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Les Visiteurs meets The Boys in Brazil with Cybermen and archery

We’re in South America in November 1988 and there are some nazis. That’s all we need to say about them, so let’s move on to Windsor in 1638. Lady Peinforte is having a whale of a time shooting some pigeons while she waits for a Mr Magoo-a-like to work out when some fancy shmancy comet is coming to Earth. This is no ordinary comet, of course, and time may well tell that it in fact contains some kind of living metal that someone, (cough) Doc, might have accidentally released from Gallifrey.

Bing-bong, fast-forward. Peinforte and her adjutant have now sipped a time potion and Les Visiteurs’ed to the 1980s to no one’s shock or surprise. And now all forces converge on Windsor: Les Visiteurs, the Boys from Brazil, the fam, the metal lady inexplicably enslaved inside the comet, and Wagnerian giants aka gosh-darned Cybermen. Not a single one among them stands flaccid in the presence of archery paraphernalia and stuff is about to get very real.

Here's what we think of C154 Silver Nemesis

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken

4.0

Jim | @jimmythewho

3.2

Here's what we think of C154 Silver Nemesis

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken

4.0

Jim | @jimmythewho

3.2

Here's what you think 12 Responses to “C154 Silver Nemesis”
  1. Peter Zunitch

    I’m sure I’m wrong, but it also looks like Mr Rumbold is is leading the tour.

    Podsplaining: The bones, arrows and time potion – these were explained in sadly-super-quick throw away lines.

    Honestly that may be only the thirty seventh time a man has solo serenaded me! If my wife listened to the podcast she’d be very pretend jealous. Thank you!

  2. The Doctor Gamer

    The last time I sent in a mini-review for a classic serial, it was way back in Season 16 with The Power of Kroll! One thing that this story and The Power of Kroll have in common is that they’re both shit…

    Pros:
    – David Banks as the Cyber-Leader is brilliant as always.
    – The 7th Doctor and Ace are brilliant together as per usual. They have great chemistry throughout the serial.

    Cons:
    – The plot is convoluted and it’s hard to stay focused when theres so many characters that I just don’t give a single shit about.
    – For a 3 parter, Silver Nemesis REALLY, REALLY drags.
    – The Cybermen are not great here. I just really wish we got another story like Attack of the Cybermen where we get to see how violent they truly are.
    Overall, I’ll give Silver Nemesis a generous 2.0. There’s some good stuff in there but Remembrance of the Daleks is a much better anniversary special in my opinion

  3. Derek Moore

    My Dearest Whovians,

    Oh, it feels so good to be back after a little hiatus. And what did I find after returning? The 7th freakin’ Doctor and Ace! Hazzah! I think Silver Nemesis was only the third 7th Doctor story I have ever seen, but with comets, Nazis, Ace, more Ace, a tight 3-episode story, and a medieval castle set probably taken from Black Adder, what more could I ask for? Ok, maybe the Cybermen were a bit superfluous, and I don’t think we ever found out who tried to shoot the Doctor and Ace in the first episode, but who cares? I am loving this 3-episode story idea, and hopefully it will continue. The only thing missing? Good old fashioned BAGELS, a.k.a. The Brig, shooting up some Nazis, but that would only be the 3rd layer of awesome-sauce on this cake of wonderment. I can’t wait to go back and catch up!

    Rating: 4.0 80’s era boom boxes.

    Sincerely,
    Derek Moore

  4. Kristaps Paddock

    Bottom line: Just a lot of fun even if it’s kind of a mess. Lady Peinforte is spectacular, would have loved to see her come back, and it’s always great to see an episode of a show about time travel that includes, well… time travel. Did the Cybermen need to be there? Probably not, but who cares? We probably didn’t need neo Nazis either. And as always, The Doctor and Ace are simply mesmerizing together. Is this review disjointed? Yes, but so is the serial. Three point six skinheads hanging upside down while their clothes burn and blaming it on ‘social workers’ out of five.

    ps. Please take note of the chess references – they will pay off in future serials!

  5. Steven from Canada | @SAndreyechen

    I had heard some disappointing reviews going into this story so my expectations were quite low; while I agree with the common sentiment that this story makes for a poor 25th anniversary, I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it.

    The different time periods explored were a joy to see, as I have been longing for another historical (no matter how fictional). The scenes in the 1600s also looked the best, they had much better lighting.

    The addition of Neo-Nazis was an interesting inclusion that I felt didn’t have a proper pay-off. I’m tempted to compare it to the fascists in Remembrance of the Daleks, which had a very clear parallel that I think this story lacks.

    The Cybermen were as entertaining as usual, though Chrome and Video cameras don’t mix well.

    One main issue I had was the mystery being incorporated into this story. I think they leaned to hard into it, especially at the climax, to not give us something meatier. I even looked to the deleted scenes to see if there was anything significant missing and that only brought up more questions.

    Overall this story earns 4 deleted Ducks out of 5.

    Steven From Canada.

  6. Kieren Evans | @kjevans2

    Hi folks

    So the Doctor attempts to stop Cybermen, a Witch and Neo-Nazis from getting an ancient Gallifreyan artefact…So a weird repeat of Remembrance of the Daleks. And that’s this one sort of problem. We’ve seen this story done earlier this season in a much better way. Oh, btw if you’re using Tardis wiki as a reference, they use the extended VHS version as a basis. Most fans seem to prefer this one, though it isn’t available on DVD (nor Britbox?), hopefully the Blu-ray will have it when it comes out. There are some interesting bits cut out which improve the flow of the story. For season 26, there are two stories I will be giving scores on the extended versions but sadly not this one.

    Lady Peinforte uses Black magic to summon some sort of Time Storm…just like how Ace got to Ice World…Also chess sets, hmm, maybe important later…

    Good action, nice explosions. Just a shame about the plot, even with the cuts in mind. There feels like one too many sides with Cybermen, Nazis and Lady Peinforte in a shorter serial than Remembrance. They probably should have cut the Nazis, which would also mean Anton Diffring wouldn’t have to play yet another Nazi, after escaping Nazi Germany when he was younger.

    My rewatch of it was fine but nothing special for what is the Silver anniversary story. And the Cybermen being scared of gold is dumb especially with that fucking gold detector and Ace taking them out the gold coins 3.0/5

    Ps this guide highlights the extra stuff in blue http://www.drwhoguide.com/who_7k.htm

    Cheers

    Kieren

  7. GP Haynes | @FindingGspots (Insta & YouTube)

    I quite enjoyed this one, with the last classic Cybermen looking amazing! But tell me, are those Cybermen hands, just painted cricket gloves??

    The explosions went ballistic in this serial ( pun intended ) with the scenes in the second episode fantastic. There was also a great explosion of the Cyber Ship ( thanks Ace! )

    Ace and the Doctor were wonderful together, showing a mature chemistry and friendship which made you believe they had been travelling together for many months.

    Although it was another convoluted script, and hard to follow, it was hugely entertaining, with a stellar cast.

    Ace was back to top form, with some wonderful humorous moments between her and the Doc. I generally find the humour in the classic series more spot on than say, Chibnalls era.

    We also have another great production here, in which I feel everyone behind the scenes laboured with love, much like in “ Remembrance of the Daleks” to create something. And why not? This is the 25th Anniversary special, in the 25th ( Silver ) year, so why not the Cybermen?

    Again we get hints of a mysterious ( and dark ) unseen side to the Doctor which I’m sure will be discussed by the guys when they do their review.

    Top stuff!

    Rating: 4.1 Ace slingshots to take out a Cyberman with some gold!

  8. Peter Zunitch

    Maybe I’m feeling generous lately, but I’m enjoying the 7th doctor stories more than I ever have. However they are plagued with plot holes, timing issues and continuity problems, obviously due to either over-scripting and then cutting content, or production constraints. They often fail to detail essential information and/or link script progression. Similar issues arise in previous seasons but this feels intentional. Forcing leaps of faith does not make a show mysterious, nor is it a good way to trim for time.
    Why go to the past so many times at such inopportune moments to do nothing and leave again? Why does Painforte jump into the rocket? Why are the cybermen so inept? Such deliberate content sacrifices baffle the mind. Were the nazi’s supposed to mirror the cybermen? Honestly they’re unnecessary here, and could have been removed with little consequence.
    What works are the individual moments: The cybermen misconstruing insanity, the statue asking if it’s beautiful. Valedium should have returned during the time war. Sylvester and Sophie are amazing. Painforte and Richard are the polar opposties of Ace and Doc, yet are equally engaging. The rest are very good, although sometimes the acting is somewhat stiff, or the characters one-dimensional.
    Basing this story on one that hasn’t happened works great, similar to Face of Evil. Unfortunately it would have been better if some essential elements weren’t blatantly excluded. 3.7 toy bows that only shoot arrows three feet being wielded by people who have obviously never shot a real bow ever.

  9. Oli Raven | @FoggyDrWho (insta)

    My fave Doc meets my fave villains! So what’s to dislike? Well, lots, actually.

    This is officially the 25th anniversary story. Bosses at the Beeb had a lot less faith than they did for the 10th and 20th extravaganzas and oof, boy does it show. It’s a good pun on ‘Silver’ in the title, but years after this RTD famously insisted the Cybermen only ever be referred to as made of steel, because he thought their allergy to gold made them a weak opponent for the Doc.

    At one point in this, said vulnerability allows Ace to defeat some Cybers using a few pound coins and a catapult (of the slingshot variety, not a trebuchet, although that would’ve been a better visual). Wicked!

    Having (re)introduced *deliberate* 3×23-minute serials – some 1960s-era stories ended up that length accidentally – the showrunners here I feel never got the hang of pacing them correctly, and this is one of many which suffers from that lack of polish.

    The other half of the title is a maguffin that three distinct factions are after. One is cybertronic, one led by Lady Peinforte, and the other… utterly forgettable as they get lost in the shuffle. Ever-scheming Seven knows he can simply wait for them to double-cross each other and then play them off against one another.

    Plus: another jazz guy! More blowing stuff up with Nitro-9!! This era sure knows its typical story beats by this point. Warning – also features Windsor-based royals… except not really. The Doc rightly points out that to him Elizabeth II is just a minor footnote in history, rather than “The” Queen.

    Remembrance was a much better tribute to the programme’s quarter century than this. The final scene lets slip that the resolution to the story was just a less triumphant rehash of – pardon, ‘homage to’ – that adventure, but despite that I do still enjoy the lines about Seven’s real identity, the nature of time and… Charlton Athletic. One of those things is not like the other.

    Overall, 25… sorry, 2 point 5, magic statues. An underwhelming jubilee party for all of Whodom.

    Oli with one L Raven

  10. Neil | @neilandrozani & @neiljamesactor

    For the 25th anniversary story, Silver Nemesis isn’t really hugely memorable, nor is it by any means the best of this season. But that being said, it certainly has its moments. One them being the Doctor forcing the Cybermen to listen to jazz!

    There is a lot of comedy from Lady Peinforte and Richard as the fish out of water double act, although it’s all a bit random. I don’t really get the skinhead/social workers gag. And what the heck is that American woman in the limo adding to the adventure??! All odd but quite fun.

    The Cybermen and the new Nazis are both ok, and Ace gets to do her action thang which is all good. Some wonderful location filming in this one too.

    It all gets a little messy in the end, but the first episode is fantastic. The Doctor and Ace chilling to jazz before diving into a river is a wonderful SEVENTH Doctor moment that I always enjoy.

    Rating – 3.3

  11. Tanz Sixfingers | @tanzsixfingers

    Howdy Who Back When team!!

    The Doctor Gets darker, and Ace gets to blow more things up! The Cybermen are my favorite recurring monster, and I thought this was a good change of pace for them.

    What’s with the recurring theme of Nazis this season? I got a Boys from Brazil vibe from that.

    I loved the part where Lady Peinforte and de Flores get picked up in the Limousine. I don’t see how it added to the plot, but it was fun to watch.

    One thing I didn’t get was that if the Nemesis needed a critical mass, why were two of the three parts so much smaller in relation to the other? Wouldn’t it have made more sense for them all to be roughly the same size?

    The Nemesis statue, once it came alive, reminded me of The Moment from Day of the Doctor.

    Also, I have never before seen a method of time travel where you drank a potion. Is that actual magic happening?

    I think somewhere along the line the writers forgot that the reason gold kills cybermen is that (in dust form) it coats and clogs up their mechanical organs; they don’t have a Gold Allergy.

    I gave this one points for actually having time travel in it. We don’t get enough of those.

    I give this 4 cans of Nitro 9 out of 5.

  12. Michael Ridgway | @bad_movie_club

    – Unnecessary violence against a parrot, pigeons & a window. Why didn’t Lady P just open the door? Was it a tea room ‘lock-in’?
    – Tea room customers nonplussed at the materialisation of two screaming 17th Century weirdos. Must happen all the time.
    – Windsor Castle tourists non-plussed at the materialisation of the Tardis. Must happen all the time.
    – Best Massacre of Nazis Ever.
    – Worst Cybermen plan Ever. They were forced to run away from their own base! Why has Cyber Control dispatched the dumbest bunch of Cybermen for a critical mission! Why did they only leave two bozo Cyber slobs to guard the ship? Why didn’t they just park the ship next to Lady P’s tomb and form a perimeter!?
    – Love the comedy duo of Lady P and her trusty squire – spin-off please.
    – Best Massacre of Cybermen Ever. Okay, perhaps maybe second to Five Doctors but only because that had a Cyberman vomiting – Ace is killing it!
    – Ooooh! The olde Seventh Doctor bait-and-switch double-cross. You devious trickster you!

    Rating: 5/5 Fourth Reich shitheads getting “eradicated!” by a surprisingly emotional fist-clenching Cyberman.

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