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Silver Nemesis: Misc


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Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

"All things will soon be mine!"
―Lady Peinforte
Silver Nemesis
Series: Doctor Who -
TV Stories
Season Number: Season 25
Story Number: 151
Doctor: Seventh Doctor
Companions: Ace
Enemy: The Cybermen
Lady Peinforte
Setting: Earth in 1638 and 1988
Writer: Kevin Clarke
Director: Chris Clough
Broadcast: 23rd November - 7th December 1988
Format: 3 25-minute episodes
Previous Story: The Happiness Patrol
Following Story: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy



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.

De Flores and his guards prepare to fire at the Doctor

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.


to be added



Nemesis rises


  • Lady Peinforte time travels from 1638 to 1988.
  • Neo-Nazis
  • The Cybermen (in particular the Cyber-Leader) recognise the Doctor.
  • Ace states that her stereo was destroyed by the Daleks and that the Doctor built her another to replace it.
  • In a deleted scene of the episode, the Doctor dons a pair of "brainy specs", akin to the Fifth Doctor.


  • Peinforte calls the validium her Nemesis.


  • Ace uses gold to fight the Cybermen, and Lady Peinforte's arrows are made of gold.

Story Notes

  • This story had working titles of; The Harbinger, Nemesis.
  • Nicholas Courtney is present in the large crowd scene in the palace.
  • This story marked the 25th anniversary of Doctor Who.
  • Courtney Pine guest stars as himself in Part One.
  • The Doctor's new stereo (for Ace) was to have Zygon like speakers, but these were replaced with more conventional technological ones.
  • The gasworks site (the site of the warehouse and main battle sequence) takes place on the site which would become the site for the Millennium Dome.
  • An outtake from this episode sees Sylvester McCoy tripping over a bush and then trying to stab it with his umbrella. The blooper appears in a contemporary PBS documentary on the making of the serial, and was also played during McCoy's 1988 "Clown Court" appearance on The Noel Edmunds Saturday Roadshow. This was later included on the 2009 DVD release of Delta and the Bannermen.


  • Part 1 - 6.1 million viewers
  • Part 2 - 5.2 million viewers
  • Part 3 - 5.2 million viewers

Myths and rumours

  • John Nathan-Turner attempted to get the real Queen Elizabeth II to appear as herself in the serial (much as members of the Royal Family had appeared on an episode of Coronation Street). This could not be arranged, so an impersonator was enlisted.

Filming Locations

  • Greenwich Gas Works, Tunnel Avenue, North Greenwich (Where the Nemesis lands)
  • Arundel Castle, Arundel, West Sussex (Stand in for Windsor Castle)
  • London Road, Arundel, West Sussex (One of the roads Peinforte and Richard walk down)
  • Casa Del Mar, Aldsworth Avenue, Goring-by-Sea, West Sussex (De Flores' house)
  • Arundel Estate (now known as Arundel Park), Arundel, West Sussex
  • High Street / Tarrant Street, Arundel, West Sussex
  • St Mary's House, The Street, Bramber, West Sussex (Exterior of Peiforte's house)
  • Black Jack's Mill, Harefield, Middlesex (Location where Ace and the Doctor are listening to music)

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • The Cybermen know of Lady Peinforte but they have never encountered her before. How they know of her is unclear. If they know about the Nemesis, they may know of her role in its creation.
  • Lady Peinforte's arrows are made of gold, so apart from fighting Cybermen, they're the most useless arrows ever created. (Although they may have been intended to kill with their poisoned tips rather than impact alone) Gold might not be as hard as other metals, but if it hits an unarmored person, it would still penetrate.
  • There's a few cases of people standing about doing nothing for no real reason:
    • Firstly, when the Doctor and Ace get the bow to the statue, none of the cybermen do anything to stop them.
    • Secondly, De Flores had the bow at the statue, the Doctor makes no attempt to stop him and has to rely on the Cyberleader to kill him.
    • Thirdly, Lady Peinforte makes no attempt to stop the Cyberleader getting the bow, or to take it from the Doctor.(perhaps Lady Peinforte thougt herself outmatched and thought it would have been useless to fight the Cyberleader or Doctor)
    • Finally, the Cyberleader stands perfectly still, waiting for Peinforte's servant to stab him with the arrow.(Cybermen a notoriously logical and perhaps when the Cyberleader saw the arrow, it though there was no reason to fight and it would have been to slow to run)
  • How is that arrow still in the TARDIS door anyway? The Doctor removed it when taking to Ace about the Nemesis, and the TARDIS materialisation is seen several times with no arrow in it. Considering the number of traps the Doctor has placed is it unreasonable to assume he put it back there so that Richard would kill the Cyberleader?
  • Why did Peinforte wait till the Doctor and Ace were in the TARDIS before firing the arrow in the first place? The Doctor recognized the gold tip as "Lady Peinforte's calling card", so perhaps the arrow was meant as a warning not to cross her.
  • At the end of this story, the Doctor seems to have completely overlooked the fact that Richard was, at the least, a willing accomplice to the cold-blooded murder of the mathematician.
  • 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.
  • 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. Visible Cyberman eyes, however, were a factor of the earliest costumes, and may have been intended to imply some remaining organic matter. In "Earthshock", it was certainly suggested (by the transparent chin-guards on the Cyber helmets) that some of the humanoid head was still preserved within the armour.
  • Why don't Ace's coins bounce off rather than pierce the Cybermen?
  • Why 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).
  • In previous stories the cybermen could only be killed by gold if it was ground into their chests, clogging their breathing apparatus', not by the mere touch of it. How have they got so weak to it all of a sudden? The gold doesn't merely 'touch' them, it's inserted forcefully, either as the tip of an arrow, or a gold coin flung by sling shot. Furthermore, their respiratory units seem to have been redesigned for the worse, lacking the protective grilles from "Earthshock" that would only admit small particles of gold. Perhaps they have been forced to downgrade from lack of resources, owing to their increasing catalogue of defeats. However, the gold-related deaths in this serial do contradict the explanation given by the Doctor in "Revenge of the Cyberman", that gold kills Cybermen by clogging up their breathing mechanisms. The effect shown in "Silver Nemesis" is quite different, the gold projectiles causing a rapid death with electrical sparking, rather than the protracted suffocation (with no such sparking) that had been shown in previous stories.


  • Ace compares the events she encounters here with DW: Remembrance of the Daleks, Ace also mentions that her stereo was destroyed by the Daleks (which occurred in the same story).
  • This is the last episode to feature Cybermen before Doctor Who's cancellation in 1989.
  • Lady Peinforte shows her servant, Richard Maynard, his grave. In DW: Revelation of the Daleks, the Doctor explains to Peri that if he took her to Earth after she had died, she could see her own gravestone.
  • The Doctor plays chess against an unknown opponent, thought to be Fenric. The Doctor battles Fenric later on in DW: The Curse of Fenric, but before this, in the story Battlefield, Morgaine speaks of how she always beat the Doctor at chess, Morgaine and Fenric both powerful beings from another dimension.
  • Battlefield also deals with Time as a major factor. Lady Peinforte's tomb does not contain her bones because she is destroyed in space when the Nemesis explodes. In Battlefield, the events occur because of what the Doctor will do in the future, leading to the Doctor writing himself a note and claiming that he should have given himself more warning.
  • In EDA: Interference - Book Two there is another Validium based weapon featured.
  • Early in Part Two the Doctor dematerialises the TARDIS as an arrow hits it. The same thing happens at the end of DW: The Shakespeare Code. In both cases the arrow dematerialises with the TARDIS. This contradicts DW: An Unearthly Child in which spears which had stuck into the TARDIS fell off when the Ship dematerialised.
  • The extended edition features a painting of Ace in early French clothing, this is explained in NA: Set Piece.
  • Queen Elizabeth II would appear again years later in Voyage of the Damned (with an indirect reference to her made in The Christmas Invasion).


DVD and Video Releases

to be added


Main article: Silver Nemesis (novelisation)

See also

to be added

External Links

  • BBC - Doctor Who - The Classic Series - Episode Guide: Silver Nemesis
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide - Detailed Synopsis - Silver Nemesis
  • Doctor Who: A Brief History of Time (Travel) - A Brief History of Time (Travel): Silver Nemesis
  • The Locations Guide to Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures: Story Locations - Silver Nemesis
Cyberman Television Stories
Original Cybermen: The Tenth Planet  • The Moonbase  • The Tomb of the Cybermen  • The Wheel in Space  • The Invasion  • Revenge of the Cybermen  • Earthshock  • The Five Doctors  • Attack of the Cybermen  • Silver Nemesis
Alternate Universe Cybermen: Rise of the Cybermen/ The Age of Steel  • Army of Ghosts/ Doomsday  • The Next Doctor
Torchwood: Cyberwoman
Season 25
Remembrance of the Daleks  • The Happiness Patrol  • Silver Nemesis  • The Greatest Show in the Galaxy

This article uses material from the "Silver Nemesis" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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