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16 May 2017 @ 08:57 pm
Knock Knock  
I feel curiously underwhelmed by Knock, Knock since its an extremely well-crafted story, that holds together nicely, keeps it's pacing and even manages to be about something in a quiet sort of way ((grand)parents and children, growing up and independence). I'm not sure if this is because it is so clearly stand alone and designed to be such, or because a lot of the story is basically running up and down corridors or, I don't know, something else.

Doctor Who classically, is at its best when presenting horror-lite in this fashion but this didn't feel to me quite like a Doctor Who story. Mysterious tower, notwithstanding, it isn't quite as full-blown gothic in its horror as a lot of the Hinchcliffe era since it clearly has more DNA in the teen slasher movies of the 1980s than it does in Hammer Horror. Similarly Doctor Who has only really had the option of telling stories in which the Doctor impinges upon his companion's lives in this way since the advent of the "part time" companion with the Ponds and has, perhaps wisely, used this device relatively sparingly. Both The Power of Three and The Caretaker were successful in their own ways, but they are definitely also clearly something left of field in a way this isn't.

All that said, I watched this with my mother (not a regular watcher of NuWho) and she clearly felt she had been shown something pleasantly familiar - all the better for the inclusion of David Suchet as the Landlord.

It is also hard to feel particularly churlish about the re-use of the "wooden person" effect since it looked so good. The curled wooden hair, in particular, looked stunning. However one does have a feeling that a lot of effects are being reused this season and while, as a cost saving exercise, I would prefer they re-used good effects that work than attempt to create new effects on the cheap that don't, they do seem to be re-using a lot of effects.

There's nothing wrong with this episode and a lot to like, particularly the central performances from Capaldi, Mackie and Suchet but somehow there wasn't anything here that actually made me excited.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/447296.html.
cynthia2015: pic#127619262cynthia2015 on May 17th, 2017 12:47 pm (UTC)

I preferred the commentary from Whovians.

daniel_saunders: Leekleydaniel_saunders on May 17th, 2017 06:34 pm (UTC)
I liked it a lot, but I thought there was a bit of 'fridge logic' afterwards. Too many loose ends. Then I mentioned this to a friend and she emailed me a looooong list of plot-holes I hadn't even noticed! So I'm not sure how well this will stand up to repeated viewing. The first half-hour or so was very good, though, and David Suchet was excellent. I thought the "everyone lives" ending was a bit forced, although this early in the season it was probably necessary.

Where did you think the wood effect was re-used from? I can only think of The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe which was quite a way back. I'm not sure how much budget comes into it, I don't know how much an effect like that would cost and how easy it would be to apply it to a different actor. What other re-used effects have you spotted? I tend to miss these things.
louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on May 17th, 2017 08:50 pm (UTC)
I didn't really mind "everyone lives". I think it would definitely have been too much if everyone had died.

I was primarily thinking of The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe though I have a vague feeling we also saw it before that, but I can't put my finger on it.

The big other re-used effect (though I don't know if its actually re-used, its just the similarity seems striking) is the water effect in The Pilot is very reminiscent of that in Waters of Mars, but we also seem to be seeing quite a lot of small-creatures-swarm-over-person-and-then-woosh!-they're-gone.