SFX.co.uk have reviewed the five “Night and the Doctor” special mini episodes which are included in the complete series 6 boxset, released next month!
Written by Steven Moffat and collectively referred to as “Night And The Doctor”, they feature Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Alex Kingston, with brief appearances by Arthur Darvill and James Corden too.
The first four episodes are all connected, and set pretty much entirely in the TARDIS. Totalling twelve minutes, they collectively address the question: what does the Doctor get up to while Rory and Amy are asleep? Well, given that he doesn’t need as much sleep as we humans, he has adventures, of course – adventures with a certain flame-haired lady friend…
“Night And The Doctor” kicks things off in madcap fashion, as Amy answers a phone call from a British royal, and the Doctor dashes in from a party, dressed in top hat and tails, carrying a goldfish in a bowl – a very important goldfish. Well, so he thinks, anyway… It’s inconsequential fare, but good fun. Arthur Darvill also pops up briefly in this segment, after the Doctor wakes him with a cry of “Rory, she’s having an emotion!”
“Good Night” is this reviewer’s favourite of the bunch (and, at nearly five minutes, the longest). A rather touching two-hander between Smith and Gillan, it sees Amy trying to talk to the Doctor about the fact that “her life makes no sense” (about time too!), and the Doctor taking her to “the saddest moment in her life” to meet… well, that would be telling. One neat idea expressed here is that our misremembered memories and feelings of déjà vu are actually side-effects of time being rewritten.
In “First Night” the Doctor lands in River’s cell during her first night in jail, to take her out for an adventure. Ending on a cliffhanger, it’s really the first part of a two-parter, which concludes in “Last Night”.
This tale sees Moffat making characteristic use of the possibilities of time travel, and putting them to the services of a timey-wimey miniature farce: at one point, there are three River Songs in the TARDIS… One interesting point we learn is that it was the Doctor who suggested that River keep a diary of their adventures together, and who introduced her to the term “spoilers”. As for the meaning of that title? Well, we won’t spoil it for you, but let’s just say it has a very poignant significance…
UP ALL NIGHT
Finally, “Up All Night” is stuck on a separate disc from the other mini-episodes, which is initially rather mystifying. All becomes clear when you watch it, as it has absolutely no connection to them. Only a minute long, it was clearly written with the intention of using it as one of the “episode prequels” used to promote the series online. Featuring Craig, Sophie and, er, Stormageddon, it’s set shortly before the events of “Closing Time” and basically establishes the set-up for the episode. Viewed after you’ve seen Gareth Roberts’s episode it is, to be honest, pretty pointless.
The complete series 6 boxset is released on DVD and Blu-ray on November 21st.