Nightmare in Silver

Well, here we are, sitting on the brink starring at Doctor Who‘s Season 7B finale. A rather big finale at that, where all sorts of wild things are promised: The Doctor’s name, the truth of the “impossible girl”, the Fall of the Eleventh. (OOOoooOOOooohhh.) And, how did we get here? Let’s go back, two weeks back in fact because if you’ve been paying attention you’ll have noticed last week’s episode, “The Crimson Horror” wasn’t reviewed. My bad. To get us all back on track, Nerd Bastards proudly presents, a mini-review.

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Welcome to Sweetville. And, what was probably the weirdest episode this season since “The Rings of Akhatan”, and unfortunately, the weakest. Actually, that may be unfair because even after all this time I’m not sure what to think of “The Crimson Horror.” It began like one of those episodes where The Doctor wasn’t in it except as a peripheral character with Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh), Jenny (Catrin Stewart), and Strax (Dan Starkey) taking the lead. But that isn’t what this episode ended up being at all, and maybe if it had things would have worked better. Once The Doctor is back in action Vastra and Strax are basically sidelined and used entirely as comic relief. Though the episode was genuinely funny, on a second viewing a good chunk of the comedy falls flat. Jenny’s the only one of the trio given some time to shine, but even she’s eventually rendered useless.

The premise is weird, no getting around that. Mrs. Gillyflower (Dame Diana Rigg) finds a prehistoric parasite, Mr. Sweet – now a good front runner for creepiest, grossest Who villain – and by using his “necter” creates a toxic disease that’ll both preserve her chosen people for the second coming and wipe out the rest of the planet. What saves this episode are the pretty fantastic performances, especially from Rigg and her actual daughter, Rachael Stirling, who also plays her daughter. Rigg relishes the role of the absolutely mad Gillyflower, and Stirling gets a good bit of range, too, flipping from sweet, downtrodden Ada to going completely postal on her mother and Mr. Sweet. Y’know, turns out this is a great episode for Mother’s Day, even if it’s highlighting the worst kind of mother.

Plans are foiled and the day is saved, but I felt the real reveal of this episode would be The Doctor admitting something to Vastra, Jenny, and Strax about Clara. I mean, otherwise, what was the point of visiting Yorkshire in this period? Especially once they turned up and all kept asking how Clara was alive. So that was a bit of a let down and a wasted opportunity. What we are given is an ending that wonderfully sets things up for where they go next, a family holidy – The Doctor, Clara, and the kids off to visit the amusement park planet, Hedgewick’s World, in “Nightmare in Silver.”

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It’s sad to realize there are only two more episodes of Doctor Who left this season. I mean, where did the time go!? I feel like we just met Clara, again, and now we’re already to the finale! Ugh, even with a time machine time passes too quickly. Well, prepare yourselves, because we’ve got plenty of news in this edition of Who News! in hopes of alleviating some post-Season 7B depression.

First, what do you think of the new TARDIS? I love the design because I’m a sucker for anything retro and the new console room pays homage to the TARDIS console of old in many ways. In the latest Doctor Who Magazine they shared these wonderful shots of the new console, up close and in detail, revealing each individual panel,

I particularly like how bleak it looks, this is a dark time for The Doctor, and I dig all the Gallifreyan symbols.

Lots more below the cut, including Billie Piper talking – as little as she can – about the 50th anniversary, Neil Gaiman on Clara and her relationship with the TARDIS, and more rumors about John Hurt’s mysterious role in the anniversary special.

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We’re about half way through the second half of Doctor Who‘s seventh season, and this weekend we get one of the series’ most anticipated episodes, “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS.” There was one clip earlier this week of Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) doing her best impression of an all too curious cat, and today there’s another clip, this one of The Doctor (Matt Smith), plus an episode introduction. Give ’em a watch,

Below the cut we’ve got a new poster and synopsis for Neil Gaiman‘s Cybermen story, “Nightmare in Silver“, a look at a new Doctor Who box set celebrating each Doctor’s regeneration, and some speculation about who John Hurt is playing in the 50th Anniversary special.

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As if you haven’t been following along, Doctor Who returns this weekend for the second half of its seventh season. (Psst, we threw together a collection of Doctor Who fan art in celebration. Fan art is cool.) With the season premiere practically upon us we’ve been inundated with Who news, like this new poster for “The Bells of Saint John,” above. Click it to check out the full version. In addition to the poster, the Beeb’s released an additional clip in where The Doctor (Matt Smith) makes a wardrobe change,

Of course he keeps his bow tie in a special box. Oh Doctor. Anyway, were you a little confused to see Sontaran Strax (Dan Starkey) reappear with Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh) and Jenny (Catrin Stewart) in last year’s Christmas special, “The Snowmen”? Yeah, me too, he died valiantly in battle – like any Sontaran would want – on Demons Run in “A Good Man Goes to War.” So, how’d he turn up in 19th century England? Hit the jump to find out!

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