Doctor Who – Series 12, Episode 4: “Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror”

  • This episode gets into the action very quickly, and generally keeps up the pace throughout – though it does have time for some nice conversations, particularly between the Doctor and Tesla on their shared passion for inventing.
  • I like seeing Graham, Ryan and Yaz in their period dress, and how their knowledge of Nikola Tesla reflects the majority of today’s population: Ryan and Yaz haven’t heard of him at all, and Graham knows he’s a famous inventor but can’t recall exactly what he invented.
  • It would have been easy to just make Thomas Edison a villainous Trump-style figure – but thankfully he’s not all bad, instead providing an interesting contrast with Tesla as a more pragmatic and business-minded inventor. Really, the closest this episode comes to maybe, possibly taking a jab at the modern political climate is the protester who calls Tesla a “foreign lunatic” and says he doesn’t belong in America.
  • After the embarrassment that was Hyph3n in the last episode, the Queen Skithra is much better done, with great makeup, jerky insectoid movements and a creepy-crawly voice. (And she’s played by Anjli Mohindra, a.k.a. Rani from The Sarah Jane Adventures!) I also liked the little detail of the Skithra workers being quite clumsy as they chase the heroes, hampered by too many spindly legs and top-heavy bodies.

My feelings about this series were not at their highest after last week’s episode, as it felt like it was just proving the haters right. But this episode was much more fun and felt like traditional Doctor Who – a reliable recipe of history, action, monsters, and a good mix of characters. Here’s hoping we continue in this vein. Rating: 4/5.

About R.J. Southworth

Hi there. I've been blogging since January 2014, and I like to talk about all sorts of things: book reviews, film reviews, writing, science, history, or sometimes just sharing miscellaneous thoughts. Thanks for visiting my blog, and I hope you find something that interests you!
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