Doctor Who News Doctor Who Series 7b: Nightmare in Silver

Published on May 28th, 2013 | by Christian Cawley

Nightmare in Silver Reaction

What with the John Hurt madness and the Kasterborous news team taking a well-deserved break, I’ve found myself a little behind on some of the regular articles – such as our reaction roundup to Nightmare in Silver.

Doctor Who Series 7b: Nightmare in Silver

The penultimate episode of Doctor Who Series 7 has proved divisive (as has much of the run, in fact). While the overnight audience figure of 4.7 million was low, BBC was hammered across the board by a late kick-off FA Cup Final (remember when it was all done and dusted before tea time?) and Britain’s Got Talent on ITV.

Our own readers voted on the episode soon after broadcast, with 486 respondents putting pen to paper (figuratively speaking). A considerable 60.9%  (285 votes) declared Nightmare in Silver “A silvery classic!”, while 26.28%  (123 votes) were baffled by “Cyberia”. A low 12.82%  (60 votes) decided the episode “was a nightmare!”. We suspect some of the reviews might be a nightmare for Mr Neil Gaiman, too, whose previous episode The Doctor’s Wife was so widely regarded.

When we first started these review roundups back in 2005, we were very interested in what the press had to say about nuWho. These days, the increasingly insular metropolitan media can barely see outside of its back garden, never mind offer genuine critiques of TV shows (search Kasterborous for “Gavin Fuller”) for more on this.

So we’re bringing to an end our regular check of the press reaction in favour of turning our eye to the fan reaction, namely that found on YouTube. This, people, is where it’s at.

Let’s start with Shamus Kelley and Abby Murphy:

Aren’t they sweet!

Meanwhile, here’s some interesting thoughts from Lippmannette:

We’ll finish with Gypsy Who

If you want to know what we think on Kasterborous, check the forum thread for Nightmare in Silver and take a look at the episode review.

Finally, you might want to join the thousands of people who have tuned into our Nightmare in Silver podKast, in which co-host James McLean goes off on what can only be described as a rant. Seriously, this has recently turned into our most popular podKast ever by a country mile, and if someone out there would like to convert James’ rant into a YouTube video, perhaps with accompanying footage, we’re sure it would do very well…


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About the Author


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

8 Responses to Nightmare in Silver Reaction

  1. avatar TimeChaser says:

    Nightmare in Silver could definitely have benefited from an extra episode to explore all the characters and build up the story properly, but I absolutely deny those people who have said its the worst episode ever. They need to go back and re–watch Love & Monsters.

    • avatar lozzer says:

      The worst episode ever was 5 episodes before this one… I didn’t mind NIS, it was a watchable diversion before the finale.

  2. avatar Al says:

    It was the only episode of the season I didn’t care for. Part of that, I have to admit, is I was guilty of setting the bar impossibly high in the wake of The Doctor’s Wife. My main problem with the episode was the decision to bring the kids in for no real reason, and with no real payoff (seriously – they just treated it like a joyride and went back to their homework? Seriously?). And then they are kidnapped, and later revealed to be under the influence of the Cybermen and, instead of completely freaking out and demanding she help them, their nanny, Clara, does what … goes off and plays soldiers and seems to have a heck of a good time doing so. It’s almost as if Gaiman wrote one script, then the powers that be parachuted the two kids into the story, wrote some exposition to insert in, but otherwise left Gaiman’s script as originally written, causing Clara to have “amnesia” about the kids.

    I’m usually quite easy going about DW (sometimes too much so, often coming up with reasons to like stories everyone else hates), but this one I just can’t defend very much. Warwick Davis is great, Jenna is great, Matt is great when he duels against himself, and yeah it was cool to see the old Doctors, and seeing the Cybermen go all Six Million Dollar Man was fun. But this is an episode with a fatal flaw or two that causes everything else to collapse, in my opinion. I’d love Gaiman to get another crack at the show, though, to prove Doctor’s Wife wasn’t a fluke.

  3. avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

    There has only ever been 5 classic Cybermen stories: Tenth Planet, Moonbase, Tomb, Invasion and Earthshock. That works out as just 1 per decade! Here was a chance to finally rid ourselves of the pathetic Cybus things and reinstate the Mondasians in an epic, scary and modern way that was true to the originals. That opportunity was sorely wasted.

  4. avatar Christine says:

    Come on everybody! Yes there were some mishaps. I would have loved the creepiness of earlier versions but it still was a wonderful story. And they were scary in the beginning. I liked it even thoug I have seen better. But not all episodes can be the ultimate, can they ? Just enjoy!

  5. avatar TonyS says:

    I had the advantage of loathing “The Doctor’s Wife” (well loathing may be a little extreme!) so I wasn’t expecting great things of “Nightmare In Silver”. We didn’t get great things. We got blooming good things and one or two marvels. I loved the cybermites and don’t care if the idea of absorbing people into the Cyberiad is nicked. It works for me. Warwick Davies and Jason Watkins were brilliant. Matt Smith was excellent too. And the “stage-school-kids” were… not in it as much as they might have been. The Cybermen were not scary, but I hadn’t believed the hype anyway. I agree with Christine. And I enjoyed the episode.

  6. avatar Elwood says:

    I really liked “Nightmare.” No, it wasn’t “The Doctor’s Wife.” Yes, the kids were ill-used. But Warwick Davis and Jason Watkins were wonderful, and we finally had a screenwriter who could effectively use Clara who wasn’t named Moffat. Granted, I’m a viewer who doesn’t care whether Cybermen stomp or what color Daleks are, and I see how people with preconceptions of what the old monsters should be like could feel like their toes had been stepped on. But this opened up so many possibilities by establishing a universe the show could return to. I’m curious to know more about the diminuative Imperator of Known Space and the empire he rules. The bigness and mystery brought back things that have been missing from recent Who.

  7. avatar dr jon says:

    I enjoyed this episode, but then again I think two episode would have made it a great, the cybermen have been my favorite foe since my childhood. But have lost some of their fear factor over the years, I don’t think they were done any favours in the battle against the daleks when they ended up as cannon foder with unit. As the dr’s second most deadest enemys, l was shocked they were defeated so quickly. So I was glad that in the nightmare in silver they did make the cybermen more of a threat and hard to kill. If there is a re match against the daleks ever again at least they will be more of a threat to the daleks and only just loose out id be happy with that. So if anything we can say about nightmare is its made the cybermen strong again.

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