So after the Crimson Horror we get a Nightmare in Silver … probably coincidence but the juxtaposition of titles amused me.
SPOILERS AHEAD! Hover mouse over text to read, or read on entry page:
Loved Angie. Such a teenage girl, so keen to pretend to be cooler & more sophisticated & more grownup than to actually enjoy any of this. Even though she clearly does enjoy things. And she’s also the only one (alive at the end) to figure out the Emperor before he reveals himself. So she’s actually paying attention under that veneer of cooler-than-thou. And that’s set up well too, although I didn’t notice that clue till she pointed it out at the end. I did call it that Porridge was the Emperor tho, based on the conversation with Captain Alice Ferrin – he had to be Emperor or Crown Prince or something of that ilk.
Liked the parallels with the Doctor & the Emperor, and call backs to what we know of the Doctor’s role in the Time War. Feeling like a monster for doing what needed to be done (because it was horrific), knowing what it was like to push the button & take the responsibility (and doing it again too), lonely on your own at the top. I wonder if the “you can’t run away forever” bit is significant for the finale? After all the Doctor is still busy writing himself out of the universe’s records (as this episode also reminded us).
I didn’t spot any Sixth Doctor references, did anyone else? Even tho I’m pretty sure I watched all of the episodes with Colin Baker as they came out I’m not sure how much I remember. Doctor fighting against a twisted version of himself referencing the Trial of a Timelord, maybe? I actually thought we’d got a Seventh Doctor era visual call back or two in this episode – Clara with the gun v. Cybermen/Ace with guns v. Daleks, Clara with the spiky mace/Ace with the baseball bat. But this might be coloured by the fact that I stood in Waterstones earlier this week & read The Remembrance of the Daleks, which is a Seventh Doctor/Ace story with the baseball bat & a rocket launcher. And Ace is still the best … what can I say, I was exactly the right age at the time and she blew shit up so she has to be the coolest 😉
References to loads of other things tho – Charlie & the Chocolate Factory for the whole set up, something Alice in Wonderland/White Rabbit-like about the dude who leads them off to be entertained, the Mechanical Turk, also the Borg & being assimilated.
Liked Clara being left in charge and rising to the occasion. She really was in charge, and doing as well as she could as were the other guys in the punishment platoon. Even the Captain was trying to do the right thing, even if it would’ve killed everyone including our heroes it was actually the right choice – how could she rely on the Doctor to pull off the impossible? Of course, because he’s the centre of the story we know he’ll save the day, but the Captain doesn’t.
I liked the Doctor & the Cyberplanner fighting against each other inside the Doctor’s head, although I think it went on a bit long at times. I did like the “only way to win is not to play the game” solution that the Doctor built out of the Cyberplanner’s sense of superiority & lack of flexibility. I also liked the way Clara can tell which one it is, that was amusingly done.
Nice touch at the end where we see that Clara is really carrying on her normal life, just going out on
datesadventures with the Doctor every Wednesday night. I guess the TARDIS is co-operating with returning her properly to the right place & time each week. And maybe the adventures aren’t necessarily in the same order for the Doctor as for Clara.
And looks like we get are getting a proper finale not waiting till the special later this year. Wonder what will happen there 🙂 (Don’t spoil in comments anywhere please, J is extremely spoilerphobic & hasn’t even watched the trailer.)