Songs for the Wood -- Knock Knock, Season 10 Episode 4 review

; Date: May 7, 2017

Tags: Doctor Who »»»» Season 10

In Knock Knock, we had a right proper horror movie embedded in a Doctor Who episode. We had some of the classic tropes, people wandering off and getting eaten, etc. But it was too squeezed for space, and the ending was way too easy, way too trite. For once a kill-everyone-in-sight Doctor Who episode had everyone survive, instead.

I've seen all the Classic Who, and Modern Who, and there's something missing from Classic Who -- that the stories had time to grow and breathe. In Modern Who, it's all crammed into one 45 minute episode. In Classic Who, you generally had four 20 minute episodes, or 80 minutes total, or nearly twice what we have today, to tell the story.

In Knock Knock, what it means is the ending got squeezed. Shouldn't it have taken longer to convince the "mother" in the Tower that her life was all wrong? And that instead she should not only take her own life, but that of her Son? That's a really big decision to make, and do you take it on a whim like that?


If we take that at face value, there's still an issue of dealing with those Dryad thingies. Surely they can't be allowed to remain at that location. Surely they have to be scooted off the planet. Maybe that happened off-camera? We hope? Again, the ending was too crammed to show the disposition of those creatures.

And while we're on the topic of those creatures, I've seen the question of "why did the Doctor call them Dryads"? In classic myths, Dryads [Wikipedia] are a kind of "tree nymph" or "tree spirit". The word derives from the Greek word drys for Oak. In other words, one would expect a "tree nymph" to appear as a humanoid figure with flesh made of wood. Or, it might be a creature that can crawl through the fabric of wood as easily as we walk through the atmosphere. In the episode we saw both kinds of creature.

"He's my Grandfather"

Okay, sure, Bill is struggling to explain who this old guy is without getting into unnecessary details. We get that. But... Calling him Grandfather, when in Smile the Doctor had spent so much time looking at Susan's picture on his desk?

That rings a notice me bell. That's important in some way. Is that setting us up for something later in the season?

"Wouldn't you do anything to save the woman who birthed you?"

The Landlord asked that question, because he had gone on a killing spree in order to keep his Mother alive. For him that was a necessary thing.. right? When asked that question, the Doctor replied "Yes" as if he himself had done something extreme in order to protect HIS mother?

Is the Doctor's mother that woman we saw on Gallifrey in Heaven Bent? Sure seemed like that's who that would be. Or maybe a Nanny?

The Vault

Whoever is in the Vault is a pianist. And the Doctor routinely enters the Vault to have a chat. And a bite to eat. And they have "Mexican" in England now?

Makes me think of the plastic prison where they kept Magneto. If that's the model, then the interior of this Vault is gotta be proofed to not have anything that person can use as a weapon. For Magneto that meant no metals. For this person, what would it mean?

We still don't have much of a clue as to who it is. In my previous post I'd suggested The Master -- but now that seems too easy/obvious of an answer. Either it's someone else completely, or else it really is the Master because Moffatt would want to spring the Obvious on us after we convince ourselves that the Obvious is too Obvious to be the ... uh... we'll just hafta wait and see.


The Doctor feels "trapped" by the situation. As #11 said, the last thing you want to entrap is The Doctor. Wouldn't he be looking for a way out of the trap? And it might not be a conscious thing, it might be his subconscious that's looking for escape from this trap, and that might not have good results.

There is a mirror situation between the Landlord, and the Doctor, in this case. This Landlord dude had been knocking people off for at least 60 years, and you could call that a "trap" of sorts. The Doctor has been guarding this Vault for a similar length of time, didn't Bill say 70 years? And the Doctor called that a "trap". So... similar length of time... trapped ... A theme is being built. Might be a clue for how the Doctor gets into Regeneration at the end of the season.

Explaining things to the New Companion ... or not

Speaking of which - notice how the Doctor mentioned the word, then changed the subject and didn't explain?


About the Author(s)

David Herron : David Herron is a writer and software engineer focusing on the wise use of technology. He is especially interested in clean energy technologies like solar power, wind power, and electric cars. David worked for nearly 30 years in Silicon Valley on software ranging from electronic mail systems, to video streaming, to the Java programming language, and has published several books on Node.js programming and electric vehicles.