Knock Knock. Who’s there? Well, I was hoping it’d be the writer of a decent episode for a change and, thankfully, it was.
NOTE: I will discuss elements of this episode which will be spoilers if you haven’t seen it, so make sure you watch it first.
Bill and her students friends are looking for a place to stay and chance upon David Suchet’s mansion, but there must be a catch…? And of course, David Suchet’s character isn’t called “David Suchet”, he’s simply “The Landlord”.
However, there’s something about the place that’s not quite right and one of them – Pavel – disappears in a scream before the opening credits have even begun…
And to think the young adults were mostly concerned about the fact there was no central heating, the power sockets are too old to take any modern electrical items and the trees aren’t swaying about outside because it’s windy – there’s no wind and they’re actually “creaking”. And when one of them asked the Landlord about the outside building, “How do we get into the tower?”, there came the stern reply, “You don’t!”
The creatures in this episode were tiny aliens that the Doctor called Dryads, but to us they look like cockroaches. Shireen (Mandeep Dhillon) said she saw such things on her gap year in Morocco. I remember being on holiday in Tenerife, just dropping off to sleep when we were woken by the sound of something scuttling across the floor… necessitating a move to another room in the middle of the night, and on our last night!
Anyhoo, when it came to the crux of why all this was happening, the CGI and make-up for the character was superb. In addition, the resolution was the first one, in this series, which actually made sense and was satisfying.
However, I felt Pavel’s situation was like the same as Ash in Alien‘s deleted ‘cocoon scene’.
But all the ‘knock knock’ sounds. What were those about? You’ll find out when you see it, if you haven’t already, but I understood in advance that the episode looked like it might be half-decent if you’re watching with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, and if you’re not, it won’t. And I understood right, since the noises were coming out of every speaker – in front and behind. Earlier today, BBC News’ Click ran a piece on binaural sound, which is a format mixed for this episode and in which you can watch this on iPlayer. I’ll stick with Dolby Digital 5.1, however, since the online version never has split-surround six-channel sound.
There were some amusing moments such as when Bill was panicking about the ‘lice’ while the Doctor tried to get to the bottom of things, whilst talking to the landlord and Eliza, our lead then retorting “Can you not interrupt? I’m doing my thing, here.”
And just before, when he arrived in that room, The Doctor asked, “You must be Eliza. How are you feeling? Rotten?”
Earlier, when having a conversation with another student, Harry:
- Harry: “I’m scared.”
The Doctor: “Don’t be.”
Harry: “Why not?
The Doctor: “It doesn’t help.”
And near the start, The Doctor told Bill that Timelords never sleep, letting slip, “Unless we’ve regenerated… or had a big lunch”, causing her to quiz him, “Regenerated?”
So, she’s still learning about him, despite the fact she’ll be gone from our screens before we know it (Yay!)
Again, it was a Nardole-lite episode, thankfully, and he was still dealing with ‘our friend’ behind the locked door, the Doctor replying that he can sort that out. Whatever’s in there was playing the music of Beethoven’s Fur Elise on the piano. And when he opened the door… it ended.
Next week: The Doctor, Bill and Nardole are in space on a ship which had 40 crew. There are just four survivors, so there’s 36 corpses out to kill them. And they’re running out of oxygen…
Knock Knock is available on the BBC iPlayer until one week after the series ends. You can also pre-order Series 10 Part 1 on Blu-ray and DVD, ahead of its release on May 29th. Both versions contain six episodes, plus six exclusive Series 10 art-cards.
Individual episodes can be bought in HD and SD here.
Director: Bill Anderson
Producer: Nikki Wilson
Executive Producer: Steven Moffat
Writer: Mike Bartlett
Music: Murray Gold
The Doctor: Peter Capaldi
Bill: Pearl Mackie
Nardole: Matt Lucas
The Landlord: David Suchet
Shireen: Mandeep Dhillon
Eliza: Mariah Gale
Felicity: Alice Hewkin
Paul: Ben Presley
Harry: Colin Ryan
Pavel: Bart Suavek
Estate Agent: Sam Benjamin
Young Landlord: Tate Pitchie-Cooper
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.