Tag Archives: Jason Watkins

Doctor Who – Nightmare in Silver

Wow! So that’s what it takes to have fully watchable Doctor Who? A ‘real’ writer like Neil Gaiman. Let’s do that again. Please? I enjoyed myself so much I was beginning to regret we are getting close to The End of Matt Smith.

Doctor Who - Nightmare in Silver

There was a time – admittedly a very long time ago – when I believed all writing for an important medium like television would be good by default. Likewise the efforts of the actors. They are actors, so obviously they do a perfect job. At least if they are famous. (Yeah, I was an idiot.)

Then there is the slight fear that an author can be too famous for his own good, and end up being a not terribly capable writer. But for all his fame, not to mention riches, Neil Gaiman simply does a great job whenever he writes stuff. Yes, you can hate the man and what he stands for if you like. But he can write. And he’s pleasant to talk to. That’s enough for me.

Doctor Who - Nightmare in Silver

Cybermen! Because I’m not a real proper Doctor Who nerd I hardly ever muse over what is possible and what might happen. Cybermen are too scary not to let them return, so naturally they had to come back at some point. You don’t invent Daleks and Cybermen or those Angels and then ‘kill’ them off, never to be seen again.

Nightmare in Silver was a dream, and I’m struggling to think of anything that wasn’t good. The plot was excellent. The characters and their actors were all fantastic. Not a single one I would have different. Warwick Davies in particular was marvellous, as you could sense the minute he turned up.

Doctor Who - Nightmare in Silver

Clara made a surprisingly good commander, and her child charges were just right. I’d be happy to have these children in the Tardis again.

It would obviously help if I understood chess, but like Harry Potter I’m happy to leave my fate to the hands of someone Who does.

Doctor Who - Nightmare in Silver

Dirk Gently

While three episodes rarely constitute a series to me, it was nevertheless good to have Dirk Gently back on television after the pilot over a year ago.

I remember thinking when the books first appeared that they couldn’t be as good as Hitchhiker. And they weren’t, quite, but when you’re desperate for more Douglas Adams, as I was, you take what you get. And then I wasn’t sure how they would translate to the screen, but I’d say it works.

I have a soft spot for Darren Boyd, who is very sweet and sometimes surprisingly astute as Dirk Gently’s sidekick. Less keen on Stephen Mangan, but then I suppose someone being a holistic detective needs to be weird.

Dirk Gently and MacDuff

As other reviewers have said, the plots barely make sense. But who wants things that make sense? Some amusing dialogue and some madcap adventure will do. Sneaking out over the rooftops, or having a hole in your floor to trap unwary baddies with, is always satisfying.

It was a pity they killed off Bill Paterson so early on in the second episode, but these things happen. The first episode left the Resident IT Consultant saying that not everything had been solved by the end, but I worked out that it had. It was just that the mysteries were unremarkable, and so were the solutions. As for the third episode, I felt right at home in that cell. I think it’s been in most shows I’ve watched recently.

It’s the chairs I will remember best; Dirk in his chair in an otherwise empty office, and poor MacDuff in his half mutilated chair, which he had to buy himself.

And now I suppose we have to wait some more, for more…