Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror was the fourth episode of series 12 of Doctor Who.

Synopsis Edit

New York City, the turn of the 20th century. For Nikola Tesla, his grand ideas for revolutionising electricity and communication are proving to be a hard sell to the public. His business rival, Thomas Edison, may not want him to succeed, but surely even he cannot be behind the sudden appearance of hostile alien scavengers? The Thirteenth Doctor and her friends are about to find out.

Plot Edit

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Story notes Edit

  • 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. Indeed, a newspaper image is briefly seen in the episode that dates Tesla's discovery of the transmission from "Mars", some months earlier, to 1903.
    • The letter from J.P. Morgan refusing to fund Tesla was historically received on July 14, 1903. According to reports, that night Wardenclyffe tower "came alive shooting off bright flashes lighting up the night sky", which does seem to confirm the story as happening at that time.
  • Robert Glenister, who plays Thomas Edison, previously appeared as Salateen in the 1984 serial The Caves of Androzani, making him one of the select few actors to have appeared in both incarnations of the programme.
  • Anjli Mohindra, who plays Queen Skithra, was a member of the main cast in the spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures. She played Rani Chandra from 2008 to 2011. This is Mohindra's first appearance in televised Doctor Who.
  • Bradley Walsh and Anjli Mohindra have 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. This story sees their roles reversed with Walsh now playing a companion and Mohindra playing the villain. 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 merely 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.[1]
  • Although newspapers in the real world did cast reports on both Tesla's and Edison's views, the newspaper used in the episode, New York Bugle, was never a real world paper, nor were the headlines "Tesla: I Heard Message From Mars" and "Edison: Shut Down Tesla". The closest possible real world connections would be newspapers New York Herald and New York Times, both active at the time.
  • A sign in the story says Night of Tesla Terror, a play on the title Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror.

Ratings Edit

  • 4.04 million (BBC overnight)[2]
  • 5.20 million (BBC final)[3]

Filming locations Edit

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Production errors Edit

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.

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Continuity Edit

Home video releases Edit

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Footnotes Edit

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