Sunday, May 12, 2013

Doctor Who: Nightmare in Silver

Neil Gaiman has, over the course of his career, become a brand name unto himself – one that may even match Doctor Who in terms of fan devotion and popularity. Bringing these two “brands” together leads to well deserved shrieks of delight and an almost stomach-churning sense of anticipation, for if a slick fantasist like Gaiman cannot do Doctor Who justice, then who can?

“In terms of how Doctor Who and the mythos of Doctor Who has influenced my writing, I think it’s impossible for me to say because I have no idea, there’s no control out there. I can’t actually ever get to meet Neil Gaiman who, at the age of 3, wasn’t watching Doctor Who, at the age of 4 wasn’t imagining how things can be bigger on the inside, at the age of 5, wasn’t buying a copy or persuading his father to buy a copy of the Dalek World annual on Victoria Station. And taking it home and studying it and learning all about Daleks, and discovering that Daleks couldn’t see the color red, and then writing about the red Daleks and whether they were invisible to their friends, and discovering that measles was a Dalek disease. And not lots of people know, but I learned that because I read it in the Dalek World Anthology.” - Gaiman

Know upfront that I’m not a Gaiman disciple, but have partaken in some of his work over the years, have particular affinity toward his ’96 BBC miniseries Neverwhere, and appreciated, but wasn’t bowled over by his previous Who contribution, “The Doctor’s Wife” (the production didn’t quite live up to his script and its ideas, but then the same has been said of Neverwhere). Nothing of the sort plagues “Nightmare in Silver,” which I’m utterly, madly delighted about. This tale of broken people (and ex-people) coming back to life is the unquestionable highlight of the season so far, though both “Asylum of the Daleks” and “Cold War” still rate pretty high. Who’d have guessed the peaks of season seven would be the stories featuring all the classic villains? If nothing else, it demonstrates why Doctor Who deserves such a fervent, passionate celebration of its 50 years – because the conceptual promises of the series’ earliest seasons can still be taken to conclusions that are as exciting to viewers today as they were to the viewers of the '60s and '70s.

Read the rest of this recap - which includes many more excerpts from a Gaiman conference call I participated in earlier this week - by clicking here and visiting Vulture