Neil Gaiman last took control of the Doctor Who writing reins in "The Doctor's Wife," the season-six episode where the TARDIS came to life, which, he said in conference call this week, was to "remind people that the TARDIS was a living entity, if they had forgotten." Fresh off his Neverwhere BBC radio drama success, Neil returns to the Time Lord's world in this Saturday's new episode, "Nightmare in Silver."
What's so frightening about metal? Cybermen. As a child watching the Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton, battle the classic nemesis, Neil recalled finding them so much more thrilling than Daleks: "I loved the clanky clanky steampunk Cybermen." Neil's involvement with the episode began with an email from executive producer Steven Moffat, who begged the sci-fi writer to "make the Cybermen scary again," which is what he did with a tactic the tech world would appreciate — an upgrade.
We've previously seen the cyborgs lumber toward the Doctor and his companions, but in their newest adventure, they're lighter and faster on their feet, just like your brand-new smartphone as compared to its previous generation. Neil explained why the metallic villains of 2013 had a need for speed: