Doctor Who (38) 12:04 - Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror


Well-Known Member
Aug 8, 2012
Well, my Serbian colleague would have liked this one* (if he watched the show), but I thought it was only so-so.

It was fun enough, but I thought I was being lectured to (in the literal sense; hey kids, did you know that Nikola Tesla...).

There was no explanation of why the scorpion aliens were in New York back in 1903 - other than to get Tesla to fix their ship, which seemed a bit weak.

Inevitably there was a lot of running around, and I noticed that the Doctor was making up for not using the sonic screwdriver so much last week.

And no further development of the Timeless Child.

In short, better than last week but that's not saying much.

(* and he would remind me of his favourite joke: What do you call a stolen Tesla? An Edison.)
While others may find episodes that focus on historical figures a bit juvenile, I like them.

I was only a few minutes into this one when I recognized the actor playing Tesla (Goran Visnjic), as the villainous hero Garcia Flynn from the NBC series Timeless. In that twice canceled series, he was time traveling to change history.

Meanwhile, back with the Doctor, I loved the chase scene with the spectacularly clumsy giant scorpions unable to avoid colliding with each other. Graham’s brave stance against the monsters armed with Tesla’s sputter gun also made me laugh.


Scorpion Queen Skithra (Anjli Mohindra) was impressively colorful, although she would be a dental hygienist’s worst nightmare. I wondered about the function of the pair of fangs (claws?) she sported on her forehead.
Better than last week but still rather dull. Goran Višnjić gave a great performance as Tesla. My biggest gripe this series is how they've reduced Bradley Walsh to comic relief. He was captivating in the last series. This seems to be a calculated move by Chibber to shift the focus away from Graham and onto Ryan and Yasmin. Guess what? It ain't working.

The Skithra were suitably scary if a bit hammy. I would have preferred people in scorpion costumes than cgi.
Finally found time to watch this week's episode.

Is there a pattern emerging? Two weeks running we've had Yaz transported somewhere else.

I was amused by this week's episode and quite liked the villains.
Over the weekend I caught Tennant's Doctor, I can't remember what is was called, he'd decided to take Rose to see Elvis but ended up in London around the time of the queen's coronation.
Now I didn't find it superior to this week's episode if anything it was weaker and Tennant used the sonic screwdriver a lot more than Whittaker.
I can't remember what is was called, he'd decided to take Rose to see Elvis but ended up in London around the time of the queen's coronation.

It was the Idiot's Lantern in Tennant's first series.
I found this episode to be so-so as well - I really liked Tesla and his portrayal by Goran Visnjic. really liked his first reaction towards the doctor ("I won't give you what I got - I don not know you how can I trust you") It was a nice change from the usual instant "In the Doctor we trust". I do not like what they are doing with Graham shifting him to the comic relief side- and honestly he should have known who Tesla is - everyone knows who Tesla is - or is that just me being a former physics major?
I actually liked the clumsiness of the scorpions - the makeup of the queen reminded me a lot of the Racnos queen from the runaway bride - so much so that I first thought they might be a subspecies of the Racnos. I was somewhat disappointed, that they did not paint Edison as more of a bad guy.
Also I was super disappointed that the Doctor as a scientist was not lecturing Tesla on the subject of the ether (because you know - it does not exist).
and another point - the doctor ranting on how the Skithra will not be remembered after she is done with them is not like the pacifist doctor I know an love - Tennant would have blown up their ship and then transported them all to their homeplanet after they realised that earth was protected.
She did say that she'd given them a chance.

This wasn't quite up to the standard we expect but it was still a very good effort, better than last week and better than anything in the last series.

At first I actually thought it was the Racnos Queen
It was an okay episode...

...other than the little voice at the back of my head during his early appearences wondering if Tesla wasn't really Tesla, but instead Garcia Flynn in one of his trips back in time (there to stop Rittenhouse changing the past)....
Having despised all of the first 3 episodes, I was glad to persist and give this one a shot. This was more like a typical modern Doctor Who 'episode of the week'. Unlike the preceding episodes, this one had room to breathe, with space given to characters, character development and even incidental nuances like facial expressions, smiles, frowns, etc. It's incredible what modern writers and directors can achieve when they let a simple, well-thought out story just gently simmer away, rather than cramming two shows' worth into one, with zero time given to establishing character and motivation.

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