the midnight entity

The Midnight Entity and Goblin Market

i’m working through Midnight in a rewrite of series 4 right now, and when I reached the poem, I finally stopped to actually do a bit of research. I’d never read the entire work before, or looked into literary analysis. 

For reference, the lines Dee Dee quotes are, 

“We must not look at goblin men.
We must not buy their fruits.
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry, thirsty roots?”

(Christina Rossetti)

The poem is a story of two sisters, both of whom hear the calls from the Goblin market as they do their evening chores together. Laura is being seduced by their wares, Lizzie is trying to warn her to stay safely away. 

Only she fails. Laura eats the goblin fruit, and slowly wastes away. She nearly dies before Lizzie finds a way to save her. 

And I started wondering why, exactly, RTD chose this poem–outside of the fact that the creepy tone fits the episode. The most common interpretation of the work is that it is a warning against falling for seduction. Men who seduce young maidens use pretty words to make sex sound appealing, but once they’ve ensnared you, they won’t let you go. 

The entity doesn’t seduce, though. It gets into your head, stirs up your fear, and then urges you to say things that will incite fear and anger in others. Even the Doctor’s abrasive arrogance is a sign of the entity at work. While he’s never one to deny his own cleverness, he doesn’t typically claim that his life is more important than everyone else’s because he’s clever. 

So. It’s not about seduction. 

But… Just like the fruit of the goblins gets into you and won’t let you go, the entity gets into your mind and won’t let you go. And just like the sister warns against even looking at the goblin men, any form of interaction with the entity makes it stronger. 

The Doctor told Dee Dee the poem wasn’t helping, and it’s definitely true that the creepy tone of it drove the panic higher… but on the other hand, she had a very good point–the same one he was trying to make, in fact. The entity–Sky–was dangerous, and the only way to avoid getting hurt by her was to avoid any interactions with her altogether. 

Now if I could only figure out how the Doctor didn’t realise that the entity was telepathic…


Listen to me, whatever you want, if it’s life or form or consciousness or voice, you don’t have to steal it. You can find it without hurting anyone.

lostmermaidponyo  asked:

Top five scariest villains

  1. Yeerks (Animorphs) - It’s so gross how they’re these slugs that crawl into your ear and terrifying how they can control your mind and that literally anyone around you could secretly be a Controller.
  2. The Other Mother (Coraline) - Her skeleton form at the end is v scary.
  3. Gas mask zombies (Doctor Who) - The transformation scene when the gas mask grows out of your face is so horrifying.
  4. The Midnight entity (Doctor Who) - That episode changed me ngl.
  5. The Spoon Murderer - This video still haunts me 6 years later omfg.

put “top 5” anything in my ask and i will answer

the-untempered-prism replied to your post “The Midnight Entity and Goblin Market”

he was seduced by the problem that needed solving, the person that needed helping, the unknown that needed knowing…being too curious, too kind, too clever for his own good this time.

Yes, exactly. He’s pulled in by that desire to be needed and to be clever, and he doesn’t realise what’s going on until it’s almost too late. 

The message of the poem is that the goblin fruit gets inside you and doesn’t let you go. That is exactly how the entity insinuated itself into the minds of each person on that bus. 

For Val and Biff, it made them more afraid of people who are different–I thought it was really interesting when the Doctor tried to brush aside their questions about where he’s from by saying he’s a traveller, and Val immediately came back with, “What, like an immigrant?” People apparently don’t change much in the next few millennia. But the entity took that fear and amplified it, making them say and do things they wouldn’t normally. 

Jethro wants to be different, the rebel loner, and the entity got into his mind and made him a sheep instead. And he hates it while it’s happening, but he can’t stop. He has to obey his parents and pick up the Doctor’s legs to help throw him out.

The professor, who starts the episode as rudely dismissive of Dee Dee, has his worst moment when he practically screams in her face, telling her she doesn’t know anything and she should just shut up.

And it makes the Doctor more arrogant. The entity does get into his head before it completely possesses him. The subtle way he talks down to the passengers, that’s the entity’s way of creating strife between the humans and the one person who might actually be able to stop it.

Unlike the poem, no one is untainted by the goblin fruit. The Hostess listens to the entity and becomes more determined to do her duty to the passengers in her care, at all costs. Dee Dee listens and her fear and desire to go home momentarily overpower her previous common sense. 

And yet the entity can’t shut down Dee Dee’s common sense completely, and when she is the one to recognise what has happened, the Hostess’ determination to save as many passengers as possible is what saves them in the end.

One of the things I like about RTD is that he was pretty good at one-off monsters.

Obviously, the Midnight entity takes the cake for me. That episode is everything a scary one-off episode should be, and the monster completely depends on the actress’ spectacular performance.

But the Midnight entity would be completely ruined if it showed up in another episode. One of the best parts about it is that we know absolutely nothing about it.

The Adipose, too, were good for a one-off monster, but if you brought them back, they’d probably not be as good the second time around.

This is something Moffat needs to learn, how to leave a good one-off monster as a good one-off monster.

Blink was very well-received because of the Angels (I think it’s only decent at best, but that’s beside the point). Bringing them back, he completely changed what they were. Suddenly you couldn’t look at their eyes, or you’d die. You can’t take a picture of one (even though that exact thing happened in Blink and it had no downside), or it’ll come to life. Suddenly, they had to steal power from electric spaceships to fix themselves if they were ever damaged or something. We saw them move for the first time.

And there was also this:

Those two angels can definitely see each other out of the corners of their eyes, at least, and yet, they’re fine once Amy’s gone. Apparently they just need to think you can see them, too, while you don’t actually have to see them.

And they just got worse as time went on (culminating in the metal Statue of Liberty being a Weeping Angel (which are made out of stone) being able to trick people into not seeing it as it teleported across New York).

The Weeping Angels would’ve been much better if they were just a one-off monster. The Silents would’ve been better if they didn’t come back in Time of the Doctor. Moffat needs to learn to sometimes leave good monsters as one-off monsters, as opposed to recurring monsters.

Midnight: a summary
  • Doctor: This is going to be fun.
  • Audience: *Laughs*
  • *ship crashes*
  • Doctor: This could be worse.
  • *Sky gets possessed*
  • Doctor: I can still sort this out.
  • Passengers: You're weird.
  • Passengers: You're too clever and confident.
  • Doctor: Humans, please calm down.
  • Doctor: No it isn't and I'll prove it.
  • *Midnight entity possesses him*
  • Doctor: Oh shit.
  • Passengers: Throw him out.
  • Doctor: Oh shit.
  • Audience: Oh shit, No you idiots.
  • *Gets saved at the last second*
  • A passenger: It wasn't my fault.
  • Doctor: You liar.
  • Audience: LET ME HUG YOU!!