Saturday, May 11, 2013

"Dancing With Myself" or "Wicked! Tricksy! False!" - Review of "Nightmare in Silver"

I picked two videos as my Spoiler Buffers this week because - why the hell not?

Also, this -

When "Nightmare in Silver" ended, I had to think for a bit about what I thought of it.  Obviously, this thing has Neil Gaiman written all over it - even moreso than "The Doctor's Wife." To be fair, "The Doctor's Wife" was very continuity-heavy and basically a love letter to Doctor Who as a whole (I AM NOT COMPLAINING ABOUT THIS!)  But in this, Gaiman's sophomore offering for Doctor Who, it seems like he got to do more of his own schtick with ideas and characters that he could have used for his own original work.  I mean, Cybermen attacking a dilapidated amusement park because that's where children come and they need children?  The Army of Misfit Toys?  And the reveal of who the Emperor is? (that's got Captain Shakespeare-from-Stardust-levels of bait-and-switch there).  The Doctor arguing with the Cyber-Planner in his own head? (a Cyber-Planner that calls himself Mr. Clever, moreover).  Yup, this is Neil Gaiman all right.  There's just all these fun little quirky things right alongside all the terror and peril. Even some of the visuals hearkened back to others of Gaiman's works - like the Cybermites crawling out of the old and clunky Cyberman looked like something from the movie Coraline.  And I got a distinct impression of The Graveyard Book from the first look at the amusement park - more about the atmosphere than anything.

(Also - Natty Longshoe's Comical Castle)

I really liked this story, but it's hard to describe anything beyond that.  There were some fantastic moments.  Matt Smith doing the Gollum/Smeagol-type exchange with the Cyber-Planner was a lot of fun to watch and he does the whole slimy villain thing very well.  Clara being in charge of the Army of Misfit Toys was awesome (did anyone else catch Hipster!Ron Weasley and Neville Longbottom? Good times).  Warwick Davis was great as well.

So... why didn't I feel all "Whoo-hoo!" about this one?  Everything says I should totally be in love with it, but I'm not quite there.  My enjoyment of it reaches about as high as "Cold War" did - which was a great story, but not my absolute favorite.  Didn't hate it, though.

Mostly, I came up with a laundry list of things to comment on.  So - here's my list (buckle up - there are a lot) -

- The psychic paper makes a return! (feels like it's been a while since it's been used).

- Interesting that chess takes such a huge part because the last Doctor Who novel I reviewed was "Dreams of Empire" and they used chess in that story (and sandwiches, which Artie brought up early in the story)

- Funny insect collection - like the Zarbi and Menoptra from "The Web Planet"? (okay, that's stretching the nods to the past a bit, isn't it?)

- The only real nod to the past in this story was the past Doctor's faces and regeneration and ... the Time Lords, I guess? ("Ten complete re-jigs" - loved that line)

- Angie and Artie - Artie didn't do a whole lot before he got taken over by the Cybermen. Angie was definitely had the annoying, moody teenager thing down. For a long time, we've wondered how cool it would be for Eleven to travel with kids and now that he has - it turned out the Cybermen needed them too. That sucks.

- This exchange between Clara and the first leader of the Army of Misfit Toys:
"I trust the Doctor."
"You think he knows what he's doing?"
"I'm not sure I'd go that far."

- What's interesting is when the Doctor first met Clara, she'd been converted to a Dalek.  And in this story (the second-to-last of the season), the Doctor very nearly becomes a Cyberman.  What are the two most recognizable Doctor Who monsters? Daleks and Cybermen.  I have no idea what that means - if anything - but it's something I thought of ("She Said, He Said" sort of helped on that score)

- The Doctor vs. Cyber-Doctor in the Doctor's brain - THAT was cool.  I loved the Doctor's background was golden light with Gallifreyan symbols and the Cyber-Doctor's was blue with electricky-metallic things.  Just a really cool look.  Also - Gollum/Smeagol - he turned his head depending on who was speaking - metal-face for the Cyber-Planner and regular face for the Doctor.

- The Doctor straightens his bow tie just as he's about to win at chess (except not at chess) and then he straightens it again when he actually defeats the Cyber-Planner.

At the end of this - I'm sort of feeling a little sad.  Maybe it's because the season's ending and we're getting to the Big Humongous Reveal in "The Name of the Doctor" (relax - they aren't really going to reveal his name. Keep your hairnets on) - and then there'll be the 50th Anniversary Special and... the end (oh - and Christmas).  While I'm excited beyond belief about the 50th - in a way, it feels like we've been building this up to be the End-All-Be-All Doctor Who event (which it certainly is), but I'm going to be sad when it's all over because I've enjoyed all of this so much.  I don't know that anything will be this awesome after this.  I mean, I hope it does because I don't want to look at November 23, 2013 as the day that Everything Ended...

Oh, hell - I'm getting morbid.  Just - I liked "Nightmare in Silver," all right?  That's really all I have to say about it.

For now - here's "She Said, He Said" - the prequel/prelude/intro/lead-in/short bit/banana daiquiri for next week's episode.

"Who are you? Where are you from? What set you on your way? And where are you going?"

(Chills, Dear Reader. I got chills).

(Also - Clara is too perfect? How? Oh gosh - this is going to be nuts!)

No comments:

Post a Comment