Thursday, October 8, 2015

Aragon vs. Anderson: The Name of The Doctor

Now that I have a few minutes free, I thought I'd go back to one of my great passions...bashing The Whorist (or as it's generally known, The Nerdist), in particular their Doctor Who reviews by one Kyle Anderson.

Mr. Anderson (now doesn't that sound sinister) in my view, has rarely if ever met a Doctor Who post-Rose story that he hasn't loved. I don't mean liked. I mean L-O-V-E-D, to where that particular episode is the Best Doctor Who Episode of All Time...until the next episode when THAT becomes the Best Doctor Who Episode of All Time. It's gotten to be almost a point of parody to see how Anderson rarely finds fault with a Doctor Who episode. I don't mean just to nitpick on a few things. I mean give a bona-fide negative review. Even I, someone who has been vociferous in my condemnation for many NuWho episodes, do admit when I see a good one (like Flatline or Mummy on the Orient Express). Anderson, however, will almost always find something to wax rhapsodic about, even on something as atrocious as In the Forest of the Night.

I was intrigued by this, so a little research was required. I went as far back as I could regarding Anderson's Doctor Who reviews, and the earliest one I could find was the Series/Season Six opener, The Impossible Astronaut. What I've done is taken Kyle Anderson's review verbatim, and offered my own 'translation' to the text to see what Anderson is, in my view, really saying. I also throw in my own thoughts as to what is being said.

I hope this will be a fun and informative journey into the strange mind of the Functioning Nerd.

I present Part 28 of The Nerdist as Whore: The Name of The Doctor. My 'translations' are in red.

Wait, so this WASN’T the 50th Anniversary special? It’s an episode in which every single incarnation of the Doctor we know (and also…) is featured, a way that should horrify every true Doctor Who fan, where 50 years of Canon are apparently all from the mind of Steven Moffat, who was all of two years old when the show premiered.
and in a way that makes sense and isn’t stupid.
It’s full of past characters and references and mystery and intrigue and loss and sadness and endings and beginnings and…. Man, “The Name of the Doctor” had everything.
It's full of continuity questions and references to things NuWhovians neither know or care about and confusion and sluts and Anderson got lost in his hyperventilating glee at it all, never really caring whether any of it made sense.  Man, "The Name of the Doctor" had a lot of oddities in it.
It was even about what it said on the tin, and we didn’t have to hear it.
What it said on the tin was "The Name of The Doctor", but it wasn't a part of the story. 
So, let’s dive in, I guess.
So, let's get this over with, I guess.
Vastra calls a meeting of all the awesome people who help the Doctor and are still available to be shown onscreen.
Let's see: Susan Foreman, Ian Chesterton, Zoe Hariot, Jamie McCrimmon, Jo Grant, Romana, Ace...oh, that's right.  They're Classic Who, so putting them on what you thought was the 50th Anniversary Special would have been so erroneous.   
That means herself, Jenny, Strax, Clara, and River, whom we haven’t seen since she left the Doctor crying and alone at the end of “The Angels Take Manhattan.”

I'd like to know who declared Madame Vastra and River Song "awesome", so as to publicly horse-whip them.

Apparently, with the proper fragrance,
Eau De Stupidity
people can lucid-dream their way into a Matrix construct. I did not know that.
Man, my fan-fic isn't as good as The Moff's.
It’s a good way of getting people in the same room at once without having to mess around with pesky science or technology.
It's a lousy and lazy way to get around putting characters from the 19th, 20th, and 21st Centuries in one room at once without having to mess around with pesky logic.  Oh, and did I mention that The Bitch is technically dead at this point.  Oh, right, sorry...on Moffat Doctor Who no one ever dies. 
They are gathered because some crazy murderer knows information regarding the fields of Trenzalore. We know this, of course, as the site of the Fall of the Eleventh, as told to the Doctor by Dorium at the end of “The Wedding of River Song.”
What we DON'T know is how exactly this Victorian-era murderer knows all this information regarding the Fields of Trenzalore.  That isn't explained, let alone given a plausible explanation, but since this is Doctor Who, whose main virtue is its total lack of logic, it doesn't matter how this all came about. 
This is bad news.
This is bad episode.

The Great Intelligence, again played by the iconic Richard E. Grant,
I wouldn’t go so far as to say Grant is ‘iconic’, but he’s a good actor, so I’m willing to let that slide.

sends the Whisper Men, another in a long string of Moffat’s terrifying henchmen,

to take/kill the members of the pentagon whilst they’re asleep. Clara wakes up and tells the Doctor what happened, causing him to cry.

He wasn’t the only crying through this horror, albeit people cried for different reasons.
He knows where he must go, but he daren’t. If you could travel anywhere in time and space, obviously the one place you’d avoid is the place where you breathe your very last.

If you could travel anywhere in time and space, obviously the one place you keep going to is 20th Century London and Cardiff.

We see terrible things on Trenzalore,

Like The Name of The Doctor.

not least of which being the remains of the TARDIS, its dimensions broken down so that the outside matches the inside.


River is also here — not real River, mind, but the River that’s mentally linked to Clara.

OF COURSE RIVER HAD TO BE IN THIS!  She's the most important character on Doctor Who!  That's like not having Stormtrooper Number 7 in The Empire Strikes Back!

I don’t actually understand what River is doing there and why the Doctor, we eventually learn, can see her.
River served no purpose in The Name of The Doctor, and there's no logic to the idea that for the longest time, he apparently pretended not to see or hear where when apparently he could.
I get that she’s supposed to be the “saved” version of River from “Forest of the Dead,” but why wouldn’t they just pick a River who’s alive? I mean, she’s out of sequence with the Doctor; does that mean the very next thing she did after Amy and Rory got sent back to the ’40s was go to the library?
The whole River timeline, with his first meeting of her being her last meeting with him and vice-versa, has gotten so convoluted that there's just no way any of it makes sense now.
Either way, I think we’re led to believe that she’s not going to be in the show anymore.
I’ll miss her, I think, but I can live with it.
OH GOD, HOW I WISH THAT OLD BITCH WOULD GO!!!  I can't stand River Song, and the sooner we see the backside of her the better.  Granted, Anderson has a thing for cougars, or in River Song's case, saber-tooth tigers, but still, get rid of her! I can live without her.
The Great Intelligence’s plan is downright horrific, to jump into the Doctor’s time stream and un-right all the un-wronging he’s done throughout eternity.

If only the Great Intelligence could do that with so many NuWho episodes...

What a dick.

What a dick.

Planets, galaxies, people, begin to disappear from existence, including Jenny and evil-again Strax.

Maybe I was wrong.  Maybe The Name of The Doctor is actually good, if the episode wipes out Jenny and Strax.

There is but one thing left to do – for Clara to jump in herself, completely forsake her own life, and get split into a billion pieces to save the Doctor and ensure things happen the way they should.

The Companion sacrificing herself to save The Doctor.  Now THAT'S an original idea! 

She’s the one who tells him which TARDIS to take, for heaven’s sake (although, didn’t Idris-TARDIS say it was she who chose him?… maybe they were in league together).

Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to integrate competing Moffat-era scripts that contradict each other.
Since “Asylum of the Daleks,” back when we were surprised to see Jenna-Louise Coleman on our screens, we’ve been wondering who exactly she is, and what exactly she’s doing in multiple places in history. Now we know; she’s not a trick, or a trap,

Maybe a tramp who turns tricks?

or some weird alien, or a robot, or anything like that.

She ain't a bitch or a ho, either.

She’s a young lady who essentially allowed herself to be fragmented throughout time and space to save the Doctor time and time again.

Well, there is a certain logic to that, albeit an idiotic one, to misquote All About Eve.  However, there's something sad in thinking that Steven Moffat, in a roundabout way, is claiming credit for ALL of Doctor Who because his creation now has 'interacted' with all the Doctors.

We see her “interact” with the Doctor throughout his whole life.

In the future, we see just HOW long her meddling in his life was.

I don’t care if it does look fake, seeing Clara and William Hartnell share the same frame is magical. And Tom Baker and Colin Baker and Patrick Troughton and everybody. It’s awesome. I love it.

Kyle Anderson, you are officially expelled as a Whovian.

Once things are righted, the Doctor does something even more insane that what Clara did: jump into his own time stream to save her.
She eventually ends up in some horrible, bleak place
a Moffat-penned Doctor Who episode...
and, miraculously (or not), the Doctor finds her, the real her. Except there’s another guy standing there… We do not know this guy; who’s this guy?

Seems pretty self-explanitory to where even an analytical critic could figure it out.
Evidently, he’s the man who had forsaken the name of the Doctor.
Yet he's billed as "Introducing John Hurt as The Doctor".  And perhaps this is not the best time to mention that "The Doctor" is not The Name of The Doctor.  The Doctor is a title.  Geez, even Peter Cushing's version at least named him "Doctor Who" and didn't go on with this "Name of The Doctor being a BIG MYSTERY" nonsense you lap up like the lapdog you are.
There have only been 11,
Well, there used to be only 11 Doctors until now.  Thanks to "The Moff" what had been a simple numerical system has been permanently thrown into needless chaos and confusion, but with apologists like you, "The Moff" need not worry about answering for illogic on a show whose whole premise, according to you, is in BEING illogical. 
but this one’s a mistake or something.
Kyle Anderson accidently hits the nail on the head.  Yes, this one's a mistake...or something.
Is he the Valeyard,

is he a future Doctor,
is he… a third thing?
NOPE. It says, "Introducing John Hurt as The Doctor".
I guess we’ll have to wait and see once the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors team up.

I’m sure there’s a lot of nitpicking to be done about this episode, but none of it really bothered me in the least.

I'm sure an analytical critic could point out how horrible this all is, how it obliterates Canon, how it does a disservice to 50 years of stories, how a lot of it simply doesn't make a lot of sense, but none of it really bothered me in the least.  I either get very well paid to shill for Moffat or am such a total lackey that it's beyond me to look past anything other than to bask in The Moff's reflective glory.  There is a third alternative: Kyle Anderson is an idiot.  Just a flat-out idiot too enamored of pretty lights and access to all the Doctor Who production team that he just doesn't care how good or bad a story is, so long as he gets a piece of the action.

What is extraordinary about that statement, "I'm sure there's a lot of nitpicking to be done about this episode, but none of it really bother me in the least" is that Anderson essentially is saying that whatever flaws The Name of The Doctor has as a story, he just doesn't care what they are.  He just doesn't care.  He'll let it wash over him and go on his merry way, disinterested that a show he claims to love and analyze with a critical eye is being brought to wrack and ruin.  It's a bit like saying one loves antiquities but doesn't care that Palmyra is being obliterated before our eyes. 

I thought everything paid off what was promised,

I was handsomely paid off.

and River’s ghost being able to open the tomb’s doors aside, the episode wasn’t a cop out.

It WAS about the name of the Doctor,

it WAS about finding out who and what Clara is,

it WAS about something that completely changed what we knew about the show, but it doesn’t besmirch or negate any of it.

That last line was so bad, it deserves another Vincent Price Laugh.

How can Anderson truly say that with both a straight face and any sense of decency?  This John Hurt Doctor oh so much besmirches and negates what has come before on Doctor Who.  The idea that CLARA of all people has been boucing around the Doctor's entire existence, bailing him out of dangers like some big-eyed guardian angel completely takes away from all the good work various writers, producers, cast and crew put into the show.  Clara doesn't fit into Canon pre-Bells of Saint John, and even in her two prior appearances not only does she "die" but neither story fits very well together.  Yet now she's been shoehorned into pre-An Unearthly Child, and for what?  To please the ego of the man Anderson rims metaphorically at every opportunity he gets.    

It’s an episode about the past, present, and future of the character, which is something everybody can enjoy.

I shouldn't be shocked, SHOCKED, by the levels Anderson willingly sinks to in order to please Moffat (or show himself to be a total acolyte to Moffat's overwhelming sense of genius).  However, what I see is a man desperate to convince me (and perhaps himself) that The Name of The Doctor is some turning point in television, nay, world history, when it's an open sewer (and Anderson knows it).  Now, either he knows it and is not saying so for reasons opaque (a love of money, a desire to please Moffat, blanket stupidity) or he doesn't know it and genuinely believes that The Name of The Doctor or Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS are somehow equal to or above The Caves of Androzani or Genesis of the Daleks.

This is the gist of my long 'feud' with Kyle Anderson.  You CANNOT be an 'analytical critic' AND a cheerleader/apologist for the person you are analyzing.  There is a clear-cut conflict of interest that renders your 'analysis' nothing more than promotional puff pieces or worse, shameful and shameless propaganda.

One can advocate for a particular writer or artist (I make no secret of my love for Mia Wasikowska as an actress and would call myself a champion of her career).  However, when I think she is in a bad movie (like I thought of Stoker or Alice in Wonderland), my admiration for Wasikowska as an actress will not blind me to what I consider the failures of either the films or the performances in them.  Well, perhaps at times I was a bit too in love to be completely impartial.  However, a true 'analytical critic' will be honest enough, with both his/her audience and him/herself, to recognize when the one he/she supports does something wrong. 

Anderson doesn't.  He is quick to leap to Moffat's defense at every opportunity.  The Leader cannot be questioned, cannot be criticized, cannot be mocked.  Via his Twitter feed on October 6: "People who dislike Moffat: You can't say he does the same thing every series, because they've all been structurally fundamentally different". To my own mind, this statement doesn't come from a 'critic', analytical or otherwise.  

It comes from an apologist.  It comes from a fanboy.  It comes from someone who rather than argue the merits of Moffat's writing, sees himself as a Defender of The Faith: 

There is No God But Moffat and
Kyle Anderson is His Messenger. 

When a critic goes from analyzing the pros and cons of a subject and goes into an impassioned defense of that which he/she is covering, then that critic cedes being a true critic and goes into being an advocate.  That's all well and good, but Anderson should be up-front about it.  He should say, "I think Moffat is the new Rod Serling, and as such, no criticism will pass my lips".  He should say, "Any criticism of Steven Moffat, either for Doctor Who or Sherlock, will be met with fierce condemnation and furious anger from me, for I will defend him at every turn".  The fact that he wants it both ways (be thought of as a serious, objective, analytical critic AND as a champion of The Moff) shows either a disconnect or patent hypocrisy.

Make up your mind, Kyle.  Are you an analytical critic or an advocate?  You cannot be both.           

I adored this entire series, from “Asylum” to now.

SHOCKED that Kyle Anderson liked a
Doctor Who episode!

It really only had a few missteps for me,

Precisely ONE negative review out of 13 for Series Seven.

but I almost don’t care at this point.

You're too hard on yourself.  I don't think you ever really cared to begin with.  Personally, I find that last statement rather sad.  You're saying that you don't care that a show in your view has taken some wrong turns.  It doesn't matter to you whether something is bad, so long as it has Doctor Who stamped on it, mindlessly accepting the dribble that comes from Moffat or Gatiss or anyone else without saying anything other than "I LOVED IT".  

This is the show that I love to watch every week and the one I’ll be excited to watch for the next six months until the special. So, to sum it up, I loved “The Name of the Doctor,”

SHOCKED that Kyle Anderson liked a
Doctor Who episode!

and if you didn’t, that’s cool.

Look, I know The Name of The Doctor was shit from the moment Clara spotted The First Doctor and Susan and told them which TARDIS to steal (thus Clara, and by extension, Steven Moffat, essentially CREATED Doctor Who, and also contradicted The Doctor's Wife a mere series ago) right down to "Introducing John Hurt as The Doctor", but I'M not about to openly criticize it.  I know many Whovians, even NuWhovians, know that The Name of The Doctor was really a shambles that in the future will make even less sense.  I really want to say it, but I cannot.

Do note though, that Anderson loved both The Name of The Doctor (where Clara Oswald told the Doctor which TARDIS to take, and remarkably showing that The Doctor really was senile as he had no memory of having met Clara in his very first incarnation or wondered who that mysterious being was when she popped in on Gallifrey) AND The Doctor's Wife (where the TARDIS in human form told the Doctor SHE selected him).  He tries to bridge this contradiction by suggesting the TARDIS and Clara possibly, potentially, perhaps worked together.  "Maybe they were in league together" is how he tries to fit two contradictory stories despite no evidence to suggest that such a collusion entre Clara et Idris took place.

They were not in cahoots.  The Doctor's Wife: the TARDIS chose The Doctor.  The Name of The Doctor: Clara chose the TARDIS for The Doctor.  No amount of finagling, no amount of mental gymnastics, no amount of apologetics can make these two stories fit into one coherent narrative.  However, for a true believer like Kyle Anderson, no proof that Moffat is wrong is possible.  If one episode says the TARDIS chose the Doctor and another episode says Clara chose the TARDIS for the Doctor, there apparently is no contradiction that some good old 'timey-wimey' can't resolve.

The fact that he'd rather come up with rationales and excuses and wild theories (far-fetched as they are) to force the pieces to come together rather than just say Episode B contradicts Episode A I think says all there is to say about why Kyle Anderson is no 'analytical critic'.    
I’ll be back at some point this summer with a more thorough postmortem of Series 7 in its entirety, but right now I’m gonna go to sleep.

The Damned Sleep Well.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Aragon vs. Anderson: Nightmare in Silver

Now that I have a few minutes free, I thought I'd go back to one of my great passions...bashing The Whorist (or as it's generally known, The Nerdist), in particular their Doctor Who reviews by one Kyle Anderson.

Mr. Anderson (now doesn't that sound sinister) in my view, has rarely if ever met a Doctor Who post-Rose story that he hasn't loved. I don't mean liked. I mean L-O-V-E-D, to where that particular episode is the Best Doctor Who Episode of All Time...until the next episode when THAT becomes the Best Doctor Who Episode of All Time. It's gotten to be almost a point of parody to see how Anderson rarely finds fault with a Doctor Who episode. I don't mean just to nitpick on a few things. I mean give a bona-fide negative review. Even I, someone who has been vociferous in my condemnation for many NuWho episodes, do admit when I see a good one (like Flatline or Mummy on the Orient Express). Anderson, however, will almost always find something to wax rhapsodic about, even on something as atrocious as In the Forest of the Night.

I was intrigued by this, so a little research was required. I went as far back as I could regarding Anderson's Doctor Who reviews, and the earliest one I could find was the Series/Season Six opener, The Impossible Astronaut. What I've done is taken Kyle Anderson's review verbatim, and offered my own 'translation' to the text to see what Anderson is, in my view, really saying. I also throw in my own thoughts as to what is being said.

I hope this will be a fun and informative journey into the strange mind of the Functioning Nerd.

I present Part 27 of The Nerdist as Whore: Nightmare in Silver. My 'translations' are in red.

Writer Neil Gaiman is a massive Doctor Who fan. Join the club, right?

"I'd never join a club that would admit me as a member" (Groucho Marx).

In Series 6, he wrote what is pretty much everybody’s favorite episode that year, “The Doctor’s Wife.” (For me, it was second to Tom MacRae’s “The Girl Who Waited,” but I recognize I’m in the minority.)

Yep, on this I am with the majority. 

That episode had the Doctor actually getting to speak to the TARDIS! What nerd hasn’t wanted to see that?

Actually, Kyle, I would have said me, but since I'm not a nerd, that question doesn't apply.  Also, since you're a poser, I don't think it applies to you either.

This time around, Gaiman brings back the Cybermen and has the Doctor talking to an evil version of himself inside his own brain. “Nightmare in Silver” also has a Cybermen attack on a silly amusement park castle and Warwick Davis being a badass. You go, Neil.


The sophomore slump is a phenomenon which states that someone’s follow-up is never as good as their initial outing (in any field) because you have your whole life to plan the first one. Happens a lot in music.

Oh yes, Tchaikovsky's Symphony Number 2...real rubbish compared to his First.  And The Beatles Second Album...well, the less said the better.

Steven Moffat had that after the near perfect Series 5 with the much more uneven Series 6.

I guess the fact that Victory of the Daleks was in Series 5 is what makes it 'near' perfect, and wait a minute, wasn't The Big Bang Parts 1 & 2 part of Series 5?  Aren't YOU the one constantly going on about how we have yet to receive an answer about the exploding TARDIS?  "Near" perfect, huh? 

And as for Series 6 being uneven, weren't you the one who liked such episodes as The Weeding of River Song (yes, I know it's 'wedding', but a man can dream, can't he)?  Let's use the Wayback Machine to review Kyle Anderson's own reviews for this 'uneven' Series Six:

The Wedding of River Song: "I still love the series, I still love the era, and I even generally like this episode (though a second viewing was required)". 

Closing Time: "On first viewing, I wasn’t sold on the episode as a whole, but upon reflection and second viewing, after knowing what the episode actually was, I knew it to be another fantastic episode for the season" (emphasis mine).

The Girl Who Waited: "What more can I say? I dug it".

Night Terrors: "“Night Terrors,” on the other hand, is one I probably will watch multiple times. So far, there aren’t any series 6 episodes I actively dislike, which is pretty good" (emphasis mine).

Let's Kill Hitler: "Anyway, despite all that griping I just did, I actually, overall, quite enjoyed the episode". 

A Good Man Goes to War: "And still, questions ARE answered in a satisfactory way".  BTW, this was the same episode where our 'analytical critic' wrote these immortal words, "“A Good Man Goes to War,” the mid-series finale of Doctor Who, was full of action and cool new characters, but there wasn’t, strictly speaking, a “plot.” Yet this isn’t necessarily a bad thing" (emphasis mine).

The Almost People: I’ve now watched “The Almost People” two times and most of my complaints arose during the second viewing, but I still have to say that, no, I actually DO enjoy this two-parter".

The Rebel Flesh: "Regardless, about the episode at hand: For the most part, I enjoyed “The Rebel Flesh.”

The Doctor's Wife: "It might be, in fact, the perfect Doctor Who episode".

The Curse of the Black Spot: "It certainly was not a bad episode, in fact I even enjoyed watching it on second viewing".  That's on CURSE OF THE BLACK SPOT, which he later derided as "dumb but harmless" (Night Terrors review) before going all-in and calling it "boring, poorly-paced, and obvious" (Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS review).

How soon they forget...

Day of the Egg (Moon): "All in all, "Day of the Moon" was a fun episode, if not a perfect one". 

Now, remember kids, this is the Season he called 'uneven'. Ten out of thirteen positive reviews.  Imagine if it hadn't been 'uneven'...

He is, however, redeeming himself in spades with Series 7.

Let's see how much redemption The Moff has received from The Crawler...

The Doctor, The Widow, and the Wardrobe: "Despite these nitpicks, though, this episode succeeded in being a truly Christmassy and special Christmas special".

Asylum of the Daleks: "To say I loved it would be pretty accurate".

Dinosaurs on a Spaceship: "Overall, I was actually fairly impressed by the episode".

The Power of Three: "Overall, I absolutely loved this".

The Angels Take Manhattan: "As a farewell to the Ponds, though, “The Angels Take Manhattan” was damn fine television.

The Snowmen: "There’s a lot more to “The Snowmen” that a second or third viewing will undoubtedly awaken in my brain, but having only seen it once, amid the noise of family, I found it completely agreeable".

The Bells of Saint John: "So, to sum up: very good episode, would watch again, +++++".

The Rings of Akhaten: "Despite those few misgivings, I really, really liked “The Rings of Akhaten.”

Cold War: "Mild “like” from me. It’s an episode I’ll definitely watch again".

Hide: "I adored this episode, easily my favorite of this half-series, and possibly for the whole series, but we’ll have to see about that".

Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS: "So very much to chew on in this episode, but overall, I loved it".

The Crimson Horror: "Suffice to say, “The Crimson Horror” is easily my favorite Gatiss story since “The Unquiet Dead,” and he has more or less redeemed himself for the conceptually fantastic but narratively flawed “Cold War.” It’s not a perfect script by any means, but it’s a great deal of fun and has amazing elements to it. This makes me very pleased. More stories like this, please, Mr. Gatiss!"

To be fair, I can't accuse him of dishonesty.  He has given positive reviews to every Series Seven story save A Town Called Mercy, but by now his ebullient praise of every Doctor Who episode has slipped from tragedy to farce to sheer embarrassment and even sadness.  Somehow, I can't find it in my heart to keep mocking Anderson's worship of every Doctor Who story which he lauds with such rhapsodic praise (though I'll still do it). I can't believe that out of so-far twelve episodes eleven would be this unimpeachably brilliant.  I still hold that Kyle Anderson will rarely if ever really go after a Doctor Who episode for his own motives (money) than out of a true and sincere belief that Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS really IS that good.  If, however, I am completely wrong and he is being completely honest in his evaluations with no ulterior motive, I can only marvel at how someone who claims to be an 'analytical critic' can behave in such a fan-boy manner at his professional duty.     

There was a concern on my part that Neil Gaiman wouldn’t be able to compete with the greatness of “The Doctor’s Wife” because he had all of his life to dream about what the Doctor and TARDIS would say to each other.

Might his return to the show be a bit of a letdown? Overall, I’d say no.

They’re two completely different types of episodes, and this one isn’t trying to jerk any tears or tug on any heartstrings, but I really enjoyed how it was presented and a lot about what was on display.

They're two completely different types of episodes: The Doctor's Wife was actually...good, Nightmare in Silver was unbearably, unbelievably bad.  However, I really enjoyed that for once I was able to laugh at a Doctor Who episode rather than cringe at how awful it was, praying it would all end. 

The Doctor brings Clara and her two young charges, Angie and Artie, to the universe’s largest amusement park. Too bad it’s been out of commission for years following a war with the Cybermen.

I guess it isn't The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, is it?

They’d been all but wiped out, save for a few deactivated ones, but the galaxy was gutted in the process. Residing on the planet is a team of disgraced soldiers, who are basically assigned to wait there until something happens.

These soldiers representing the Doctor Who audience.

The Doctor also meets up with Webley (Jason Watkins), who has a wax museum (notice the creepy dummy from “The God Complex”), and a Cyberman who does nothing but play chess.

Did anyone else see that Nightmare in Silver reused props from The God Complex, because my Spidey-sense tells me there is no connection between the two.

Turns out, however, that it’s not even the Cyberman, but Porridge (Warwick Davis) controlling its arms.

My porridge is too hot!  My porridge is too cold!  My porridge is by no means just right!

Unfortunately, there are also Cyber-Mites, which bring the Cybermen back to life and begin upgrading Webley, Angie, Artie, and eventually the Doctor.

If only they could upgrade the acting, the writing, the directing, the producing...

Whatever Happened to the Cybermats?!

The army captain, meanwhile, is fully aware that she has a device that could completely destroy the planet, and by extension the Cybermen, and themselves, but the Doctor, Clara, and Porridge expressly forbid her from doing so.

Well, at this point let's ask why the Army captain is taking orders from The Chin, The Impossible (To Live With) Girl, and Willow.  Yes, it does answer that question later on in a very ham-fisted way, but still, pretty pathetic captain to take orders from a schoolteacher and a guy with a bow-tie who hops about screaming about his "Golden Ticket".

They’re severely outgunned, though, and if the Cybermen get through their defenses, it’s curtains for everybody anyway.

HOLD IT, KYLE!  You haven't finished your synopsis, or maybe you know that if you kept going, you wouldn't be able to declare this another Doctor Who masterpiece and decided to stop while you're ahead. 
There’s a lot I liked about this episode. A whole lot.

There's a lot I hated about this episode.  A whole lot. 

I liked the redesign of the Cybermen and the fact that they can do more than just lumber along.

Now the Cybermen have super-speed...which they use about only once.  It's not like they could fly or anything like that, right? 

With all the rampant upgrading, they’re kind of like the Borg.

Although the Cybermen predate the Borg by a good twenty-three years, yes, Cybermen are 'kind of like the Borg'.

Wait! I just realized, this is sort of like Doctor Who’s version of “The Best of Both Worlds,” only at no point did anyone think the Doctor might be turned forever into a Cyberman.

Wait!  I just realized, this is sort of copying a much better story from a much better series, only at no point did anyone think the Doctor might be turned forever into a sensible character.

I really loved the whole internal (and sometimes external) battle between the Doctor and “Mr. Clever,” the Cyber Programmer inside his head.

I really felt terrible whenever "Mr. Clever", as solid a Cyberman name as could be found, had to match wits with a thoroughly witless Doctor. 

That is the closest the new series has gotten to having a lead Cyberman be as devious and maniacal as they were in the classic series.

I also liked the references to their past weakness, specifically gold. It’s stupid that they were weakened by gold, but it’s used very nicely here, because it is inherently dumb.

For a "massive Doctor Who fan", you sure are quick in mocking established Canon.  I was unaware that your declaration of a key element of Canon regarding Cybermen now is 'inherently dumb'?  May I ask your qualifications in deciding that Cybermen being weakened by gold was 'stupid'?

Matt Smith gives another absolutely brilliant performance, here playing both good and evil.

I hope the Master never comes back, because I don’t think anybody could possibly be a better evil counterpart to the Eleventh Doctor than the Eleventh Doctor himself.

Consider your wish granted, Anderson.

The references to the past Doctors is always welcome, especially in the 50th Anniversary year. I loved the visual representation of the two sides of the Doctor’s mind, himself represented by golden Gallifreyan swirlies, and the Cyberman represented by cold, blue energy. Really nicely done, as was Stephen Woolfenden’s direction as a whole.

Well, I'm not going to begrudge how pretty that part of Nightmare in Silver was.

I also — broken record again — loved Jenna-Louise Coleman. Full stop.

I also---broken record again---love masterbating to Jenna-Louise Coleman.  Can't stop, won't stop.

The way she so naturally falls into the authority the Doctor gives her, even though he really has no authority himself, is fantabulous.

I liked her back-and-forth with the Cyber-Doctor, especially with her easily figuring out his attempt to trick her. Hands down, Clara is my favorite companion of the new series, maybe even of all.

I like empty-headed broads with nice boobs.

Let's see who Kyle Anderson thinks is not as good as Clara Oswald as a Doctor Who Companion...



Pathetic Has-Been


A Nobody

Dumb as a rock.

Some Old Geezer

Compared to all of them, Clara Oswald is so obviously above them all, the Citizen Kane of Companions, the standard to which all other Companions, pre-and-post Oswald, will be measured against.
Think that deserves the Vincent Price laugh too?

I think I like her the most because she’s not a caricature in any way.

She doesn’t have traits that get molded into a character. She’s sort of a blank slate, which makes her seem more realistic. I hope she sticks around for a good long while.

I hope she causes me to get sticky for a good long while.

Now, for some of the stuff I didn’t like very much, namely, the kids: I do not understand why they were in this story.

Well, I think we're about to hit the broken clock time...

It seemed a strange shoehorning last week when they suddenly reappear after only being seen briefly in “The Bells of Saint John,” and seemed really strange that they could find pictures of Clara from throughout history and not really care all that much.

We had lack of logic on this episode, but boy wasn't "Mr. Clever" such a Cyberman idea? Wasn't it all so pretty?  And wasn't Jenna-Louise Coleman rather, eh, perky, this time?

I had imagined that it was Gaiman himself that requested the children be in it, and maybe he did, but they were really non-entities in the story.

Yes, at long last, Anderson hits a rare moment of lucidity.  Congratulations, kid.

So, what was the point of having them at all? They show up, enjoy a bit of jumping on the moon, then get Cyber-ized and are essentially comatose through most of the episode.

In fairness, the viewing audience was essentially comatose through most of the episode too.

At least when somebody like Rory or Mickey (granted, they were much more integral pieces to the overall plot) came aboard the TARDIS, they directly impacted the plot, but these kids didn’t do anything. Angie was a brat for no reason, then figured out Porridge’s true identity. Great….

Though she was a brat about THAT too!  She'd just come out of her coma and snidely remarked that it was SO obvious who Porridge was, when it clearly wasn't.  That figure didn't look at all like Porridge, so I think it was obvious ANGIE was the dumb one.  Not to mention, both children gave lousy performances.  Geez, what IS it about Doctor Who hiring really bad child actors?  Is some 'bad child actor casting director' blackmailing the Moff to keep hiring these terrible kids?

In the storyline, they make mention of children being key to the Cybermen’s plot, and without kids, they were pretty well screwed. However, they didn’t do anything with the kids at all. Honestly, what did it matter that they were there?

Well, we're on the same page on this one.  Yes, I'm shocked too.

There also was very little threat to the army people. We didn’t care enough about them to really sad if any of them died, but we also never really felt their fear or even much of a sense of panic or tension about them possibly not holding everything back. There’s a scene where the one lady soldier tries to do the zappy thing on the Cyber head but is caught by the body. Almost immediately, she and another person are being converted, the big guy makes the Cyberman come towards him, he ducks out of the way, and Clara shoots it. That happened SO fast I didn’t even have time to really know what was going on. It seemed like two completely separate scenes joined together haphazardly.

This episode was riddled with bad editing and a confusing, even nonsensical, story structure, but, was I the only one fantasizing about Jenna-Louise Coleman threatening me with a weapon unless I removed all my clothes and made wild sex with her?

The other thing I didn’t much care for was the relative ease of the escape. It seemed like in a flash, we go from realizing Porridge isn’t who he says he is to him setting off the bomb, to them safely aboard his ship with time enough to save the TARDIS. What? How anti-climactic.

Gaiman, for all his genius, couldn't resolve the situation in a coherent manner, so we basically just zapped everyone up, up and away.  How anti-climatic.  Wow, that's two things Anderson criticized.  Are we about to get the second truly negative review of Series 7?

There also didn’t really seem to be much motivation behind Porridge’s marriage proposal to Clara at the end, aside from just giving her the choice to turn it down. Even in the ‘70s, when Jo Grant was proposed to by King Peladon, they’d spent a decent amount of romantic time together.

Willow better not touch the future Mrs. Anderson!  She belongs to me, and me alone.  She makes me want to turn Japanese, she makes me want to touch myself.  That whole 'marriage' proposal just came out of left field, and was there just for 'dramatics', which is a terrible reason to include something.  For once, something from Classic Who wasn't rubbish to my 'analytical critic's mind'.
These things aside, I quite enjoyed myself due primarily to the work of our leads and to the clever and witty script of Gaiman.

...the clever and witty script of Gaiman...I can't breathe...

...I need a few minutes to recover...clever and witty...
SHOCKED that Kyle Anderson liked a
Doctor Who episode!
He’s a darn good writer. He can come back any time.

He's got the skills that pay my bills (whenever I have to promote a product).  He can write anything he wants, and I'll praise it.

Clever and witty...

I’d love it if he novelized this story, because I feel like it could be really terrific.

I'd love it if he let me submit my own fan-fic, because I feel like it could be really terrific.

One episode left! I can’t believe it’s nearly here.

Our long national nightmare (in silver) is almost over.

“The Name of the Doctor,” written by Steven Moffat and directed by our friend Saul Metzstein, looks pretty darn creepy, and I have really no idea what to expect. However, I bet it’ll be great, because this series has been great.

I have no idea what to expect. However, I bet it'll be great, because my analytical critic's mind tells me I like any old garbage from Moffat, so long as he keeps the money rolling in and fanboys look to me as an expert instead of the poseur and propagandist that I am.  After all, how many negative reviews have I given this season? One.  One out of 13 episodes, giving me a 92% positive rating.

Even other outlets have given negative reviews to both Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS and Nightmare in Silver, but you keep chugging along, insisting that practically every Doctor Who episode is above reproach. It's one thing to love something to the point of idiocy, but to insist that something will be great before it comes out seems insane.

Wanna know how I know it’s the 50th Anniversary? Because in Series 7’s 13 episodes up to this point, we’ve had Daleks, UNIT, Weeping Angels, The Great Intelligence, Ice Warriors, Silurians, Sontarans, and Cybermen. Can’t imagine what we’ll get next week.

Bet it won't be him.

...or him...

...and most certainly not him...

...and most positively not her.

Then again, what do Sil, Omega, The Valeyard, or The Rani have to do with Doctor Who?  It's not like any of them are part of established Doctor Who Canon.

And now, for your musical enjoyment, a reminder of the 'clever and witty' script...