A message travels across time and space to reach The Doctor (Matt Smith). Something terrible has “amplified the fears of a ordinary little boy across all the barriers of time and space through crimson stars and silent stars and tumbling nebulas like oceans set on fire through empires of glass and civilizations of pure thought and a whole terrible, wonderful universe of impossibilities” to beg someone, anyone, for help to “save me from the monsters.”
The TARDIS takes the Doctor, Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) to an average apartment building, and into the average bedroom of anything but a average young boy (Jamie Oram) who is scared of everything he sees and locks everything he fears inside his cupboard.
Before the episode ends the Doctor, Amy, Rory, and the boy’s father (Daniel Mays) will all find themselves trapped in the cupboard inside a wooden dollhouse. Their escape and survival depends on two things: 1. The bravery of a scared little boy, and 2. The unconditional love of a parent for a child.
Although the message of the story is actually kind of sweet, and the script allows Matt Smith plenty of zany moments, “Night Terrors” is one of the weaker episodes of the season playing on themes done better in previous episodes (including “The Girl in the Fireplace” last year’s “The Eleventh Hour” and “The Beast Below“). It has its moments, but its mostly forgettable.