In Review: Doctor Who – NIghtmare in Silver
Synopsis: Hedgewick’s World of Wonders is the perfect theme park day out, and ground zero for a deadly silver resurrection.
Review: With Nightmare in Silver we have an episode, which for the very first time in the new era of Doctor Who has made the cybermen a real credible threat. Which is what Neil Gaiman said he was setting out to do. It has to be said. He’s succeeded.
I loved the idea of setting all the action on a theme park that has obviously seen better days.
And the proprietor of the park showing off his no longer active cybermen was pretty good set up, but what I really loved was the inclusion of the upgraded cybermats, which are now cybermites.
Having the two children, which Clara is in charge of travel with them for this story was a master stroke by Gaiman because it would have given the younger viewers of the series a hook into the story and also a sense of fear once the action in the show began.
And when the action does begin it sees the Doctor put into real jeopardy as the Cybermen try to assimilate his time lord brain, which leads to a stunning acting performance by Matt Smith who plays both the Doctor and the consciousness of the Cybermen that are trying to take over via a complex chess game.
I loved the brief cut scenes in the episode where we see both the Doctor and the Doctor with cyberman additions on his face having a battle of wits with each other.
And Clara leading a rag tag army in a battle for their very lives gave Jenna-Louise Coleman a major part in the story and we also see a bit of an unrequited love story as well as Porridge (Warwick Davis) slowly falls in love with Clara.
Special mention should actually go to Warwick Davis who played a very relatable character in that he was blatantly running away from bigger responsibilities in the story, but when it counts he makes the eventual decision, which saves his people.
Last week I said that the Crimson Horror was the best episode of the series. I was obviously a bit hasty because this episode wins that title hands down. It had suspense, horror and even a few laughs as well.
But that said Crimson Horror is a close second behind this episode.
Tye’s review: Again I am going to begin by agreeing with Ian in that I also found this episode to be a step above the “Crimson Horror” because it takes our Hero, her Companion and her two wards off into space, which is more the setting in which I think the Doctor thrives! Whenever he is off world, I tend to really enjoy the episodes.
With that said however, my favorite part of the episode was Porridge as portrayed by Warwick Davis hands down. I was really able to relate to and feel for his character’s story and it is always fun when you see one of science fiction’s genre celebrities pop up in interesting roles, especially on such a great series and with this fun Doctor as portrayed by Matt Smith.
It was also fun seeing the Cybermen back again as a credible threat and I also thought that the upgrade in their abilities was smart and even formidable. The idea of a planetary theme park that has seen better days in the wake of the Empire’s decline seemed to work as well, but it was the bits and pieces we heard of the Galactic Empire, which was referred to as Pro Counsel. I would actually love to see the Doctor go off into this Empire or even some other for a few episodes as the Universe is so grand and time so vast!
What I didn’t like honestly was the bratty older sister, who Clara is a nanny for. I didn’t really see why we could not have had the very same episode without them. In truth kids would really only be a liability in the Doctor’s line of work, so I would have preferred not to have the kids in the story.
Now what I did enjoy and again I must agree with Ian, was the duality within the Doctor as he must fight himself as the Cybermen’s consciousness. It was quite well done with great imagery and meaning behind it, although the facial implants had me thinking of the Borg and Voyager’s 7 of 9.
The Cybermites were a great tool by which to enable the return of the fearsome Cybermen and I loved the way Clara’s character was able to take charge and lead the motley military unit who I thought were rather underused in this episode as well. We almost did not need them except that they were the guardians of the device with which to destroy the World, again; another aspect that I think little yet courageous Porridge could easily have been the keeper of to some extent. But I am just nit picking at this point, at the end of the day this was indeed one of the season’s best episodes that I am positive I could watch again and again!
All in all, “Nightmare in Silver” was a fun, action packed and memorable episode, which Neil Gaiman did a fine job writing. I would not mind seeing him penning another few episodes in the Doctor’s future and I am quite looking forward to the next and last episode of the season.
Written By: Ian Cullen & Tye Bourdony
Ian Cullen is the owner of scifipulse.net. A wannabe musician. Ian is a legend in his own mind and when not working on the website host the hugely successful SFP-NOW Podcast he can be found skulking around empty corridors. A longtime fan of genre television and movies Ian was also a producer on the Reality On Demand web-series and has even been published in the official Star Trek Magazine.
Tye Bourdony is a Sci Fi cartoonist and creator of ‘The Lighter Side of Sci-Fi’, a mediator, science fiction reporter and the U.S. based content editor for Sci Fi Pulse. He is also a graduate of the Barry University School of Law, SUNY Purchase and H.S. of Music & Art. Tye currently works in Florida’s 9th Circuit as the Staff Family Mediator, is currently the Public Information Officer for the Osceola County Bar Association and has a regular self-published column in Sci Fi Magazine. You can visit Tye on facebook and www.thelightersideofscifi.com.
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