When you go to university and go travelling there’s a tentative line one must try and walk between travel anecdotes and travel monologues. We all know that bitch that went to Bali for six months and came back ‘so enlightened yah.’
Anyway Bill’s facing that exact problem in ‘Knock, Knock’ she’s even brought her weird slightly older travel companion to help her move in.
Bill’s cluelessness about issues such as ‘time-lords’ and ‘regeneration’ is disarming for long time fans of the show, but her attitude and freshness allows a perfect avenue to come into Doctor Who.
And like companions before her, we’re getting the ‘everyday life’ episode for Bill, although unlike a Clara or a Rose Bill is at the start of her life with a small support system that we begin to suspect may not make it through the night.
Speaking of foreshadowing, long time fans of the show will have noticed a picture of Susan- the Doctor’s granddaughter from the original sixties series and Bill proceeded to call the Doctor her grandfather in this episode. Coincidence ? We shall see…
But the main antagonist of the episode is Mr Poirot himself, David Suchet makes an appearance as the creepy landlord, a nice bit of realism was the students dismissing him and his creepiness as nothing but a part of a cheap rent economy.
But when tenants go missing in rooms, the Doctor decides to stick around and investigate.
Indiscriminate bug aliens have been a staple of Doctor Who for years and this time they’ve apparently housed themselves in Bristol and are now feeding off students.
The creepy old house episode feels very typical of Doctor Who and it’s nice that they lean into it rather than do a twist on the genre. At the same time, they need to arc the season instead of constantly doing bottle episodes.
An episode reveal of a wooden zombie woman and her secret creepy landlord son is not only emotionally resonate but a moment of sleuthing for Bill as she’s the one to connect the dots.
As the woman and her son both perish it’s a reminder that a lot of Doctor Who’s genius is in its family drama as the relationships are more important than the sci-fi.
The episode ends with the Doctor in front of his vault and lilting piano music floating through it’s the opposite of the Doctor’s speech about life being about ‘seeing the fireworks’ yet he’s got someone inside the vault with enough fingers to play music well enough.
Who is in the vault? It sounds like there’s enough of a relationship between the Doctor and the persons/space thing in the vault. However, this is Moffat we’re talking about so it could be the Doctor’s secret sister, we better find out soon or I’m rioting.
Next week there’s a space station with a space suit problem and it seems like there’s trouble in store for Bill. Again following the pattern of Doctor Who episodes and so I’m a little worried how long this season can run on Mackie/Capaldi charm.