Monday, May 13, 2013

Review: Doctor Who "Nightmare in Silver" SPOILERS ABOUND

Okay, the latest episode of Doctor Who, while having a few excellent points on the plus side, really emphasizes the descent of the show into being a children's TV show again, rather than an actual science fiction program.

First the good stuff: Warrick Davis. You can't go wrong with Warrick Davis. And a couple of the special effects were good, though the sound editor didn't do a good job. How could that twit of a kid have screamed like she did if the Cyberman was moving at that speed? She wouldn't have even noticed until she was halfway down the hall.

And the final good point: The Cybermen, of course. They weren't all that scary to viewers, I don't think, but in the concept of the story, they were played to good effect, especially giving them an element of deviousness they hadn't really had before.

But the episode also went a little overboard on turning the Cybermen into the Borg. The partial conversions, the facial implements on the Doctor and Webley, even the mental combat all screamed "Borg" to me. The Cybermen could possibly have been an inspiration to the Star Trek: The Next Generation creators for the Borg, but this is such a blatant swipe.

Also, I think the writers should have maybe watch a few episodes of the original series, as I could've sworn that gold only messed up a Cyberman's respiration unit. Why touching a piece of foil to part of an implement would do anything is beyond me, at most a minor short circuit, I would think.

And now we come to the bane of the episode: The two kids. One kid, no problem. But two? Now you're pandering to the kid demographic and you officially have a kid's TV show. The mere fact that the Doctor would consider taking them along in the TARDIS, especially in a storyline where he is trying to erase his presence from history, is absurd. I suppose you can laugh it off because of his obsession with their governess, but it is lame no matter how you look at it. This is THE DOCTOR, not a babysitter. At least the initial process of turning them into Cybermen shut them up for a good portion of the episode.

Much like the previous episode, this one had a lot going for it, but stopped itself short of being a properly good episode. This one certainly did not feel like it was written by someone of the calibre of Neil Gaiman.  I suppose even the great ones phone one in now and again.

I don't hold out much hope for the next episode either, with the pointless answering of the "Question That Must Not Be Answered" either. In fact, I don't hold out much hope for the series until both Matt Smith and Stephen Moffat quit the show.

I'm still hoping that the entire Eleventh Doctor saga is some odd alternate universe that will resolve itself and disappear from the collective memory next episode or on the 50th Anniversary Special.

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