The iconic ghost story: possibly one of the most popular forms of storytelling for centuries, from elaborate Dickensian novels, to childhood campfire tales. Our beloved Doctor Who program is no stranger to the paranormal yarn, yet we viewers never tire of seeing how the characters will grapple with what appears to be a spectral event but is clearly, surely, undoubtedly something more alien, technological, or just whizzo-science-y than Casper or that lovely couple from Beetlejuice. If we’re so certain of the outcome, then why do we keep coming back to see one explanation after another? Perhaps it’s because the scare is what sells us, not the solution.
As we’ve discussed before regarding stories like Hide and Death in Heaven, through fifty-plus years of the series, if the writers and producers actually broached the topic of life after death with some canonical certainty, having avoided it (and much of theological subject matter in general) to this point, wouldn’t the program be forever changed? Perhaps there’s something to be said for preserving that mystery, above all.
That peculiar scratching sound from upstairs, though? That’s one mystery that needs to get sorted, sharpish. Probably just a squirrel in the eaves again. Obnoxious little tree rats…
This week, we creep slowly up the stairs to find out what’s really going on in “Knock Knock”. We discuss the somewhat narrow-sighted behavior of nearly every character in the episode to one degree or another, the interesting role (and behavioral) reversal that David Suchet has to give his character in the final moments, and a little hypothesizing about how much time has to pass in the Doctor and Bill’s relationship before the TARDIS can be loaned out as a lorry service.