Bad Boys for Life
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If a tad light on meaning, "Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror" is still an enjoyable historical romp that benefits greatly from Jodi Whittaker and guest star Goran Visnjic's crackling chemistry.
It's perfectly lovely. Is it what die-hard Whovians want, though?
The upshot is an enjoyable enough knockabout, which reaches a frustratingly by-the-numbers resolution after a compelling setup... this does rather feel a touch straightforward. But, at the very least, it's an intriguing history lesson.
And I, for one, am extremely into it: Sure, I appreciate a good dramatic conflict with real-world stakes, but I'm also a sucker for insane interstellar scorpions who can shoot lasers from their tails and want to kidnap Nikola Tesla.
This episode is fun, smart, and everything we love about Doctor Who.
With so much educational information to crowbar in to 50 minutes, the aliens barely got a look-in. When they did, they were obliged to stand around gnashing their X-shaped teeth while Jodie's pupils asked, 'How will that device work, Doctor?'
Tesla and Thirteen make a charming pair - which is good because they spent a lot of time together this week.
A fun story, with some great performances from the two inventors. The main villains weren't up to much, but it didn't damage the pseudo-historical that much in the long run.
Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror is one of the best five episodes of the Chibnall era - but that says more about Doctor Who of late than it does about this episode.
The fact that it does engage, if even for a moment-building on the arc established in the premiere, iterating on this darker, less-lenient path the 13th Doctor is being pushed down-elevates it from its otherwise average finery.
Although it's not as impactful as Rosa, this is another historical outing for the Thirteenth Doctor that shows us that the show can introduce us to some truly remarkable humans, even if it doesn't always know what to do with its aliens.
This story is still too bogged down by the show's usual tropes to be anything more than another monster-of-the-week episode.
Is this Jodie Whittaker's own "Vincent and the Doctor"? It's not quite on par with the Richard Curtis-penned episode, but it's almost up there.