So. Doctor Who: ‘Nightmare in Silver’

This is a recap, with very occasional moments of discussion and/or rants. (Well, there’ s a sort of review at the end, but don’t expect anything too deep.) If you haven’t seen ‘Nightmare in Silver’, this will spoil it for you.

So. Wow. Um. This episode.

Well. It certainly was an episode. Let me recap it first, and then get back to you.

The TARDIS lands in Hedgewick’s World, in a tableux that looks rather like the moon landing but is, in fact, something place else, a long way from Earth. So, what, the Doctor let the kids on without a fight? I was expecting the episode to start with him protesting and then giving in and bringing them along, but it seems they decided to skip that bit and just get stuck in straight away.

Capture Angie
You’re going to have that look on your face for pretty much the whole episode, aren’t you? Thanks, just checking.

(Also: Angie and Artie. I’m just going to get this out of the way right now. One: Really? Really? Those were some seriously unimaginative parents. I’m sorry, but put a little more effort into naming your spawn, or at least don’t give them names that both start with the same letter! Two: I started off unsure about these two, then started to desperately tell myself I shouldn’t hate Angie (Artie was frankly a non-entity throughout) and ended up just apathetic. These two are not characters. They are bland cut outs that simply provide motivation for no discernible reason.

Well, all right, Angie does do something at the end, but that was also something I was apathetic about. For goodness sake, they spent most of the episode being assimilated and brain dead!

This would have been remedied, possibly, if the children playing them were at least passable, so that we cared about them even when they were out of commission.  But they were not. They, too, were flat and bland. They constantly looked bored throughout. Their interactions with Clara and the Doctor were similarly lackluster. All the while I was watching them, I was constantly thinking, ‘Actually, could you possibly look like you care less? I’m honestly curious.’ My viewing experience was punctuated with mutters of ‘Oh, I hate you’, particularly directed at darling Angie.

But, on reflection, I now believe this to be unfair. After all, I haven’t had much interaction with children of this age range (pre-teen to early teen) for a good long while. Maybe this really is how adolescents really act, and I just never noticed. If such is the case, brrrrrrr, but I shall hold off on the hate in this recap – save for the moments when I quite literally screamed at this pair. You will know these moments when you see them.)

Once in the theme park, which has been abandoned, Angie and Artie complain that they’re on the moon. Listen, honey, if you were on the moon you would be in extremely dire straits from the general lack of, you know, atmosphere. You are not on the moon. Shuddup.

They meet, in rapid succession, a chap in a battered top hat who ducks out from and back into a fake rock, and an army platoon that’s also stationed there. For some reason. The Doctor pretends to be an Proconsul of the Emperor – An emperor! Yes, I love a good space opera! – who appears to be missing, and the platoon pop out just as quickly as they popped in, and the Doctor plans to show the children around even though the theme park is, you know, closed, (if you’re getting confused, great, that’s just how I felt watching this opening, I must spread the confusion!!!!!) and there’s the good old psychic paper and a golden ticket and wait, wait, what?

Why does the Doctor have a golden ticket? Does Willy Wonka exist somewhere in this universe???? I would be all over a meeting between Willy Wonka and the Doctor. Somebody write that for me; I charge you with a holy crusade!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyhow… someone seems to have already done that. That someone being Neil Gaiman; Webley, the man in the top hat who is very much like a Victorian touter of sideshow,  very quirky and touting his wares and being creaky and down on his luck, and proclaiming that he has a wonderful collection: ‘Webley’s World of Wonders’. Angie looks bored no, no, I will not rant, I will not rant any longer, I’ve done my bit for now, I will save it for later!

Webley asks if anyone plays chess; it turns out that Artie is in his school’s chess club. The Doctor is disappointed at being looked over, and Webley reveals the highlight of his exhibition: a Cyberman aaaaa it’s gonna get you!!!!!!

Capture i've seen better days
BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA!!!!

Only of course it’s not alive, because there are no more living Cybermen! No doubt that will have changed before the end of the episode. Webley claims that the suit moves by itself, although it’s empty, because of magic. Huh. Finally, context where that explanation is actually legitimate. By the way, do you think those little silver things beeping on that wax work over there will be important later on?

Surprise, surprise, the Cyberman is not powered by magic; it’s a homage to the Turk. (The Turk was a chess-playing machine built in the eighteenth century that people claimed was an automaton  but was actually, much as it is here, powered by someone hiding in the table under the chess board. See more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Turk)

Capture The Turk

The person hiding under the table, in this case, is a guy called Porridge. Hello, Warwick Davis!!! (Also, Artie paid to have a go with a sandwich. I do sort of love him a teeny bit for that.)  Webley is a good sport and gives Angie an Imperial Penny, and she actually smiles for once and I sort of love her a teeny bit for that as well. The visitors get shown around the exhibit, and we get an info dump about the Emperor who appears to be missing before the kids are taken off to ride the ‘Spacey Zoomer’, and the Cybermen in the collection loom ominously.

The ‘Spacey Zoomer’ turns out to be the kids bouncing up and down a bit in anti-gravity a few feet off the ground – fun, but not anything you wouldn’t be able to get from a trampoline. Methinks something a tad more impressive was originally planned, but the budget fell through.

Capture Spacey Zoomer
“The most fun I’ve ever had!” AKA you’ve never been to a real theme park, have you? You haven’t even gone upside down!

Angie won’t allow herself to show she was having fun. Sigh. Clara thinks it’s time to leave, but the Doctor doesn’t want to leave yet; something’s caught his interest.

So? Take the kids home, then come back. You have a time machine; the planet’s not going anywhere!

But of course they all stick around, because the Doctor’s noticed those silvery insects as well. Question; why doesn’t he leave the kids in the TARDIS where it’s safe, just in case something goes wrong, and where there is also a library and a pool and things to do, instead of hanging around in ‘Webley’s World of Wonders’ and being bored and inevitably wandering off because you know that’s going to happen.  Even the Doctor knows that, because he purposefully comes back to tell them not to wander off. Don’t wander off. Don’t wander off. Have you gotten it? Good. “Sweet dreams.”

Webley swigs from his hip flask and dithers about in front of the Cyberman chess player, and this is probably going to go much as how you would expect to. So I shall say, as Webley is grabbed by the ’empty’ suit and upgraded and it’s all very horrifying, that here was another supporting character who I would have loved to see as a Companion. True, we didn’t get to see a lot of him, but he seemed nice and crafty and earnest and didn’t try to hoodwink anyone or go back on his word. He definitely deserved a lot better than being upgraded and shortly upstaged by a certain somebody who we shall get to, in time.

Also, aaa, Cyber bugs coming out of the eyes, eeeeeeeeesh.

Capture well, i'm not sleeping tonight
Well, I’M not sleeping tonight; how about you?

Cut to a Cyber eye view of Angie complaining. Grrrrr, but she does have a point, the ‘Spacey Zoomer’ was pretty tame. No service for her phone! Angie, it’s I don’t know how many thousands of years in the future; who on earth are you planning to call? She puts down said phone and it promptly gets swarmed by Cyber bugs, with plenty of sparks. Neither of them notices, of course. Angie’s not going to do what Clara says, she’s not her mum! I have no right to comment on this, Angie has lost her mum after all, but rrrrrrr. And she wanders off. GAH.

Clara and Porridge walk and talk. Porridge explains about the Cyber Wars, and how the human side eventually destroyed the Cybermen’s whole galaxy, leaving a blank spot in space where it used to be. Look you can see it from here, how convenient! Porridge personally feels more sorry for the guy who had to push the button, rather than the billion trillion who died. That…makes a weird sort of sense, I’ll give you that. Then the Doctor finds that Angie’s somehow found her way to the barracks. Oh for the love of…!

In the barracks, it turns out a lot of parts of machinery are simply gone. Not ominous in the slightest! Angie shows up. “Hello? I’m bored?” Because naturally these tense and worried people exist for you amusement. Grrrr. And she thinks Clara’s stupid. You are not making me like you more, Angie no, no, I will not rant, I will not rant! The captain is rather curious about Porridge.

Artie talks to himself, and gets up to wander about and turn the lights back on. Seriously, Doctor, why didn’t you leave them in the TARDIS? It’s much less creepy in there, and also less chance of things like Cyber bugs and Cybermen wandering about. One of which nabs Artie in short order, even after he turns the lights back on.

Capture Foul play!
Foul play, sir! …Madam…whatever gender you were/are/used to be.

The captain’s just asking about Porridge when the Doctor and Clara show up and Angie immediately starts throwing a strop and saying things like  Clara “has to turn up and spoil everything!” and “I wasn’t doing anything, why can’t you just leave me alone!?” and I argrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Will. Not. Rant. She is bored, very little has actually happened on this trip that she…sort of blackmailed her way into, she no doubt has a complicated back story and history that’s never actually expanded on but it’s surely there, do not rant.

Thank god, a sleek new Cyberman shows up to forestall the impending row. The platoon try to go into attack formation and generally aren’t any good. The Cyberman goes super fast while everything else is in slow motion, grabs Angie and runs off.

Capture Super speed
At a speed that should have liquefied her, but you can’t have everything no, no ,DO NOT RANT.

The Doctor grabs Clara, who despite screaming for Angie is looking remarkably calm, considering her ward has just been abducted to have who knows what done to her. It turns out the platoon is a ‘punishment platoon’ full of soldiers who are stuck there so they don’t cause trouble anywhere else. The Doctor, rather rudely, takes the captain’s authority and gives it to Clara as ‘Imperial Consul’, in order to make sure the platoon doesn’t blow up the planet. Or something. He heads off to look for Angie, find Artie – because they know he’s missing as well, apparently – and look for funny insects. In that order. Don’t blow up the planet!!!

“Put me down,” Angie cries to her captor, “I hate you!”

All right. Now I will rant, if only briefly. (Be warned, profanity, Angie has driven me to such a pass!)

(For fuck’s sake, Angie; how old are you, five?!?!?! This is your reaction to an implacable metal being who’s forcibly picked you up, equally forcibly taken you away from your companions, and quite possibly wants to do horrible and unspeakable things to you????? Whine and throw a tantrum and tell it that ‘you hate it’, as if that’s going to make any fucking difference????? You are young and do not have full grasp of the situation, but that does not give you license to be a fucking moron, and a whiny fucking moron at that. Yes, I will say it, you whine so much and I am so happy that, after this scene, you will shut up until the end of the episode, it’s horrible of me to say it but it’s my opinion so there.

Also, whoever wrote that line, whether it was Neil Gaiman or someone who adjusted the script for him or whatever, seriously? Seriously??? “I hate you, wah!”????? You could have gone with ‘Let me go!’ or ‘What are you doing?’ or ‘Put me down now!’ or ‘I’m warning you!’ You could have gone with any of those things and they would have been acceptable and understandable – but no; Angie can’t stop whining even when she’s in serious danger.

And then she screams when there’s really no reason for her to scream yet; all Artie’s done is be creepy and tell her she’ll be upgraded. She doesn’t know what that means, the Cyberman hasn’t touched her again. Admittedly Webley is rather creepy, but I should think she’d just be at the whimpering stage. One of the three should at least have been reaching for her. Probably Artie, so Webley could still do that ‘shush’ motion.

Shush.
Scratch that; I’m definitely not sleeping tonight.

Credit where it’s due, though, Angie’s actress isn’t that good at acting, but she’s a great screamer. That sent chills down my spine.)

The captain points out all the places they can be secure in this dilapidated theme park. I’ve heard Gaiman did actually want to set the big climax on ‘the beach’, but the budget couldn’t stretch to that, so they have to settle for ‘Natty Longshoe’s Comical Castle’. The captain and Clara clash about blowing up the planet. Porridge comes forward to back Clara up, and the captain seems to recognise him. I wonder why? Anyway, she decides to go along with Clara – for now.

Oh, it turns out the Doctor didn’t know Artie had been caught after all. He finds a Cyberbug, ‘stuns’ and pockets it. You’re going to regret picking that up. Yes you are, yes you are!

And now the sonic screwdriver is a teleporter! Or at least it accesses a teleport link, that brings the Doctor to…some shadowy blue room somewhere. Angie and Artie have both been converted. Turns out the Cybermen having been harvesting the children who came to the theme park for quite a while now. But now, they’ve had a nice surprise. “Hail to you Doctor, Savior of the Cybermen!” Oh crap.

Clara tries to find out more about the possible blowing up of the planet. The captain would be fully willing to follow orders to do so, should the Imperium decree it. Clara is authoritative and does her best to keep order, and shows a concern for Angie and Artie that she’s certainly never displayed before. Then again, we’ve never seen her interact with them much, so we shall have to take her word for it.

Cyber Webley explains what the Cybermen are actually doing here; they fled from the final battle and have been rebuilding and repairing themselves – using visitors to the amusement park as spare parts. Initially they needed children’s brains for a new Cyber Planner – “A child’s brain, with its infinite potential, is perfect for our needs,” I see what you did there, Gaiman! – but now they’ve found something better. The Doctor claims that Cybermen can only use human parts – but after all, isn’t upgrading what the Cybermen are all about?

Told you you’d regret picking up that Cyberbug, which is now officially a Cybermite. That sounds so cute! Anyway, Webley actually throws some Cybermites at the Doctor rather than the one he picked up getting back into action, so I was wrong after all. The upgrade kicks in. Question; where does all this metal on the Doctor’s temple come from? Are those the Cybermites that have burrowed in? Oh well, who cares: CYBORG DOCTOR WOOT!

EEEEEEEEEEEEE.
EEEEEEEEEEEEE.

And here comes that being to upstage Webley; Cyborg Doctor, henceforth to be known as ‘Mr Clever’. The Doctor and Mr Clever have a fight inside the body. Matt Smith does this very well, twisting  his body about all over the place to signify the person who’s talking at present. And showing off his coattails. I love the Doctor’s new outfit; I haven’t mentioned how much I love it before, so I shall now.

Also, I love the contrast inside the Doctor’s head between the warm circles of the Doctor and the cold blue sparks of Mr Clever. Genius!

Just look at this. Poetry in motion!
Just LOOK at this. Poetry in motion!

Mr Clever starts raiding the databanks about Time Lords. The Doctor threatens that he can regenerate and blow the cyber upgrade to bits – thank you! A nice return to a Doctor who doesn’t whine incessantly about regenerating! It’s a stalemate; each controls about 49.881% of the brain, so there’s about 0.238% up for grabs. So, naturally, it’s time for chess, winner takes all – although the Cyber-Planner is gloating that if he wins, the Cyberiad gets everything, and the Doctor says that if he wins, “You get out of my head, you let the children go, and nobody dies!” Fat chance of that, but it’s always nice to be optimistic.

A soldier who is called Missy is wandering around a dank and dripping powerstation – for some reason. She gets stalked by a Cyberman,  and asks over the radio “Is it okay if I hide?” and shouts at her enemy “Don’t move! I’m in the army!”

…I’ve got nothing.

The Cyberman’s hand comes off, eeeeeeesh, and somehow manages to leap up to grab onto Missy’s face. Bye, Missy!

Funniest New Who Death EVER.
Funniest New Who Death EVER, hands down.

Clara and the platoon are setting up in the comical castle. She inspects the weapons. They only have one gun, oh joy, elctro magnetic pulsers, and a big black thing to implode the planet. Clara quickly takes control of the trigger, since the Doctor specifically wants no one to blow up the planet, and implosion counts. Clara and the captain have another clash over the voice recognition portion. The captain really wants to follow orders. Porridge takes a pulser, and the captain takes him upstairs to learn how to use it. Also possibly for something else.

Between the two of them, the Doctor and Mr Clever have made a chess board and all the pieces. Or just found them somewhere. As the game starts, Mr Clever is curious about the fact that there’s no record of the Doctor anywhere in the databanks of the Cyberiad. Turns out the Doctor’s been eliminating himself from history – for some reason – and also leaving behind a big hole, which he will have to do something about. Back to the centre of the mind, Mr Clever is cheating by pulling in the thinking power of other processors, and rants about how the Doctor cannot possibly win!!! Matt Smith must have had so much fun with this.

The Doctor strikes back by lecturing Mr Clever into stasis. No, really. Well, admittedly he distracts him with a lecture, then slaps the golden ticket onto his face because you know that was going to come up again, and Cybermen are allergic to gold! For some reason. I know this is from the original series, and it’s nice that Gaiman gets a nod in, but why were the Cybermen allergic to gold at all? And why haven’t they upgraded it out of their system by now? Oh well, the Doctor’s in control again for the moment, and grabs Cyber Webley, the kids and the chessboard, and skedaddles.

The captain confronts Porridge – she seems to know who he is, although she never just comes out and says it. She knows her platoon can’t beat more than one Cyberman, and thinks the Imperium should know what’s happening. Since the communicators are out, the only way to do that is to activate the bomb – which Porridge now forbids her to do as well. Clara comes along and is rather confused about the whole ‘imploding the planet just to get one Cyberman’ thing, as well as tossing the trigger about rather cavalierly, and has to have things explained to her once again – through trial and error, they’ve learned that only big solutions work. The captain is determined to follow orders – not following them is what got her stuck here in the first place – and grabs the bomb and starts the activation code. Then she gets shot by a Cyberman.

Well, that was easy.

FINALLY appropriate.
Also, Clara’s expression is finally appropriate for the occasion.

Clara determines to take out the Cyberman before it picks them all off. This is going to go well, isn’t it?

That was sarcasm and also foreshadowing, because two of the platoon are knocked out and upgraded in quick succession. Bye, nameless mooks! Another chap who’s just shown up rants at the Cyberman – the editing in this scene is really odd – and gets out of teh way so that Clara can shoot it. Hooray! The two platoon who’ve been upgraded get up and not so threateningly start walking towards them, but hooray! The platoon actually does something productive, and deactivates them! They need to save the charge of the gun; they might well need it again. “You don’t think that was the only one, then?”

Well, duh, Clara. Even the man who was sent to this abandoned planet to keep him out of the way shakes his head at your ignorance.

The Doctor shows up with his rag tag Cyber team in tow. Clara asks if he got the kids they are right behind him Clara, what are you, blind?????? The Doctor employs the good news, bad news format, bringing everyone up to speed and also enraging Clara when she finds out her charges are in a walking coma. Also, there are more Cybermen on the way and Mr Clever is fighting against the gold patch. Yeah, not great. The Doctor tells them them to tie him up – with his hands free for chess! – “-and immobilise me. Quickly.”

Er, I think that tying you up would already immobilise you, Doctor, stop repeating yourself for dramatic effect.

Clara ties him to a stool…thing.

There's no WAY he can get out of that.
Oh yes, THAT’LL stop him from going anywhere, there’s no way he’ll be able to get out of THAT.

You would think the Doctor would wait until Clara was out of grabbing range before ripping the ticket off, just in case Mr Clever has any more Cybermites to spare. Anyway, out he comes again, putting on a strange accent – is that Yorkshire? – and talking about the fact that the Doctor’s regenerated ten times now. For some reason. He also starts spilling about the Doctor’s interest in Clara – The Impossible Girl – and blathering on about how the Cybermen will upgrade everyone, build a spaceship and move on. The right hand moves to scribble a message from the Doctor – “Hit me!”, how fortunate that he happened to have a pad on standby! – and Clara does so. Oh come on, Doctor, surely it didn’t hurt that much!

Clara wants to know why she’s impossible, but there’s no time! Chess game, stakes, etc! “If he wins, he gets access to my mind and all my memories, along with knowledge of time travel. But, if I win, he’ll break his promises to get out of my head and then kill us all anyway!” Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Clara wants to know if whatever happened to the children can be reversed, but Mr Clever subtly resurfaces and is really rather rude, telling her to stop interrupting the game and GTFO.

She storms off and starts mustering the troops. They electrocute the moat with a power line cable that just so happens to still have some power in it. Cybermen can’t fly, can they? Not yet, at least. I know it’s unlikely we’ll get to see a flying Cyberman, but oh, that would be fun.

Back in the Doctor’s mind, the two inhabitants once again clash. Mr Clever wakes up the Cybermen. There are a lot of Cybermen, all powered by forsaken children!

Porridge gives Clara something hot to drink, just before the Doctor calls for her. The Cybermen march! When asked about the weapons strength  Clara quickly rattles it off. Umm, perhaps not the best idea to tell all this to a guy who’s sharing head space with the one directing your enemies? At least she’s savvy enough not to give him the trigger to the bomb.

And then ruins that all by leaning forward and putting her hands on the table, in a very convenient position for getting grabbed. With the trigger still in her hand. You could at least have put it away, first!

You are an idiot.
You are an IDIOT.

Asked to prove himself, the Doctor comes out with something about his feelings for her. (Oh no, now I can see the ship tease!!!) This is proof enough for Clara, who slaps him – the real Doctor would never talk about any feelings he might have! This annoys Mr Clever, who manages to get control of the left arm and grabs the trigger – without Clara even trying to stop him! – and smashes it. Don’t you feel stupid now, Clara?

And guess what? The Cybermen are heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere!

What an eccentric performance.
What an eccentric performance.

They start to attack. One steps into the moat and appears to get electrocuted – then it upgrades. Crap. The platoon take up defensive postions and are you telling me they didn’t even think to barricade the door?????? If the electric moat hadn’t worked – which, guess what? It didn’t!!!!! – all the Cybermen would have been trying to get into the castle that way, and you didn’t even barricade it??????? You are the worst platoon ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

EVER.
EVER.

Right. Okay.

Moving swiftly on, one Cyberman gets shot, but there are a whole lot more behind him…her…it. Crap. Porridge grabs the bomb and I learn that the captain’s name was Alice Ferrin, since I wasn’t paying attention the first time. What, so they just left the bomb up there with her body? For that matter, they just left her body up there as well?

Mr Clever is gloating at the Doctor, since he’s sure he’s going to win, and says if the Doctor sacrifices his queen, he gets the children back. “But it’s mate in five moves, and I get your mind!” The Doctor gives up his queen, something which confuses Mr Clever – emotions and all that, you know, although I’d say he’s been exhibiting quite a lot of them since he came into being, so he shouldn’t be so dismissive. Still, he keeps his word and gives back the children. So where does all the blinking metal temple stuff go? And what about Webley, why doesn’t the Doctor try to get him back?

Actually, we know why Webley’s still cyber-ized – so he can kill the children now they’re free! Mr Clever taunts the Doctor about how their death will affect his relationship with ‘Miss Clara’ – though, since he plans to take over the Doctor’s mind and completely upgrade everyone, I can’t think it’ll matter much. Webley springs into action and is very creepy and why aren’t the children running? For crap’s sack. Porridge attacks Webley with a pulser and gets knocked out for his troubles, but it seems to stop Webley so hooray!

The Cybermen upgrade to shrug off blows from the cyber gun blaster thing. Oh dear.

The Doctor claims sacrificing his queen was the best possible move he could have made – after all, the Time Lords invented chess. Oh they did, did they? Naturally chess isn’t a human invention, or even a game with plenty of similarities that’s sprung up in multiple corners of the galaxy. Nope, Time Lords! Anyhow, getting back on the subject, he claims that it will be his mate in three moves! Mr Clever is, naturally, incredulous, and demands to know how, but surprise surprise, the Doctor won’t tell him.

The Cybermen corner Clara and the last two survivors of the platoon and are just about to kill/upgrade them – when they stop moving. Mr Clever is drawing upon the processing power of every Cyber unit in order to calculate how the Doctor could possibly have mate in three moves – which is cheating , of course. One: that seems terribly inefficient, two: so the villain cheating actually saved lives by accident? Or was the Doctor banking on this? I’m thinking not.

“There’s no way you can get to mate in three moves!” Oh yes he can! Move one, take the pulser from an unconscious Porridge, move two, sonic it up, move three, amplify pulser, and then face palm!!! “That’s cheating!!!” “Just taking advantage of the local resources.” Once again, where does all that cyber metal go? Does it fall off, is it evaporated, what????

Clara runs in, and after testing him – “Do you think I’m pretty?” – and getting a satisfactory answer – “Nope.” – unties him. The Cyber-Planner is no longer Mr Clever and is back in three million Cybermen and about to try and kill them all, build a space ship and get off the planet. They need to implode it! But they can’t, they need a voice activation and the captain’s dead!

“I think you should ask Porridge,” Angie speaks up, “he is the Emperor.” Lo and behold, Angie does something productive!!! Sort of; I do hope Porridge would have volunteered this information if there was no other way. “Look, am I the only one paying attention to anything around here?” Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Porridge, it turns out, is rather reluctant to go back to being Emperor, but the Doctor is very persuasive. “This is Emperor Ludens Nimrod Kendrick, called Longstaff the 41st, the defender of humanity, imperator of known space. Activate the Desolator.”

But don’t worry, they’re all beamed up into the state room of a space ship come to pick him up! Along with everyone else! Plus the TARDIS! Well, that was a tad anti-climatic.  What am I saying, a tad? A lot anti-climatic. Still, we get a nice shot of a planet blowing up, wheeee!

Along with all the Cybermen made from innocent children! Ack.

And we’ve still got about five minutes left. So, what are we going to fill them up with? A whole lot of talking, I think. I notice that Clara and the kids have artistically arranged themselves where they fell on the steps. They’re chiming in like a Greek chorus as Porridge talks about being lonely as the emperor, chains of command and so on. Wouldn’t staying on that planet with only Webley and a platoon he had to get away from be pretty lonely? This makes no sense!

Then he asks Clara to marry him. Umm…okay. Fair enough, they interacted quite a bit during the episode, so I’ll give them that, this didn’t come right the hell out of nowhere. Clara thinks. but says no, since she doesn’t want to rule a thousand galaxies. angie, once more, calls her stupid: “You could be queen of the universe! One day I’ll be queen of the universe!” No comment. Clara gives Porridge a jaunty little salute as they leave.

Once more, with feeling; why couldn’t he be the companion? Having a runaway Emperor in the TARDIS would have been great! I understand that they wouldn’t have been able to get Warwick Davis for the whole season, he’s a busy man and in high demand, but it’s a fascinating idea!

The Doctor drops the kids and Clara off. Angie is finally impressed by something. Well, woopty frigging doo. He gives Angie a new phone, since hers got upgraded – whatever happened to that phone, anyway? (I mean, apart from getting imploded at the end; I thought it was going to become a plot point, but nope.) “Thanks Clara’s boyfriend!” No, stop with the ship tease now that I can see it!!!

Clara leaves, and the Doctor muses once more upon the ‘impossible girl’, yet again. “A mystery wrapped in an enigma squeezed into a skirt that’s just a little bit too…tight.” STOPPIT STOPPIT STOPPIT ARRRRRRRRRRG YOU’RE MARRIED.

Porridge gets his ship to scan for any signs of Cybertech. There are none. “You ever wanted to be Emperor, Gloria?” “No, Majesty.” That’s the right answer.” They set off home and of course there’s a Cybermite floating and glowing and beeping in space. Of course there is. How did it get there? How did it survive the blast? I don’t know, end of episode!!!

So. What did I think of ‘Nightmare in Silver’?

Well – it was certainly an interesting episode.

I am in a conundrum. It has things I love – Mr Clever, Porridge, Webley, the general use of the Cybermen, great acting from Matt Smith, Warwick Davis and Jason Watkins (Webley). The whole fight in the Doctor’s mind was an inspired idea, as was the idea of setting it in a theme park. The sheer horror of children being harvesting to grow this army was wonderful – or it would have been, if they had actually done anything with it. And, as I’ve said, the idea of an Emperor on the run is a great one, even though I’m baffled as to why Porridge would be hanging out on a planet like this, when he could be under the radar and having fun somewhere else.

On the other hand – this episode moves like a dream, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. A lot of it is rather vague and simply doesn’t make sense. Clara is essentially a Doctor clone this time around, and her concern for the children is never really backed up by anything – and the rest of the supporting cast are really barely there. The kids are basically plot points to annoy me and then spend most of the episode in a walking coma, the platoon is mainly there to be cannon fodder. At times it seemed like the Doctor, Clara and Porridge were the only true characters in the plot. And Mr Clever, of course.

I like this episode. I just wish I could love it, but I can’t.

Next time on Doctor Who: Someone is abducting the Doctor’s friends! Yes, we get to see Vastra, Jenny and Strax again! The Doctor can’t go somewhere! He must never go there, and yet he must, he has a duty! River Song’s tombstone! Slendermen in top hats! The Doctor must cross his own time line! Stuff blows up! Correction, Slendermen with teeth!!! Strax is attacking Vastra, that’s not good! Vastra shoots something! Clara screams! Doctor Simeon asks what the Doctor’s name is! “Doctor Who?!” I’m thinking Simeon’s trying to get hold of his name so that he can control him – there’s power in a name. All this and more, in ‘The Name of the Doctor’!

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