Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 7, Episode 12 of BBC America's "Doctor Who," titled "Nightmare in Silver."
This week's episode saw the return of the Cybermen, who now come with new Cybermites (eww!) and an incessant need to upgrade every two seconds or so -- kind of like really evil Flash Players. Written by Neil Gaiman, it was definitely one of the better episodes this season which has been struggling to find its footing, despite good performances from Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman. Anyway, that's a discussion for another time, so here's your recap:
Since the children blackmailed her at the end of last week's episode, the Doctor and Clara take Angie and Artie for some time-traveling hijinks at Hedgewick's World, the largest amusement park in the universe. Upon their arrival, they find that the park has been shut down and there's a punishment platoon patrolling the planet (which really looks like the Moon but isn't the Moon), led by Captain Alice. She lets them be, and they visit with Webley, proprietor of World of Wonders, a collection of various things including three seemingly-deactivated Cybermen. Webley challenges Artie to a game of chess with one of the Cybermen, which is actually operated by Porridge, a little person veteran of the Cyberiad-Human war that wiped out one of the galaxies in the universe, as well as billions upon billions of people.
After having some zero-gravity fun, Clara is ready to take the children home, but the Doctor notices some weird bugs crawling around and he decides to investigate, telling the children not to wander. This obviously doesn't sit well with Angie because she's a teenager and can't get cell phone reception because the future sucks, so she wanders off to the barracks to demand entertainment from the troops. Meanwhile, Artie and Webley get kidnapped by Cybermen, and another one attacks the barracks to capture Angie. Faced with a chaotic situation, the Doctor puts Clara in charge of the platoon while he goes looking for the children, giving the strict order for them not to blow up the planet -- humanity's usual response to a Cybermen threat.
Clara goes into boss(y) mode and she makes the platoon travel to Natty Longshoe's Comical Castle to seek refuge. There they do a weapons check, but since the war with the Cybermen ended 1,000 years ago, they only have one anticyber gun, three hand pulsers and one big bomb to implode the planet. Apparently only Captain Alice can activate the bomb, which leads to some tense moments between her and Clara, but Clara makes it clear that she's in charge and she signs for the trigger.
The Doctor uses one of the Cybermites to transport himself to the Cybermen command, where he is met by Cyberwebley. He reveals that the Cybermen need children to continue their systems upgrade, but after scanning him, the Cybermen have decided to upgrade the Doctor because of his superior brain. The Cybermites invade him to create the new Cyberplanner, named Mr. Clever (really, out of all the possibilities?). However, the Doctor won't relinquish control of his brain to the Cyberiad and he challenges Mr. Clever to a game of chess, with the winner gaining full control of the Doctor's brain.
As the Doctor and Mr. Clever continue their back-and-forth, the Doctor uses a golden ticket to temporarily deactivate Mr. Clever and he runs to the castle with Cyberwebley and the children. The Doctor has the platoon tie him up so that he can finish his chess game, but Mr. Clever activates all of the Cybermen and they make their way to Natty's Castle to begin their assault. For the record, it's a lot of Cybermen, not just three.
During the chess game, the Doctor sacrifices his queen to get the children back and they're released. As the Cybermen continue their attack on Natty's Castle, the Doctor taunts Mr. Clever by saying that he can win the game in three moves, since chess was invented by the Time Lords. Frustrated, the Cyberplanner deactivates all of the Cybermen to use their collective input to uncover the three moves, allowing the Doctor to use the sonic screwdriver to active a handpulser and zap himself, effectively eliminating Mr. Clever from his brain.
However, the Cybermen aren't defeated, and that's when Angie reveals that Porridge is actually the missing Emperor. Porridge confirms this and voice-activates the bomb to destroy the planet, but his voice activation also allows his Imperial Flagship to locate him and transmat all of them to the ship before the planet blows. The TARDIS also gets transmatted, and before the episode can end, Emperor Porridge (I didn't get his fancy name although Nimrod was one of them) proposes to Clara. But she decides to return the children to London with the Doctor, where the two of them decide on another adventure on an upcoming Wednesday.
Matt Smith was particularly brilliant as the Doctor this episode, especially since anytime an actor does a good/evil twin bit, there's the major possibility that it'll come off as cheesy. But no cheese here and Smith is back in my good graces even though he recently shaved his head!
Ugh, teenage girls! Angie was a total perfidious hag this episode. She even called the TARDIS a "stupid box." Personally, I wouldn't have cried if they had blown up the planet with just her on it.
The Doctor continues to erase himself from history, and Mr. Clever points out that he can be "reconstructed by the hole he left." Interesting tidbit of information that we'll keep filed away for later.
In case you missed it, here's the trailer for next week's finale:
If I'm not mistaken, isn't that Dr. Simeon from the Christmas Special? What do you think will happen next week? Let us know in the comments!