This week’s episode of Doctor Who rolled out in full-on spooky fashion. A horror house where a bunch of teenagers get picked off one at a time. Some simple and classic horror tropes coming into Doctor Who. But them being thrown in alongside the Sci-Fi wackiness that is a Doctor Who adventure, makes for fun viewing and I’m really glad they did it.
Not only that, but Knock Knock went to another level by releasing a spooky immersive audio version of the episode on BBC iPlayer. After the episode aired they released a special “binaural” version that creates the illusion that the noises of the story are actually happening all around the viewer, as long as they’re wearing headphones of course. I highly recommend this, as it takes the episode to new levels and is the definitely the optimum way to experience how eerie and unsettling Knock Knock can get. All the scuttling, bumps and creaking go wonderfully alongside David Suchet bonging his tuning fork.
The first thing to obviously address is how wonderful it was to have David Suchet guest star as the Landlord. He could’ve easily gone far camper and ridiculous with he role but he didn’t. It wasn’t overplayed and he comes off as incredibly sinister, which suits the tone of episode rather well. His voice is like velvet, and it’s nice to see Doctor Who bringing in a well-known actor, as it is a rarity at the moment.
I find Bill infinitely relatable, me being student of course. And seeing her grounded and around other humans is fantastic, especially since these type of episodes always highlight how much of a weird alien the Doctor really is. It was great to see to him cramping her style as well, with Bill as kindly as she can telling him “This is the bit of my life you’re not in.” Obviously the Doctor ignores this and further goes to suspect that everything and everyone is out to get Bill and her friends. Good thing he did, to be honest.
The build up to Knock Knock is where it is in its strongest state. The slow and eerie introduction to the old house and the ominous Landlord is enthralling to watch and I was immediately gripped by the darker tones. Seeing each member of the household die is rather brutal and hard-hitting, something that Doctor Who hasn’t been shy of in Series 10. Moreover the mix of make-up and CGI made my skin crawl on multiple occasions.
Eliza’s reveal and twist is awesome, and her creeping around the shutter made my body freeze in place. Her beauty and combined horror is a wonderful testament to the prosthetics and costume design the show holds. Where the episode falters slightly is in the ending. I’m all for Doctor Who being family friendly content, but bringing back all the housemates from the grave was rather predictable and a little lacklustre for an ending. Maybe I shouldn’t be so morbid, but in my opinion the episode would’ve impressed even further if it ended on the same darker tones it held throughout.
Despite the rushed ending to finish up the plot and keep it happy, Knock Knock is still a wonderful piece of British television. Not only this, we’re getting closer and closer to finding out what’s behind that vault! Apparently it likes it when children die in a episode of Doctor Who. Thinking about it, maybe I deserve to be it that vault.
Final Score: Knock Knock – 8/10
By Robert Anderson.