In case you’ve read my Top 11 worst DW stories blog post then you’re probably aware that I consider “Midnight” and “42” to be the worst Doctor Who episodes of the new series so far. You’re also probably aware that I didn’t talk about them too much and there are two reasons for it. 1) Talking about “Gridlock” and “The Long Game” left me with not much to say that I haven’t already said, 2) Talking about “Gridlock” caused a serious damage to my sanity so I couldn’t think of anything new. It’s been two days since I posted the Top 11 so I think I’ve recovered enough to be creative enough to give you the review of the second worst story in Doctor Who – “Midnight”. Be afraid. Be very afraid, of boringness.
Talk about an episode that was doomed from the start. “Midnight” is plagued with bad science like you wouldn’t believe. We’re never given an adequate explanation as to how a waterfall is made from sapphires, why does it happen, why did someone made a leisure centre in the most inhospitable place in the universe (I know that it’s a logical, not a scientific question), and why are they bothering to watch a giant crystal fall to a ravine in the middle of nowhere (again a logical question but it is to be expected from my personal 2nd worst story of the new DW). I have 3 problems with the science in this episode.
That Technobabble Star
At what point did RTD just decided to say “Oh f**k it, technobabble is fixing my problem” (and don’t get me started on “Journey’s End”) and give us a technobabble star that emits technobabble radiation? You don’t need to place a planet around an imaginary star to make it impossible to sustain life, just stick it in a low orbit around a pulsar or a blue giant. It works better because these stars are REAL stars and they do what you wanted the technobabble star to do – make a planet inhospitable.
What Causes The Sapphire Waterfall?
So it has been established that planet Midnight has no atmosphere (rapid decompression), and no EM field (killer radiation remember). So if the planet has no EM field to protect it from harmful radiation then that means that the planet’s interior (including the core) has grown cold. In order of the EM field, volcanoes and earthquakes to happen you need your planet’s interior to be hotter than hell and under enormous pressure. So to put it simple: no EM field = cold planetary interior = no pressure to cause tectonic movement = no earthquakes = impossibility for a ginormous crystal to break off on its own. I don’t understand why people would want to watch a giant crystal dropping out of the sky anyway and it even makes less sense if the only way it can happen is by artificial means. People see geysers erupting or eclipses happening because they are beautiful natural events. They don’t decide to watch houses being built or demolished (which is what’s happening to the crystal mountain). I would’ve accepted this if Russell gave us a reason why it’s happening, we’re just supposed to assume it can happen and that’s it. This brings me to my third problem:
WHERE THE HELL DID ALL THESE DIAMONDS COME FROM!?!?!?!
Again in order for you to get a diamond you need to subject carbon molecules to intense heat and pressure, like you’ll find in a heated planetary interior. Even if we assume that Midnight’s interior was once heated diamonds aren’t gonna just float to the surface because the crust is far too thick. And we see that the surface of the entire planet is covered with diamonds. I don’t think that the entire crust is made out of diamonds nor do I think that the entire planet is a giant diamond because of scientific implausibility + sapphires and diamonds have totally different chemical compositions.
3 Strikes and This Story Sucks
So in the first 5 minutes this episode has already gained three strikes against itself: the bad or poorly explained science is overwhelming – strike 1, there’s no logic for people to watch a waterfall made of sapphires (which proves that Donna is smarter than the Doctor) that’s strike 2, and the Crusader 50’s entertainment system is actually more entertaining than the episode itself – STIIIRIKE 3. THIS STORY SUCKS ASS!!! And I have to watch another 40 minutes of this crap!?! Better get the moonshine and the acid ready because I’ll need to forget this ASAP.
So what's the Story Anyway?
So the plot is that the Doctor decides to be an idiot and goes to see [winces] you-know-what, but soon the glorified space bus (known as Crusader 50) that he’s in becomes under siege by the least scary and most annoying villain in the show’s entire 47½ year history. The entity has no physical form and yet it somehow manages to tear off the bus’ cockpit (which by the way is made from an unobtainium alloy specifically designed to be a plot device for crappy stories). It should also be noted that while this entity doesn’t possess any physical form (yet) it’s perfectly able to knock on the side of the space bus. So the entity possesses a scared middle-aged lesbian (RTD just keeps on doing it) named Sky and thus we have our premise - the one-dimensional passengers must try to keep calm until help arrives. Unfortunately that’s not as simple when the entity drives them (and me) crazy with it constantly repeating everything they’re saying. Let me give RTD a 5p’s worth of script advice: repeating someone’s words is NOT scary in fact it get’s funny if you have your characters getting it to repeat things that are stupid. God this is like watching Gavin & Stacey and Being Human back to back! So the entity takes control of the Doctor (while maintaining control of Sky) and somehow fools the passengers into thinking that the entity is now solely inside the Doctor by giving the most over the top and instantly recognisable performance ever. A f***ing blind man can figure out that she’s still possessed just by listening carefully and yet these morons can’t!!! THIS IS STUPID!!! IT MAKES NO SENSE AND I HATE THIS STUPID EPISODE!!! I HATE RUSSELL T DAVIES FOR EVEN THINKING THAT THIS EPISODE WOULD WORK!!! DO YOU HEAR ME RUSS I HATE YOU, YOU FA...
[1 Hour Later...]
I can see stars on the ground and I like it...
[Another 1 hour later...]
Sorry about that, I had to get high in order to calm down. Okay so now that I calm and clean (mostly) let’s talk about how the Doctor get’s out of the stupidest perilous situation ever. The bus’ hostess figures out that Sky is making the Doctor repeat what she’s saying so she kills the entity by opening the door to the (missing) cockpit and throws herself and Sky outside. Again making no sense since the entity had no problem surviving outside and can easily get back inside, making her death – entirely pointless. But since we’re in an episode devoid of logic and common sense the entity just runs away. It looks like I’ll have to get high again before I DECIDE TO KILL THAT DOUCH...
[2 hours later...]
This episode has a vast array of one-dimensional characters that I don’t care at all about. So we’ve got a single lesbian, embarrassing parents to emo teen (played by Merlin himself – Collin Morgan), a bumbling professor who thinks he’s always right, his slightly smarter sidekick, and the unnamed hostess (I dare you to say anything more about them). RTD does bother to develop them at least a little at the beginning but when the villain shows up we’ve got the most boring situation ever, I never found the passengers’ arguments with the Doctor interesting because It’s like watching Steven Hawking arguing with a bunch of lobotomised retards: f***ing pointless. And in the end the final line that I heard from these characters made me want to destroy the TV out of frustration (don’t pretend like you don’t know which line I am referring to).
The only redeeming aspect was the ending. It shows that the Doctor has been affected by this brush with Death (even though this entire situation made zero sense) and being saved by a person that he doesn’t know by name only adds to the drama of the situation. But unfortunately one very well done moment doesn’t equal to an entire episode of s**t.
This Story sucks and if I got the choice between watching it again and being raped by Big Bob then I’ll take my pants of and say “bring it on Bobby”. 1/10.