WMG / Doctor Who S30 E10 "Midnight"
aka: Doctor Who NSS 4 E 10 Midnight


The thing was able to inhabit both inanimate and animate objects
If we accept it was a consciousness or an entity, able to inhabit things, the only thing it could possibly inhabit to suvive on the planet was diamonds, that's why it was so strong in the first place. It also purposefully seeks out the weak point, in both the outer casing and the people inside. It kills the mechanic and the driver simply to get to the door to see if it could get through and when it couldn't, it was forced to transfer its consciousness through the ship into Sky (hence the dent in the wall).

That thing was The First.
Considering the fact that there would be trillions of humans by then it's reasonable that the evil in the universe would also increase. The existence of Evil keeps the First in existence so it could stand to reason that more evil would make it more powerful.

The Doctor was still contaminated... and may still be.
OK, so the person who infected him is gone and he can talk again. Somehow, her being dead frees him, even though the thing responsible for all this lived out where nothing can survive. We're talking about a guy who regularly repeats things. When his best friend, shortly after this, absorbs part of his mind, he suppresses all memory of him and all of his personality over her protests. We later find out that it isn't quite as dangerous as it seems if she remembers, though we never do see her get it all back. After her, he refuses to take any other companions and is constantly fearful, but also in some ways eager, for his "death." When he finally regenerated, he no longer seems concerned with any of this, eagerly seeking out a companion. Clearly he thinks he burned it out. But he's been wrong before.
  • Which would raise some questions about what the Meta-crisis Doctor received from him. Maybe Ten deciding to burn a regeneration was not only for "appearance issues"...
    • Does that mean that the Meta-Crisis Doctor is contaminated? Does that mean Rose is in danger?
  • Also raises the question of whether anyone else on board was similarly contaminated. As I WMG below, as soon as she's able to move again, Sky asks the professor to help her up, and then embraces Val. Could the entity have planted seeds of itself in the others, too?

The entity was a surviving creature of the Time War.
A nameless horror that gleefully prods people into becoming monsters sounds like it would fit right in with "The Nightmare Child" or "The Skaro Degradations." But the real evidence for this is that when the Doctor restores the Timelock in "The End of Time Part 2," the music playing comes from the Series 4 track for this episode. The Emperor's ship fell through, so maybe the Midnight creature did as well.
  • Specifically, it is (or was) a member of the Horde of Travesties. A "travesty" is a distorted representation of something, and the Midnight entity copies the behavior of others, thereby becoming a travesty of another being. If so, there are more.
    • And what better prison for it than a planet where the sunlight turns you to ash?
  • But all of these were named specifically by the Doctor, so presumably he would be familiar with them. So why didn't he recognize the Entity as any of them?
  • Perhaps it was an ascended Time Lord? A "creature of consciousness alone" who was able to escape the Timelock, just as Rassilon planned to survive the "ultimate sanction" of the end of Time itself... and, as to why the Doctor didn't recognize it, well, he may have experienced the Horde of Travesties and the whole gang of nasties during the Time War, but the Time Lords' plan never got enacted, to his knowledge, so he never came up against one until Midnight.
    • Even worse perhaps it's the Valeyard!

The entity wasn't an entity, but a phenomenon.
The Doctor said himself — they were the first to be in (and see optically) that specific region. The "shadow" was noticed by the mechanic, who (along with the pilot) was the first victim. The area enhances psychic fear, allowing it to manifest empathically and psychokinetically. The Doctor's uncertainty about the "shadow" caused the knocking; the increasing fear by the mechanic caused the cabin to get destroyed. The increasing fear about the knocking couldn't get "in" physically, but got in psychically. Skye's increasing panic made her the juiciest target; the Doctor's sudden jump in fear at being put under the microscope made him more vulnerable. Fear feeds on fear; fear experienced in that particular location of the planet amplifies it and gives it form, but it isn't sentient in any sense.

The entity was actually Skye the whole time, capable only of feeding on fear and causing fear-induced hallucinations.
A plausible chain of events follows.

  • Skye's the first (only?) person to notice the Doctor is not what he seems (she spots him using the sonic screwdriver.) Once it realizes it's got interesting prey, it gives the pilot a hallucination to get them off course, making sure that a handful of ordinary people are going to an unusual location, one that was never explored before.

  • She seems to encourage the Doctor's cheekiness, and encourages the suspicion of him later; she's even the first to speak to him when he comes back from the cockpit, adding a stressedl tone to her speech and reacting dismissively to the Doctor's assurances.

  • She causes the knocks, then says "Is there something out there?!", presupposing that there could be something outside the craft.

  • She also claimed the knocks "answered", planting the concept of communication with something unknown, and shut down the hostess when she tried to calm the group.

Viewing her behavior in this context, her panic is perfect: she's helping the rest of the group crack. Her breakdown of "it's coming for me, it's coming for me" gives the rest of the group a horrible thing to imagine happening to each of them in turn. She even turns on the entertainment system for a second or so when she shuts down power in the pod. Simple hallucinatory phenomenon meant to fuel the fear reactions of the passengers explains the knocks, and once a creature is scared enough, she can effectively preempt its higher thought and motor cortex; hence, no movement, hence, only speech. Once the Doctor was scared enough, his only chance was for one of the other passengers to save him.

If true, one might say the worst fear of the Doctor is that humans will abandon him, even turn on him.

  • This theory works even better if you replace fear with extreme discomfort. After all, she booked a ride on a vehicle with a very annoying in-flight entertainment system and things only got strange after the Doctor turned it off.

    • Wow, a very well-thought out WMG. This makes a lot of sense.

  • Two problems with this. First, your timing is off. The detour was announced before the entertainment system was turned on. Second, something ripped the cabin off of the front end of the bus!

Midnight is PSR J1719-1438 b.
Both are planets made of diamond, whose star emits deadly radiation and should render the planet totally uninhabitable.

There was no entity...
At least, not the one we think it is.

The, for lack of a better phrase, "monster" was capable of really nothing, when you think about it. Disagree? Well, let's see what it did during the course of the episode:
  • Copied speech
  • Stole other people's voices
  • ...
And, that's it really. It didn't do much else.

Now, let's say something could have been out there. If something could survive the x-tonic rays, it doesn't necessarily mean it was the thing in the charter. Maybe the Midnight Entity had incredibly thick skin, or had somehow built up a tolerance to the rays. It would explain the thumps, the missing cockpit, and the responses to the knocks. However, this leaves one question that urgently needs to be answered:

  • It didn't just copy speech, a couple of times it copied them just before they happened, or kept going just beyond the copying (when the Doctor said part of the alphabet, he stopped 2 letters sooner). So it had some power to know what letters came next, or some sort of ability over time.

The fuck was that thing?!

We never learned what species Skye was, now did we? Maybe she was, as an above WMG suggests, some kind of alien species who fed off fear. And the fear of the Midnight Entity caused a feedback, of sorts. So, she shorted out, so to speak. Then, she rebooted, mimicking other humans voices. The feedback of Skye's blackout interfered with whatever makes a time lord tick.

She Came Back Wrong.

It went From Bad to Worse.

  • You left off "ripped off the entire cabin, killing the driver and mechanic!" That would require at least some pretty strong telekinesis for your theory to work.

The entity was a virus.

Viruses can play dead until they find themselves a new host, then they resurrect and wreak havoc on the new host's body. This would enable the entity to survive in an environment that was previously assumed to be uninhabitable because it would mean that technically it WAS uninhabited: the virus WAS dead, until that nice bus full of new hosts arrived to bring it back to life.

In addition, viruses can affect the brain as well as the body, which would make it somewhat scarier because hysteria and hallucination could be symptoms of the virus.

The only things I can think of against this WMG would be how the driver and the mechanic were killed in a way that involved the bus being ripped in half, and why the virus would affect humans and Time Lords similarly.

The Entity was a demon from before the current universe, similar to the Beast and Abaddon.

Its body was imprisoned at the centre of the planet Midnight but, like the Beast, its mind escaped and was able to possess people, and had a large degree of telekinetic power, allowing it to knock and rip the cockpit off the truck. Like the Beast, it worked by sowing fear and, in this case, paranoia amongst its victims. The other powers it displayed, like voice stealing and being inherently disturbing, were just powers that it had where the other demons didn't, like how Abaddon killed with its shadow. Midnight's sheer inhospitability (no atmosphere and deadly sunlight) was a mechanism to keep people away from the demon and ensure that the act of physically escaping would kill it, like how Krop Tor was in orbit around a black hole and would fall in if the Beast escaped. Evidently, its references to the cold and the dark were references to its imprisonment.

Whatever the thing was, it was related to the Weeping Angels.
They're both unfathomable and seemingly impossible, terrifying incarnate and never seen moving on-screen. Both of them have the Doctor scared, and manage to pull one over him rather easily (the Midnight creature mind-raped the Doctor and the Weeping Angels not only remain out there in their appearances, but in their most recent appearance? I need to cry to a pillow now). Like the Weeping Angels, the Midnight creature is a being of the abstract. While the Weeping Angels represent the idea of musical status, the Midnight creature is the living embodiment of the concept of repetition. Adding the above theory, The Beast himself may be a different abstract-namely, the embodiment of the idea of THE DEVIL, hence why he says he cannot die: he's not Satan as we understand him, but the very concept of Satan (which explains why he's got the Big Red Devil look going: he's just taking the apperance of what we expect for the Satan concept).

The Entity was the Great Intelligence and the Hostess was an echo of Clara.

The Midnight entity is the spirit of the Beast
The Beast boasted about it could never be destroyed. Sounded like a showoff, but what if it's true? The Midnight entity was powerful, hated the Doctor and took delight in the Mind Rape it put him through.
  • This would also put the Midnight entity in the realistic position to be the prophecied Four-time-knocker, who will... well... we will see.
    • Jossed. The four-time knocker was Wilfred, not the Beast or the Midnight creature.

The "Midnight" entity is Fenric.
A bodiless Eldritch Abomination able to possess others and has a grudge against the Doctor? Seems obvious in hindsight.

The Midnight entity is...
Irrelevant. The entity isn't the real monster of the story; humans are. That's why we never find out what, exactly, it is.

The Midnight entity is not evil
We know the entity absorbs and copies what it sees. It took over Sky to do just that, it didn't mean it in an evil way. What did it observe as Sky? It saw people argue, fight, manipulate each other, back stab, plot to kill even. The midnight entity absorbed this, and believed that is how this race acted. Therefore, when Possessed!Sky started talking and telling them to kill The Doctor, it wasn't knowingly being evil. That's only what it observed.
  • In that case, we get one more example of Humans Are Bastards... Evil its actions might have been, but the humans just killed an innocent living being that was just starting to learn. Imagine what it could have become if better people had been on that bus, or even if it managed to sample more gentle aspects of humanity after it got off.

The Midnight Entity is...
... the planet Midnight itself. Remember the rockfall that caused the vehicle to make a course change? The planet did that so it could get some tasty tourists out in a lonely area, then made their little land vehicle break down....perhaps it's done that before... perhaps those shadows were once men...perhaps that's why the Doctor says at the end to "let this planet keep turning, around an extonic star, in silence..."

The entity required touch to spread.
When he first checks on Sky after the cabin was sheared off, before the Hostess opened the door, the Doctor touched Sky, stroking her hair. No one else touched her until after the Doctor was frozen and Sky was able to move again. The first thing she did was ask the professor to help her up, and immediately after, Val hugged her comfortingly. Dee Dee, whose perceptions proved quite accurate, warned that they shouldn't be touching Sky.

If the entity spreads by touch, it explains why the Doctor was the (first?) one affected. Val and the professor are both potentially contaminated as well. Also, Biff and Jethro may not have touched Sky, but they did touch the Doctor after he was under the entity's control. The Hostess touched Sky when she dragged her out, so the only person on the whole shuttle who is in the clear is Dee Dee.

The in-flight entertainment provided a signal that kept the entity out.
And by turning it off, the Doctor nearly doomed them all...
  • The entity messes with people by making its host repeat what others say. By disabling the entertainment, the Doctor gave it an opening, so to speak.

The entity will always be a mystery
Seriously, who actually wants to know what it was?
  • Of course not, but it's still fun to speculate

The Midnight creature left something of itself in the Doctor...

OK. So in the Children in Need preview of "The End of Time", there's a point where the Doctor quotes the Master ("Funny? No? Little bit?"). This combined with his behaviour in "The Waters of Mars" has led some to believe that the Master is somehow controlling the Doctor on some level.

Also, at the same time we have the theory that the monster in Midnight was the Master. It came 'through the dark' (afterlife), knocked four times at one point (drums) and controlled its victims (hypnosis) while specifically wanting the Doctor.

So if we take the second as true, it could have influenced or caused the first... after all, the Midnight monster (according to this, the Master) made people repeat things...

The Midnight Entity was not inherently evil

  • Throughout the episode, even before it enters the bus and Skye's body, it imitates the passengers- for example, it knocks three times when Biff does. Going by that, and by the relatively harmless imitation of the passengers for a good 2/3 of its appearance, there is a good possibility that it simply wanted to learn and to belong, as the Doctor implied. The passengers were hostile and mistrustful to it, so it assumed this was simply how other life forms were like, and began to increase this dis-trustfulness in order to make them happy.

To play Devil's Advocate, the biggest detractors from this argument are the murder of the bus drivers and the possession of Skye, while also overwriting her personality and memories, which cause the passenger's distrust of it in the first place.

The Midnight Entity came out of the Void.
It was no coincidence that the Entity appeared in the same episode and place where Rose appeared on the tour vehicle's video screens. In punching through the barrier between universes to communicate with the Doctor, Rose and her UNIT allies on Pete's World inadvertently open a passage for a being from the Void - either something indigenous to that emptiness, or something from yet another universe which had been trapped or banished there - to slip through into the Doctor's universe. Because it's not native to the same type of reality, it's immune to the X-tonic radiation, has powers the Doctor had never encountered before, and possesses a non-linear conception of "time" that accounts for how it could repeat other peoples' words before they'd said them.

As for why it started terrorizing and possessing people, it may have been confused and not understood the consequences of its actions, or it may have felt threatened by its alien surroundings and lashed out blindly. That, or it was banished to the Void in the first place for good reason, because it's a vicious SOB.

Alternative Title(s): Doctor Who NSS 4 E 10 Midnight