Doctor Who Once Stole the Best Idea from Harry Potter and Got Away with It
You might be thinking that we have lost it, but trust the process.
What could the longest-running sci-fi drama series and the immensely popular children’s books have in common? Well, the fact that they have both become a cultural phenomenon, for starters.
That’s not all. Remember the season 7 episode Nightmare in Silver where the Doctor brings Clara’s charges to a theme park, but the trip quickly turns into another Cybermen invasion? If you pay closer attention to the scenes where Matt Smith ’s Doctor is battling the Cyber Planner inside his head, you might think, “Why does this look so familiar?”
You’re not going crazy if you’ve ever thought this because this moment is basically the visualization of the famous book scene where Harry Potter tries to fight the Imperius Curse. We can almost hear the sound of the light bulb that has just been lit in your mind.
In Nightmare in Silver, the Cyber Planner, who nicknames himself Mr. Clever, takes over the Doctor’s body and mind, but the Time Lord is fighting back with all the brain power he has. In the beginning, they both control a little over 49% of the brain, although the Doctor eventually overpowers his Cyberman attacker.
Before the Doctor is able to take down Mr. Clever, the Cyber Planner does try to trick Clara into freeing him (by means of flirting) and even destroys a device that could’ve blown up the planet if necessary. The Doctor is aware of all this while it’s happening, but when he is not in control of the body, he can’t do anything about it.
This is remarkably similar to how the Imperius Curse works on Harry Potter in the fourth book. Harry is aware of everything that the fake Mad-Eye wants him to do, but he can’t stop himself from doing it (at first) – there’s even a voice inside his head (like someone else’s willpower) that gives him instructions.
The Doctor is arguably the only one who doesn’t give in to the Cybermen’s mind control (other characters are subdued in seconds), and Harry is one of the very few wizards who can throw off the Imperius Curse (though not on his first try).
There are of course a few differences between the two concepts. For instance, the Imperius Curse feels like the person is instantly happy and carefree, unable to fight the weird sensation, while the Cybermen’s mind control doesn’t involve any emotions (that we know of). Still, it’s fun to think about the things that unite the two great franchises.