There is no point in sugar coating things. Last week's Orphan 55 was a train wreck. A messy, horrendously paced narrative, with characters we were expected to just care about, all wrapped up in a central message that felt tacked on with a bit of old gum rather than being expertly woven into the premise. Many were anxious going into Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror, but thankfully Nina Metivier's episode delivered a surprisingly solid period piece with a well-implemented smattering of alien.
We are fast-approaching half-way through the series, and Orphan 55 shook a lot of people off the second series of Whittaker's run. Does Nikola Tesla's Night Of Terror get things back on track? Does our first truly historical outing of the series have a leg to stand on compared to Demons of the Punjab and Rosa? Only the timey-wimey will tell.
As always, let's first go down...
2. The Skithra Queen Isn't Anything Inspired
Take one quick glance at Anijli Mohindra's Skithra Queen and you'd be forgiven for mistaking it as another Empress of the Racnoss. Seen back in Series 4's The Runaway Bride, the arachnid-like humanoid approach to an alien monarch isn't anything new, and when compared to the design of the Skitrha race themselves (which we shall get to), the Queen of the Skithra really isn't anything special.
Though Mohindra's performance as the Queen is fantastic, the humanoid with a tail appearance of the leader of this very much scorpion-like race seems rather out of place. Doctor Who has always been an institution of special effects make-up in television, but this approach to your main antagonist didn't edge close to the already-high bar set by the creatures themselves.