Monday, June 02, 2008

Dr Who: Silence in the Library

I appreciate I have been rather silent of late... but it's been half term, so I have a bit of catching up to do.

I know I don't always blog Dr Who episodes, but... ooh, I had to blog this one.

For a start it's by Stephen Moffat who writes all my favourite episodes, but also, it was properly scary this time.

I can remember the very very first thing that ever scared me on television. I was about five years old, so old enough to vaguely understand that not everything I saw on the screen was real, but young enough to be convinced if something was realistic enough that it must be true. Predictably, it was a Dr Who episode which did for me. Can't remember the series, but I think it was Jon Pertwee days. Anyway. The daleks had invaded Earth, like they do. And part of the episode featured a news flash and pictures of the daleks going across Westminster Bridge. It was the news flash that did for me, adding an authenticity to the whole thing which made me miss out on the whole wobbly sets, it's really only the same two actors going round and round in a metal dustbin reality of it all. I was truly truly terrified, and I can remember taking some convincing that the daleks weren't about to pop up in my bedroom...

There is something very satisfying about being scared in the comfort of your own home (or from behind the sofa), so from that point of view, this week's episode was great. I always like my horror films to leave a lot to the imagination (Angel Heart remains the scariest film I have ever seen, mainly because you don't actually SEE anything, but imagine so much) - and The Silence in the Library, worked brilliantly. What was scary here was not just the dark - not just every shadow - any shadow where the eebie jeebie parasitic things live. So you never quite know what to trust, or where the next pirhana like attack is coming from.

But not only was it really creepy (if owing a little too much to the equally brilliant Blink), there was so much going on in this episode, it nearly made my head explode. Who is the little girl with a library in her head? Is the psychiatrist treating her benign or evil? Who is Dr River Song, and how does the Doctor know her? I'm not even convinced she's totally on his side. Is Donna dead? Can she escape from being a head on a stick? Is Proper Dave going to kill them all with his spooky-dark-swarm-inside-his-helmet-which-has-eaten-his-flesh-off-leaving-only-a-skeleton -with-zombielike-strength?

For the first time in a long time on Dr Who I really haven't got a clue how it's going to end. Which given all the injokes about spoilers (dontcha hate them? I know I do. I really regretted finding out online last year that Mr Saxon was in fact the Master.) It's so much more fun when you don't know what's going to happen next. I enjoyed this episode so much I watched it twice, and I had no more clue at the end then I did at the beginning, which was really great.

So roll on next week say I... Even if I do have to watch from behind the sofa.

9 comments:

Expatmum said...

When I was little the music used to send me behind the sofa before anything got started. Now it just reminds me of running behind the sofa. A sort of Pavlov dog reaction.

Persephone said...

Just to fill your copious free time (coff coff) while waiting to find out if River Song has any future with the Doctor, I've tagged you for a meme. If you feel up to taking the challenge, the details are at the top of today's posting at my blog.

Jane Henry said...

Expatmum - the music STILL gets me started, and I like the way they've jazzed it up...

ooh Persephone no one's ever done that to me before... Thanks will be over soon!

Anonymous said...

Loved it, I'll never look at dust motes in a sun beam in quite the same way. The statues on Magdalen College have also never been quite the same since Blink.

Must say - scariest episode ever was Jo being chained to the Master's chair which could make you imagine the worst ever. Oh the sight of her thinking she was on fire... I think our parents stopped us watching the next time...(I'm sad enough to have double checked on a Dr W website that my memory served me well)I think a lot of the Jon Pertwee ones were terrifying for me, but I think it could have been age to. Youngest (5) has yet to sit through a whole episode and was even terrified of the adipose...

I think I can see where some of this is going (& River Song reminds me a bit of The Time Traveller's Wife) but I won't post my thoughts, don't want to spoil it after all!
Mad Twinx

Nic said...

Yes, I thought Time Traveller's Wife too! Blink was just an ace episode, this copes with being similar, because it's the unknown that preys on our fevered imagination...

Do you think the "4022 saved, no survivors" message links to there being 4022 heads on sticks in the library?

I WILL NOT look at spoilers, so Mr Saxon was a delight to me! (Although I did need to avoid flicking through the Radio Times in the run up to that episode, they're as bad as anyone!)

Lisa Rullsenberg said...

I have times where I try so hard to avoid apoilers but I do get excited about talking online so end up knowing more than I would like - know what you mean about Radio Times spoiling and even the series itself (I know bin-girl's appearance in ep 1 this season gave the game up about what is to come but I could have well done without the mid-season trailer this year: thanks for nothing bbc...)

Oh yeah, and Angel Heart -- brilliant! I thought I was the only person who thought that was a scary and fabulous movie! Definitely one I enjoy rewatching even though it creeps the pants off me.

Jane Henry said...

Lisa, Angel Heart rates as my scariest movie ever. Went to see it knowing the end (the husband, then husband to be helpfully gave me spoilers!)- and EVEN knowing what was going to happen I was on the edge of my seat and creeped out. Went to see it in London then had to travel home on the underground and was jumpy as hell! Even all these years later thinking about it spooks me

Van Dorn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Van Dorn said...

I watched this week's Dr.Who from a laundromat. Naturally, I was intrigued by the library in the girls head, but the episode really hooked me when the Doctor started talking about why every species has an irrational fear of the dark.

I have an irrational fear of the dark, and coincidently because I feel like there's something there waiting for me (they're in my head... I *cough* talk to them sometimes to make them back off). I really love it when fictional stories validate my own personal fears.

But... if I weren't watching on a tiny screen helping my friend with laundry, the episode probably would have scared the pants off me. I love the doctor.