Doctor Who Review: Space Brats

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"Nightmare in Silver" was a bit of a nightmare in any color, really. My expectations were definitely higher for this Neil Gaiman penned episode, but it seems they've kept all the good bits for next week's finale, Gaiman be damned.

There were a few things that struck me right off the bat as a bit off, and I'll start there.

Nightmare in Silver Scene

The first thing I wondered, based upon how unimpressed Artie and Angie were everything they saw, was just how long after "The Crimson Horror" this episode was supposed to have taken place. Have the As already come to know and get bored with The Doctor? Their whiny and rather arrogant behavior made it seem they had been and done everything else in the known universe except be to the closed down amusement park.

Had we been lead to believe the little lives of Artie and Angie had been fantastic, and that's why Clara didn't have any qualms in leaving them (note, she has not quit her job), then maybe I could understand their being such rotten kids. The pre-teen angst just didn't fit with what I expected from the children Clara was determined to protect. They were hugely disappointing, and their "coma" was extremely welcome.

As we learned at the end, it was arrogance pure and simple, as it was the first time they'd ever ever experienced the TARDIS. They're just poorly written characters. At least for the moment. If we don't see them again, that will be soon enough for me.

Also confusing was why Clara didn't bring up the photo they showed her from Victorian London. Did it really only occur to her to ask after the Cyber Planner taking over The Doctor called her Impossible? It seemed very odd for our extremely inquisitive and curious Clara let it slide until then.

Those were just the initial thoughts I had that ran through my brain as I watched the episode. Even though I never saw the movie, it reminded me of my expectations of what "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" would have been like to watch.

So, what else did the hour have going for it?

Matt Smith did an interesting job as The Doctor wriggling about as he tried to fight the Cyber Planner inside his brain. At one point, he almost had Clara fooled until the planner let loose that he might like her more than he should. She knew that even if he did feel that way he'd rather die than say it out loud. Good girl.

As the hibernating Cybermen came to life and continually upgraded with each setback, Clara never gave up the fight. At least we know she'll be feisty through even the worst circumstances; and if five hand weapons and one gun aren't enough to get you down against and entire army of Cybermen, I don't know what is.

The thing is, I wasn't remotely frightened of the Cybermen. They were cartoonish and if there was a big plan for their reconvening to take over the universe, they never really made clear what it was. Perhaps I missed it somewhere in the musings of The Doctor and the Cyber Planner as they played their game of chess. 

There was very little of the signature banter that has gone on with The Doctor and Clara since they've met, and I missed it. It felt like a throwaway episode that had little purpose, especially since the remaining Cybermen were blown to smithereens at the end. We did meet the Emperor of the Universes, Porridge, and perhaps we'll be lucky enough to see him again. He was easily the best and most welcome addition to the Doctor Whoverse. 

Now I'll settle in for next week. The big bang, shall we say. What looks like a traversing of the time lines that could put someone's life in jeopardy. Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax will be along for the ride and they're always a guarantee of at least a flurry of good lines. 

Share your thoughts on the episode. Don't worry, you won't hurt my feelings, so don't be shy!


Editor Rating: 2.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (53 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


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Bah, you all are hating on the second-to-last episode. Even if part of my enthusiasm for it was only because I love the show in general, I'm still not willing to admit it was THAT terrible. It's always impressive when an actor has to act AGAINST himself, and I thought Matt Smith did a really good job. So maybe it wasn't the best episode... the cybermen design certainly could have been improved, if they were going to go to the effort of updating it... but don't ruin my good vibe. I'm anxious for the last few to be as fantastic as possible.


Is it bad that I wanted to reach in the screen & slap those ungrateful brats? A time traveling alien takes you through time and space with your trusted guardian to some potential fun but mostly dangerous place and you behave like that? Who the heck wanders off after specifically being told not to because theres a potential danger? ugh and the Cyber men can never be scary, sorry. They should at least be upgraded to look more menacing


I agree here, NO kid at all. Thank you Sir!


Next week is the final ! S**t, they should at least made 12 episodes... :-(


I was disappointed with the kids. Last week they found out about clara time traveling and roped her into taking them. And they were not impressed???. I watched on BBC America 8p direct tv and 1st minute was a blank screen. i thought i missed a scene where they explained her seeing the picture or kids scene. that was confusing and disappointing.the half doctor was good. Clara is getting how to trust the doctor. Loved warwick davis Overall it felt it was missing a scene from the last episode


BTW, Orphan Black continues to be very good: intense, funny, and unpredictable. It's a thoughtful, high-quality show, and it's a shame TV Fanatic isn't reviewing it.


I agree with all ravenstar68 said, and with most of this article except that probably the only redeeming quality of this episode to me was the lack of banter between the Doctor and Clara. It's been one of the things that's troubled me all (half) season as I find it forced, cutesy and generally unrealistic given the circumstances they find themselves in. I love Matt Smith's Doctor and for most of this episode I enjoyed him, unlike the entire rest of Series 7 where I've been yearning to go ahead and get to Doctor #12. I'd hoped Neil Gaiman would've somehow saved this season, but for me it's just been a big bag of fail. And I hate that because I do love the show.


And the series goes from bad to worse. The kids weren't given any character whatsoever, they were just put penned as annoying selfish brats IMHO. Clara was smiling and joking through the whole episode and that just grated too - it never felt like there was any sense of danger, even when the Cyber Army was on the move. It felt cartoonish. Matt Smith's character seems to have completely changed this season, it feels out of odds whith what we have seen before.


I watched it once, and thought it was really really bad. There was no stakes, no tension, no cohesion, no fear, no nothing. The sets were hideous and the editing mediocre. The Cybermen looked good but not menacing, and the old trick of "bad guy stops just before killing good guy" is sooo tiresome. So, first viewing: C-. I will watch it again later.

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Doctor Who Season 7 Episode 13 Quotes

No! No weapons! Golden ticket! Spacey zoomer!

The Doctor

Clara: Do you think I'm pretty?
The Doctor: No, you're too short and bossy and your nose is all funny.
Clara: Good enough.