Serial Review: Silver Nemesis (Season 25)
I’m a bit out of order, but after watching for review and absolutely adoring “Remembrance of the Daleks” on the podcast, I’ve been in a Sylvester McCoy sort of mood. Having already watched (and enjoyed) “The Happiness Patrol,” it was “Silver Nemesis” time. I’m a big fan of the Cybermen as Doctor Who villains, but rather negative reaction to this serial made me a little nervous going in.
I think by this point in the series they should have been able to go beyond the formula of having the main villain’s appearance as the cliffhanger at the end of the first part. Unfortunately, “Silver Nemesis” does use this standard method, with the Cybermen landing in their ship (which strangely resembles a snow speeder from The Empire Strikes Back) and shocking everyone except the viewer. Cliffhangers in classic Doctor Who are often very irritating, and this continues the tradition.
That being said, as it turned out, I don’t think this was quite as bad as everybody else does. Sure, the Cybermen here die from a simple bow and arrow, or a gold coin, and sure, the mediaeval-ish people are pretty hammy, but I still found this to be a delightfully fun little romp. There’s something about the on-screen chemistry of Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor and Sophie Aldred as Ace that makes just about everything they are in at least mildly enjoyable and entirely watchable. And call me crazy, but I love the music. It’s so terribly 80’s in every single way, and that’d kind of what I like about it.
By the point in McCoy’s run, the Doctor is becoming more and more dark and manipulative. I love this. This is really my first experience with a Doctor that actually changes in his character of the course of his run (not counting audios, in which both the Fifth and Sixth slowly become different people), and I think the character development is great. The Seventh Doctor is in serious danger of unseating Patrick Troughton as my favorite.