Nightmare in Silver is written by the internationally acclaimed Neil Gaiman whose previous episode – The Doctor’s Wife – was a brilliant, bonkers, wildly enjoyable adventure that won plaudits and the 2012 Hugo Award for the Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.
He returns with a story that sees the Doctor once more facing the Cybermen, but this being Doctor Who and Neil Gaiman, nothing about the iconic enemy’s return is as you’d expect, from the Cybermen themselves to the people battling them. We caught up with Neil and quizzed him about how he ended up back in the world of Doctor Who and what we can expect from his latest inspired nightmare…
Question: You’re back! Hurray! How were you persuaded to return?
Neil Gaiman: It began with an email from Steven Moffat. He said, ‘I know you’re too busy ever to write another Doctor Who episode… but would you like to make the Cybermen scary again?’ And I thought, Agghhhh! I do! I really do! I said,Yes, I’m in…
I thought it would be really fun to make the Cybermen scarier than they have been recently and then I got completely side-tracked by a mad, strange romp that just keeps getting bigger and odder in which the Doctor and Clara have taken two children to a big amusement park and they find themselves embroiled in a very peculiar galactic empire which has fought a battle against the Cybermen - and won…
Q: What can we expect from the Cybermen and the adventure in general?
NG: We’ve moved on a little bit, technologically, from the last round of Cybermen we saw, because we’re a bit further into the future. So instead of Cybermats, we’re now going to encounter Cybermites… We have to deal with various things we’ve had to deal with in the past, such as the Cybermen’s ability to take over people and transform them into Cybermen. And this time, it’s going to get very, very personal for the Doctor…
On Saturday we confirmed that the mystery of Clara Oswald will at last be solved in the series finale, The Name of the Doctor. ‘All I can say,’ Jenna-Louise Coleman told us, ‘is that Clara hasn’t just met the Doctor three times before…’
But for now, the questions remain. How can Clara have died twice and yet still be alive and apparently unaware of her own impossibility and why has the TARDIS been so wary of her? Even the Doctor has admitted to his new companion, ‘I look at you every single day and I don’t understand a thing about you…’
The Time Lord seems to have accepted she’s not, in his own words, a trick or a trap, beaming with relief as he exclaimed during Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS, ‘You’re just Clara!’
But if you were in the Doctor’s boots would you be quite so sure about ‘the impossible girl’? With all the mystery surrounding her, our question to is simple… If you were the Doctor, would you trust Clara?
There’s even a poll. So click through and cast your vote.
The BBC Doctor Who Blog has an excellent write up to prepare you for this weekend’s episode, Cold War:
The Doctor’s next adventure is called Cold War and it explodes onto screens tomorrow (Saturday). The TARDIS lands on a damaged Russian Submarine in 1983 as it spirals out of control, plunging into the ocean depths. An alien creature is loose on board, having escaped from a block of Arctic ice. With tempers flaring and a cargo of nuclear weapons on board, it’s not just the crew but the whole of humanity at stake! The episode is written by Mark Gatiss (The Unquiet Dead, Night Terrors) so we’re assured of scares, great moments of humour and some unexpected twists… All that, plus the return of the Ice Warriors makes this an umissable episode!
The fearsome Martians made their debut in the Second Doctor adventure The Ice Warriors and were an instant hit, returning about a year later in The Seeds of Death. These two stories established the Ice Warriors as a proud but cruel race, ruthless and relentless when pursuing their goal, which in both instances had been the planet Earth.
But interestingly, when they next crossed the Time Lord’s path in the Third Doctor adventure The Curse of Peladon, they had reformed, renouncing their militaristic ways and eschewing violence except in cases of self-defence. The Ice Warriors’ code of honour came to the fore and they even joined forces with their former foe. Their final appearance to date came in 1974’s The Monster of Peladon in which a rogue faction of Ice Warriors threatened the Doctor.
The Official BBC Doctor Who Blog is continuing their “Ask the Execs” series, this time answering your questions about the recently aired “Asylum of the Daleks”:
This is your opportunity to ask anything you like about the adventure, but please try to make your questions as creative as possible. Interesting and original should be the order of the day! And once again, please remember that the Execs’ answers won’t contain spoilers!
To submit your questions, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject header, Ask the Execs. Please remember to give us your full name and your questions in the body of your message.
We’ll read every one of the messages sent to us and we’ll bring you the Execs’ answers to at least three of your questions later this week.