News Categories
Archives

Best of Matt Smith: Nightmare in Silver

best-of-matt-smith-nightmare

Across the next couple of months Doctor Who TV is running a series of polls to celebrate Matt Smith’s era. We want you to cast your votes on every story and at the end we’ll be comprising a list to find the top scoring.

We continue Series 7 with Nightmare in Silver. All you have to do is rate the story with your score out of 10, so get voting and join us again tomorrow for the next episode.

Step back in time...

COMMENT GUIDELINES

Please be civil and keep article comments relevant and on topic. Flag and report any offensive/trolling behavior, or contact us with details.
Please do not post SPOILERS including anything from leaked episodes! Your account could be banned. For complete details on our comment policy please read.
189 comments
DawnTime
DawnTime

7 for this one.  The best bit for me was Matt's face make-up brilliantly done. Also the scene at the end where the king asked Clara to marry him.  Not one of my favourite's but I don't hate is as much as some people

Polyphase
Polyphase

3/10. The Cybermen were a joke and the mr clever thing was anything but.  :(

Whovian Across the Pond
Whovian Across the Pond

As far as Matt's acting 10/10. He was absolutely fantastic playing the duel role. The story was 7/10 to me. I could have done without the kids and I didn't understand why they would have left the kids alone.

TheCyberDoctor is Shrinking
TheCyberDoctor is Shrinking

8/10 - Matt Smith's performance in this was exceptional. The fact that he was able to play both the Doctor and Mr. Clever was excellent, the interactions between the two are also brilliant (the imitation of the 9th Doctor was the only bit I didn't like). The Cybermen's redesign is amazing, I really like it, but they weren't really menacing and I didn't like the idea that they just use bodies as spare parts. They seemed more like they were just robots who happened to need living beings, I prefer the idea that they want to remove humans fear and pain as they don't want us to suffer.

Another thing about this episode is the amount of characters - I think there are too many - and really only the Doctor, Clara and Porridge stood out. Archie was alright as a character, but Angie is just annoying. The inclusion of the kids was just pointless, more focus should have been placed on the plot. However, I do enjoy this episode (the performances are what saves it) :)

Series 7 so far: TDTWATW - 7/10; AOTD - 10/10; DOAS - 8/10; ATCM - 7/10; TPOT - 7.5/10 (8); TATM - 9/10; TS - 10/10; TBOSJ - 10/10; TROA - 8/10; CW - 9/10; H - 7/10; JTTCOTT - 7/10; TCH - 7.5/10 (8) 



pinkjaguar12
pinkjaguar12

I LOVED Matt Smith's performance in this one.  Clara finally gets to be the badass we all know she is (but she is usually hidden by complicated plotlines).  Porridge is awesome, the setting is beautifully haunting, and the Cyberman are actually properly scary.  The only complaint I had was the two kids.  Archie was okay, but Angie was a whiny brat.  I hate it when teenagers are just written into a niche role of whiny and annoying, because they are not all like that.  She also seemed much nicer in Bells of St. John than in this episode, and it just seemed odd.  Other than that, a fantastic episode.  9/10

DW_girl
DW_girl

8/10. It was a great episode. I liked the characters, notably Porridge, and Clara was on top form here for once. It was nice to see he do what the Doctor tells her to do, knowing that she's more likely to survive (this is realistic characterisation for you. Most people would do what the Doctor says). The cybermen were creepy and more of a contender to the episode's characters then they have been recently. However, I still prefer the Lumic cybermen as I think their 'stomping' makes them more scary. The cyber-planner vs Doctor scenes were perfect! I didn't vote it a 10 because even though I loved the cyber-planner scenes, Porridge and Clara, I felt that the whole plot of the episode could have been deeper.

gunslinger19
gunslinger19

I love Moffatt, but if he brings the children back next series, I will lose a huge amount of respect for him as a writer. they effectively ruined this episode for me. I just find it hard to compliment the narrative when those kids have any part in it, particularly Angie. and her deduction at the end felt so forced and cringe worthy! hopefully the fact that Clara's life appears to have been expanded on means that the children wont be making another appearance. kudos to Gaiman for putting them in a coma for most of the episode :D

twoheartsonemind
twoheartsonemind

Everyone seems to forget that all the writers, aside from Moffat, thought that they were going to have Victorian Clara and thus the Victorian kids! That explains entirely why there is a contrived way for the kids to be brought on board, since Gaiman had obviously been preparing to use the Victorian kids. While both kids are annoying, they aren't in most of the episode, so they didn't really take anything away from it for me.

While I didn't find the Cybermen scary (never have), I thought their upgrades were awesome. And yes, Matt Smith is outstanding. It was also good to see Jenna given so much to do, especially since we saw so little of her during the Crimson Horror. I thought it was one of the best episodes of the season. 10/10

JailBanksters
JailBanksters

This one smith proved again he can play the evil character and be believable, he was so believable I really hated the evil doctor. And that is sign of really good actor, to be hated and liked depending on the character your playing.

RoseTyler1
RoseTyler1

Definitely a 10 for me. Matt Smith's performance as Mr. Clever was as intense as Harry Anderson's performance in the Tales from the Darkside episode "All A Clone by the Telephone". I just enjoyed it immensely.

Rani Nose
Rani Nose

Nightmare in Silver is a mess in a couple of ways.  In terms of the episode itself, as many have already pointed out, there are problems with the new Cybermen, the point of the pathetic soldiers, the role the kids play and how the young actors play them, and why the Cyberplanner is such a hyperactive persona, totally out of character for a Cyberman.












NiS is also a mess in how it treats, or doesn't treat, the larger season arc.  Series 7B is all about discovering the mystery behind "the impossible girl".  In two earlier episodes we get the Doctor learning that Clara is "just an ordinary girl" in 'Hide' and modern Clara meets the Victorian Paternoster Gang in 'The Crimson Horror'.  The latter getting a lot of exposition out of the way for The Name of The Doctor.  







We've already seen versions of "take charge Clara" in Asylum and The Snowmen.  NiS reminds us that Clara can take charge of a situation and that she cares deeply for those she is responsible for.  This is needed after the mostly passive Clara present in several previous episodes.  However, the reminder is not very believable because of the situation Clara is forced into.  Why should we believe she would have the wits and personality to take charge of what amounts to a military engagement?  This really needed to be hinted at, or shown in a lower stakes situation, in an earlier episode.  (On this last point, 'Fear Her' is justly criticized by many, but it serves a purpose in that it shows us how Rose has internalized what she's learned from the Doctor and uses her new smarts to rescue him, thus setting up how she faces problems independently of him in 'Army of Ghosts' and 'Doomsday').   

Anyway, NiS wraps up the odd bunch series 7B episodes where there is some set up for 'The Name of The Doctor' (Snowmen, Bells, Crimson) but very little preparation for 'Day' and 'Time' which were mostly set up in 7A.









YaelMoise is glad they mentioned the goddess
YaelMoise is glad they mentioned the goddess

Difficult one for me. On the one hand, I hate it. If Clara had remained Victorian, the kids in this would have been the sweet Latimer kids, as opposed to the Maitland brats. And they, along with their Clara, are enough to drive this whole episode down to 1/10. On the other hand

... Matt Smith. Matt Smith is wonderful. A genius. A truly gifted actor who when he was doing "possessed" in this episode was quite probably the sexiest most wonderful thing I've ever seen. 3/10, then.

grumpyoldcow
grumpyoldcow

An average episode of Who for me. Really can't say I remember much about it. I know very little about Classic Who, don't care about Cybermen, and don't know anything about chess, so, so three strikes and I'm out.

But there are bits I remember. Matt was the highlight acting against himself. Love the bit where, as Mr.Clever he hilariously tries to be romantic to Clara.Warrick Davis is great as Porridge. This is the first guest star I thought might steal the spotlight from Matt. Maybe that's why his part wasn't any larger. The amusementpark planet idea was fun and different. I LOLed about this planet being the ultimate humiliation to be sent to for this band of goofup soldiers.

Three million new cybermen, is that what was said? Was it also said why only one had the blink and you'll miss it new speedy ability? Imagine if all 3 million had it.That would truly have been a "Nighmare in Silver".

So was this Clara another splinter with her military and command abilities? I wonder.

Loved the cybermites. Probably why Matt cut his hair off.

Angie had the bestest scream, ever. Whether you like her or not.

The whole "next Wednesday, one of the Wednesdays" scene at the end is my favorite.

And we all know that the Doctor fantasizing about Clara as she left was just a bit of the Cyberplanner that had not been completely eradicated leaking through, right?

Ninjauthor
Ninjauthor

while It doesn't feel quite as satisfying overall as the doctors wife (or as a cyberman story overall) I think its this comparison which makes the episode underrated its still great fun 7/10 on a side note I can't believe that we're already on this episode, these polls have flown by



gypsyking007
gypsyking007

Biggest disappointment of the season for me. Naff Cybermen, no real plot.

Chris502
Chris502

7/10   Good, just good. I like the cybermen, liked the cyberplanner, hated the kids, Webbely was fun for the time he had on. And the scene of him being held down as the cyberman says "Upgrade in progress!" (a new catchphrase I love) is one of my favourite cybermen scenes.

Galactic Yo Yo
Galactic Yo Yo

I feel like I can't be objective about this episode. You see, Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite writers ever. Hell, he's one of my favorite PEOPLE ever. If I ever need an ounce of inspiration, I turn to a Neil Gaiman book. There's something about his work that speaks to me very personally. So when I first heard he was writing for Doctor Who, I was ecstatic. And when I first saw "The Doctor's Wife", it exceeded my expectations. 

So when I heard he was writing another episode, my expectations were even higher. So when I saw it and it was...less than perfect, I didn't know what to think. Was it actually pretty good but I was judging it too harshly because of my expectations? Or was it actually abysmal but I was judging it too kindly because it was by Gaiman? I still don't know which is which. 

The best way I can describe the difference between this and "The Doctor's Wife" is that TDW feels like one of Steven Moffat's episodes from the RTD era, whereas "Nightmare in Silver" feels like one of Steven Moffat's episodes as showrunner. While everything was perfectly balanced in "The Doctor's Wife", there's a whole lot of ideas competing for attention in "Nightmare" without any of them really getting enough focus. And, aside from the awful kids and the cop-out ending, all the ideas are good. Which makes it all the more disappointing that we don't get to explore any of them enough. "This should have been a two-parter" is a refrain that's heard a bit too often in fan circles, as if stretching a story to the length of two episodes will always make it better. But this really would have been a masterful two-parter. As it is, however, it's an episode that' can't be classed as anything other than an interesting failure.




sontaran17
sontaran17

I really loved it, Its Definetley my favorite Cyberman Episode of new Who (NOTHING BEATS TOMB) and the Cybermen have definetley been "upgraded" to new heights, scarier, stronger and more intimidating than ever! Oh and Matt and Jenna in this episode are just so so so brilliant! 10/10

guagliona
guagliona

My favourite episode of series 7 (not counting the specials, of course hah)

Moves Like Jagaroth
Moves Like Jagaroth

Ghastly.  Truly ghastly.  2/10.  And I am deeply doubtful that this is Gaiman's fault entirely.  This  further prompts me to wonder how much of the good stuff has been sacrificed at executive level.  Still there are voters who will give this a 7/10, I expect.  What does this achieve?  How can you differentiate between good and poor episodes across a range of 4 points.  I don't think you can any more than you could say that your favourite football team played at 7 or above for the whole season.

Balatsoukas Pavlos
Balatsoukas Pavlos

If compared with Gaiman's previous story, it sure is a lot lesser. Of course, when comparing "The Doctor's Wife" to any episode, well... You get the picture. However, I really dislike comparisons of this (or any other) sort. So, as an episode, it really reserves a 10 out of 10. Well paced, nice story, excellent acting and so on and so forth... Even the title is awesome!!!!

Chronos the Fannibal
Chronos the Fannibal

I want the Cybermen to convert a character that we've grown attached to...


Chronos the Fannibal
Chronos the Fannibal

After second thought I think 7/10, there were some good ideas in there. I do like things like the new Cybermen design and use of Cybermites…but I still don't like the kids



Aztecs, Daleks and Cavemen
Aztecs, Daleks and Cavemen

7/10 I liked the new cybermen, the world Neil Gaiman created was great and fun and the kids joining them was a nice touch.


Matt Smith did overact though while Warwick Davies underacted.

Nightmarish
Nightmarish

9/10. Matt was fantastic, it was a good display of his acting talents. One point off for Angie and the fact that the cybermen didn't change that much.

EdWhovian
EdWhovian

Almost gave it ten. But settled for nine. Matt was in fine form. The Cybermen were fantastic, but it just took a little bit long for the episode to get going.

Regenerated Catterson
Regenerated Catterson

To be honest, I liked this episode. I am one of the few minorities out there that will enjoy this episode. The only negative I thought was....Yeah you all know where this is headed....Those kids....I actually thought The Cybermen were great in this. I mean, to be honest, they basically got destroyed because of the planet blowing up...Apart from that, they seemed like a threat. I'll give it an 7/10. This story would've been ten times better as a two-parter though


DW_girl
DW_girl

Wait... It's not the cyber-planner, is it?

RoseTyler1
RoseTyler1

@YaelMoise  I understand your frustration, but I have to disagree on Artie being a brat. Maybe Angie, but not Artie. I mean, he's more behaving and respectful in this episode than Angie, who disobeys the Doctor's orders about not wandering off. I'll agree about Angie, but I don't think I could agree about Artie.

Maryanne123
Maryanne123

It's hard to overpraise Matt but we are going to have to as his final three episodes are coming up and he is spectacular!

grumpyoldcow
grumpyoldcow

"quite probably the sexiest most wonderful thing I've ever seen."

Our work is done here.

We can all go home now.

Maryanne123
Maryanne123

I think you're rightbabout the tight skirt remark. It's so jarringly out of place for Matt's doctor to act like that, that I think some other lines were cut or maybe there was a cutaway showing a slight metallic gleaming on Matt's face. Otherwise it makes no sense but apparently this episode was really cut about at concept and script stage. That's why I can only rate this 8.5/10 instead of 9/10 due to what is a piece of sloppy editing or script oversight. So unusual inMoff's era as things as usually tight as a drum under his run.

Moves Like Jagaroth
Moves Like Jagaroth

@Galactic Yo Yo  'The best way I can describe the difference between this and "The Doctor's Wife" is that TDW feels like one of Steven Moffat's episodes from the RTD era, whereas "Nightmare in Silver" feels like one of Steven Moffat's episodes as showrunner. While everything was perfectly balanced in "The Doctor's Wife", there's a whole lot of ideas competing for attention in "Nightmare" without any of them really getting enough focus'   Extremely well put.  Do you feel there's too much going on generally in Moff's reign?



RoseTyler1
RoseTyler1

@Liana21  I agree on the Matt playing both roles. I was just talking about his performance in "Nightmare in Silver" is right up there with Harry Anderson's performance in the Tales from the Darkside episode "All A Clone By the Telephone".

Huknar
Huknar

@Chronos the Fannibal  Clara! Not that I'm attached, but she's been a dalek, why not a cyberman? Got to try them all out.

Rani Nose
Rani Nose

@Regenerated Catterson  But you highlight the problem with these new Cybermen.  If the only way they can be defeated is to destroy a planet what happens the next time the Doctor encounters them?  Blow up another planet?  Blow up a galaxy?  Where does it stop if you have an invincible, ever-upgrading enemy?

EdWhovian
EdWhovian

At the time, I thought the episode had high praise. Will be interesting to see how it ranks overall

DW_girl
DW_girl

@RoseTyler1 @YaelMoiseI wish people would stop hating on Angie and Artie. They're young kids finding their feet in life... you can't expect them to be perfectly moralised?

Galactic Yo Yo
Galactic Yo Yo

 I think it was something that became problematic during his episodes in series 6. "Let's Kill Hitler" and "The Wedding of River Song" in particular suffer from an overabundance of ideas without much time to focus on any of them. I don't find them difficult to follow, but the overstuffing has a tendency to blunt the scripts' impact.  

I do think that he took those criticisms to heart, though, because generally it wasn't as much of a  problem in series 7. If anything, he overcorrected a bit, as a few of his episodes in series 7 probably could have stood to have a bit more going on. Like, I enjoy "The Name of the Doctor" but it doesn't really have a story to speak of, and "The Bells of St. John" is pretty bland. 

It's worth pointing out that this is a problem that, when it exists, is pretty exclusive to his scripts in the series. Like, I think series 6 is probably the low point for Moffat as a writer, but I really enjoy most of the scripts from that series that aren't his (moreso than I do for series 7). I do think that his tenure as showrunner has led to sharper writing for the standalone episodes, which oftentimes didn't have ENOUGH going on during RTD's run. 

Plus, even when the episodes became overstuffed with plot, I did appreciate the epic sense of scale that he's brought to the show. The show has felt bigger since he took over. Some might argue that it's too much or that the show put too much focus on the Doctor, but I think the "Doctor" trilogy puts a lot of that in context. If the Eleventh Doctor's run WAS one big story that was ultimately about the reset of the regeneration limit, the scale and the focus on the Doctor make sense. 

Anyway, that's probably a much longer answer than you were looking for, but there it is. Also, your profile name makes me giggle. Kudos.

Temporal Tomato
Temporal Tomato

I wish Gareth Roberts really had gone with that, the episode would have been much better in the eyes of everyone, a light hearted episode with a very dark twist at the end. At first I was glad he didn't, as I wanted to see more of Craig through Matt's run, but it was not to be. In hindsight, It would have had a massive impact on fandom. (Unless it got leaked...)


Regenerated Catterson
Regenerated Catterson

@EdWhovian  I just find this episode very underrated. It wasn't THAT bad from my POV, could've been better but at the end, I really like that episode and how well used The Cybermen were (Not length wise, performance). If anything, it's probably the best the Cybermen have been used in the New Who from my POV due to the fact they looked invincible and not easy to defeat. I mean, they were defeated because the planet blew up. Nothing that impressive but it was the only option...

Huknar
Huknar

@Temporal_Tomato  Very dark, again reinforcing the fact that the Doctor is dangerous again. Craig only dying because of his involvement with the Doctor. That might be a nicer way for the Doctor to "accept his death."

Tomb of the Cyberbob
Tomb of the Cyberbob

@Gary Oldman @Notsosmartguy  Yep - I'm afraid you said it as it is for me.   Cybermen = cold and cyberlike.   Matt Smith prancing around  = not cyberlike.  Still - I did like the Cybermen in this story, they look like serious foes again....

 Notsosmartguy  likes watching "Clara Who"
Notsosmartguy likes watching "Clara Who"

I see your point even though I like matt and personally like Mr. Clever. My issue with the episode is that the cyber men are way too strong and the story didn't live up to it's full potential due to it not being a 2 parter