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12 May 2013 @ 03:54 pm
nightmare in silver  
I tend to wind up more frustrated by stories that I think had potential and didn't capitalize on them than stories that are just through-and-through terrible. That's why "Hide" bothered me so much, and it's definitely why I'm feeling so bitter towards "Nightmare in Silver".

The thing is that there were a lot of ideas or moments in NIS that had potential, and with the exception of the Doctor/chess game thing, none of them lived up to that potential. The theme park idea was great, so naturally all we saw was a bad castle replica -- nothing even fun about the "comical" castle, nothing comical at all, any castle set would've sufficed. The full moral and philosophical ramifications of the Cyber Wars weren't illuminated or discussed, nor was the Porridge/Doctor comparison, nor was the implications of the platoon of incompetent soldiers whose crime was not wanting to commit genocide. I mean, we don't even have the Doctor or Clara empathize with that or anything. They exist to be redshirts and comic relief. All these things that never got fully explored left the episode feeling quite empty.

For me though by far the most annoying part was how empty Clara felt.

I like Clara! I like Clara a lot. Clara has consistently been my favourite part of episodes. But she was by far my least favourite part of Nightmare in Silver, not so much because of anything she did as what she didn't do: have any kind of emotional response to anything. She just floats through the plot, making military decisions with inexplicable ease. (Except, of course, when she's silly enough to toss a bomb-detonator in the air, or wave it around within the Doctor's reach when she knows he's possessed.)

I mentioned in my reaction post that I knew I'd hate the episode when she doesn't respond to Angie being kidnapped. She doesn't seem very concerned about the Doctor, she doesn't particularly connect with any of the extra characters, nor express worry when they die. (Ginger Kid tells her so-and-so on the comm saw something and went quiet, and she's like "welp that means they're here".) We have her say she's alive because "I do what the Doctor says" --- what? She doesn't worry for the children the way you'd expect, and she doesn't even seem to register the fact that these children in her care are in danger because she brought them here. Why not parallel Clara's guilt over bringing them into danger with the Doctor's guilt over what he does to companions? Would that be too interesting?

I like Clara, but I did not care for the person we had in Nightmare in Silver. She didn't really feel like a person at all.
demented & sad, but socialpapilio_luna on May 13th, 2013 01:16 am (UTC)
Yeah, empty is right. I played games on my phone most of the episode because everything was just so bland an uninteresting. I didn't even find the Doctor's chessgame business intriguing. Boring episode, plotholes, missed opportunities, and just... boring. Boring.
Kali: dw :: donna :: idk_thirty2flavors on May 13th, 2013 01:33 am (UTC)
I liked the Doctor's back-and-forth with himself and thought Matt was good, but I liked the actual... chessgameness... less. It, like everything else, didn't really go anywhere -- like "sacrifice your queen" is SO OBVIOUSLY and SO EASILY something more meaningful than literally just letting him take your queen piece in a chess game, but that's all it meant. Still, that was the only part of the episode that kept me awake.

Have you heard all this business about some mysterious source apparently shipping copies of the s7b boxset early, "leaking" the finale? I'm starting to strongly suspect it's all a hoax, but it's been pretty funny to watch the fandom melt down over it, and funnier to watch Steven Moffat attempt to bribe the interwebs:

(Anonymous) on May 28th, 2013 07:12 pm (UTC)
Clara is, by far, the most annoying Doctor Who sidekick, ever. Please just let her die and stay dead.