7.238 "Nightmare In Silver" - SPOILERS

Summary from [b]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nightmare_in_Silver[/b]:

[i]The Doctor takes Clara and the two children, Angie and Artie, to whom she is nanny, to an extraterrestrial theme park. However, they find the park abandoned and closed down, and under military occupation. The Doctor convinces the troops and their Captain stationed there that he is an official looking for their missing Emperor and they find Webley, the owner of the theme park, who takes them on a tour. Webley then shows them several deactivated Cybermen, explaining that the Cybermen race was defeated and exterminated a thousand years ago. They are harmless museum pieces while one is converted into a chess-playing machine operated by Porridge, a chess champion with dwarfism. After having fun playing at some of the park’s attractions, Clara is ready to take Angie and Artie back home. However, the Doctor decides to stay, becoming suspicious of strange bugs infesting the park. The bugs are revealed to be cybermites, which reactivate the Cybermen in the museum. The Cybermen then abduct Webley, Angie, and Artie.

The Captain and her platoon are shocked that there are still active Cybermen, and admit that they are a punishment unit that was banished to this planet to keep them out of the way. The Doctor then puts Clara in charge of the troops, warning her not to let them destroy the planet while he goes to rescue Angie and Artie. Since communications with the rest of the Empire are cut off, Clara has them relocate to a nearby castle to fortify it. Meanwhile, the Doctor finds Angie and Artie have been infected with the cybermites and are under the Cybermens’ control. A partially converted Webley reveals to the Doctor that the Cybermen have been secretly rebuilding themselves, kidnapping people from the amusement park before it closed. However, to further their plans, they need an advanced brain like the Doctor’s. The Doctor points out that Cybermen can only use humans, but Cyber-Webley reveals that they have upgraded themselves to the point where they can convert any organic lifeform, and infects the Doctor with cybermites. The Cyberman consciousness that attempts to take control of the Doctor’s mind, powered up by having access to a Time Lord brain, then dubs itself the Cyber-Planner. To prevent the Cyber-Planner from seizing control his mind, the Doctor threatens to initiate a regeneration, which would destroy the Cyberman implants in his brain. Realizing that they are at a stalemate, the Cyber-Planner agrees to the Doctor’s challenge to play a game of chess, with the winner taking control of the Doctor’s mind.

Meanwhile, at the castle, Clara takes stock of the platoon’s anti-Cybermen weapons. However, they only possess one anti-Cyberman gun, several hand pulsers, and a planet-destroying bomb. Clara takes possession of the bomb trigger and orders the Captain not to use the bomb’s verbal command. In a private moment, the Captain reveals that she knows Porridge is the missing Emperor, having once been part of the Imperial Guard. Porridge tells Clara that drastic measures are the only way to fight the Cybermen, and if a Cyberman cannot be immediately destroyed, then the entire planet must be destroyed. The Captain, having been sent to the punishment platoon for disobeying orders, decides to make up for her past failure by activating the bomb, despite Clara and Porridge’s protests. However, the Captain is shot and killed by a Cyberman before she can give the detonation command. Clara decides to go on the offensive, and working with the platoon, she manages to destroy the Cyberman attacking them.

In the Cyberman base, the Doctor manages to temporarily disrupt the Cyber-Planner’s control over him, and reunites with Clara, warning her that the Cyber-Planner will reactivate the rest of the dormant Cybermen in order to wipe them out. He then continues the chess game against the Cyber-Planner, knowing that it will not keep its promise if he wins. Posing as the Doctor, the Cyber-Planner then tricks Clara into giving it the bomb trigger, which it destroys. With no more threats to itself, the Cyber-Planner then sends its entire Cyberman army against Clara and the platoon. As the humans and Cybermen battle, the Doctor agrees to sacrifice his Queen and guarantee his loss in return for setting Angie and Artie free. The Doctor then bluffs the Cyber-Planner, saying he has a way to defeat him in three moves. Falling for the bluff, the Cyber-Planner shuts down the Cyberman army to use their processing power to figure out the Doctor’s strategy. The Doctor then uses the distraction to disable his implants with a powered up hand pulser, banishing the Cyber-Planner from his mind.

However, the Cybermen begin to reactivate. Porridge, who never wanted to be Emperor, reluctantly uses his voice command to activate the bomb, revealing that using this command will immediately summon his flagship which will automatically teleport him aboard. Everybody is transported to safety while the planet is destroyed along with all of the Cybermen. Porridge then asks Clara to marry him, impressed by her beauty and intelligence. However, Clara politely refuses, saying she has no wish to be the Queen of the Universe. The Doctor and Clara then return Angie and Artie home.

After scanning for any remaining Cyberman technology, Porridge orders his ship to return home. However, a single cybermite is seen floating through space.[/i]


Overall I liked the episode. It was entertaining. Heck, I watched it through 4 times before writing this. However, it was NOT put together very well. I ended up with a plethora of possible plot hole questions:

  • Why did The Doctor start looking for funny insects?

  • Why did The Doctor reference missing children at the park?

  • What did Captain Farren say to Angie in their “chat”?

  • Why was Clara adept and capable enough to take instant command of the Platoon successfully yet get supped to let Mr Clever destroy the remote trigger unit to the Desolator?

  • What knocks Porridge out when he kills Wembly?

  • Why the reference that The Doctor was erasing himself from history? Will he start to fix the “holes” from his absence so he won’t be able to be reconstructed?

  • Why did Clara not ask The Doctor why she is “The Impossible Girl” after they returned home?

Highlights from the episode for me:

  • The Doctor admires the Cybermite. Proof that he is still amazed by the universe around him and that he holds all life precious.

  • Angie is a clever girl. She figures out Wembly’s Cyberman is controlled by ‘mirrors,’ figured out Porridge is actually the Emperor, and insists that she will be Queen of the universe someday. I don’t doubt it. She also forces Clara to spill the beans about her traveling in time at the end of the previous episode, The Crimson Horror. Angie is indeed a clever girl. So much so that the TARDIS gives her a new phone. The ultimate tip of the hat to a teenage girl.

  • Porridge, aka Emperor Ludence Nimrod Kendrick Cord Longstaff XLI, always has a regal air about him. Aside from running away from destroying an entire galaxy all of his other actions are majestic. I think he and Tyrion Lannister would be quite the pair indeed.

  • Badgerspoon pointed it out on Twitter the ngiht Nightmare In Silver aired, but it was interesting to find out that Clara does trust The Doctor yet wouldn’t go so far as to say that The Doctor knows what he is doing. I don’t know if the series has given us that answer. I actually sense a bit of DISTRUST between Clara and The Doctor. So it’s very interesting to hear her say that.

I’m looking forward to next week!

~Shooter Out

The last couple of episodes have shown a marked improvement over the first few with Clara. Definitely put the proper spook factor into it.

One of the bummers about the current Cybermen was that they were always so underpowered. The Daleks would wipe the floor with them and did so. Now though they would have a fight on their hands. Were a bit more like the borg though. What is it they say the best steal. Looks like they did just that. It does work though for the character.

And in it all everything old is new again. When the cyber planner activates all the Cybermen. That image is homage to the first time we find them. BTW the repository they are in is done for the same reasons.

Next up is Trenzalor, and we have our favorite trio of Victorian compatriots back. That said, old wounds seem to come to the front. Looks like many of the Doctor’s past shadows are brought into focus.

Six days and counting.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2


Thank you for taking the lead on starting this thread.

I’m going to put my thoughts down and then respond separately to people’s posed questions. I’ve not had the benefit of four viewings, but do have the benefit of having just watched it. I am not going to read the synopsis which may solve some of the issues I have (because if I didn’t realize on my own there is a gap)

Everything I write below is summarized into the following points:

  • Kids not central in narratives are always awkward plot holes
  • Clara not given a reason for immediate commander capability is going to annoy the internet, but I liked it
  • Emporer: Nice twist
  • Three million Cybermen laying dorment doesn’t make sense
  • Cybermites are cool
  • The amusement park was a huge waste of potential
  • Doctor v. Cyber Doctor: Cementing his relationship with Clara was worth the price of admission
  • Overall rating after one viewing: 9
  • Overall rating after multiple viewings: TBD

I came into this episode terrified for one reason: The kids. When I step back and look at New Who as a whole this show has shown a surprising ability to incorporate children into the show without it becoming cutesy. The Girl Who Waited still brings a tear to my eye, “Are you my Mommy?” still gives me chills, even little Clara food sequence although played for silliness was never ‘cute’.

Yet none of this occured to me walking into the episode, especially given the setting of the giant amusement park. I think Gaiman handled this anchor as best he could, used them to demonstrate some wonder, then essentially knocked them out so he didn’t have to deal with them and used them as a motivational tool. I’m ok with this. I would have been more ok with when the Doctor realizes there is danger him STICKING THEM IN THE FRAKKING T.A.R.D.I.S. Unknown environment? Potential danger? Here, go take a nap in the creepiest room on the planet. In the dark. Or, here is another thought, don’t just put them in the T.A.R.D.I.S., take them home and come back. There is no risk, he could even come back instantaneously.

Grr. This is the problem with kids in narratives. It always creates awkward plot holes when they aren’t key.

Clara. I was shocked at how well she stepped into a commander role and I think that will raise some questions. I understand why the Doctor did it, he is the only person he could trust to not immediately blow up the planet. I really liked Commander Clara, but they gave us no reason to believe she was immediately capable of doing this. This is where I get frustrated and think I need to go become an associate show runner in Hollywood. I know it is hard to see the forest through the trees, but seriously, let me come in one week before your show airs and let me watch it. I can give helpful commentary like, “You know, a two second scene showing Clara effiently commanding the kids through a bedtime routine will pay dividends down the road…”

The Emporer. Nice twist.

The Cybermen. I’m a little confused about this. One Cyberman is a terrible threat that you should blow up a planet over. They have three million lying around dorment…why? What are they waiting for? Their last war ended in a stalemate by blowing up a section of the universe. That is not a sustainable defence. If you keep attacking your opponents will surrender.

The Cybermites. Interesting idea. Well executed. Makes way more sense then the chop’em up and jam them into a suit which never really made sense to me. I liked how they also served as little spies, totally upped the creep factor.

The amusement park. Um, why? Totally unnessary. Interesting backdrop? Yes. Did they explore the possibility of it? No. We got a wax works, a floaty ride on the moon and a castle. Didn’t need any of that for the Cybermen story. I think they fell in love with the idea of it but missed the mark in using the setting. Nothing frustrates me more than missed potential, and the greatest amusement park ever had chock full of potential. The boy yells out, “This was the best day in my life!” WHY? The floaty ride and playing chess with the fake robot? You need to get out more kid.

The Doctor. Ok, this was some good stuff. The entire back and forth between him and Cyber him was priceless. Matt Smith as an actor continues to grow and strengthen. The Gollum-esque back and forth danced on the trope line but he never lost me. They Cyber Doctor professing his fondness for Clara was an awesome way for them really cementing that they are not going to go in that direction. That was worth the price of admission. Pun intended.

Overall rating after one viewing: from one to ten, ten being awesome: 9

Okay, I’m taking on Shooter’s questions (and not doing the awkward multiquote thing which takes too dang long on single multi responses). Also note I have still only seen the episode once and not gone looking for other analyses…lunch breaks are only so long.

- Why did The Doctor start looking for funny insects?
Interesting. I assumed he saw one before going on the hunt.

- Why did The Doctor reference missing children at the park?
The Doctor had way too much pre-knowledge coming into this. I caught that and the fact that he instructs Clara to not let anyone blow up the planet while he is gone. Why does he have specific knowledge of their protocols? It gets worse tho. If he had pre-knowledge of children going missing WHY DID HE BRING CHILDREN? As bait? That would be really, really startlingly bad. The two things are in serious conflict. [i]

  • What did Captain Farren say to Angie in their “chat”? [/i]
    I have no recollection of this.

- Why was Clara adept and capable enough to take instant command of the Platoon successfully yet get supped to let Mr Clever destroy the remote trigger unit to the Desolator?
I don’t think the two things are in conflict. Managing to have your hand grabbed can happen to anyone regardless of military rank or prowess. The command capability thing is something different.

- What knocks Porridge out when he kills Wembly?
An errant plot hole perhaps?

- Why the reference that The Doctor was erasing himself from history? Will he start to fix the “holes” from his absence so he won’t be able to be reconstructed?
I found this as an idea really interesting. Gaiman is setting up a larger narrative here. We know the Dalek’s memory of the Doctor got erased … by Clara! Wait a tick, did that just happen?

- Why did Clara not ask The Doctor why she is “The Impossible Girl” after they returned home?
Because she is as bored of it as the rest of us. Seriously. Wasted potential overload.

Highlights from the episode for me:
- The Doctor admires the Cybermite. Proof that he is still amazed by the universe around him and that he holds all life precious.
Agreed. Beautiful moment reminding us about the core Doctor

- Angie is a clever girl
Also a good point in this ep. Her walking through all the plot points was a nice touch.

- Porridge, / always has a regal air about him / I think he and Tyrion Lannister would be quite the pair
Yes and yes. I am sure he still eyes that role with resentment. He doesn’t have the resonance to his voice sadly

- Clara does trust The Doctor yet wouldn’t go so far as to say that The Doctor knows what he is doing
Does any Companion ever fully trust the Doctor? I think this was one of the strongest pieces of dialogue in the ep. To the point. Honest. Revealing.

The “Millions of Cybermen lying dormant” thing is a common storyline thing for Cybermen. It practically was the point of “Tomb of the Cybermen” and several of the audios and books over the ages.
It’s what they do when they lose. Make it look like they were totally defeated, put a large group into stasis, wait until they are thought of as “legend”, wake up and attack.

Exactly, that’s why that shot of all of them waking up was done. With the fiftieth coming up they have been showing classic shots of the Doctor’s enemies.

With next week’s episode it looks like some of his past will come to haunt him.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

Solai, thanks for offering your take on my questions! I’d love to hears others’ take on them as well.

As I said I watched the episode four times. Part of that was because it was entertainment but part of that was to answer some of these questions. Unfortuantely, I did not notice The Doctor actually doing anything with insects until he saw a Cybermite on the table in Webly’s Imporium room. So I’m very curious as to how he knew to start looking for funny insects.

This was something I had a question on as well until I noticed in my second watch through that Porridge and Clara were discussing the destruction of the Tiberian Spiral Galaxy. That’s what clued The Doctor in on the destruction of the planet.

Angie comes into the barracks, says she is bored, says Clara is talking to Porridge (who Farren knows is the Emperor) and then Captain Farren takes Angie aside and says “We need to have a chat.” Okay. Chat about what? We never see the talk. It’s a loose plot end to me. By itself it is meaningless but all these plot holes together are annoying.

Okay. Very true. I guess my beef is that Clara was just being portrayed as very competent and then all of the sudden she goes near a known Cyber-entity, Mr. Clever, and dangles the trigger in front of him as he has free hands. That is not very competent. The two don’t mix well with me.

Errant plot holes sure added up for me in this episode. To the annoying point.

Good call. Clara could be the key to The Doctor erasing himself from history. Perhaps Clara is even time’s echo of The Doctor’s holes coming back to …haunt him?..pull him back into history?..something.

Yea. Something definitely should have happened there. Huge plot hole for me.

Again, thanks for offering up your take on my questions Solai!

~Shooter Out

I am wondering if this is going to be a long callback to “The Impossible Astronaunt” and her “impossible” relationship to River Song.

Well we do have River in next weeks finale. So somethings will be tidied up.

As to the chat Angie had. That was to confirm who Porridge was without letting anyone else know.

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