Doctor Who Logo 'Night Terrors'
(Story Code 6.4)

by Mark Gatiss
The Doctor, Rory and Amy

“See these eyes? These eyes are old eyes. And one thing I can tell you, Alex: monsters are real.” – The Doctor

On a normal flat in a normal housing estate, eight year-old George lives with his dad, Alex, and his mum, Claire; but when it comes to his bedtime, George is forced to go to the scariest place in the universe: his bedroom. After his mum has clicked his bedroom light off and on five times, George chants his mantra “please save me from the monsters” three times, gets into bed and then pulls the covers over his head. Once his mum has left the room, George turns on his torch and listens as she talks to his dad in the living room: they are concerned that their son’s condition is getting worse, to the point that he is now terrified of everything – should they get him a doctor? Meanwhile, George’s call for help somehow travels untold light years across the cosmos, before finally reaching the TARDIS, where it appears on a certain Time Lord’s psychic paper – it is time for the Doctor to make a house call… After the TARDIS materialises in the street outside the block of flats, the Doctor, Amy and Rory start knocking on every door in an effort to find the little boy who called for help; in their search they meet all manner of people: an unnerving pair of twins and their aggressive mother; a doddering old lady named Elsie Rossiter; and the grumpy landlord, Jim Purcell, and his bulldog, Bernard. Lying in his bed, the noise of people talking outside scares George; he looks outside his bedroom window, but even the sight of Amy and Rory walking past is enough to send him cowering in fear. Luckily for George, the Doctor sees his frightened face at the window, and he decides to investigate. Amy and Rory take the lift down to the next level to continue their search, but the noise of the lift scares George yet again: as Amy and Rory step inside and press a button the lights go out and the lift plummets out of control – but when the lift reaches the ground floor, Amy and Rory have inexplicably vanished… When the Doctor introduces himself to George’s dad, the man takes him to be from Social Services, after his wife called them before she left for her night job at the hospital. In his bedroom, George hears more scary noises: but this time it is just Mrs Rossiter, taking her rubbish down to the bins; however, after the little old lady puts down her bin bags, something pulls her into the mound of rubbish sacks… Chatting to Alex over the family photo album, the Doctor learns that George’s fears are getting worse, but instead of talking to his parents about it, the young boy is just bottling up everything inside; the Doctor diagnoses this as pantophobia, a fear of everything, and he resolves to help. Elsewhere, Amy and Rory wake to find themselves in a dark and apparently empty house. As they explore their surroundings with the aid of Rory’s pocket torch, they are unaware that something sinister is watching them from down the hallway. They soon make two startling discoveries: everything is made from wood, even the items that should be made of metal, such as a frying pan; and inside a kitchen drawer is a huge, glass eyeball… Taking the Doctor to meet his son, Alex explains how anything that frightens George gets put into the boy’s bedroom cupboard. To George’s dismay, the Doctor goes to unlock the wardrobe door, but he is interrupted by a knock at the front door; Alex goes to answer it, and finds himself confronted by an angry Mr Purcell: the man demands the rent he is owed, and refuses to listen to Alex’s pleas for more time, because he and his wife are struggling to make ends meet. Back in George’s room, the Doctor tries to brighten his new friend’s spirits by using his sonic screwdriver to bring the boy’s toys to life. But then the Time Lord turns the sonic on the cupboard, and is very concerned to see its readings go off the scale... Having seen off the landlord, Alex re-joins his son and his visitor; to his dismay, the Doctor warns him not to open the cupboard, advising that George’s monsters are real… Amy and Rory reach the front door of the mysterious house, only to find there is no doorknob; they then hear the unnerving sound of evil laughter… Berating the Doctor for making things worse, Alex orders his guest to leave; but the Doctor is having none of it, and instead he makes them both tea. When the Doctor wonders what it is in the cupboard that has amplified George’s fear enough to call to him across the universe, Alex finally realises that his visitor is not from Social Services after all… Meanwhile, Mrs Rossiter also finds herself inside the strange house, unaware that she is being followed as she walks down its darkened halls. Continuing their search, Amy and Rory come across a cupboard containing a large, white-faced doll; dismissing it as harmless, they decide to go head upstairs – failing to notice the doll raise its face to watch their progress… Back in the housing estate, Mr Purcell gets up from watching television and is shocked to find his feet sinking through the floor; as he struggles desperately, the carpet closes over his head… Finally deciding to open George’s cupboard, the Doctor steels himself and unlocks the door – only to discover that it just contains clothes, toys and an old doll’s house. Then the Doctor has a flash of inspiration: grabbing the family photo album, he asks Alex how old George is; when Alex replies that his son is eight, the Doctor challenges him to recall the day he arrived – and Alex is confused to find that he cannot remember. When the Doctor points out that Claire shows no signs of being pregnant in the photos taken just days before the one showing her holding the new-born George, Alex suddenly recalls an important fact: Claire cannot have children. Turning to George, the Doctor demands to know who the boy really is – but then every toy suddenly comes to life, and a blazing white light strikes out from the cupboard and drags the Doctor and Alex inside: George has sent them away too… Making their way inside the wooden house, Amy and Rory encounter the terrified landlord – just as he is attacked by several of the giant dolls, who transform him into an oversized toy just like them. When the dolls then turn to them, Amy and Rory run for their lives… The Doctor and Alex wake up and find themselves lying on the floor of an elaborate dining room; noting their surroundings, the Doctor informs a stunned Alex that they are inside George’s dolls’ house. Nearby, one of the dolls watches their arrival… Barricading themselves inside a room with the aid of a giant cotton-reel, Amy and Rory hold off the dolls while they consider their next move; deciding to take a risk, they open the door to make a rush for freedom – but while Rory gets to safety, Amy is caught by the dolls and transformed into one of their number… When Alex notices the candle light-bulbs going off and on five times, the Doctor tells him that the house is a repository for all of George’s fears, even his routines. At that moment a doll appears, forcing the Doctor and Alex to make a hasty retreat. Holding their attacker at bay with a giant pair of scissors, the Time Lord goes on to explain that George is a Tenza, an alien ‘cuckoo’ that travels through space looking for a suitable home in which to live; by using a natural perception filter, it convinces its foster parents that it is their own child. As more of the dolls close in on them, the Doctor and Alex meet Rory, and learn that one of the toys chasing him is Amy. Calling out to George, the Doctor encourages the alien boy to face his fears and save them – otherwise, without his help, they will all be trapped in a living death. Hearing his new friend’s words, George bravely steps forward and opens his cupboard – causing all the dolls to freeze in place. Turning around, the Doctor is elated to see George now standing in the hallway of the dolls’ house; but this joy is short-lived, as the oversize toys come back to life and converge on the little boy. The Doctor urgently tells Alex that George’s biggest fear was rejection, caused by misunderstanding his parents’ conversation about getting help for their son. Alex immediately rushes to George’s side, and, enveloping the boy in a huge hug, reassures him that no matter what he is, the boy will always be his son. The effect is instantaneous: the dolls stop, and everyone is sent back to their proper places – Mrs Rossiter awakes in the pile of bin bags; Amy and Rory reappear in the lift; and Mr Purcell comes to on his living room floor. Sometime later, Claire returns home to find her husband and son happily making breakfast with the Doctor. Promising that everything has been sorted, the Doctor bids them goodbye, but when he goes outside, Alex comes after him and asks about George; in response the Time Lord reassures him that his son will now be completely normal – but he still promise to return when the lad reaches puberty, just in case. Re-joining Amy and Rory, the Doctor ushers his friends into the TARDIS, and asks them where they want to go to next…

Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams), Daniel Mays (Alex), Jamie Oram (George), Emma Cunliffe (Claire), Andy Tiernan (Purcell), Leila Hoffman (Mrs Rossiter), Sophie Sosson (Julie)

Directed by Richard Clark
Produced by Sanne Wholenberg
Executive Producers Steven Moffat, Piers Wenger and Beth Willis
A BBC Wales production

TX (BBC 1 & BBC 1 HD):
3rd September 2011 @ 7.00 pm

*Featuring the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory

*Working titles: 'What Are Little Boys Made Of?' and 'House Call'

*This episode was originally scheduled as episode 4, but was later rescheduled to episode 9

*The Doctor mentions some of his favourite childhood stories, including ‘Snow White and the Seven Keys to Doomsday’ – a reference to the ‘Doctor Who’ stage-play of 1974!