Sparks were flying in Doctor Who as the Doctor got to meet
one of her heroes, the Serbian inventor, Nikola Tesla. But for all the Star
Wars-like whizzes, bangs, and lightning bolts, it was a fairly run-of-the-mill
story that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the Russell T Davies years. Thankfully,
it was made better by some top notch casting and splendid locations and set
Companions, Graham, Yaz and Ryan had precious little to do,
which after their heavy involvement in the first three episodes, though not a
game-breaker, was the biggest disappointment. This could have worked even
better as a between-series special, with Tesla himself as a one-off companion.
That said, Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror (in the daylight)
was inoffensive and competent, a promising first script from Nina Metivier.
Whittaker, not at her best it has to be said (with the irritating return of
those gormless series 12 expressions), is nonetheless wonderfully energetic and
the chemistry between her and Goran Višnjić is well… electric.
But exactly how does the story fare when it comes to the
delicate challenge of working with historical figures and events, and what
other questions does it raise?
Paul Driscoll is a freelance writer and author across a range of subjects from Cult TV to religion and social policy. He is a passionate Doctor Who fan and January 2017 will see the publication of his first extended study of the series (based on Toby Whithouse's series six episode, The God Complex) in the critically acclaimed Black Archive range by Obverse Books. He is a regular writer for the fan site Doctor Who Worldwide and has contributed several essays to Watching Books' You and Who range. Recently he has branched out into fiction writing, with two short stories in the charity Doctor Who anthology Seasons of War (Chinbeard Books). Paul's work will also feature in the forthcoming Iris Wildthyme collection (A Clockwork Iris, Obverse Books) and Chinbeard Books' collection of drabbles, A Time Lord for Change.