Neil Gaiman on Nightmare in Silver Reception
Writer Neil Gaiman has spoken about the mixed reception to his second episode for Doctor Who, 2013’s Nightmare in Silver.
He told the Radio Times: “Nightmare in Silver is some people’s favourite but everybody, including me, thinks, ‘oh if we had another week, we could’ve changed this,’ and then you’re kind of stuck with it. I think there are things that could’ve been better, but I also think that the thing I wanted to do in Nightmare in Silver I did: to show people that Matt Smith could act.”
He adds: “It was one of those things that fascinated me watching Matt, getting to know Matt a little bit: it was sensible people who should’ve known better assuming that the Eleventh Doctor was just Matt Smith, and I’m going, ‘No, that’s a part that he’s playing,’ and he’s an incredible, fantastic actor, who is, as the Doctor, capable of this enormous range, and yet there’ s a lot of stuff he’s not doing. So I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be amazing to have him go up against himself?’ Which is something that even though is a staple of sci-fi drama, is not something that’s ever happened in Doctor Who. Even people who don’t like bits of Nightmare in Silver love the ‘Matt Smith as Mr Clever’ stuff.”
Gaiman also says that he was surprised by the hugely positive reaction to his first episode, The Doctor’s Wife: “I think in a lifetime of writing things that people have liked, I’ve never done something quite so beloved as The Doctor’s Wife.
“It’s funny now talking to Steven [Moffat] about it, because none of us knew it was going to be this beloved thing. I think Steven was dead-worried it was going to be too odd for Doctor Who in a way… There were all these mis-steps we could’ve done just because there hadn’t been anything like it. But the only thing we were certain of was that, for it to work, it had to be the only time [the TARDIS coming to life] ever happened. You couldn’t repeat it. And I think there is something in that that kind of powers it.”