“This is the part of my life you’re not in.”
“Knock Knock” opens with Bill (Pearl Mackie) and her friends looking to rent a house while at university. They were not having any luck until an older man offered them a house for rent that was cheap and had enough bedrooms to accommodate everyone. But of course if it’s too good to be true, it genuinely is, as The Doctor who is helping Bill move in is instantly alerted to something not right about the house. The Doctor senses something alien and as usual he is correct as the whole house seems to be alive, and it’s alive and infested with alien bugs. The creepy thing is the house won’t let you leave and it seems to open up the walls and sucks you into the wooden surroundings.
Haunted houses have been a Doctor Who go to for many years, mostly in the new series with stories like “Blink”, ‘Hide’ and ‘Ghost Light’ from the classic series. ‘Knock Knock’ is the latest entry in the haunted house Doctor Who style story. I really liked the creepiness of the story as it added to the paranoia feel the story was already conveying. ‘Knock Knock’ was just a perfectly executed story that was scary but the ending was a bit sad, unexpected and that added to the quirkiness of the story also.
David Suchet plays the landlord who seems to be hiding a secret that lives in the Tower of the house. At first we are led to believe that he is protecting his daughter – but what The Doctor discovers is the woman who is made entirely of wood is in fact his mother. What is sad about this story is that The Landlord is keeping his mother alive for over 70 years using the alien bugs and killing the students that he rented the house too. As The Doctor said a son would do anything for his mother and The Landlord sure did take it to the extreme. What was also bittersweet was the realization on his mother’s face when she found out what he did and then decided to end it all by killing her son and herself while freeing Bill’s friends. That moment was pretty sad especially seeing The Landlord crying that he didn’t want to go.
I really enjoyed the performance by David Suchet as The Landlord. I’ve been a fan of his ever since I saw him on Agatha Christie’s Poirot and was really excited that he would be in an episode of Doctor Who. He really shined as The Landlord as he played him creepy and also very emotional when he was confronted by The Doctor about what he did to keep his mother alive. A really great performance from a really great actor and it was good to finally see what David Suchet could do in Doctor Who.
So far we have been getting more inklings as to who or what may be in the vault. This time we actually see The Doctor go into the vault with some takeout and we also find out that he put a piano in there also. I’m guessing at some point we are going to find out that it is one of the incarnations of The Master. But then again maybe it will be someone entirely different but I’m still going with The Master but not sure which one it could be.
‘Knock Knock’ was a really good and scary story that was a much need change of pace from what we have had in the past couple of seasons. It still disappoints me that they didn’t go in this direction sooner than staying so long with the Clara show. You really get to see what Peter Capaldi can really do with some contemporary stories for once instead of heavily arc driven ones. ‘Knock Knock’ is another great Series 10 story and one that will stand the test of time.