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Night Terrors
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Synopsis


George Surrounded by Dolls
George Surrounded by Dolls
 The Doctor follows a cry for help to an ordinary-looking housing estate on Earth. A little boy is scared of the dark. And of the monsters in his cupboard. And of baths, old toys and dusty dolls houses. And of the wheezing old lift next to his room, the witchy old woman across the way, and the gruff landlord pressuring his dad for this month's rent. He's scared of everything. And if The Doctor doesn't save him from his fears, it could mean the end for Amy, Rory, and every human being on the estate…



General Information

Season: Thirty Two (New Series 6)
Production Code: 6-4
Story Number: 220 (New Series: 64)
Episode Number:779 (New Series: 83)
Number of Episodes: 1
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Working Titles:"What Are Little Boy's Made Of?" and "House Call"
Production Dates: September - October 2010
Broadcast Date: 03 September 2011
Colour Status: HD Colour
Studio: BBC Wales (Upper Boat, Pontypridd) and Pembroke House (Conway Road, Cardiff)
Location: Dyrham Park (Bath, Gloucestershire) and Waring House (Bristol).
Writer:Mark Gatiss
Director:Richard Clark
Producer:Sanne Wohlenberg
Executive Producers:Beth Willis, Piers Wenger and Steven Moffat
Script Executive:Lindsey Alford
Script Editor:Caroline Holder
Editor:Peter H Oliver
Production Executive:Julie Scott
Production Manager:Steffan Morris
Production Assistant:Charlie Coombes
Production Designer:Michael Pickwoad
Director of Photography:Owen McPolin
Casting Director:Andy Pryor CDG
Line Producer:Diana Barton
Costume Designer:Barbara Kidd
Make-Up Designer:Barbara Southcott
Cameramen:Matthew Lepper (Assistant), Simon Ridge (Assistant), Svetlana Miko (Assistant) and Bob Shipsey (Operator)
Incidental Music:Murray Gold
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Paul Jefferies
Sound Recordist:Bryn Thomas
Sound Editor:Paul McFadden
Visual Effects:The Mill
Special Effects:Real SFX
Stunt Co-ordinator:Crispin Layfield
Stunt Performers:Danielle Da Costa, Dean Peel and Gordon Seed
Title Sequence:Frame Store
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Murray Gold
Music Performed By: The BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Music Conducted and Orchestrated By: Ben Foster
Music Mixed By: Jake Jackson
Music Recorded By: Gerry O'Riordan
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: Matt Smith (The Eleventh Doctor)
Number of Companions: 2The Companions: Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) and Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams) Additional Cast: Daniel Mays (Alex), Jamie Oram (George), Emma Cuniffe (Claire), Andy Tierman (Purcell), Leila Hoffman (Mrs Rossiter), Sophie Cosson (Julie)Setting: England (2011) and inside a Dolls House Villain:Peg Dolls

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
779Night Terrors03 September 201142'28"7.1Yes

Total Duration 42 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 7.1
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2011)65.30%  (Position = 11 out of 13)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)61.38% Lower (Position = 189 out of 241)


Archives


 This story exists and is held in the BBC's Film and Videotape Library.



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Notes


This story was written by Mark Gatiss who previously wrote the 2005 Ninth Doctor story "The Unquiet Dead", the 2006 Tenth Doctor story "The Idiot's Lantern" and the 2010 story "Victory of the Daleks". This is his first modern day story for Doctor Who.

Mark Gatiss told Radio Times that he had always been scared of dolls, and was surprised that Doctor Who had never used them before. He was especially interested in peg dolls, which he said were ‘the stuff of proper nightmares’.

This story is directed by Richard Clark who also helmed the 2007 Tenth Doctor story "Gridlock", "The Doctor's Wife" (earlier in this season) and the 2007 Tenth Doctor story "The Lazarus Experiment". The latter story starred Mark Gatiss as Professor Richard Lazarus.

In order to achieve a greater variety of stories in the first half of this season, "Night Terrors" was moved from the first half, having originally been planned to be the third story shown. Because it was intended to feature in the first seven episodes of this season it originally included a moment where viewers glimpsed Madame Kovarian.

Mrs Rossiter talks about going down the stairs like Sherpa Tenzing when she's chatting to The Doctor. Tenzing Norgay (1914-1984) is believed to be one of the first two individuals to reach the summit of Mount Everest/Mount Qomolangma.

The psychic paper makes a return. It was first seen in the 2005 Ninth Doctor story "The End of the World". It was also used by the Tenth Doctor and was first employed by the Eleventh Doctor when he met young Amelia Pond in the 2010 story "The Eleventh Hour".

Jamie Oram, who plays George, also features in the Adventure Game "Doctor Who: The Gunpowder Plot" released in October 2011.

It is revealed that George is a Tenza who is able to match himself to people's needs and create perception filters.

When The Doctor explains to Alex that George is using a perception filter, he stops in the hallway to look in a mirror and makes the same face he did when he first saw his reflection in the 2010 story "The Vampires of Venice".

At one point The Doctor says they're going to visit the scariest place in the universe. Steven Moffat (Doctor Who's head writer and Executive Producer) has revealed that Mark Gatiss first raised the idea of this story by asking him what the scariest place in the inverse was, saying it was a child's bedroom.

When The Doctor knocks on the door to address Alex, a ring can be seen on his wedding finger. Whether this is a production error or a hint at a future story remains to be seen.

The Doctor repeats his fondness for tea and Jammie Dodgers from another Mark Gatiss written story, "Victory of the Daleks". He also mentions Jammie Dodgers in "The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon").

It has been revealed that the business with the fridge, in the scene where The Doctor and Alex discuss George, was improvised by Matt Smith and Danny Mays.

Rory suggests The Doctor might be ‘back there in EastEnders land’. In fact, The Doctor did visit Albert Square in the 1993 Children in Need special, "Dimensions in Time".

Inside the dollhouse Rory is heard to state ‘we're dead again’. This is a reference to his previous death in the 2010 story "The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood" and Amy's in the 2010 story "The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang". He also believes at one point that the TARDIS is altering time and space again (see "The Doctor's Wife").

The Doctor refers to ‘Snow White and the Seven Keys to Doomsday’, ‘The Three Little Sontarans’ and ‘The Emperor Dalek's New Clothes’ as being among his childhood nursery stories. The first is a reference to a stage play called "Doctor Who and the Daleks in The Seven Keys to Doomsday" (also known as "Doctor Who: The Seven Keys to Doomsday"). This stage show premiered in December 1974 and co-starred Wendy Padbury (who played companion Zoe during the Second Doctor’s era).

The Doctor is heard expressing his irritation that his sonic screwdriver still does not have ‘a setting for wood’, a criticism also made by Rory in "The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood" and "The Curse of the Black Spot" and by Donna Noble in the 2008 Tenth Doctor story "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead ".

The scene where The Doctor and Alex are being sucked into the cupboard is very similar to the movie Poltergeist where the daughter is sucked into the spirit realm through her bedroom cupboard.

When The Doctor and Alex wake up in the dolls house, Alex wonders how it can be bigger on the inside. The Doctor is then heard to say ‘More common than you'd think, actually’, referring to the TARDIS.

Before the broadcast of this story a myth existed where it was thought that Amy would be turned into a doll. This was proven true.

The Eighth Doctor was previously turned into a doll by the Celestial Toymaker in a similar manner to Amy in the Big Finish Productions’ Companion Chronicles audio story "Solitaire".

This story’s final shot continues the story arc for the second half of the series, showing the Teselecta data file on The Doctor's date of death from "Let's Kill Hitler".

Following on after this story, on BBC3, was the ninth chapter of the sixth series of Doctor Who Confidential. Titled "About a Boy" it was presented by Russell Tovey and looked into the making of this story.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first modern day Doctor Who story written by Mark Gatiss.

 Caroline Holder's first involvement in the show as Script Editor.


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
Message Received
Message Received

While travelling in the TARDIS, with his companions Amy Pond and Rory, The Doctor’s psychic paper receives a message from George, a frightened 8-year-old child on a council estate on present-day Earth, seeking help in getting rid of the monsters in his bedroom.

On arrival, The Doctor, Amy, and Rory split up to try and locate the child. After visiting a number of flats without success The Doctor, taking the guise of a social services worker, eventually finds the right flat and meets George's father, Alex, while his mother Claire is working a night shift.

While talking to Alex, The Doctor learns, through Alex's photo album, that George has been frightened all his life, fearing many of the sounds and people around the flat and has been ritually guided by his mother Claire to believe his fears are trapped within his wardrobe.

Rory, The Doctor and Amy
Rory, The Doctor and Amy

Meanwhile, Amy and Rory, while taking the lift to the next floor down, suddenly find themselves in what appears to be an eighteen-century house, but shortly discover most of the furnishings are wooden props. On exploring the house they witness other residents of the estates appearing. They also discover strange life-size wooden peg dolls.

Amy and Rory are, at first, not aware that the dolls have the ability to move. Then one of the residents of the council estate arrives and, before their eyes, is caught by one of the dolls and transformed into another doll.

Alex
Alex

While trying to flee Amy and Rory become trapped in the kitchen. In desperation they decide to open the kitchen door, which they had barricaded to stop the dolls reaching them, and rush past so as to escape. But in doing so Amy is caught and to Rory’s horror she becomes a doll herself. Rory, now alone, finds himself being chased.

Meanwhile, The Doctor, suspecting that the wardrobe in George’s bedroom contains the evil that the little boy fears, opens it to find its contents are simply clothes and toys, including a doll house. The Doctor suddenly recalls from Alex's photo album that Claire could never be pregnant with George, and asserts that George is a Tensa child, an empathic alien who took on the form of Alex and Claire's desired child through a perception filter, and has the ability to literally lock away his fears within the wardrobe.

As George begins to panic from this revelation, The Doctor and Alex are pulled into the wardrobe, joining Rory in the dollhouse. As the dolls descend on the three, The Doctor calls out to George to face his fears. The Doctor is eventually able to get through to George who opens the wardrobe. George then appears in the dollhouse and the dolls turn to join him.

The Doctor Meets a Concerned Parent
The Doctor Meets a Concerned Parent

The Doctor realises that George is frightened that Alex and Claire plan to send him away, having mistakenly interpreted a conversation they had earlier. All George wants is to feel wanted and on realising this, thanks to The Doctor’s correct deduction, Alex rushes through the dolls to embrace George as his son. Everyone then finds themselves back at the council estate, restored to normal.

The following morning Claire returns from work to find George no longer scared while Alex and The Doctor make breakfast. After being thanked, The Doctor rejoins his companions and all three of them return to the TARDIS.

 
The Doctor with George
The Doctor with George
George
George
Mrs Rossiter
Mrs Rossiter
Purcell
Purcell
 
What to do with George
What to do with George
The Amy Doll
The Amy Doll
George Surrounded by Dolls
George Surrounded by Dolls
George with his Mother
George with his Mother




Quote of the Story


 'A scared kid. A very scared kid. So scared that somehow its cry for help got through to us. In the TARDIS.'

The Doctor



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Video
DVD
Series 6 Part 2: - Episodes 8-13October 2011BBCDVD 3429Photo-montage
Video
Blu-Ray
Series 6 Part 2: - Episodes 8-13October 2011BBCBD 0152Photo-montage
Video
DVD
The Complete Sixth Series Box SetNovember 2011BBCDVD 3430Photo-montageDVD boxed set containing all 12 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Sixth Series Box SetNovember 2011BBCBD 0153Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing all 12 stories
Video
DVD
The Complete Sixth Series Box Set (Limited Edition)November 2011BBCDVD 3564Photo-montageLimited Edition DVD boxed set containing all 12 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Sixth Series Box Set (Limited Edition)November 2011BBCBD 0193Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray boxed set containing all 12 stories
Audio
CD
Original Television Soundtrack - Series 6December 2011Photo-montageMusic by Murray Gold
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Series 1-7 Box Set (Limited Edition)December 2013BBCBD 0242Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray boxed set containing all Series 1-7 stories at full 1080p high definition
Video
DVD
The Complete Sixth Series (2014 Re-release)August 2014BBCDVD 3970Photo-montageBoxed set containing all 12 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Sixth Series Box Set (Limited Edition Steelbook)August 2020BBCBD 0505Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray Steelbook boxed set containing 12 stories


In Print

No Book Release
Doctor Who Magazine - PreviewIssue 438 (Released: September 2011)
Doctor Who Magazine - ReviewIssue 439 (Released: October 2011)

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Photo Gallery


The Doctor and Companions

 
Matt Smith
The Eleventh Doctor

   

Karen Gillan
Amy Pond
 
Arthur Darvill
Rory Williams
   




On Release

DVD Cover
DVD Cover

BBC
VIDEO
Blu-Ray Cover
Blu-Ray Cover

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Series DVD Box Set
Complete Series DVD Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set
Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
   
Ltd Edition DVD Box Set
Ltd Edition DVD Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set
Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Original Television Soundtrack Cover
Original Television Soundtrack Cover

BBC
AUDIO
Complete Series 1-7 Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set
Complete Series 1-7 Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
   
Complete Series DVD Box Set<BR>(2014 Re-release)
Complete Series DVD Box Set
(2014 Re-release)

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Series Blu-Ray Limited Edition Steelbook Box Set
Complete Series Blu-Ray Limited Edition Steelbook Box Set

BBC
VIDEO



Magazines

Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 438
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 438

Marvel Comics
 
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 439
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 439

Marvel Comics
   

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