Gaimaning: Nightmare in Silver


Shoulda been a two-parter. I like the ability to invest time and cash in each episode that comes with the stand-alone format, but this should have been a two parter. It was much too crowded: too many characters, too much plot detail, not enough time. So what did we get? A rushed if awesome Matt Smith and a lovely pile of one-dimensional characters. Seriously, all I can remember of Angie is that shriek.

Clara didn’t have as much awesomeness in this episode as I’d hoped. She does step up quite impressively, fighting back the cybermen and facing down the Cybercontroller.


Actually, I think I’ve figured out Clara’s major character trait from this episode: adaptability. She thinks quickly and on her feet. She can absorb aliens and ghosts and cybermen taking over her friends and just get on with it.

The Doctor trusted Clara to keep the planet from blowing up, and she stepped up. Rory once said that the Doctor had no idea how dangerous he made people to themselves, and that was certainly Clara in this episode. The Doctor gave Clara his trust and ran away, and she turned into the bossiest boss around.

Also, a large proportion of people seem to be in love with Clara. Seriously. That’s the emperor and the Doctor now. Speaking of which: we seem to have confirmed that the Doctor’s in love with Clara, and that Clara knows him well enough to call out the cybercontroller.


I thought Clara’s turning down of the emperor’s proposal was a lovely example of Clara being the boss. She knows what she wants, and that doesn’t include ruling the universe. And the Doctor may say that he’ll be back on “a Wednesday,” but come on, we know he’ll be back on Wednesday.

By the way: you wanna talk about generic with those kids? I hesitate to criticize a writer way better than I could ever imagine, but damn if they weren’t straight out of a screenwriting textbook.

UPDATE: It’s actually amazing how much more sense this episode makes each time through, and it speaks to how great it would have been if it were a two-parter. 

For example: why on earth would Clara and the Doctor wander off leaving Artie and Angie to nap in Hedgewick’s ship? Couldn’t they just have locked them in the TARDIS? Seems weird, but when you think about it, what would Angie and Artie have done if they were locked in the TARDIS, unsupervised, for an unknown period of time? Absolute catastrophe.

And why were the kids so important to the Cybermen? Why did the Doctor get called the Savior of the Cybermen? Why was the cyberman’s personality so strong, and such a clear corruption of the Doctor? 

The answer’s in a really brief line when CyberWebley talks about needing to “build a new cyberplanner.” They needed a puppet master to re-animate the cybermen, who would be constructed out of a pre-existing assimilated person. The kids would have been a blank slate, but since the Doctor was so cool they went with him instead. 

Previous Episode Reviews:

The Crimson Horror

Journey to the Center of the TARDIS


Cold War

The Rings of Akhaten

The Bells of St John

Discussion (mostly about Clara):

Breaking down the Name of the Doctor Prequel

Comparing the Mysteries of Clara and River

Clara and Rose

Clara as CAL?

The Doctor: Destroyer of Lives

Clara as Bad Wolf

Is Clara a Time Lord?


11 thoughts on “Gaimaning: Nightmare in Silver

  1. Update: Gaiman confirms 🙂

    @neilhimself: It was. RT @meadrus: Was that a John Landis/Space Odyssey “See you next Wednesday”? I nearly did a spit take.

  2. What the heck is this doing on Wilipedia???

    In episode 2, the Moxx of Balhoon spoke the phrase, “Indubitably, this is the Bad Wolf scenario”, and then the phrase appeared in every story of that series, thereafter. It also occasionally appeared in the 2006 to 2008 series and even in 2013 as the show celebrated its 50th anniversary

  3. It feels to me as if Clara enters the Tardis with the Doctor as one particular Clara, and the very act of moving through time in the Tardis changes her personality. Red shift, Blue shift.

    It’s as if the individual memories are not shared between the different Claras, but the cumulative experience and knowledge is. Clara has transformed herself into a continuum.

    The further into the future Clara is taken by the Doctor, the more sassy, experienced and talented she seems to become. “Yes Sah! General Clara Sah!!”

    Saying all this, the first thing that pops into my head are the Duncan Idaho gholas from Frank Herbert’s Dune series of books… or Mr Benn :p

    • Just throwing a wild observation out there.. it’s as if almost the same thing has happened to Clara as a Time Lord who receives regenerations. Except Time Lords are “contained” and able to roam around, detached from the “background”. Clara seems to have distributed herself and “fixed” her regenerations into the fabric of space/time 🙂

      • Y’know, I sorta get that, but isn’t regeneration still an essentially physical process? If the Doctor is killed before he can regenerate he’s dead, after all. Clara died and her body was buried, so doesn’t that mean she can’t have regenerated like that?
        It’s a cool idea, but I just don’t get how Time Lords could regenerate without being “contained” in a body. I bet it’d take Matt Smith about thirty seconds to explain 🙂

  4. Pingback: Rest in Peace River Song | Remember the Ladies
  5. Pingback: “The name I chose is ‘The Doctor.’ The name you choose is like a promise you make”: The Name of the Doctor | Remember the Ladies
  6. Pingback: The Impossible Girl, the Writer of Her Own Story: A Look at Clara Oswald’s First Year | Remember the Ladies

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