Doctor Who, Episode 712: Nightmare in Silver

This week’s episode of Doctor Who opens on the set where Stanley Kubrick faked the moon landing, which has been preserved at Pinewood studios under quarantine as part of an implacable, ossified turf war between a bunch of scary old spooks in MI5 and the NSA.

Kidding, it’s some sort of interstellar carnival ride thing and this is a Cybermen ep, and I hate Cybermen eps so hard. As baddies, the venerable Cybermen have regressed into a slow-zombie version of the Borg.

It’s scarcely worth recapping Cybermen stories, which are even worse than We Found Another Fucking Dalek stories. There’s something odd afoot, it turns out to be another sleeper cell of lost Cybermen, STOMP STOMP STOMP, ancillary characters are assimilated and/or endangered, all hope looks to be lost, and the Doc snookers them and CyberKaboom. Sorry, SPOILER ALERT on that last bit.

So this ep was basically a really draggy Coyote v. Roadrunner cartoon with a few other points worth looking at. So, with apologies to everyone who looks forward to reading my blithery point-to-point recaps at 2am, I’m going to focus on the elements of this ep that may relate to the rest of the season’s actual developments.

And we’re done. No, no, kidding again.

OK, first off: The Kids. Clara’s 21st century charges are Stroppy Big Sis and Swotty Kid Brother. The two of them establish a little character. SBS is bright, independent and self-possessed. SKB is a twink and sucks at chess. We’ll certainly see them again, and at least now we’re prepared.

Second: SG’s intergalactic data wipe on the Doc from Asylum of the Daleks has held up, apparently, but we get a teaser about how his history could be forensically reconstructed. That sounded important.

Third: Cybermen are now using non-humans for material. This is important because there will be more fucking Cybermen eps and now they might even be fun. I can hope.

Fourth: Clara is supposed to be the central mystery of this season, and so far all we’ve gotten is that’s she’s mysterious. Clara is the Continuum Transfunctioner from Dude, Where’s My Car. Impossible Girl is Impossible. If it turns out they’ve been hiding clues in all these eps that will seem clever yet obvious after the big reveal, I will be pleased and surprised in equal parts.

Fifth: Betting we see the Emperor again, and I doubt he’s all that benign.

Sixth: SBS’s new phone? Cybermites. Something up there.

Anything else to note? Cute reference with the Ansible-class communicator. The Doc chewed some serious scenery with the Jekyll/Hyde routine. SG’s nose is in fact all funny (the tip moves when she talks). Don’t think her skirt looked all that snug, but it’s interesting that the Doc would mention it.

Next week? Vastra & Strax, new monsters, River Song, and Withnail. Am I a fool to be looking forward to this?

Doctor Who, Episode 712: Nightmare in Silver

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