - a shadow - moving toward the vehicle. When the passengers become concerned about the failure, The Doctor reassures them that everything's fine. Soon after that a knocking begins, coming from the outside of the vehicle - an impossibility, as nothing can live in an extonic environment.

The passengers panic - none more so than Sky Sylvestry - who feels that the presence is seeking her out. The banging continues to follow her into a corner, the lights go out and when they come back on, Mrs Silvestry is cowering in a corner and the seats nearest to her have been violently ripped out.

Initially, Sky doesn't speak to the others. However, when she does, she begins to repeat their words. This causes the other passengers to panic and wonder what is possessing her and why she is repeating them. They bicker and argue among themselves, becoming more frantic and paranoid about what's going on. Gradually, Sky's repetition of their words takes on a more sinister air - her speech falls into synch with them, meaning that she wasn't simply repeating, she knows what they're going to say. This pattern continues, but Sky only starts to speak when The Doctor speaks and eventually her speech anticipates what The Doctor is going to say.

She uses this to convince the others that whatever had possessed her had now passed on to The Doctor. In their panic, they decide to throw The Doctor out of the vehicle, where he'll be killed by the extonic light. Although he is still repeating Mrs Silvestry's words, his face shows utter panic. However, the hostess on board the vehicle and the assistant of a pompous professor start to notice that Mrs Silvestry is acting strangely. When the hostess hears Silvestry saying "Allons y", she recognises it as a phrase The Doctor said earlier. She dives at Silvestry and hits the button to open the vehicle doors. The two are sucked out into the extonic light and the door automatically shuts again.

With Silvestry gone, The Doctor regains his voice and the passengers realise what happened. In noticing the hostess's sacrifice, he asks if anyone knew her name, but no-one does.

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