I'm not a fan of monster movies, but I can tell you how to plot one. It should go something like this: Act I, Introduction: Establishes characters, setting, situation Act II, Problem: Establishes the central problem Act III, Complication: Bring in a twist, a new development so the situation doesn't begin to stagnate Act IV, Defeat: Protagonist(s) try to resolve the situation and fail. There should probably also be another twist/development in here, too Act V, Resolution: Protagonist(s) try to resolve the situation and either succeed or fail again if it's that kind of movie We can quibble about details, but that's the basic structure. Here's what “Midnight” does: Act I, Introduction: The Doctor and Guest-Stars-of-the-Week are trapped in a disabled land rover hours from any help. Act II, Problem: The mysterious force which disabled the rover somehow enters the vehicle and infects Mrs. Sylvestry, causing her to sit in a corner whispering ominously Act III, ... Problem: Mrs. Sylvestry sits in a corner whispering ominously Act IV, Problem: She sits in a corner whispering ominously Act V, four minutes of Problem with Mrs. Sylvestry whispering ominously, two minutes of her getting up and speaking weirdly while the Doctor is reduced to whispering helplessly and one minute of Resolution in which Mrs. Sylvestry is killed and the Doctor saved in the process. There's no progression from the beginning of Act II until the end of Act V. Mrs. Sylvestry just sits around whispering—which quickly goes from mildly creepy to amazingly dull—and the other people in the rover stand around getting paranoid while the Doctor tries ineffectually to figure out what's going on. There are some developments, but they're minuscule and uninteresting. When Mrs. Sylvestry finally stands up and paralyzes the Doctor, it's at best a half-baked development, nowhere near good enough to justify 35+ minutes of holding pattern. “Midnight” has been hailed as Deconstruction. Fair enough, Tropes Are Not Good, after all. However, the climax hinges upon the all-time Doctor Who get-out-of-plot-free cliché (Heroic Sacrifice Ex Machina) played straight. This episode sucks.
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