Nightmare in Silver gives us another Doctor Who story written by Neil Gaiman. This, the penultimate episode of the seventh series, first aired on 11 May 2013.
The Doctor (Smith) and Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) take her charges, Angie (Eve de Leon Allen) and Artie (Kassius Carey Johnson) on an adventure. They head to Hedgewick’s World of Wonders.
Enjoying the world, the kids have a great time, until the Doctor discovers cyber-mites active on the planet, which can only mean one thing. The Cybermen, believed to be inactive, and little more than museum pieces on this planet are about to attack.
Unfortunately, the Doctor is partially converted, and soon finds himself squaring off in his mind against another version of himself, incarnated as the Cyber Controller.
Clara does her best to protect the children, and the few people on the planet mass together to fend off the Cybermen.
Joining the Doctor in this episode is Warwick Davis(!) as Porridge, an associate of Mr. Webley (Jason Watkins), who helps him bamboozle customers in a game of chess against a Cyberman-shell.
It ends up being a very solid episode, and I love when Gaiman writes for the Doctor.
These Cybermen are new, they’re fast, and apparently, in some cases, the upgrade process takes longer, and consequently, Webley, Artie, Angie, and eventually the Doctor all get a but of a Borg moment when they are partially transformed.
Smith gets to play against himself, the Doctor versus his alter-ego, Mr. Clever, and the sequences are solid, and occasionally frightening as the jeopardy mounts.
Of course, the Doctor, with Clara and the kids, save the day, and find themselves ending for the final episode of the seventh series.
The final episode of the seventh series, The Name of the Doctor,
There’s a lot going on in this episode, including the Doctor travelling to the planet of his future grave, Trenzalore. Written by Steven Moffat, viewers were taken on a ride when it first aired on 18 May, 2013.
The episode sees the return of River Song (Alex Kingston), Strax (Dan Starkey), Jenny Flint (Catrin Stewart), and Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh). We are also introduced to a new menace, the Victorian-dressed Whisper Men, who are servants of the Great Intelligence (Richard E. Grant).
And will we learn who Clara is, why she’s appeared twice before to the Doctor, and died both times. And perhaps, even more. I love that reveal so much.
This is not an episode for a newcomer to watch as a first episode, this is all about pay-offs, established character and story arcs, and raising new questions and thoughts. There is a lot going on here, and without an understanding of what has come before, the casual viewer would get lost.
This one, for the fans however, is a fantastic episode, and is wonderfully engaging. And yeah, I openly admit to getting weepy a couple of times throughout the course of this episode. There are some well-earned moments in this episode.
And of course, this one sets up next week’s 50th anniversary special rather nicely, and also gives us a moment with John Hurt’s War Doctor!