Me: Okay. This is it. This is the big one. Not only is this our 150th story, it’s the 25th anniversary story as well. This was a big deal back in 1988.
Sue: Ooh, that does sound exciting.
Me: Hold onto your hat!
I press Play.
Sue: Silver Nemesis. I wonder what that refers to.
Me: Go on.
Sue: Does William Hartnell come back again. Is that it?
Silver Nemesis begins in Argentina.
Sue: It must be an anniversary special if they’ve got enough money to fly over there.
A Nazi’s computer screen is flashing: Windsor, November 23rd, 1988.
Sue: Are the BNP holding a rally? Is he on a mailing list?
In 1638, the Lady Peinforte and her trusty sidekick Richard are out hunting for pigeon with a bow and arrow.
Sue: Is that Richard Branson doing a cameo?
While in Argentina, a Nazi is hunting for parrots with his bow and arrow.
Sue: He’s famous.
I pause the DVD and tell Sue that Anton Diffring only agreed to appear in Doctor Who because it meant he could watch the Wimbledon Finals at the same time. Because of this, Sue loves Anton Diffring.
These Nazis possess a mysterious silver bow.
Sue: Is that the Silver Nemesis? I hope not – it will be shit if it is.
Meanwhile, Lady Peinforte pays a visit to a mathematician.
Me: That guy was offered the part of the Doctor 25 years ago, but he turned it down.
Sue: Isn’t it cruel to invite him back like this? It’s like they’re saying to him: “Come and see what you would have won.”
And then we cut to a Jazz Festival.
Sue: He’s famous.
Me: This should be good.
Sue: He has a funny name… Is it Miles Davis? Don’t look at me like that.
Me: It’s Courtney Pine.
Sue: Of course it is. Was he a Doctor Who fan? Do they get him to play the theme tune later?
Sue refuses to believe that it’s November.
Sue: If it’s supposed to be November, Ace must go drinking in the Bigg Market.
And then the Doctor and Ace are shot at while they’re minding their own business.
Sue: Keffing hell! He’s back!
And their would-be assassins look like:
Sue: A pair of identical Bentons. Weird.
Nicol walks into the room and my toes curl. Why does she always walk into the shit ones?
Nicol: Ace is more like a Blue Peter presenter than a Doctor Who companion. I keep expecting her to bake a cake.
Sue: She’s got two Blue Peter badges, Nic. Two!
And that’s it for Nicol. She tunes out soon after.
Peinforte and Richard prepare to take a trip into the future.
Peinforte: We are leaving, Richard. Destiny beckons. We ride the back of time!
Sue: So any old ****er can time travel now? That’s wrong for a start.
The pair materialise in the middle of a busy restaurant in 1988. The tourists are mildly perturbed by this.
Sue: No, don’t get up. This kind of shit happens all the time.
The Doctor and Ace take the TARDIS to the basement of Windsor Castle.
Sue: Oh look, the Doctor is wearing a fez. Is Matt Smith a fan of Silver Nemesis?
As she says this, the Nemesis comet crashes to Earth.
Sue: You can buy apps on iTunes that do explosions just like that. Better, even.
Lady Peinforte throws a chair through the restaurant’s glass door.
Sue: That’s very funny. She can travel in time but she can’t open a door. Brilliant.
The Doctor and Ace travel back to 1638.
Sue: This set is nice. I wish the whole thing was set here. Everything else looks cheap and flat. These shots are a little soft, but still atmospheric.
Meanwhile, on The Bill.
Sue: You know, this is very low-key for a 25th anniversary special. Apart from the date, I can’t see what’s so special about it.
The Doctor and Ace hop back to Windsor Castle and they pass a group who are on a guided tour.
Me: Those tourists are famous.
Sue: Like who?
Me: Well, there’s Peter Moffat and Fiona Cumming.
Sue: You said famous.
Me: The guy in the hat is the Brigadier.
Sue: **** off! So the Doctor is standing behind the Brig and he doesn’t say hello to him? What’s the point in that? No one would even know it was him! What a waste.
Ace doesn’t want to trespass on royal property.
Sue: Why is Ace so nervous all of a sudden? She’s acting completely out of character.
And then they almost bump into the Queen.
Me: See! They got the Queen to be in it. That’s how big this episode was. She was a huge fan of Doctor Who. I’m surprised you don’t remember all the fuss it caused at the time.
Sue: The only person who would think that was the Queen is your mum. She thought the Queen jumped out of a helicopter during the Olympics.
Me: They asked Prince Edward to appear in it for real.
Sue: And he turned it down? I thought Prince Edward did any old shit to get on TV in the eighties?
The Nazis turn up at the comet crash site in a Bedford van.
Sue: Play some Wagner. Anything is better than this racket!
Ace and the Doctor race to stop them.
Sue: Why isn’t Ace carrying her bag of bombs around with her? This isn’t like Ace at all.
Just as the Nazis are about to demonstrate the many ways they have of making Ace talk, she is saved by the unexpected arrival of a silver spaceship.
Sue: Oh, it’s the Cybermen. I suppose I should have guessed. I tell you what, though. That was utter shit before they turned up. I’m almost interested, now. Almost.
Sue: I’m not a big fan of the Cybermen. Why didn’t they use silver Daleks instead?
Me: We had Daleks two stories ago. You only get rematches that quick in the new series.
Sue: (Pointing at the bookshelf) What about the Sontarans? They have silver spaceships.
Who’s more evil? Cybermen or Nazis? There’s only one way to find out.
Sue: This is a full-on 12-inch Keff McCulloch remix. I can’t take much more.
Stuntmen are sent flying.
Sue: It’s the 1970s all over again. But with shit music and no atmosphere. Oh, is that a Granada Gia? My Dad had one of those…
Lady Peinforte kills a Cybermen with a gold-tipped arrow.
Sue: Did she know that the Cybermen don’t like gold?
Sue: So she walks around with arrows made from gold? She must be loaded.
A little later, Peinforte and Richard decide to go for a stroll in town.
Sue: Why aren’t people looking at them?
Me: It’s Windsor. They probably think they’re doing a historical re-enactment or something.
Sue: Okay, fair enough. Hang on… that bloke in the blue trousers is staring at them like they were mad.
Me: I think that might be the writer, Kevin Clarke.
Sue: He wrote it and he still isn’t sure how to react. Great.
The Cybermen move their ship closer to the castle. You know, to save their legs.
Sue: I like the way they’ve made the tree blow in the wind. The ship looks crap, though.
Peinforte and Richard are accosted by two skinheads. They want to relieve of the pair of their money.
Richard: Money, say you?
Sue: (As Richard) Why not try a Virgin Money credit card with zero percent interest?
The skinheads do not come out of this encounter well.
Sue: Is that a sex game that’s gone wrong?
The Doctor uses Ace’s boombox to jam the Cybermen’s signal.
Sue: He’s using a jam session to jam them. Do you get it? Jam.
When the Cybermen hear this music, they are dumbstruck.
Sue: Please start dancing. Please.
Me: (As the Cyberleader) What is this thing you call… Jazz?
The Doctor: Oh, I do love a jam session.
Sue: Told you. I could write this shit.
The Doctor and Ace come across the half-naked skinheads who have been suspended from a tree. The skinheads blame social workers.
Sue: But they looked nothing like social workers. That doesn’t make any sense.
Lady Peinforte shows Richard his own gravestone. He died when he was 51 years old.
Sue: That was nice of her. Now he knows how long he’s got till he dies. I bet that will really come in handy when he’s approaching his fifties. Yeah, thanks for that.
The Doctor instructs Ace to blow the Cybermans’ ship up.
Sue: She really is his own personal terrorist. It’s almost sweet.
The Cybermen and the Nazis do a deal.
Cyberleader: But remember, betrayal will be fatal. We are invincible to your weapons.
Sue: Except for gold. You can always throw some gold at them. The ****ing idiots.
Before the Nazis can get back in their Bedford van, the Cybermen have already betrayed them.
Cyberleader: Once they have the arrow and the statue, destroy them!
Sue: Just pray they don’t have enough time to pop into a jewellers first.
The Doctor tells Ace all about the Nemesis comet.
The Doctor: The Nemesis generates destruction. It affects everything around it. I launched it into space, but unfortunately with an orbit that brings it back to Earth every twenty-five years.
They reel off a list of catastrophes the comet has caused.
Sue: I don’t buy this at all. Are they trying to say that the Doctor’s actions started both World Wars? This is shit.
De Flores can’t wait to get his hands on it.
De Flores: All power is mine. The life and death of everything in existence is in my hands.
Me: (as De Flores) I vill make Boris Becker vin at Vimbledon!
The episode concludes when the Doctor reveals a Cyberfleet hidden in orbit above the Earth.
Sue: Is the Doctor playing Keff at them now? Try some Cozy Powell instead.
Sue: Well, that was shit.
This is our 666th episode. Make of that what you will.
Sue: Okay, so what’s going on in this story again? I’ve forgotten.
Me: We only saw it yesterday.
Sue: Exactly. This makes no sense.
A Cyberfleet is in orbit around Earth.
Sue: That isn’t very impressive. It looks like a collection of spanners.
The Doctor flips a switch on Ace’s boombox and the incidental music stops abruptly.
Sue: He’s turned off Keff. He’s my hero!
Lady Peinforte is the first to admit that she’s not the nicest person on Earth.
Peinforte: You’re a good man, Richard, and I am evil.
Sue: She can’t even say it properly. Who says E-ville?
Ace tells the Doctor that’s she’s frightened.
Sue: Did the writer know anything about Ace when he wrote this? This is outrageous.
Ace lugs the boom box back to the castle.
Sue: That looks really heavy. Why doesn’t the Doctor a) carry it for her and b) build a sonic screwdriver. He can put one of those in his pocket.
The Doctor and Ace runs rings around the Cyberleader so they can activate the Nemesis statue.
Sue: That was childish and pathetic. It’s getting worse, this.
And then the castle blows up.
Sue: Even the models are shit. This is Silver Shit.
Ace is confused.
Ace: What’s going on, Professor?
Sue: Good question. No one has a ****ing clue.
Sue: Oh look, Paul Young has gone hitchhiking.
Lady Peinforte and Richard copy Paul Young’s behaviour and they cadge a lift from Dolores Gray.
Me: This is the story’s big cameo moment. Forget the Queen.
Sue: What, Joan Rivers?
Me: No. Dolores Gray. You must have heard of her. She’s Dolores Gray.
Sue: What are you going on about?
Me: Delores Gray.
Sue: Never heard of her.
Me: BUT IT’S DOLORES GRAY!
The plot keeps alternating between a comedy car journey and the end of the world as we know it.
Sue: This doesn’t flow together at all. It’s all over the place. Who directed this rubbish?
Ace takes on the Cybermen with some gold coins fired from a catapult – and wins!
Sue: Un-****ing-believable. The Cybermen are a joke. They should call this Silver ****wits.
Meanwhile, in a limousine.
Sue: What is that terrible noise?
Me: There isn’t any incidental music in this scene.
Sue: I’m not talking about that. I think they’ve got some gravel stuck in their wheel arch. It’s doing my head in.
The Cybermen pursue Ace.
Sue: The Cybermen aren’t even pointing their guns at her and yet are almost hitting her. Their guns are breaking the laws of physics.
The Doctor wants to use the Nemesis statue to blow up the Cyberfleet.
Sue: This Doctor is basically out to cause trouble, isn’t he? He can be a nasty little bastard when he wants to be.
The Nazis turn up.
Sue: What was the point of them, exactly?
The Cyberleader shoots De Flores dead. But he doesn’t shoot anyone else.
Sue: What is he waiting for? He’s the only one with a gun. Shoot them all and take the bloody thing if you want it that badly.
Lady Peinforte threatens to spill the beans about the Doctor’s past. Sue, like the Cybermen, couldn’t care less.
And then the Doctor gives the Cyberleader the silver bow.
Sue: What the ****?
And then Lady Peinforte throws herself into the comet.
Sue: WHAT? WHY?
And then it takes off.
Sue: A flying turd. Why am I’m not surprised?
Ace: Nice rocket technology, Doctor.
Sue: Ace said that without moving her lips. And some of the shots were out of focus in that scene. It’s amateur hour at the BBC.
Richard kills the Cyberleader.
Sue: WHY? Why doesn’t he want to kill the Doctor instead? THIS MAKES NO SENSE!
Richard is stranded in 1988.
Sue: Is he a new companion? He might be okay if he shaved his beard off. He was one the least-worst things in it.
Sadly, the Doctor takes Richard back to 1638 instead.
Sue: At least he’s got his death to look forward when he’s 51. That’s nice.
Ace wraps everything up with a neat bow (“When you have to do this, you know your script is in trouble”).
Ace: Just like you nailed the Daleks!
Sue: Yeah, the plots are very similar. Have they completely run out of ideas? Why didn’t they just show the one with the Daleks on the 25th anniversary? It doesn’t make sense.
The titles crash in.
Sue: Silver Bollocks.
Sue: That was dreadful. Actually, it was worse than dreadful. Two things pissed me off: 1) It was supposed to be the 25th anniversary thingy and therefore good, and 2) I thought they’d remembered how to make good Doctor Who again. But now it’s shit again. I’m really annoyed, actually.
Sue is so angry, she decides to give Silver Nemesis:
Me: Ouch. That will hurt McCoy’s average score.
Sue: It’s not his fault. It’s the shit they’re making him do.
Sue didn’t want to watch the documentary on the DVD. She didn’t even want to watch the documentary which appeared on the original VHS release, the one with the sparkly green cover that stuck out like a sore thumb on everyone’s shelves for years, and that documentary’s got Gary Downie in it. Everybody loves Gary Downie.
However, she did let me show her five minutes from the middle. It’s the bit where Keff McCulloch shows off his organ.
Sue: His shirt is as loud as his music. He thinks he’s Jan Hammer. I bet he isn’t wearing any socks.
Keff hammers out his rousing – yet haunting – theme to Remembrance of the Daleks.
Sue: He actually looks pleased with himself. Look, he’s grinning while he’s playing it. Okay, ENOUGH! TURN IT OFF!