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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > 512 > Knock Knock

Knock Knock

Knock knock. Who’s there? Doctor! Doctor… what? Oh no. Oh God, no! Doctor, I can’t move my foot! HELP ME! DOCTOR, PLEASE! HELP MEEEEEE!!!


“As a kid, I was fascinated by how the show was made. Being a Doctor Who fan is, basically, being a fan of BBC TV Centre.” – MIKE BARTLETT, WRITER

WARNING: Spoilers!

In the Doctor Who production office – and in the DWM office, too – there’s a real buzz about Knock Knock. Well, more of a creak. An ominous, spine-tingling creaking sound. [It’s growing louder! – Ed.] No, but seriously, Knock Knock is an absolutely cracking episode.

“I’m a writer,” says Mike Bartlett, the man responsible, “so when I hear that, I go, ‘You’re saying that to everybody,’ or, ‘You’re saying that to compensate for the fact that it’s not very good.’ As a writer, you learn to take everything with a pinch of salt; to treat praise and criticism the same. And the episode hasn’t gone out yet. The hordes of Doctor Who fans have not descended upon it, and the audience hasn’t, so still, in my head, maybe it doesn’t work and it won’t be liked. That’s just writerly insecurity.”

Yeah, but ssh, it does work. Knock Knock is exceptional. And it’s going to be adored. No joke.

“Well, I hope so,” says Mike. “Given how long I’ve loved the show and how much it means to me, the pressure to deliver was vast. And you don’t get to warm up or practise; you jump straight into it and you’re writing ‘INT. TARDIS’. What I realised quite quickly – having tentatively written ‘INT. TARDIS’ and tentatively written the Doctor – was that, if you’re tentative, it won’t stick; the show is like Teflon. You can’t do that. You have to deal with it confidently. That’s what I’ve tried to do. It has to be 100 per cent, full-on, confident Doctor Who, or it just shouldn’t be there.”

We like Mike. Not only is he one of the hottest names in TV right now – his 2015 BBC One drama Doctor Foster was hailed by critics and audiences alike, with viewing figures peaking at over ten million for the finale (unsurprisingly, a second series has been ordered and will air later this year), and his next major BBC One project is Press, a drama series set in the world of print journalism – but also, like all the best people, Mike is a loyal, long-time reader of DWM.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Contents include: • Previews of the new episodes Knock Knock, Oxygen, Extremis and The Pyramid at the End of the World • Knock Knock guest star David Suchet is interviewed • An in-depth interview with Doctor Who the director of the first two episodes of the new series, The Pilot and Smile: Lawrence Gough • Doctor Who writers Frank Cottrell-Boyce (Smile) and Sarah Dollard (Thin Ice) reveal the stories behind their scripts • Bill Potts makes her comic strip début in the first part of the new comic strip adventure The Soul Garden, by Scott Gray, with art by Martin Geraghty. • It's the end of the world as we know it as The Fact of Fiction delves into the 1966 story The Ark. • DWM reviews of the first three episodes of the new series: The Pilot, Smile and Thin Ice. • Previews, book and audio reviews, news, the Watcher's column, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!