Doctor Who: Nightmare in Silver Review -

Doctor Who Review

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  • Episode: Nightmare in Silver (Season 7, Episode 13)
  • Starring: Matt Smith, Jenna-Louise Coleman, Eve De Leon, Warwick Davis
  • Written By: Neil Gaiman
  • Directed By: Stephen Woolfenden
  • Network: BBC, BBC America
  • Studio: BBC
  • Series:

Doctor Who: Nightmare in Silver Review

Good old fashioned Cybermen episode

By Kimberly McCall     May 16, 2013

Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned Cybermen episode of “Doctor Who?” The trouble with old foes is that it is often difficult to keep their menacing creepiness alive through the decades. The solution? Hand them over to Neil Gaiman. The infamous genre storyteller returns for a second stab at the fantastical series following his first and much loved episode, “The Doctor’s Wife” (2011). 

Right from the start, Gaiman whisks us away to the greatest amusement park in the universe along with the Doctor (Matt Smith), Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman), and Clara’s young charges, Angie (Eve De Leon Allen) and Artie (Kassius Carey Johnson). Seems like the most awesome babysitting adventure imaginable, except for one small problem. The once great park has been abandoned for quite some time on account of people always disappearing. 

For the older “Doctor Who” fans, all we needed was that first shot of a robotic insect to alert us that there were Cybermen inhabiting this planet. Luckily, it seems that the only one left after the Cyber Wars is completely hollow and plays chess for a parlor trick at the park. But, honestly, is it ever really that simple? “Nightmare in Silver” comes to life in a literal and metaphorical game of chess as the Doctor, Clara, and the children fight to overcome being “upgraded.”  We are given a front row seat to the process of the Cyber-planners and their methods for acquiring “spare parts” off of children.

Director Stephen Woolfenden comes fresh from the epic “Harry Potter” franchise and brings along a special treat: Warwick Davis (The Return of the Jedi, Willow). Davis delivers a subtly powerful, heartfelt performance as Porridge, an Emperor in disguise. His now iconic presence has only improved with age and adds an element of grace to this small, yet regal character. If that isn’t enough, we can fill in the acting cracks with Matt Smith’s one man show as the Doctor battles a Cyber-planner for control of his own brain. Clara solidifies her strength and confidence as she leads a band of troubled soldiers against an army (literally, an army) of Cybermen. 

Thanks to Neil Gaiman, the old school villains in this episode are a tad more menacing than big silver robots. While “Nightmare in Silver” doesn’t quite possess the bleeding heart of “The Doctor’s Wife,” it certainly does not disappoint for fans of both the writer and the series. Gaiman will always be welcome in “Who-ville.” 


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goldeneyez 5/16/2013 6:30:39 AM

I liked it a lot.  It was cool seeing a bad version of the Doctor.  The episode also really did make the Cybermen a lot more menacing than in previous NuWho outings with them.  The only modern take on the Cybermen that out does it is the Cyberwoman episode of Torchwood.

HomestarRunner 5/16/2013 7:08:50 AM

I realize their presence triggered the conflict, but I really disliked the kids, especially Miss Moody Teenager. Apparently, travelling somewhere in a box that's much bigger (and cooler) on the inside wasn't enough to impress her.

Next time, leave the kids at home.

RobertTrate 5/16/2013 2:02:28 PM

 I liked Warwick Davis' performance in this episode more than I liked the episode. It was missing somehting. Loved the Cybermen though!

CaptAmerica04 5/17/2013 5:24:27 PM

Warwick Davis was great.  He really is getting more distinguished in appearance with age.  And his thespian skills are better than most "A-list" actors of taller stature.  I really believed every word he said, and I really felt for this lonely man at the top of the universe.

The kids were annoying... or at least annoyingly average in portrayal, but that's okay.  They were more of a catalyst for events than center stage characers.  As long as we don't see much more or them, I'm fine.

Now... when does the show start up again?!



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