Doctor Who: Silver Nemesis and Revenge Of The Cybermen DVD Reviews
“Revenge Of The Cybermen” is a solid early fourth Doctor episode.
“Silver Nemesis” has its moments, but the weak script hurts the episode.
What do neo nazis (in the year 1988), a woman named Lady Peinforte (in 1638), and the Cybermen have in common? They all are after a comet containing a Gallifreyan statue that could become a powerful weapon if the statue is paired with a certain bow and arrow (don’t ask).
As you can no doubt tell from the plot synopsis above, this is a preposterous story cluttered with too many characters. Thankfully, the mediocre story doesn’t wreck the entire episode here. In fact, there is much to admire about this episode. First of all, there are some respectable action sequences. Not only do we see several explosions, but you also get an entertaining set piece involving Ace taking out Cybermen using a slingshot. Anytime Ace is facing off against an evil threat, it’s a win-win situation for the viewers.
The aspect of the episode that really saves it from being a trainwreck, however, is the chemistry between Ace (Sophie Aldred) and the Doctor (Sylvester McCoy). Whether they’re enjoying a Jazz concert together or working together to make sure the statue doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, they clearly carry the story on their backs.
“Revenge Of The Cybermen” is an early fourth Doctor story with Harry and Sarah Jane joining the Doctor as the companions. This episode begins with the three boarding a space station only to find that the majority of the crew has died from what appears to be a plague. As the Doctor investigates further, he discovers that a plague is not responsible for the deaths. Instead, it’s a Cybermat infection. This discovery leads to a bigger plot that connects the nearby planet of gold named Voga. You see, the Vogans have lured the Cybermen to the space station in order to destroy them once and for awhile. However, on the flip side, we lean that the Cybermen want to blow up the gold planet Voga as gold is harmful to the Cybermen. The episode also contains a subplot about a power struggle amongst the Vogans on Voga.
When I first saw this episode several years ago, I don’t remember it making much of an impression on me. I didn’t find it to be poor, nor did I find it to be good. It was just a middle of the road type of episode. Re-watching the episode now, however, I have to admit it has improved over time. While certainly far from perfect, the story has a good flow to it structure wise. The story builds and reveals information as it goes along which makes it a rather involving adventure. To be perfectly honest, however, it’s Tom Baker who steals the show here. From his humorous jokes to the great moment where he stands up to a Cyberman, he makes the episode worth watching through and through.
Summary: “Silver Nemesis” and “Revenge Of The Cybermen” are worth a watch.
The 4:3 fullscreen picture quality for ‘Nemesis’ gets a thumbs up from me. This is as good as it gets regarding transfers for classic Who episodes. I was especially impressed by how crisp the colors looked. As for the ‘Cybermen’ picture quality, the transfer is solid, but the colors looked a bit faded.
‘Nemesis’ has both a Dolby Digital Stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks. Both tracks are strong here as the music and action puts the speakers to work. The ‘Cybermen’ Dolby Digital Mono track is merely good. Nothing much more to say than that.
“Silver Nemesis” Extras:
* Thankfully, there’s no “Doctor Who” series 4 trailer to be found here. Instead, there’s a series 5 trailer finally!
* Isolated score, photo gallery, Radio Times Listings, trails and continuity, info text and a trailer for “Time And The Rani.”
* 22 minutes of deleted and extended scenes. Nothing really noteworthy here.
* “Industrial Action”- A making of containing the usual interviews, stories about how the script came about, the Cybermen, etc.
* Commentary by Andrew Cartmel, Sylvester McCoy, Chris Clough and Sophie Aldred. Discussions range from props and scenes to Cybermen and locations the cast and crew shot at. Not the most exciting track, but it’s worth a listen.
“Revenge Of The Cybermen” Extras:
* “Doctor Who” series 5 and “Time And The Rani” trailer, Radio Times Listings, photo gallery, and an info text.
* “Cheques, Lies, And Videotape”- Here’s a fun extra. This is a 28 minute documentary about “Doctor Who” fans chatting about collecting and recording episodes on VHS. A nice nostalgic piece about the thrill of finding and discovering episodes before they became so widely available.
* “Location Report”- An interview with Tom Baker on set at the Wookey Hole caverns.
* “The Tin Man And The Witch”- The obligatory making of containing the usual interviews, discussions about the Cybermen, the script, etc.
* Commentary by Elisabeth Sladen, Philip Hinchcliffe, Roger Murray-Leach, and David Collings. This track would have been more enjoyable had Tom Baker been in it, but it’s still informative in parts.
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