The first block of Series 14 will be helmed by Dylan Holmes Williams, a young British screenwriter, and filmmaker whose first significant TV gig was on M Night Shyamalan’s Apple TV+ horror series Servant, according to the most recent issue of Doctor Who Magazine. That is the tale of a couple who employ a nanny to take care of a reborn doll, allowing a mystery power into their home, and starring Rupert Grint and Lauren Ambrose.
Three horror short films by Holmes Williams, which were released between 2016 and 2019, caught the attention of the film industry.
In The Nightmare on Deskteeth Street, a boot maniac sets out to find his favorite pair, in Stilts, everyone is compelled to wear enormous metal stilts, and in The Devil’s Harmony, a teen starts a glee club to exact revenge on her high school rivals. The latter, which is now accessible to stream on Disney+, the new international home of Doctor Who, received prizes at both the Sundance and Raindance film festivals.
Rafe, a character in the novel Stilts, struggles against the absurd limitations of his society and desires to flee. It was produced by Channel 4 Random Acts and aired before creepy, atmospheric horror trailers. The Lighthouse at theatres in the UK. The complete movie is available here:
Stiltsstars Along with Tom Glynn-Carney, who most recently made an appearance in SAS: Rogue Heroes, the cast also includes Amanda Hale, who appeared in Steven Moffat’s series Jekyll, and Con O’Neill, who played Cliff in Russell T. Davies’ series Cucumber. These actors have connections to previous Doctor Who showrunners.
Unsettling to watch, tilts is expertly shot, and the premise is so out-of-the-box that it’s probable Williams has lost all memory of what a box looks like. This is really quite positive for Doctor Who and signals that Russell T. Davies has a very significant rewrite planned for Series 14, maybe bringing the programme down a more edgier, cooler, darker path.
After all, Doctor Who and fright have long been synonymous. The Weeping Angels are truly horrific, Davros is the stuff of nightmares, and let’s not even begin to talk about The Waters of Mars. However, during the Chibnall era, the programme seemed to have forgotten its horror roots.
Our list of the scariest episodes over the years shows what a wide-ranging horror franchise Doctor Who is, with memorable eerie moments from “Kinda” to “The Awakening” to “The Curse of Fenric” as well as more recent scary tales like “Midnight” from the Tennant era.
Ben Wheatley, Rachel Talalay, and other filmmakers with a reputation for disturbing visuals and narrative have all worked on the show in its modern era, including the first of three 60th anniversary specials.