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The Haunting Of Villa Diodati

ShowDoctor Who / Series XII / Episode 8
First Broadcast2020/02/20 - 20:00 (Link: ABC TV)
Related LinksDoctor Who Wiki Wikipedia
Previous EpisodeCan You Hear Me?

The Doctor and the team travel to Villa Diodati near Lake Geneva in 1816 to witness the genesis of one of the great horror stories - Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Naturally, things do not go as planned.

The setting was the cliched dark and stormy night which proved to be the perfect backdrop to what is essentially a ghost story. A group of friends including Mary Godwin, Dr. John Polidori, Claire Clairmont, Percy Shelley and Lord Byron have assembled for a holiday. However things are not going to recorded history. Shelley is missing, Polidori is behaving oddly, everyone's seeing ghosts and the house seems to be collapsing in on itself.

Eventually, the problem is decoded. The lone cyberman has turned up and is looking for the cyberium which is currently residing within Shelley. He had been manipulating reality to keep it hidden from the cyberman. Despite Jack Harkness's warning, the Doctor gives the lone cyberman what he wants so that Shelley survives.

The lone cyberman - Ashad - is interesting as his transformation appears incomplete - both physically and emotionally. It is strongly implied that he forms that basis of Frankenstein's monster. The Doctor plans to follow Ashad using coordinates from Percy's cyberman-based writings. After they've left, we see Shelley reading his poem Darkness to the rest of the group. As he finishes with "She was the Universe" we see the Doctor, another strong implication, this time that she was the inspiration for the poem.