Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror
19 January 2020
Anjli Mohindra (Queen Skithra), Goran Visnjic (Nikola Tesla), Robert Glenister (Thomas Edison), Haley McGee (Dorothy Skerrit), Paul Kasey (Harold Green), Robin Guiver (Bill Tallow), Erick Hayden (Mr Sorensson), Russell Bentley (Mr Brady), Brian Caspe (Mr Martin), Shaun Mason (Foreman)
|Written by||Nina Metivier|
|Directed by||Nida Manzoor|
|Produced by||Nikki Wilson, Adam Friedlander & Alex Mercer|
1903. Who or what is sabotaging Nikola Tesla’s generator plant at Niagara Falls? And has this maverick inventor really received a message from Mars?
The Doctor notes that, at this point in the history of New York City, Times Square and the Empire State Building do not yet exist. Central Park, however, “has been around for ages”.
Nikola Tesla invented the shadowgraph, the automaton, and the radio. He also coined and thought up the idea of remote control.
Tesla discovers an Orb of Thassor.
The Skithra use a Silurian blaster.
The Skithra Queen has a Venusian spaceship with a Klendov warp drive and a Dullirian resonator.
Wardenclyffe is located on Long Island.
The Doctor calls the Thassor “one of the ancient races”.
The official synopsis dates this story to 1903, however, this date is not given in the episode. In fact, the Thirteenth Doctor describes Nikola Tesla as “an inventor from 1900” when questioning why the Skithra sought him out. As, historically, the tower at Wardenclyffe was completed in 1902, it is likely that the story is set in 1903 and the reference to 1900 was intended as an approximation.
Robert Glenister, who plays Thomas Edison, previously appeared in classic Doctor Who, as Salateen in the 1984 serial The Caves of Androzani. This marks his first appearance in BBC Wales Doctor Who, making him one of the select few actors to have appeared in both incarnations of the programme.
Anjli Mohindra, who plays Queen Skithra, was previously a member of the main cast in The Sarah Jane Adventures. She played Rani Chandra from 2008 to 2011. This was Mohindra’s first appearance in Doctor Who.
In fact, Bradley Walsh and Mohindra had worked together before, on the Sarah Jane Adventures serial The Day of the Clown. In that story, Walsh played the story’s antagonist, Elijah Spellman.
Mohindra said that, despite the fact that she and Walsh had worked together before, he did not recognise her due to her excessive make-up. She initially believed he was only joking with her but it was only when he asked to see a picture of her so he could say hello to her if he passed her in the street that she realised he was being serious.
Nikola Tesla previously aided the Seventh Doctor and Melanie Bush in defeating the Vardans. (Maker of Demons)
The Doctor tells Nikola that she created her sonic screwdriver using spoons. (The Woman Who Fell to Earth)
The Doctor notes to her companions that the Empire State Building has yet to be constructed. In November 1930, the Tenth Doctor found that the Cult of Skaro had manipulated the construction of the building for their own purposes. (Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks)
The Doctor has a tool box. (Earthshock)
Team TARDIS visit Wardenclyffe. (Wardenclyffe)