Doctor Who: Nightmare In Silver – Series 7 Episode 13


Nightmare in Silver, tonight we saw the return of the Cybermen this time penned marvellously by Neil Gaiman.  This is Gaiman’s second Doctor Who story, the first being Season Six’s The Doctor’s Wife.  Both of Gaiman’s stories were fairly heavy on the horror, or “fear factor” and more psychological than the usual tales.  This is something I think the show has been lacking a bit lately.  I used to think that Moffat wrote some of the best stories, The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, Blink, and Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead were scary stories, but then after that his stories seemed to lose something, something intangible.  Fortunately whatever that “something” is, it has been found in the last few episodes, but I fear it will disappear again next week.  Next week is the season finale, The Name of the Doctor or The Doctor’s Name or whatever drivel Moffat has come up with that has me very afraid that the wheels will come off the show, after everything seemed to be going right again.  This will be Moffat’s third episode as writer in this half of the season, fourth if you include the Christmas special.  Another reason I don’t really want to watch next week is because it means we have to wait until I believe November 23rd for the next new episode; that being the 50th anniversary special, again written by Moffat.

A quick note on the 50th anniversary special: it has been confirmed that both David Tennant and Billie Piper will be in the episode, it has also been announced that the Zygons will be the “monster”, making only their second appearance on the show, and their first appearance since Terror of the Zygons which aired in 1975 and really needs to come out on DVD soon.  I was excited to hear Tennant and Piper were returning for the show, but my heart sank when I thought about it after hearing the Zygons were involved.  The Zygons are shapeshifting aliens, so it is quite possible that we’re not getting a return of the Tenth Doctor and Rose, but perhaps Zygon imitations.  If this is true, it will be an incredible disappointment, and possibly not only to me.  The tenth anniversary episode was The Three Doctors, reuniting then current Doctor, Jon Pertwee, with his previous incarnations played by Patrick Troughton and William Hartnell.  For the twentieth anniversary special we had The Five Doctors, featuring an assortment of famous monsters and almost all of the Doctors, Tom Baker was replaced by clips from the unaired Shada episode, and Richard Hurndall took over for the late William Hartnell as the first Doctor.  The Two Doctors was not an anniversary show, but still had that very special feeling about it whenever the show reached back to its own past.  I thought it would be terrible if every surviving Doctor actor was not brought in and even every surviving companion from the classic series.  Some argue that the 50th anniversary special has advance the plot of the next season and can not be just a stand alone episode giving the fans their nerd-gasms.  I disagree.  I think it should.  If not, don’t call it the 50th Anniversary Special, because it won’t be special, it will be just another episode but will happen to fall on the show’s anniversary date.  Aside from this year, the Christmas Specials were all stand alone episodes that didn’t really have anything to do with the upcoming season and I think the 50th Anniversary Special can be handled in the same way, telling the story that the fans will want to see, not the one that a producer wants to tell.

Back to tonight’s episode, the Doctor takes Clara and the children she watches to a run down amusement park on a planet virtually empty since the last Cyber-war.  When the children go missing, it is discovered that the Cybermen were not all destroyed, but were beneath the surface of the planet and taking people from the amusement park for parts to rebuild their army.  They were using the brains of children to upgrade themselves, using that creativity to adapt and become virtually unbeatable.  With an army three million strong, they are set to attack again, but now they have a new source of creativity, as cybermites (think cybermats but smaller) have infected the Doctor and threaten to convert him as well in their first step in conquering the universe.  Clara leads a group of soldiers in their defence against the Cyber-army and the Doctor fights with himself, in his own mind, as the Cyberplanner fights to take him over.  Both stars had great parts tonight; Clara showing her leadership and strengths, the Matt Smith showing some wonderfully manic acting range.

As I said, Neil Gaiman’s script was great, bringing us a lot of fun, and a lot of thrills and I certainly hope he will be writing more episodes in the very near future.  Warwick Davis guest starred and was a perfect casting choice.  I’ve heard great things about Life’s Too Short, a show that he stars in and co-created with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, and will definitely be giving it a look very soon.


Posted on 13-05-12, in Doctor Who and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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