Doctor Who Logo 'Midnight'
(Story Code 4.8)

by Russell T. Davies
The Doctor and Donna

“Taking a big space truck with a bunch of strangers across a diamond planet called Midnight – what could possibly go wrong?” – The Doctor

The Doctor and Donna are enjoying the delights of the leisure complex on Midnight, a planet made entirely of diamonds, in orbit around a deadly X-tonic sun. From the spaceport, the Doctor makes a last-minute phone call to Donna and offers her the chance to join him on his trip to see the beautiful sapphire waterfalls at the Cliffs of Oblivion; Donna, however, is not bothered, as she is happily lounging by the pool. Boarding the bus, a Crusader 50 vehicle, the Doctor eagerly accepts his plethora of complimentary food, drink and comforts from the Hostess, while watching his fellow passengers arrive: know-it-all Professor Hobbs, and his meek assistant, Dee Dee Blasco; Biff and Val Cane, and their surly teenage son, Jethro; and an enigmatic woman named Sky Sylvestry. As the vehicle’s exterior shutters close to protect its occupants from the lethal X-tonic light outside, Driver Joe, announces over the main monitor screen that due to a diamond-fall at Winter Witch Canyon, they will be taking a slight detour into unknown territory while en route to their destination, but their four-hour journey will still be highly enjoyable with a selection of video and audio entertainment. As the excruciating cacophony that passes for amusement begins, the Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to turn off the vehicle’s video and audio systems and then encourages everyone to actually talk to each other instead. Although initially sceptical at such an unorthodox proposal, the passengers soon come around as their journey progresses; soon everyone aboard is making friends: Dee Dee reveals to the Doctor that she has a pet project searching for the lost moon of Poosh; Sky accompanies the Doctor in trying to identify the delights of the processed meals; and Professor Hobbs gives his fellows a slide-show lecture on his favourite subject, the planet Midnight. Hobbs explains that the deadly rays from Midnight’s sun render life on its surface impossible; the entire solar system has remained uninhabited for millennia, right up until the spa’s owners arrived with their pre-constructed Leisure Palace not long ago. Just then, the bus comes to a halt. While the Hostess attempts to reassure the concerned passengers that the stop is only temporary, the Doctor enters the cockpit to find Driver Joe and Trainee Mechanic Claude desperately trying to find out what has gone wrong with their vehicle’s systems; they have already sent out a distress call – help will arrive in one hour. The Doctor asks Joe to raise the radiation shutters for a few seconds, allowing them all a chance to see the beautiful, but deserted, diamond landscape outside; however, as the protective shutters begin to close, Claude is convinced that he saw a shadow on one of the ridges – a shadow that was running towards them… The passengers begin panicking about lack of air, only to be interrupted by a loud banging on the hull from outside. Hobbs’ insistence that nothing could survive in the sun’s X-tonic light is seemingly proved wrong when the knocking continues – something is outside… attempting to break down the doors… and responding to Mr Cane’s own knocking… As the Hostess tries to calm the terrified travellers, Sky babbles that someone has come to get her. Just then the vehicle rocks violently from side to side – and then the lights go off. Grabbing emergency torches, the Doctor, Hobbs, Dee Dee and the Canes see that the rear seats have been ripped up, and that Sky is now huddled in a corner, her back towards them. The Hostess goes to get Driver Joe, but when she opens the cabin door she is greeted by a blaze of white light; after the Hostess hastily reseals the door, the Doctor grimly announces that the entire cabin has been ripped away, and both the driver and the mechanic have now been reduced to dust… Realising that the banging from outside has stopped, the Doctor carefully asks Sky to turn around; the woman complies, revealing that her expression is now something inhuman. As the passengers erupts into a babble of terrified confusion, the Doctor realises that Sky is repeating everything they say – but not just repeating, somehow Sky is absorbing everyone’s words and then using their own voices back at them. When the back up lights come on, Professor Hobbs is shocked to learn that Sky has now started saying his own words at exactly the same time as him. The Doctor suspects that whatever was outside the bus in now inside, and has taken over their fellow passenger… Taking charge of the situation, the Doctor draws everyone away from Sky. When the Hostess proposes throwing the woman outside, everyone agrees – all except the Doctor, who vehemently protests at the murder of a new life form; however, this only serves to further the paranoia inside the bus, and it isn’t long before Val, Biff, Dee Dee, Hobbs and Jethro gang up and agree that the Doctor be thrown outside as well. Trying desperately to reason with his fellow travellers, the Doctor is further undermined when Sky chooses to speak only his words, which only serves to reinforce the growing sense of suspicion against him. The Doctor offers to help Sky, but her only response is to start saying his words before he speaks them. Believing that the creature has passed into the Doctor, the passengers pull Sky to the front of the bus, leaving the Doctor sitting alone in dazed confusion as he seemingly repeats Sky’s words. Val, Biff and the others are overjoyed that Sky has returned to normal, but Dee Dee remains unconvinced, and when Sky begins to talk of the creature’s desire to take over their warm bodies, she realises that Sky is still possessed – the creature inside her has advanced to the point that she can now drain the Doctor, allowing her to speak ahead of him. But Hobbs and the others still stubbornly refuse to listen to reason, allowing Sky the opportunity to fuel their suspicions; as Val angrily goads her husband, Biff grabs the Doctor and, together with Hobbs and Jethro, he drags him towards the airlock. Unable to move and powerless to stop them, the Doctor can only numbly speak the words that Sky has already uttered. However, as the Doctor passes the Hostess his words strike a chord, and she realises that Sky has taken his voice – the woman is still possessed. Grabbing hold of Sky, the Hostess slams her hand onto the emergency door release, blasting the pair of them out onto the deadly surface of the planet. As the vehicle reseals itself, the Doctor returns to normal and collapses to the floor; all around him, the passengers begin sheepishly composing themselves after the trauma of their ordeal. Twenty minutes later, as the rescue vehicle prepares to dock with the bus, the Doctor asks his fellow passengers if any of them knew the brave Hostess’ name; to their shame, no one can answer… Some time later, the Doctor rejoins Donna at the spa. Convinced that the creature is still alive, the Doctor proposes telling the leisure complex’s owners to pack up and relocate to the safety of another planet; Donna tries to relieve the tension by mimicking the Doctor’s words – but the Time Lord no longer finds that sort of thing funny…

David Tennant (The Doctor), Catherine Tate (Donna Noble), Lesley Sharp (Sky Sylvestry), Rakie Ayola(Hostess), David Troughton (Professor Winfold Hobbs), Ayesha Antoine (Dee Dee Blasco), Lindsey Coulson (Val Cane), Daniel Ryan (Biff Cane), Colin Morgan (Jethro Cane), Tony Bluto (Driver Joe), Duane Henr (Mechanic Claude), Billie Piper (Rose Tyler)

Directed by Alice Troughton
Produced by Phil Collinson
Executive Producers Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner
A BBC Wales production

14th June 2008 @ 7.10 pm

*Featuring the Tenth Doctor and Donna

*Bad Wolf sighting: unseen by the Doctor, Rose Tyler appears on one of the truck's monitor screens behind him...

*Music heard in this episode: 'Do It, Do It Again' by Raffaella Carra