Neil Gaiman on Doctor Who: Nightmare in Silver – I wanted to show people that Matt Smith could act
Neil Gaiman may not be completely satisfied with his second Doctor Who episode, Nightmare in Silver, but he says it definitely achieved one of his aims – proving that Matt Smith could act.
“Nightmare in Silver is some people’s favourite but everybody, including me, thinks, ‘oh if we had another week, we could’ve changed this,’” Gaiman told RadioTimes.com. “I think there are things that could’ve been better, but I also think that the thing I wanted to do in Nightmare in Silver, I did: to show people that Matt Smith could act.”
Gaiman says there had been an assumption among certain observers, “who should’ve known better”, that Smith was simply playing himself in his role as the eccentric Time Lord, and the writer was keen to prove it was in fact a great performance by a talented actor. His solution: to give Smith two roles to play in his episode – both the Doctor and the Cyber-Planner (aka Mr Clever) with whom he must play a game of chess to win back full control of his brain.
“It was one of those things that fascinated me watching Matt: sensible people who should’ve known better assuming that the Eleventh Doctor was just Matt Smith, and I’m going, ‘No, that’s a part that he’s playing,’ and he’s an incredible, fantastic actor, who is, as the Doctor, capable of this enormous range, and yet there’ s a lot of stuff he’s not doing.
“So I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be amazing to have him go up against himself?’ Which is something that, even though it’s a staple of sci-fi drama, is not something that’s ever happened in Doctor Who.
“Even people who don’t like bits of Nightmare in Silver love the ‘Matt Smith as Mr Clever’ stuff.”
I personally did not dislike the episode, though many around me did. “Neil Gaiman could do better than that”, “What a disappointment” etc.
I didn’t think so. I thought it made the Cybermen ever more dangerous than before, though I noticed in the most recent 2-part Season Finale they didn’t do their lightning fast speed bit AT ALL.
I have not read much of Mr. Gaiman’s work (heresy I know) so I was not bound by the expectations, but I was hoping for a cracker like “The Doctor’s Wife” and that wasn’t this story. Though I do agree with Mr. Gaiman this was a fabulous showcase for Matt Smith to show his range much as Jenna Coleman did in the last series.
He is a fabulous actor and he was given some very meaty material and he ate it up.
The whole, see a Cyberman blow up the planet thing was amazingly dangerous.
Were the punishment platoon a bit wet, yeah, but that was part of the point they weren’t supposed to be the best and brightest. Though they could still probably run rings around the crew of Red Dwarf. 🙂
What is, I think, is you just had a fabulous gourmet meal from a mighty chef, “The Doctor’s Wife” but then you went back for seconds and they just weren’t as brilliant as you thought it was the first time.
That’s not the second dish’s fault. You were expecting something else than what you got and forgot to appreciate what you did get.