Silver Nemesis

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Silver Nemesis
Let’s make magic!
 

Part One

Me: OK. 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 NemesisSilver 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.”

Silver NemesisAnd 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:

Silver NemesisSue: 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?

Silver NemesisAs 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.

Silver NemesisThe 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.

Silver NemesisAnd 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!

Silver NemesisAce 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.

top

Part Two

Silver NemesisSue: 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.

Silver NemesisSue: Did she know that the Cybermen don’t like gold?

Me: No.

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: OK, 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.

Silver NemesisSue: 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.

Silver NemesisThe 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.

Silver NemesisCyberleader: 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.

Silver NemesisMe: (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.

Cue credits…

Sue: Well, that was shit.

top

Part Three

This is our 666th episode. Make of that what you will.

Sue: OK, so what’s going on in this story again? I’ve forgotten.

Me: We only saw it yesterday.

Sue: Exactly. This makes no sense.

Silver NemesisA 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.

Silver NemesisAnd 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.

Meanwhile…

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?

Silver NemesisMe: 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.

Silver NemesisThe 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?

Silver NemesisAnd 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 OK 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.

Silver NemesisAce 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.

top

The Final Score

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:

0/10

Me: Ouch. That will hurt McCoy’s average score.

Sue: It’s not his fault. It’s the shit they’re making him do.

Silver NemesisSue 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. OK, ENOUGH! TURN IT OFF!

The experiment continues…
 

Next Time

 

If you don’t own this story, why not buy it on DVD? If you use the link below, we get a small cut, which will help pay for the site’s running costs. Many thanks for your support (UK residents only).

 

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Discussion

  1. Paul Morris  March 11, 2013

    This must be one of the worst DW episodes, ever!

    • Nick Mays  March 11, 2013

      Just a thought – of Karma really exists and Universal Balance must be met… How about we give up for ever the 3 episodes of Time and the Rani and the 3 episodes of Silver Nemesis and get all 7 episodes of Evil of the Daleks back?! I’d even settle for all 6 episodes of Power of the Daleks. ;)

      • Gavinio  March 11, 2013

        Pretty sure Time and the Rani was four episodes!

        • Nick Mays  March 11, 2013

          Oh Bog! I meant 4. I wish it was only 3 though. Or 2. Or None.

  2. Rad  March 11, 2013

    Yeah, Silver Nemesis does blot the mid-era McCoy copybook somewhat.

    *message edited for spoilers concerning a completely different story*

  3. jsd  March 11, 2013

    Yeah, well deserved. This story has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

  4. Chris  March 11, 2013

    I really want to like this one but it’s hard… um… I like the location work? The shoot out in the industrial land looks good and the Statute is good idea – the front projection works well. McCoy and Aldred lovely as usual but it’s a shabby production over all – Sue’s right, it’s pretty amateur.

  5. jazza1971  March 11, 2013

    I know it isn’t perfect, I know the cybermen can now be killed very easily (although in fairness, since the first appeared in the show the list of things that can kill them grows ever longer…nail varnish remover!?!) but you know what, I actually rather like “Silver Nemesis”. Sorry.

  6. Lewis Christian  March 11, 2013

    Aw, well, I like it. It’s not the best but… The Five Doctors isn’t the best either. That one also has shit Cybermen who are defeated every five minutes, and it has people who just stand around, and it has Susan who trips over grass, Sarah who falls down a tiny slope of grass, an imposter First Doctor, and the mind-probe. But everyone gives that jolly jaunt a free pass ;) maybe if they’d cut the Nazis and bunged Davison in, people would like this one.

    It’s got so many fun scenes (the best possibly being the Cybermen’s non-plussed reaction to jazz) and the only bit I think is properly shit is the Mrs Remmington scene. Peinforte decides she can’t be arsed with the plot and hitches a lift to the rushed finale.

    It’s perhaps a good thing that Neil didn’t tell Sue that the pitch for this story was made up on the spot, and included the phrase, ‘the Doctor is God’.

    But anyway. I love this one; it’s mad, colourful, weird, silly, camp… and downright fun. And, anyway, Season 25 is definitely on the up. We’ve had awesome Daleks, the sinister Kandyman… and next time we’re in for another creepy delight.

    • encyclops  March 11, 2013

      Not everyone. I thought The Five Doctors was pretty corny too, and I was nine.

      I don’t think this has a single fun scene for me (maybe Richard vs. the skinheads, at a pinch), but as usual I’m glad you enjoyed it. Someone has to. :)

  7. Charles Norton  March 11, 2013

    I can understand you not doing so here, but I hope you’ll consider watching the Special Editions for Battlefield and The Curse of Fenric. After all, they are the production team’s preferred versions and the broadcast edits were only cut because the BBC wouldn’t give them extra time.

    • Lewis Christian  March 11, 2013

      In an ideal world, every McCoy story would be given the S/E treatment on DVD. There’s so much they could edit, add, remove and improve in this era – due to so many time constraints and money issues. It’s a shame, because the McCoy era is possibly the freshest (in terms of stories and concepts) since, arguably, the Hartnell/Troughton eras.

      • In My Not So Humble Opinion: the Writings and Ramblings of Ben Herman  March 11, 2013

        Every McCoy Story?!? Oh, no, I don’t think I could stand having to watch a longer version of Silver Nemesis or Time and the Rani or Dragonfire!

        • Rollocks  March 11, 2013

          “I don’t think I could stand having to watch a longer version of Silver Nemesis”

          Isn’t the VHS edition of this story actually a longer edit than either the TV or DVD versions?

          • gavinio  March 12, 2013

            Yes. It actually makes sense of some of the scenes left in the transmitted show. The DVD version is the transmitted version but the DVD producers would not include an extended edition as they did with Battlefield and Curse of Fenric, which seems a strange decision to me.

        • David J Richardson  March 12, 2013

          The longer version of Silver Nemesis is substantially better. Still doesn’t make it a good story, but MUCH better. Hell, it’s worth watching for the “duck!” scene alone.

      • Kris Overstreet  March 15, 2013

        Well, maybe they were fresh, but who wants fresh skunk-cabbage?

    • Hector Roddan  March 11, 2013

      I agree. The extended version of Curse makes a lot more sense and is only a little longer than the broadcast version. Then again, did you watch the slightly longer VHS version of Carnival of Monsters? That has a few extra scenes in it I seem to remember.

  8. Cookey  March 11, 2013

    For the first time ever since reading this blog i actually watched a story in preparation for Sue’s verdict. I had seen it before but it had been a fair while. In my opinion it wasn’t great, it seemed like a poor man’s Remembrance of the Daleks with, essentially, the same kind of story and ending. I think 0/10 is a little harsh though, 3 is about as generous as i can be really be as i enjoyed bits of it (I did laugh at the dangling skinheads, no pun intended).

    It’s watchable, if you are in the mood.

    BTW, bit of useless trivia, the guy who plays Richard went on to star in that spectacular blockbuster Waterworld….yeah, bet you didnt know that. :-D

  9. django  March 11, 2013

    It’s not, it’s not clever, but I do find this episode fun. If there ever was a Doctor Who story that could be described as a guilty pleasure, it’s this one.

  10. Simon  March 11, 2013

    Its garbage. Like the rest of the McCoy era. Best left on the shelf in HMV or Amazon…or the 80s…

    • Rollocks  March 11, 2013

      So “Happiness Patrol”, “Remembrance of the Daleks” and the one that’s coming next are garbage? Each to their own I guess. As said above the McCoy era is the show at probably it’s most imaginative since the Hartnell era, it’s just a shame that it was found lacking in the writing, directing, budget and producer departments.

    • Cookey  March 12, 2013

      There’s a few good ones coming soon, one i know Sue will love.

  11. Jon  March 11, 2013

    This was so bad that, while I know I watched this and some of the scenes down back to mind when I read the commentary, I don’t remember the story at all.

  12. In My Not So Humble Opinion: the Writings and Ramblings of Ben Herman  March 11, 2013

    I have two HUGE problems with Silver Nemesis:

    1) It turns the Cybermen into complete & total jokes. Yes, going back to Revenge of the Cybermen, the whole weakness to gold thing never made any sense. But previously, if you did actually try to kill a Cyberman with gold, it was still damn difficult. You needed a special weapon to hit them directly in the respirator. But in Silver Nemesis, gold has literally turned into kryptonite for Cybermen, where the mere act of getting touched by the stuff destroys them. The sequence of Ace single-handedly decimating a squad of Cybermen with nothing more than a slingshot & a bag of gold coins has to be the absolute worst moment in the entire history the Cybermen.

    2) The Doctor tricks a group of his arch-enemies into destroying themselves with an ancient weapon from Gallifrey… again! It worked fine as a solution in Remembrance of the Daleks, but here it’s just a lazy rehash of what he did a mere two serials ago. And, no, the production team does not get a pass by having Ace acknwledge that the Doctor has beaten the Cybermen exactly the same way as he did the Daleks. It is still copying even if you admit it was a copy.

    • encyclops  March 11, 2013

      You’re probably right, but the second worst moment has to be a tie between almost every time they’ve appeared in the new series. The disembodied Cyberman head in The Pandorica Opens and maybe their reveal in Army of Ghosts are pretty much the only ones I can think of offhand that don’t make me want to beat my head against a wall.

    • John Miller  March 12, 2013

      It makes you wonder if, had the show continued, we would have found out that those carved birds, bronze column, table etc. that appeared in early Hartnell episodes were actually Gallifreyan superweapons that the Doctor was holding onto until he felt the time was right to blow up some more inhabited planets. That hat that Harntell sometimes wore was no ordinary hat. It was the Hat of Omega which, when worn at a certain angle, caused stars to go supernova. That’s why he didn’t wear it that much.

      • Nick Mays  March 13, 2013

        Blimey John! You’ve just outlined the plot of a Paul Cornell New Adventure! ;)

  13. Mark Taylor  March 11, 2013

    I STILL have no idea who Dolores Gray was.

  14. sherbetavenger  March 11, 2013

    Utter sh!te, however, I always quite liked it as a kid but despised happiness patrol. I now love happiness patrol but silver Nemesis makes me feel 13 again! the best thing was getting a clip of the web planet in the trailer for it! I think 0/10 a bit harsh.

  15. fromEssex  March 11, 2013

    I don’t mind this story. Not a 0/10, but admittedly, the Nazis and the Cybermen were pretty rubbish. And they seemed to waste a fair amount of time at the beginning with Courtney Pine. And Branson and Lady Pinafore. Oh and Dolores..

    Actually, Sue might be right.

  16. Andrew  March 11, 2013

    My first taste of Doctor Who was Part 2 of this. My little 5 yeat old self wss impressed with Cybermen. Don’t think I saw part 3 though. The next story was my first full blast of Doctor Who and it scared me. Particularly the cliffhanger to part 3…

  17. Simon Harries  March 11, 2013

    In 1988 it promised so much and delivered so little. Twenty-five years on, I still recall the derisive comments of my fellow fifth formers the next morning after the Cyber ship appeared at the end of part one. My opinion has not changed about this pile of drivel. Thankfully Sue is in for a treat with the next story.

  18. James  March 11, 2013

    Fair.

  19. Gavinio  March 11, 2013

    Thankfully the first and last stories of series 25 make up for the shit between them. Ian Levine was right though when he said this story should have been released as an extended version on DVD. Some of the scenes cut make sense of some of the ones left in. Still a poor story however you look at it though.

  20. Dave Sanders  March 11, 2013

    Terry stole the back of time.

  21. P.Sanders  March 11, 2013

    Firstly: Sue, if you’re reading this, don’t judge the Next story by the first 30 seconds. It’s actually really good.

    Secondly: Silver Nemesis. Yeah it’s just some random sketches, a rehashed plot with a runaround thrown in for padding and wimpy Cybermen. Like Delta, the location work often suffers by looking more like footage shot for a making-of. It’s not the worst story but it is rubbish. Plus given how much was cut out for time it’s still dreadfully padded out which is ridiculous for a 3-parter. But I would still say 0 is a tad unfair.

  22. P.Sanders  March 11, 2013

    Yeah check out the bit about Jonathan Powell – I posted it in the Happiness Patrol comments.

    • P.Sanders  March 11, 2013

      Sorry that was meant to be in regards to the SFX review mentioned earlier.

  23. Dave Sanders  March 11, 2013

    Far as I’m concerned, Silver Nitwits is neither the anniversary story that should have gone out (that’s Remembrance of course), nor the anniversary story the fans would remember – because, given the jibes in it aimed at the BBC, at its rival shows, and at itself and its own fans, that accolade clearly belongs to The Most Grating Mole In The Galaxy. It’ll go straight over Sue’s head of course, but I’ll be amazed if – bar one or two caveats like the Ringmaster – it doesn’t perk her enthusiasm up again.

  24. Warren Andrews  March 11, 2013

    For a 10 year old this was a great story, lots of explosions, spaceships, Cybermen, running around. The kind of story that inspires play when you’re out in the country with school friends.

    As an adult it doesn’t really offer much but I hold no hate for it. I don’t believe that Sue’s rating would have been so severe were she not expecting something amazing for the 25th anniversary.

    Sue: .. And some of the shots were out of focus in that scene. It’s amateur hour at the BBC.

    That would be the stuff they shot really quickly when they ran out of shooting time.

  25. Dave Sanders  March 11, 2013

    Everyone’s being really horrid to this one for being the wrong story at the wrong time. It’s not that it’s that awful, but ‘vapid’ is the best word to describe it; there’s nothing here that’s in any way memorable – the death sentence for any anniversary – except for the wrong reasons from its own slip-ups or poor comparisons. Probably its worst crime – and the one that sums it up – is the way it uses the anniversary to bring up a dark mystery from the Doctor’s past, and then purposely sweep it under the carpet again. Silforgettable.

  26. Rassilon  March 12, 2013

    Its a rehash, an inferior copy of Remembrance, Sues comment about any one just travels in time sans TARDIS is valid. The Cybermen are wasted (again), disco light interior of their ship as they disembark. Random assassin’s for no other reason than to give Doc & Ace a quick dip.

    It’s a bit shit admittedly, a guilty pleasure as others pointed out, yup!

    I’ll take this one over what will be henceforth known (at least while my short memory holds out) The Most Grating Mole In The Galaxy.

    After this its a fairly solid run of the final 4 (not that they are completely fault free of awkward acting plot holes & WTF moments.

    I am looking forward to Sue seeing the most is Curse as its the best of the bunch & followed Ghostlight simply for being something different, while both really set out & define Ace as a character far more than previously done, hopefully leading to Sues earlier conception of her actually being good.

  27. DPC  March 12, 2013

    That photo of McCoy being menaced looks fairly frightening, for the right reasons, oddly…

    “Sue: It must be an anniversary special if they’ve got enough money to fly over there.” – LOL! Given how many previous episodes went overseas, it would be a sad turn of events… the overseas-made stories offered something, even if the base story was rubbish…

    Yeah, how Peinteforte time travels is woolly, and the ultimate explanation is pretty much scribbled in (I’ll assume it had more to do with the Nemesis having magical properties than her alchemy…)

    Even “The Claws of Axos” had the rewrite to incorporate freak weather conditions… “Silver Nemesis” needed the same excuse to justify people in the nice sunny hot November weather…

    Even street thugs can be intimidated by the right sort of person… humans have always been authority-driven with our cultures…

    Episode 1 poses some nice ideas, but the execution is feeble – lack of time and money hurt efforts even more.

    I liked Sue’s Silver Daleks idea…

    Keff’s music is hit-or-miss in this one. It does get too dancy, but he’s better than the guy who did “Revenge of the Cybermen” and “Death to the Daleks”…

    My impression was she knew enough of Cybermen that her gold would make an impression. Killing off entire legions of them via so little gold was a tad… camp. And not in the cool ‘Time and the Rani” way…

    Your explanation as to why people don’t gawk at them in their clothes – time and money issues aside, if the audience has to fathom the underlying reasons then it’s a badly written story.

    The jam session on an alien boombox was cool, and jazz has its moments (the theme of Cybermen not understanding jazz, which – like R&B requires experiences in emotion to actually be able to enjoy it) is one of the few this story manages to convey despite it all.

    Sue’s comment on Peinteforte showing Richard when he dies surprised me – in terms of the story, especially as he looks 40, would have been jarring… I still think he thinks she’s half-nuts, as he does state how bizarre the situation was at one point (I need to see this story again…)

    Great heckling of the Cyberleader as well…

    Ep 2′s cliffhanger redefines “corny”…

    And why doesn’t the Doctor build a sonic screwdriver? All I know is, I’m glad he didn’t for an incarnation or two, before the show came back as nothing more as product for merchandising (though JNT’s era is guilty of the same at times…)

    I don’t know who Dolores Grey is, but her scene with Peinteforte is the story’s absolute highlight. She thinks she’s talking to living history, living history is telling her how she killed half her family tree and she’s too dim to realize it!!! Now that is cool “timey-wimey”…

    Yeah, 3 factions vying for the big weapon were too many – especially for a 3-part story that would have felt rushed and glossed over with 6 parts! (Seriously – this story has much potential for real depth, but it can’t even begin to tell it and give each faction the time and energy deserved!!! That is why I knock points down for this story…)

    Richard as a companion would have been way-cool. Shame that didn’t work out…

    0/10… not an unfair score, butt I have a soft spot because the story wants to be much more than what it could be given the circumstances. The making-of documentary does tell much, as do the deleted scenes that added needed detail back in (even if retakes were needed…) I’m amazed it got made at all.

    ” It’s the bit where Keff McCulloch shows off his organ…”

    Keff’s organ is ice hot! =D Actually, he’s rather my type, but this isn’t an intergalactic dating site… and I’m already taken…

    Sue, the next story is a real gem in many ways. I hope you enjoy it!!

  28. BBQ_Platypus  March 12, 2013

    One of the two major blemishes on the McCoy era (the first being Time and the Rani). The rest all at least have SOMETHING to recommend them (even the less-stellar ones like Battlefield or Delta).

    But really, this is endemic of a larger problem the show has – the Cybermen remain Doctor Who’s most consistently wasted villain. Look at all the stinkers they’ve been in – not a single televised story featuring the Cybermen has been any good since “The Invasion,” which was really more Tobias Vaughn’s story, anyway. And no, I’m not forgetting “Earthshock.”

    Hopefully Neil Gaiman can fix that.

    • Thomas  March 12, 2013

      Heck, I would argue that, discounting stuff like the novels and audios, “The Invasion” is the only time they’ve been good since “Tenth Planet”. Everything else has ranged from awful to mediocre at best.

      • John Miller  March 12, 2013

        There’s no reason to blatantly insult numerous stories spanning more than 40 years in a thread, based on one single stinker. Moonbase and Age of Steel/Rise of the Cybermen were good. Earthshock and Attack of the Cybermen were brilliant. Army of Ghosts was doing very well until the Daleks showed up and everything became farcical. I hope you aren’t going to take this tone about other returning characters?

        • Thomas  March 12, 2013

          Difference being that I have not been abjectly complaining about recurring characters continuously for a while now and insulting others for liking them. And generally not being a bit rude in how I profess my opinions.

          Though I have to question- Attack of the Cybermen brilliant? Really?

  29. Anonymous  March 12, 2013

    To be fair, shit as it is, it slightly helps if you don’t mind jazz too much

  30. John DeLye  March 12, 2013

    More useless trivia-after buying a photo book called Skins shot by Gavin Watson featuring photos of mostly traditional skins(there were one or two pics of boneheads)I watched my VHS of Nemisis.When the skinhead scene came up,I got a scene of deja vu.Sure enough,after picking up the book and scanning the end credits,I confirmed the guys in that scene were in quite a few pics.Why they would want to be in a scene where their characters justified people’s negative stereotypes of skins can only be explained by A.They wanted to be on tv,and B. It was Doctor Who they were gonna be in! Apart from that,and other mildly redeeming features,this one is pretty crap,lol!

  31. Darrell  March 12, 2013

    I just can’t believe that Sophie Aldred’s stunt work hasn’t gotten more of a reaction out of Sue. All I remember about this one are her pulse-pounding escapes from the Cybermen, and in Remembrance she took a knee to the junk like frigging Jackie Chan. (And I don’t care if that was her jumping through the window or not, because even if it wasn’t, you know she WOULD’VE done it.)

  32. John Miller  March 12, 2013

    See, but you all missed the point. The Doctor is much more than just a Time Lord. He is Time’s Champion, The Oncoming Bore. He started both World Wars, put Ace’s life in danger, and tricked Lady Peinforte, Dolores Grey, the Queen, the Skinheads, the Cybermen AND Courtney Pine, all so he could blow up the entire Cyberman fleet! The reason no one(including the writer) had any earthly idea what was supposed to be happening was part of the Genius That Is The Seventh Doctor. He was the only one who knew what was happening the whole time, while everyone else did exactly what he had planned out in advance, while living in a house on Allen Road. Between episodes.

    In all seriousness, Sue once again hits the nail on the head. Utter shit this was.

    • Thomas  March 12, 2013

      There’s really no reason to blatantly insult the entire era in the discussion thread for a single episode…is this what every McCoy story is going to be like?

      • Porter Scramson  March 12, 2013

        Hah! I was about to say the exact same thing!

    • Anonymous  March 12, 2013

      Bearing in mind that Sue gave Remembrance 9/10, a score not seen since Caves of Androzani, she is hitting the nail directly on the head so far.

  33. Wholahoop  March 12, 2013

    Message to the Grand Moff: Here we were told in advance of Silver Nemesis that we would learn the Doctor’s secret and what did we get? An earnestly asked “Who are you?” followed by a shushing finger raised to the Doctor’s mouth. Please don’t make the same mistake. Make him God if you have to but please don’t hype up a promise and deliver the biggest damp squib since the Slyther

  34. BWT  March 12, 2013

    Sue knows her stuff. This is one is a unforgivable, worm-ridden, vomit-encrusted festering cat’s-turd of a “story”. I’d rather watch “The Dominators” back-to-back with “The Celestial Toymaker” in telesnap-vison whilst signing up my membership to the BNP than watch this pile of kack again…

  35. Porter Scramson  March 12, 2013

    I have no idea why, but this is the most nostalgic McCoy serial for me, even though it’s possibly the worst. I hated it at the time, have had no burning desire to catch up with it since. But there’s something about the colour of the cyberheads – ironically, leaning towards gold – and my general thoughts about the story which make me feel nostalgic.

  36. John P Reid  March 12, 2013

    I liked Silver nemesis, in its day , Sylvester gets his balance of humor and darkness right, ace has things to do .its unpretentious, and although Nora’s well written as Marc Paltt, Graeme Cuury, or Stephen Wyatt’s scripts, it’s still full of interesting things, the skinheads, The Queen, thehanger ,

  37. peacockpete  March 12, 2013

    I did enjoy Silver Nemesis when I was a kid. However, in hindsight I think Sue’s mark is pretty fair. I will say one thing for it though – it’s not Delta and the Bannermen.

  38. Richard Lyth  March 12, 2013

    Zero seems a bit harsh – it’s certainly the weakest story of the season, but hardly unwatchable, just an inoffensive runaround that doesn’t really go anywhere. Still, that’s about as bad as the classic series gets from here to cancellation, so hopefully Sue won’t have much to complain about from now on…

    • Porter Scramson  March 13, 2013

      When did 7N become considered good? I missed the memo on that one.

  39. In My Not So Humble Opinion: the Writings and Ramblings of Ben Herman  March 12, 2013

    Oh, yeah, I think that “Keffing hell!” is the best Doctor Who related expletive since Tom Baker told the Daleks to “Spack off!”

  40. Nick Mays  March 12, 2013

    OOo-er! Those Ice Warriors are going to get a hell of a kicking next month! ;)

  41. steve  March 12, 2013

    Can I just make comment – 1988 – Silver Nem – big deal back then. Erm. NO IS WASNT. Sorry to burst your balloon – I can promise you despite what tricks memory plays with the past..all rosy ‘n nice..WHO was totally dead back then ( sadly ) – it did not make news, it was not newsworthy other than the scheduling of It v Corrie. People like to paint pretty pictures of the past – particularly to people who perhaps are now fans but werent even born then..I can assure you this was a non-event.

    • Daru McAleece  March 14, 2013

      Yes – I agree. I remember that as an 18 year old watcher I had absolutely NO idea that this was a special or anniversary of any kind. Until I watched this last year again I had no real memory of it.

  42. Jamie  March 12, 2013

    I’m not entirely convinced that ‘Everybody’ loves Gary Downie : least of all those ‘doable barkers’ he procured for JN-T at the conventions, according to the forthcoming warts ‘n’ all expose by Richard Marson

    • Porter Scramson  March 13, 2013

      I would imagine that was intended as sarcasm!

  43. DamonD  March 13, 2013

    Well that’s the duffer out of the way.

    Poor Silver Nemesis. I don’t think it’s that bad, not 0/10 bad, but there’s not much you can really rave about in it and it particularly sticks out when viewing during the season.

    The Cybermen do come off very badly. It’s a bit sad they’ve generally have a much rougher ride quality-wise than the Daleks.

  44. frpipFrPip  March 13, 2013

    This one has all the soul of a shopping precinct. It’s glitzy and meaningless It’s as though the writer assembled the list of characters (Elizabethan couple, Cybermen, Doctor and Ace, Nazis, a celeb, a Queen impersonator, a couple of skinheads) and then just said “RUN!!” That’s about it. Far too many characters, none of whom seem essential to the plot which barely exists. It’s the sort of thing which RTD would have taken one look at and re-written into a completely different story overnight. Which I really wish he had done.

  45. David Campbell  March 13, 2013

    I really enjoyed this at the time. I was 9. I was thrilled to see the Cybermen. I liked the fact that the Doctor and sidekick actually seemed to be friends who enjoyed each other’s company. I enjoyed the time travel elements. The mix of locations and the pace made it exciting. Peineforte arriving in her time storm to find her house is now a tea room plus the arrival of the Cyber ship, plus the comet taking off and Ace up high fighting Cybermen all really stuck in my mind afterwards. I was very happy to discover the novel in WHSmith.

    Happiness Patrol I was not impressed with and I absolutely loathed Greatest Show In The Galaxy. I was shocked when I found that Greatest Show was something of a fan favourite because I remembered it as being abysmal crap. I still don’t rate it now.

    I watch Silver Nemesis now and the CBBC standard of acting of Sylvester and Sophie along with the hideous incidental music makes me cringe. But I’ll always have a soft spot for it – even though the plot is a pale retread of Remembrance – for entertaining the 9 year old me (and unlike Happiness Patrol and Greatest Show, giving me what I wanted from Dr Who).

    • Nick Mays  March 13, 2013

      “…for entertaining the 9 year old me (and unlike Happiness Patrol and Greatest Show, giving me what I wanted from Dr Who).”"

      Maybe this is what we all sometimes overlook, the fact that, at least back then, the show WAS aimed at the 9 year-old audience.

      How did Gerard Garrett of the Daily Sketch put it? “Dr Who – the children’s TV show that adults adore.”

      • John Miller  March 14, 2013

        But there’s a huge difference between children’s television and family television. Earlier Who had been stuff that the whole family could get something out of. There’s an enormous iddference between Sarah Jane, who was a character kids could like, and Ace, who is a children’s tv character. Maybe that’s why Mccoy never clicked for me. It wasn’t family tv. It was aimed at small children, with simplistic messages. I was simply too old for it. I wonder if all the people who love the Mccoy era first saw it when they were under-8′s, and that is why it was so wonderful.

        • Thomas  March 14, 2013

          Considering I entered into all of Who about a year or two ago and the McCoy years are among my favorites of the show, I doubt that’s the case.

  46. John G  March 13, 2013

    I can understand Sue’s disappointment with this one, but 0 is rather harsh. Silver Nemesis is a pale retread of Remembrance, trying to do too much in too short a space of time, but there are plenty of other stories that are far worse and at least unlike some of the other McCoys it isn’t pretentious. I think the extensive location work does at least make it look quite nice, and the Cybermen look impressive even if the script hands them quite a raw deal. Why they pretended it was November when it was so obviously midsummer is beyond me, though! In the end, this is one for watching if you’ve had a few drinks, and are in an undemanding mood…

    • Neil Perryman  March 13, 2013

      Trust me. Sue is never in an undemanding mood…

      • Jamie  March 13, 2013

        Amazed you have the energy, Neil….

      • John G  March 14, 2013

        Ooh er, Neil!

    • Nick Mays  March 13, 2013

      “Why they pretended it was November when it was so obviously midsummer is beyond me, though!”

      To be fair, even Nu-Who suffers from that. Check out some of the Christmas Specials that are set – supposedly – in late December!

      • Dave Sanders  March 14, 2013

        Or conversely Fear Her, with the summer ‘Olympic spirit’ escaping from everyone’s mouths. An episode so cheap they couldn’t afford to airbrush any of it out.

  47. Daru McAleece  March 14, 2013

    Perhaps 0/10 is quite low – after re-watching this last year I do still enjoy Sylvester. But I do agree with much of Sue’s feelings.

    I have a very clear memory of watching this season for the first time as an 18 year old and being pretty unimpressed. The next story was my last. I do regret this now – as I have watched it all again and I do think I love Sylvester, ok this tale did not make much of an impression – but all the rest onwards I do love.