Saturday, 11 May 2013

Nightmare In Silver - Initial Musings

I'm sure I am not alone in coming away from tonight's episode feeling slightly underwhelmed. We naturally expected a lot from Neil Gaiman - because (a) The Doctor's Wife and (b) he's Neil Gaiman.
Nightmare In Silver was certainly entertaining, and it bodes well for future Cyberman stories.
The new Cybermen were impressive, with lots of new attributes. If capable of moving super fast, one does have to wonder why they stomped noisily around so much. The detachable hands and heads are another neat idea. The Cyber-insects now mean that you can be infected to become a Cyberman, rather than the rather clumsy brain transplants of the Cybus days.
It's a bit of a shame that they didn't actually feature all that prominently. And whilst they are more threatening, they weren't necessarily any scarier, in the context of this particular tale - something Gaiman claimed to be in his remit to achieve.
My big problem with the whole Cyberiad is that it is just too close to Star Trek's Borg. There's the hive mind, and the scene of the Cybermen in their tomb looked very like a Borg cube interior.
The Doctor as Cyberplanner was reminiscent of Picard / Locutus.
I have to admit that I started to tire of the whole "acting with myself" bit. And why was the Cyberplanner so emotional?
One of the kids was downright annoying - and what was the point of their presence anyway. They get abducted (shades of the schoolgirl Dalek battle planner from Remembrance of the Daleks), and are then promptly forgotten about.
Same goes for the woefully underused Jason Watkins.
The punishment platoon were nothing short of cliché.
Not sure about the convenient transmatting out at the conclusion.
If the plot felt like retreading old ideas, the reuse of four locations (one for the sixth time since 2005) added to the deja vu.
A couple of groan moments were Clara's failure to see the kids when they were right in front of her, and that bit on the Moon at the start, where we got to see that there was a great big wall right in front of them. Time travel must affect your vision.
This might all sound like I hated it, but it was an enjoyable enough romp. Apart from the new Cybermen, the best thing about it was Warwick Davis' Porridge, who turns out to be a Galactic Emperor. A great performance. (Must admit I didn't clock his features on the dummy).
Perhaps it was the inclusion of he kids and the theme park locale that made me think this might have fitted the Sarah Jane Adventures more than Doctor Who.


  1. Yes it was oddly non-cohesive wasn't it. Major plot points raised, then forgotten or just neglected. It was pretty much openly stated that Porridge was the Emperor, but then it was treated as this big reveal. Someone should sack the continuity advisor on this one.

  2. I suspect that there is an earlier draft somewhere in which one or both of the kids became the Cyberplanner - hence the theme park setting and their inclusion in the story. At some point Gaiman changed his mind and decided to have the Doctor converted, but left some old plot points hanging.