Production Code: 7K
1 - 23/11/1988 19:35
2 - 30/11/1988 19:35
3 - 07/12/1988 19:35
The Doctor and Ace visit England in 1988, where three rival factions - the Cybermen, a group of Nazis and a 17th Century sorceress named Lady Peinforte - are attempting to gain control of a statue made of a living metal, validium, that was created by Rassilon as the ultimate defence for Gallifrey.
The statue has three components - a bow, an arrow and the figure itself - that must be brought together in order for it to be activated. They have been separated since 1638 when, in order to foil the first attempt by Peinforte to seize it, the Doctor launched the figure into orbit in a powered asteroid.
This asteroid has been approaching the Earth at twenty-five yearly intervals ever since, leaving a succession of disasters in its wake, and has now crash-landed near Windsor Castle.
The Doctor plays the three factions off against one other and eventually appears to concede defeat to the Cyber Leader. However, this is just part of a carefully-laid trap, and the Cybermen's fleet is totally wiped out by the statue.
A spaceship touches down near Windsor and the occupants emerge. Ace asks who they are, and the Doctor replies: 'Cybermen.'
The Doctor discovers on a scanner that there are thousands of previously-invisible Cyber warships waiting above the Earth.
Ace asks the Doctor: 'Who are you?' He smiles and puts a finger to his lips.
'I don't know if you're familiar with Wagner's Ring des Nibelung,' De Flores asks a probably bemused Cyber Leader. 'Now we we are the Supermen. But you are the Giants.'
The Nazis come via The Boys from Brazil and Kessler.
There is an allusion to Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale in Lady Peinforte's line 'The bear will not pursue us: such things happen only in the theatre.'
Raiders of the Lost Ark.
James Herbert's The Spear.
The Changeling (De Flores).
Lady Peinforte : [To Richard, speaking of an animal in the Windsor Safari Park] "The bear will not pursue us - such things happen only in the theatre."
De Flores : [To the Cyber Leader] "I don't know if you are familiar with Wagner's 'Ring des Nibelung'? Now we, we are the Supermen. But you, you are the Giants."
Richard : [Praying] "And I shall look after the sick, which reminds me: I return to Briggs his money..."
As indicated in The Happiness Patrol, Ace follows Charlton Athletic, and reads the Daily Mirror (it seems they've just picked up three points: in the real world they drew 1-1 with Wimbledon). The Doctor says that the quartet play his favourite kind of jazz ('straight blowing'); Ace gets her tape signed by Courtney Pine. Ace's destroyed Ghetto Blaster (Remembrance of the Daleks) has been replaced by one of the Doctor's invention.
The living metal validium (see The Deadly Assassin) fell to Earth in 1638 (see Untelevised Adventures). An arrow formed from it stayed in Lady Peinforte's possession; the bow disappeared in 1788 and by the 1980s had come into the possession of De Flores and a group of South American Nazis.
Nemesis circles the earth in a decaying orbit once every 25 years (coming closest to the Earth on the eve of the Great War (1913), and during the years of Hitler's annexation of Austria (1938) and Kennedy's assassination (1963). [The statue must 'broadcast' troubling psychic signals.]
[It is not revealed how the Cybermen found out about Nemesis, although their briefing was thorough: they know of Lady Peinforte. We can presume that the Doctor had a hand in this.]
From Nemesis Lady Peinforte learned of a grim secret of the Doctor's from the 'Old Time, the Time of Chaos', but this is never revealed.
Windsor and environs, 23 November 1638 and 4 Wednesday 23 November 1988.
The whole story is a sequel to an adventure (which Ace knows nothing about, although presumably it involved the second Doctor, as Lady Peinforte refers to the doctor still being little) involving validium, set in 1638. The evil Lady Peinforte fashioned a statue Nemesis from the metal.
The Doctor, thanks in part to the timely intervention of a number of Roundheads (?!?) [and hoping to use Nemesis as a destructive lure against the Cybermen in the future] was able to launch the majority of the deadly statue into space. The Doctor says that the last time he was at Windsor the castle was being built. In the extended video version, there is also a portrait of Ace in Victorian clothes, which hints at another untelevised adventure.
Celebrated British jazz artist Courtney Pine and his group appear as themselves in Part One, in a scene where the Doctor admits a love for this form of music.
There is a humorous scene in which the Doctor and Ace narrowly avoid bumping into the Queen (played by lookalike Mary Reynolds) and her corgis at Windsor Castle.
Ace wears on her jacket an earring that she will not be seen to acquire until the next story, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy - a continuity error caused by a late change in the season's transmission order, made by John Nathan-Turner so that the first episode of Silver Nemesis would be seen on the actual twenty-fifth anniversary date.
Cameo appearances as extras are made by a number of Doctor Who luminaries from in front of and behind the cameras, including actor Nicholas Courtney, director Peter Moffatt and writer Kevin Clarke.
Anton Diffring, well known for his numerous roles as German officers in Second World War films, appears here as de Flores.
Lady Peinforte's mathematician is played by Leslie French, one of the actors considered for the role of the first Doctor in 1963.
A brief guest appearance as American tourist Mrs Remington is made by 'golden age' Hollywood film star Dolores Gray.
The gasworks location where some of the key scenes of this story were recorded subsequently became the site of the Government's controversial Millenium Dome.
Although it is November, the Courtney Pine Quartet are playing outside in the sunshine, and Ace is in a T-shirt.
Ace is reading the previous Saturday's football scores on a Wednesday.
When the policemen are gassed by Nemesis, the chap who was sitting in the car ends up with his legs under the vehicle.
The cameraman stumbles or knocks into something when following Ace across the gantry in the third episode.
Lady Peinforte's arrowheads just happen to be made of gold (and, unless you're tackling Cybermen, are therefore the most useless arrows ever invented).
It's never explained why the two controlled humans shoot at the Doctor and Ace in the first episode (this incarnation, after all, is unknown to the Cybermen).
The Doctor and Ace appear to be allowed to walk away from the Queen's private residence as their escape from the security guards was edited from the transmitted story.
In episode two a helicopter was used to simulate the Cybership landing, the craft being superimposed over it. However, the blades are sometimes visible.
David Banks' eyes are visible as the Cyberleader pulls the coin out in episode three.
Why don't Ace's coins bounce off rather than pierce the Cybermen?
Doesn't Peinforte and Richard's arrival draw some sort of response from the people in the café?
It has been stated that it would be impossible for anyone from 1638 to calculate correctly a day 350 years later as in 1752 the Julian calendar was 'brought into line' with the Gregorian one (effectively meaning that 11 days from 3 to 13 September were skipped over). However, this ignores the fact that Peinforte's time travelling is caused not by her own ingenuity (or else magic in Doctor Who works!) but by Fenric (see The Curse of Fenric).
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Sylvester McCoy
Ace - Sophie Aldred
Cyber Leader - David Banks
Cyber Lieutenant - Mark Hardy
Cyberman - Brian Orrell
De Flores - Anton Diffring
Jazz Quartet Member - Courtney Pine
Jazz Quartet Member - Adrian Reid
Jazz Quartet Member - Ernest Mothle
Jazz Quartet Member - Frank Tontoh
Karl - Metin Yenal
Lady Peinforte - Fiona Walker
Mathematician - Leslie French
Mrs Remington - Dolores Gray
Richard - Gerard Murphy
Security Guard - Martyn Read
Skinhead - Chris Chering
Skinhead - Symond Lawes
Director - Chris Clough