6.9. Night Terrors

Series 6 - 2011

Writer: Mark Gatiss
Produced by: Sanne Wohlenberg, Marcus Wilson (uncredited)
Directors: Richard Clark, Jeremy Webb (uncredited)
Music: Murray Gold


In a block of flats in a housing estate things seem normal. Its night time, and it's time for George's bedtime. George doesn't like the sound of the lift. His Mum, Claire, does what they always do when there is something George does not like - put it in the cupboard. Claire flashes the bedroom light five times whilst George prays for someone to save him from the monsters. Claire tucks him into bed before getting ready to work.

Inside the TARDIS the Doctor's pshychic paper picks up George's prayer, and he decides to make a housecall to the scariest place in the Universe - a child's bedroom.

In his bed George can hear all sorts of frightening noises - from the lift to an old asthmatic woman. He has a torch which he uses to look round his room. The Doctor, Amy and Rory are trying to find George's flat by going door to door. George looks out of his bedroom window and sees Amy and Rory. Before he disappears the Doctor spots him. The Doctor tells Amy and Rory to try the next floor down as he heads towards George's flat.

Amy and Rory take the lift to the next floor, but as they do the lift starts to shake. It arrives on the next floor empty. Oustide the old lady is putting her rubbish out when she hears something in amongst the rubbish bags. As she goes to find out what made the noise she is pulled in to the rubbish.

The Doctor knocks on George's flat, and is met by his father, Alex, who is expecting someone to call as Claire had said she would call someone. The Doctor wants to more about George who he suspects may have pantaphobia - a fear of everything (not a fear of pants, although that is covered by everything). The Doctor goes to talk to George about the monsters.

Amy and Rory awaken in a dark, wooden floored room. Rory thinks they are dead, but Amy is more optimistic. Rory has a torch and they start to look around the house they are in. They find their way into the kitchen where Amy finds a copper pan - made of wood.

The Doctor asks George about the cupboard, and Alex explains that anything scary goes in the cupboard. The Doctor is about to open it when there is a knock on the front door of the flat. The land lord of the flats, Purcell, has come for his rent. As Alex is talking to Purcell the Doctor entertains George by using the sonic screwdriver to make the toys come alive. Alex returns to George's room and it about to open the cupboard when the Doctor stops him, saying George's monsters are real.

Inside the strange house Amy and Rory are finding more strange things. There is a door with no door knob, and a clock with hands that are painted on. They can also hear a child laughing. The old lady who was putting out her rubbish is also in the strange house. Amy and Rory can hear more child laughter. Rory opens a door and finds a life sized doll. At first is appears to be just a doll. When Amy and Rory move away the doll moves.

In his flat Purcell is channel surfing, trying to find something to watch. As he gets up he starts to sink into the floor, and soon afterwards disappears.

The Doctor takes the plunge and opens the cupboard. There's nothing inside except clothes. The Doctor asks Alex when George was born - eight years ago. When the Doctor asks Alex about the birth he cannot remember it. When the Doctor pushes Alex he reveals Claire cannot have children. The Doctor ask George who he really is, and a white light comes from the cupboard. The Doctor and Alex are dragged in to the cupboard leaving George alone.

Inside the house Amy and Rory are met by a scared Purcell. One of the dolls touches Purcell, and he starts to turn into a doll. The Doctor and Alex recover, and the Doctor tells Alex they are inside a dolls' house. The dolls trap Amy and Rory in a room. To escape Amy decides to use surprise. She opens the door quickly and a doll falls in. Rory manages to escape but Amy is caught, and turned in to a doll. Elsewhere the Doctor and Alex are also trying to fend off dolls.

The Doctor realises that George is a Tenza. A Tenza is a form of cuckoo. It sensed what Claire and Alex wanted more than anything - a child - and became their son. The Doctor shouts out to George, asking him to face his fears and open the cupboard. George opens the cupboard and is transported in to the house. The Doctor realises that George's real fear is being rejected, of being taken away. As dolls advance on George Alex pushes his way through and tells George that he is their son, and he will never be sent away.

George is reassured and his fears go away. Everyone returns to the place they were taken from; the old lady returns to the rubbish, Amy and Rory emerge from the lift and Purcell returns to his flat. The Doctor tells Alex not to worry about George; he will adapt perfectly, although puberty can be a tricky time.

Regular Cast

  • Amy Pond: Karen Gillan
  • Rory Williams: Arthur Darvill

Guest Cast

  • Alex: Daniel Mays
  • George: Jamie Oram
  • Claire: Emma Cunniffe
  • Purcell: Andy Tiernan
  • Mrs. Rossiter: Leila Hoffman
  • Julie: Sophie Cosson
  • Double/Stand-in for George: Alex Watkins
  • Teenagers on bikes: Matthew Burton, Alex Lee
  • Passers by: Sukhi Kaur, Ian Wilson, Dave James, Leona Sutherland
  • Caretaker: Pete Coggins
  • Witch double for Mrs. Rossiter: Irene McGillan
  • Twins: Maddison Karauna, Saya Karauna
  • Female Doll: Louise Bowen
  • Stunt double for Mrs. Rossiter: Danielle Da Costa
  • Stand-in for Purcell: Matthew Doman
  • Mrs. Rossiter Doll: Nathalie Cuzner
  • Soldier Doll: Barbara Fadden
  • Purcell Doll: Russell Cuzner
  • Stunt double for Female Doll: Bean Peel
  • Amy Doll: Ruth Webb
  • Stunt double for Mrs. Rossiter Doll: Bean Peel
  • Voices: Fern Duncan, Frances Encell
  • Voices of the Dolls: Gabriella Gillespie, Max Longmuir, Sonny Ashbourne-Serkis

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 (HD) 9. Night Terrors Saturday, September 3, 2011 7:00 PM - 7:45 PM 7.07M 86

Click here to show repeat broadcasts on the BBC


  • Dragon Studios, Pencoed, near Bridgend
  • Upper Boat Studios: Studios 1 + 2

Outside Locations

  • Dyrham Park, Dyrham, near Bath
  • St. Winifred's Hospital, Romily Road/Conway Road, Canton, Cardiff
  • Waring House, Redcliffe Hill, Bristol