Silver Nemesis

Doctor WhoThe Doctor is horrified when Nemesis, a statue carved from a living metal from the world of the Time Lords, arrives on Earth in 1988, falling from an orbit into which the Doctor launched it 350 years ago. At the same time, a creepy neo-Nazi group led by De Flores (Anton Diffring) plans to take control of the Nemesis, as does Lady Peinforte, a 17th century would-be sorceress which concocts a potion for time travel. he spearhead of a Cyberman invasion fleet also arrives, also looking for the statue. Its destructive power will be granted to whoever returns the Nemesis’ bow and arrow, and it seems unlikely that the Doctor himself would have any use for that kind of power – unless, as Lady Peinforte claims, the Doctor has his own dark agenda.

Order the DVDwritten by Kevin Clarke
directed by Chris Clough
music by Kevin Clarke

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Fiona Walker (Lady Peinforte), Gerard Murphy (Richard), Anton Diffring (De Flores), Metin Yenal (Karl), Leslie French (Mathematician), Martyn Read (Security Man), David Banks (CyberLeader), Mark Hardy (Cyber Lieutenant), Chris Cherin (First Skinhead), Symond Lawes (Second Skinhead), Dolores Gray (American Tourist), Courtney Pine, Adrian Reid, Ernest Mothie, Frank Tontoh (Jazz Quartet), Brian Orrell, Danny Boyd, Scott Mitchell, Bill Malin, Tony Carlton, Paul Barrass (Cybermen), Dave Ould, John Ould (Walkmen), Mary Reynolds (Her Majesty the Queen), Vere Lorrimer (Tour Guide)

Broadcast from November 23 through December 7, 1988

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green

Review: Following a theme very similar to Remembrance Of The Daleks, a story which first aired mere weeks before this one, Silver Nemesis is fun to watch, but presents a muddled mess of a story. A less convoluted story would have been more enjoyable – most of Lady Peinforte’s role is comical, and indeed many of her scenes wound up on the cutting room floor prior to broadcast, restored only upon the release of the home video. The Nazis also play a minor role, and the Cybermen – arguably the major villains of the piece – put in their weakest appearance since 1975’s Revenge Of The Cybermen. Perhaps replacing one or two of these parties with a much more competent menace would have made the show more memorable. On the plus side, Gerard Murphy is almost the only believable guest star, in his role as Peinforte’s manservant. He constantly pleads with her to return to the 17th century, and offers a humorous take on three centuries of change in the meantime. There’s also a hammy American tourist character – also cut from much of the original broadcast – who comes across as a bit of a stereotype, but a harmlessly amusing one.

Keff McCulloch‘s score again dates itself by breaking into annoying synthesized dance rhythms for action cues, though some of his more eerie pieces of music are very well-done and unnerving. The stylistic choices involved are a little baffling to me, but be prepared for a little annoyance in the course of watching this three-parter. The VHS video release of Silver Nemesis also contains several scenes, mostly humorous asides, which never made it to the air, as well as a documentary about the making of the episode, produced by New Jersey’s PBS network.