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Nightmare in Silver

ShowDoctor Who / Series VII / Episode 13
First Broadcast2013/05/13 - 19:30 (Link: ABC Details)
Related LinksDoctor Who Wiki Wikipedia
Previous EpisodeThe Crimson Horror
Next EpisodeThe Name Of The Doctor

The Cybermen are back and they have evolved to be almost indestructible. Cybermats have become advanced cybermites. There's a super-Cyberman, a Cyber-Planner, seen before but not as a biped, who is more advanced than the Cyber leaders. And the Cyberiad, the collective consciousness of all Cybermen (a little bit like the Dalek's pathweb perhaps, or more obviously, Star Trek's Borg). While the story had some good points, the Cybermen's new ability to upgrade almost instantly to counter new threats, is frustrating and defeats the tension in the story.

The story begins with the Doctor taking Clara and the children to Hedgewick's World of Wonders, the "biggest and best amusement park ever". This is the price, it seems, of the children's discovery about Clara in the previous episode. We are soon introduced to Webley (an impresario), Porridge - an interesting fellow with unexpected depths - and an under-skilled platoon.

The cyber creatures begin to appear and the drama escalates as Webley is upgraded by the Cybermites and the Doctor's mind is taken over by the Cyber-Planner. The battle for control of the Doctor is played for both humour and significance. In the end, the Doctor wins of course. One of the children deduces that Porridge is really the Emperor and they make their escape and destroy the planet. Naturally, there's a tiny Cybermite left floating in space, suggesting the Cyber race is not entirely defeated.

The story around Porridge was well written. He had to destroy an entire galaxy to get rid of the Cybermen and is struggling with that. He would prefer to be normal. In the end though, he has to fulfil his role. He proposes to Clara who politely turns him down. Angie thinks she's mad and declares that one day she'll be Queen of the Universe (?).

However, the story around the Cybermen was weak. Some great new concepts and the merging of the two strands of Cybermen (Cybus and Mondasian). But their ability to upgrade at will was too over the top. How do you fight such an enemy - it's almost pointless.