“Because I’m clever!!!”
Midnight is an extreme episode. Especially by Russell T. Davies standards; this and a couple other hours show that he can do a depressing deconstruction of the show’s whimsical universe as well as Moffat. The locked-room mystery here is fascinating, but it’s mostly an excuse for an hour-long character breakdown examining how Ten’s bravado and parental impulses can have a significant downside. The Doctor rushes into every situation with the utmost confidence that he can persevere, and sometimes his considerable power goes to his head. This poisonous savior complex leads to a dark turn for him in Midnight, when he loses sight of his benevolent goals trying to deal with an unknown threat in a claustrophobic space. It’s a rare example of the Time Lord not getting along with humans, and it’s riveting. Though she’s sidelined for the purposes of the story, new viewers can also spot Donna (Catherine Tate), the new series’ most exasperated and unflappable companion.