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Knock Knock

The Doctor helps his friend, Bill Potts, move into a new home. But the property hides a terrifying secret…

Exploring the hidden depths of Doctor Who’s most intriguing stories…

David Suchet as the sinister Landlord.

The second time the Doctor meets the sinister Landlord in the creepy cellar of the house where sets of six tenants have mysteriously vanished at 20year intervals, he starts to recite the surnames of the 1997 students, beginning with Christie. It’s almost as if he’s calling the Landlord kin to the British multiple murderer John Christie (18991953), some of whose victims’ bodies were found behind the walls and under the floorboards at 10 Rillington Place in London’s Notting Hill…

That, or it’s meant as a ‘meta’ reference to Landlord actor David Suchet’s most famous TV role – Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective created by mystery writer Agatha Christie. Or it’s both; or neither. But the fact remains: the (entirely human) Landlord has lured 18 young people to their deaths inside his house of horrors, making Knock Knock the story of an actual serial killer. He even keeps his expired extenants’ things in his cellar. Why? As grim trophies?

And if that wasn’t enough, Knock Knock is very like a ‘slasher’ horror movie too. As this writer suggested in Doctor Who Magazine’s 2018 Yearbook, Bill’s student housemates resemble characters from a Halloween or Scream sequel – the halfdozen or so justpastteenage types who break some rule or disobey some warning and get themselves killed, one by one. They even appear to have seen those £ lms – as when lanky Paul is said to be “the most expendable” on the grounds that he’s “physically the biggest”. Companion Bill is the socalled ‘Final Girl’, as de£ ned by Carol J Clover in her renowned 1992 study Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film. It’s Bill who ends up facing the monstrously recreated Eliza – the Landlord’s presumed daughter who turns out (spoiler!) to be his mother. Which is reminiscent of how a certain Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) – from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) – kept his mother hidden away upstairs, too…


Knock, knock on Bill’s door. Six would-be housemates assemble…

00m 03s … to the sound of Weird People, the first of two Little Mix tracks heard during the course of this episode. Taken from the girls’ third album Get Weird (2015), its lyric describes how, partly in response to childhood brain injury, the various members of the band intend to “get weird all night” and “twerk it out” on the dancefloor without regard for their health.

00m 18s With student Shireen (Mandeep Dhillon) having introduced her friend Bill to Felicity (Alice Hewkin), Harry (Colin Ryan), Pavel (Bart Suakvek) and Paul (Ben Presley), all six consult an estate agent (Sam Benjamin) from the fictional Redcliffe Lettings agency. The agent’s monitor shows details of a property supposedly in Mill Lane, Bristol – which is a real road in the Warmley area, west of the city. But the property shown, available to rent at £315 PCM [per calendar month], isn’t actually located there…

Bill’s student housemates resemble characters from a Halloween or Scream sequel.

Housemates Paul (Ben Presley), Harry (Colin Ryan), Pavel (Bart Suavek), Felicity (Alice Hewkin), Bill (Pearl Mackie) and Shireen (Mandeep Dhillon) visit the estate agent.
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About Doctor Who Magazine

THE JOHN NATHAN-TURNER LEGACY A new perspective on Doctor Who’s longest-serving producer, featuring previously unseen images from his own scrapbooks! Highlights of this issue include: • Former Doctor Who script editor Andrew Cartmel describes working with John Nathan-Turner. • Sophie Aldred explains how JNT changed her life. • Stephen Cranford on what it was like to know JNT as a friend. • Writer Philip Martin and actor Nabil Shaban reveal Sil and the Devil Seeds of Arodor. • Composer Richard Hartley on recreating his score for 1986’s ‘Mindwarp’. • An investigation into the deepest mysteries of regeneration. • Your at-a-glance guide to Doctor Who’s post-regeneration stories. • An interview with the creators of the new VR game The Edge of Time. • The Fact of Fiction explores the 2017 story Knock Knock. • DWM’s verdict on Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 23. • Part One of Mistress of Chaos, a new comic-strip adventure featuring the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends. • The Blogs of Doom, audio reviews, previews, news, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!