Nightmare in Silver.
"And don't blow up the planet!"
If I had known it was that easy to blackmail Clara into letting me along on a TARDIS joyride, I would have done it AGES AGO. Apparently you don't need a permission slip to take a TARDIS field trip. Artie and Angie, the newest companions, are so lucky, it’s not even faaaiiiirrr!! Sure they spend the majority of the episode in walking comas but I spent it horizontal on my couch eating peanut butter straight from the jar, just to put it in perspective…
The Cybermen return in this Neil Gaiman-penned episode that welcomes back this classic monster with several twists, the biggest being they are now compatible with non-human species. Look out, Doctor. This was an action-packed, highly GIF-able episode so let’s get to it -- Allons-y!
These aren’t your parents’ Cybermen folks — they may still be allergic to gold and constantly on the brink of both extinction and revival, but they’re faster and sleeker and ultimately, yes, ok, fine, the usual Cybermen. However, the Cyber-Planner is emotional, very un-Cyberman; anchoring himself onto half of the Doctor’s beautiful brain, the Cyber-Planner is either getting a chunk of its manipulative mojo from the Doctor himself or rewired himself that way. But that’s the fun and horror that drives the Cybermen — their fundamental goal of survival by any means necessary. Their ability to upgrade within seconds of encountering a new threat is impressively deadly, as Clara and her band of misfit soldiers pick up on quite quickly. If I were Captain Ferren, hell, if I were the Emperor, I would have blown this place up months ago.
Mr. Smith has become quite the powerhouse and the stories have demanded nothing less from him. I’m anxious to see how the Doctor’s relationship with Clara has progressed, if at all, from his initial fascination to now, where his obsession seems to have plateaued. Come on, Doctor! You’re not the only one dying to know what the WHAT is with this Clara chick. You know who might know? This might be reaching but she always seems to know stuff, and we already know from the first time you met her that she knows your real name so I’m just saying…RIVER SONG KNOWS ALL.
I’m confused by Clara’s role in the episode—she takes to commanding an army much quicker than her previous episodes would suggest. Maybe we can chalk it up to companion growth or an inability to properly address her transformation within the episode’s time restraints. Still, I am left a bit baffled by her this week. Why would she so readily scoop up Angie and Artie for a day of time traveling when she herself spent such a long period debating the adventure? Don’t get me wrong, I find her strength and spunkiness incredibly enjoyable to watch; I was even hoping to see a subtle curiosity twinkle in her eye after Porridge’s proposal, but alas, Clara is much simpler than that. I noted a few comparisons to Amy in this episode, so if we’re going down the inevitable companion comparison road, I think Clara knows better than Amy ever did that her time with the Doctor is fleeting.
Clara: “See you next Wednesday!“
The Doctor: “Well, A Wednesday..."
“Nightmare in Silver”
I am a huge Neil Gaiman fan. “The Doctor’s Wife” is one of my all time favorites from the Moffat era and I had high hopes for this episode. I was not disappointed. While I won’t defend the major plot holes and gimmicks that could have easily benefited from a follow-up episode or an thirty extra minutes, the overall takeaway was compelling. Warwick Davis as Porridge, the Emperor hiding in plain sight, was a subtle treat; his big reveal was neither earth shattering nor expected. Artie and Angie kind of got the short end of the stick, but they did serve as vital tools in reviving the Cyberman race in the first place. Kudos. Clara remains a big question mark at the end, gearing up for what promises to be one hell of a season closer next week.
- The inside of the Doctor’s brain was insanely beautiful, with Gallifreyan scribbled all around, just beautiful.
- Yup, that was Will Merrick from Skins.
- “When someone asks you if you want to be Queen of the Universe, you say yes.” Angie is not wrong, Clara.
- The Time Lords apparently invented chess. Of course.
- “Don’t wander off! Sweet dreams.” Hello, nightmares. Not a great sendoff for nap time, Doctor.
- “Please stand by. You will be upgraded.” Again, the stuff of nightmares.
Interaction of the Week
Clara: “Do you think I’m pretty?”
The Doctor: “No, you’re too short and bossy and your nose is all funny.”
Clara: “Good enough.”