Doctor Who: Season 25, Episode 8

Silver Nemesis: Part 1 (23 Nov. 1988)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
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Earth faces imminent destruction. Nemesis, a comet containing a statue composed of validium (living metal) is due to strike, needing only its bow and arrow to achieve critical mass and ... See full summary »

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Title: Silver Nemesis: Part 1 (23 Nov 1988)

Silver Nemesis: Part 1 (23 Nov 1988) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
...
Sophie Aldred ...
Ace
Anton Diffring ...
Fiona Walker ...
Gerard Murphy ...
Leslie French ...
Mathematician
Metin Yenal ...
Karl
Martyn Read ...
Security Guard
David Banks ...
Courtney Pine ...
Courtney Pine
Adrian Reid ...
Jazz Quartet
Ernest Mothle ...
Jazz Quartet
Frank Tontoh ...
Jazz Quartet
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Chris Clough ...
Comet site PC (voice)
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Storyline

Earth faces imminent destruction. Nemesis, a comet containing a statue composed of validium (living metal) is due to strike, needing only its bow and arrow to achieve critical mass and become active. Four converging parties know of its power: The Doctor, Nazis assault troops from South America, a 17h century noblewoman steeped in the black arts (in whose image the Nemesis statue was fashioned), and discreet but lethal extra-terrestrials. Written by statmanjeff

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cyberman | 1980s


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23 November 1988 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Penelope Wilton who later who played the recurring role of Harriet Jones in the 21st Century Doctor Who series. She was among those names who were asked to play Lady Peinforte. See more »

Goofs

When the Doctor and Ace fall into the river, it is obviously a stunt double and not actually Sylvester McCoy; aside from the careful camera angles only showing him from the back, the stunt double moves very differently and is at least half a head taller! See more »

Quotes

Lady Pienforte: This is no madness. Tis England.
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Connections

Featured in Doctor Who Live: The Afterparty (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Every Nemesis Has A Silver Lining
13 May 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

(Note: A review of all three episodes)

For all intents and purposes, Silver Nemesis was the twenty-fifth anniversary story of Doctor Who. After all it began on the anniversary of the first broadcast of An Unearthly Child and it reunited the Doctor with with the Cybermen for their final appearance in the original TV series. Yet in the cold light of day Silver Nemesis is far from the greatest Doctor Who story ever.

Though that is not the fault of the TARDIS crew though. If anything makes this story worth seeing it is Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred as the seventh Doctor and Ace. Both give this story fine performances and this is especially evident in scenes where it is just the two of them. See the end of part three for a really good example of this. Yet while McCoy and Aldred give good performances they can;'t make up for the other faults with them.

The supporting cast is a really mixed bunch. While both Fiona Walker as Lady Peinforte and Anthon Diffring as De Flores are fine actors, in this story their performances in this story are hampered by a tendency to be over the top, especially in Falker's exit from the story. That said both have some nice moments: Diffring at the start of part one and Walker at the end of part three (right before her over the top exit). Gerard Murphy proves to be the best of the supporting cast as Lady Peinforte's servant Richard who gets some of the story's best lines. The story is also memorable for its three cameos the first two (and best) from jazz musician Courtney Pine and actor Leslie French 9who was considered for the role of the first Doctor incidentally) and a cringe worthy one from actress Dolores Gray. As I said it's a mixed bunch.

This story features the final appearance from the Cybermen in the original TV series. This is not the silver giants finest hour by any means. First off the redesigned Cybermen costumes are far too reflective for their own good. Even worse the Cybermen's vulnerability to gold is taken to extremes thanks to the almost ludicrous beginning of part two. While the Cybermen get some good usage (especially in part two's battle) one knows the story is in trouble when the Cybermen's best moments are their hilarious reactions to jazz music. As I said not the silver giants finest hour.

That said the story does have pluses. Being shot entirely on location the story makes good use of its locations with place's like Peinforte's Estates and the disused factory buildings. The special effects hold up pretty well, especially the Nemesis in space. That said things like the Cybermen's ship in part two don't hold up as well. The score by Keff McCulloch is one of his better scores and stands up as one of the better scores of the McCoy era. Of course there's the script.

Kevin Clarke's script is as much a mixed bag as the supporting cast. While the script has a good idea at the heart if it there's the problem that the idea had been previously used in Remembrance of the Daleks earlier in the season. Even worse, while Remembrance served as a sequel to both An Unearthly Child and the Dalek stories of the 1980's, Silver Nemesis makes the same mistake that Timelash did: it's a sequel to an unseen story. One feels as though they should all ready know what's going on and feels bad when they don't. The script has other problems like why considering the Doctor worked for UNIT in fighting alien invasions he goes seeking the help of the Queen of England in getting the help of the armed forces amongst other inexcusable plot holes. The story does have good moments like the last five minutes of part three and how Clarke builds up tension (even if it never really pays off). It isn't a great script but it'll do as the saying goes.

Silver Nemesis is a mixed bag. It faults from a mixed supporting cast, the Cybermen's not so finest hour and script issues. But with fine performances from Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred and Gerard Murphy to nice production values and special effects Silver Nemesis is thankfully not quite a disaster. In truth it falls into the category for stories that should have been better especially as this was an anniversary story. Then again every cloud has a silver lining...


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