7K. Silver Nemesis

Season Twenty Five - 1988

Script Editor: Andrew Cartmel
Produced by: John Nathan-Turner
Writer: Kevin Clarke
Director: Chris Clough
Designer: John Asbridge
Incidental Music: Keff McCulloch
Stunt Arrangers: Paul Heasman (1-2) and Nick Gillard (2)


Long ago the Doctor launched a mass of validium - living metal - into space; however the validium had a decaying orbit that brought it close to Earth every 25 years. In order for the validium to become active it must have a critical mass. For this reason two pieces were split off the main validium - shaped into a bow and arrow.

The Doctor and Ace visit Windsor in 1988, a time when the validium was next due. Three factions are chasing the validium: De Flores, who possessed the bow, Lady Peinforte, who possessed the arrow, and the Cybermen, who took control of the biggest piece when it finally fell from its orbit.

The three factions fought against each other in an attempt to possess all validium whilst the Doctor, working to his own agenda, ensured that only the faction he wanted possessed the validium.

The Doctor programmed the validium to attack the Cyberfleet that was cloaked in orbit around Earth. When the Doctor announced that the Cybermen should have the full validium Lady Peinforte committed suicide by joining with the validium. When the Cybermen used the validium, the fleet was destroyed.

Regular Cast

  • Ace: Sophie Aldred

Guest Cast

  • De Flores: Anton Diffring
  • Lady Peinforte: Fiona Walker
  • Richard Maynarde: Gerald Murphy
  • Karl: Metin Yenal
  • Cyberleader: David Banks
  • Jazz Quartet: (all 1) Courtney Pine, Adrian Reid, Ernest Mothle, Frank Tontoh
  • Mathematician: Leslie French (1)
  • Security Guard: Martyn Read (1)
  • Cyberlieutenant: Mark Hardy (2-3)
  • Cyberman: Brian Orrell (2-3)
  • Skinheads: Chris Chering (2), Symond Lewes (2)
  • Mrs. Remington: Dolores Gray (3)
  • Cybermen: Paul Barrass, Danny Boyd, Tony Charlton, Bill Malin, Scott Mitchell
  • Paramilitaries: Steve Ausden, Jon Baker, Sean Barry-Weske, Jamie Durdy, Keith Harvie, David Howarth, Sean McCrory, Julian Redmond, Andrew Searle, Jack Talbot
  • Gardener: Terry Duran (1)
  • Maid: Jacquella Tew (1)
  • Security Guard: Derek Van Weenan (1)
  • Double for the Doctor: Paul Heasman (1)
  • The Queen: Mary Reynolds (1)
  • Policemen: (all 1) Daryl Brook, Christian Fletcher, Anthony Gilding
  • Tour Guide: Vere Lorrimer (1)
  • Tourists: (all 1) Jane Busby, Kevin Clarke, Fiona Cuming, Ian Fraser, Sandra Granville, Sharon Granvile, Katy Jarrett, Audrey Joyce, John Lewery, Peter Moffat, Andrew Morgan, Tony Stewart, Gary Webb, Pat Worth
  • Walkmen: Dave Ould (1-2), John Ould (1-2)
  • Hitchhiker: Ricardo Mulhall (3)

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 675. Part One Wednesday, November 23, 1988 7:35 PM - 8:00 PM 6.2M 71%
BBC 1 676. Part Two Wednesday, November 30, 1988 7:35 PM - 8:00 PM 5.2M 70%
BBC 1 677. Part Three Wednesday, December 7, 1988 7:35 PM - 8:00 PM 5.2M 70%

Outside Locations

  • Arundel, Sussex
  • Greenwich, London


Part 1: When the Doctor and Ace are running away from the people that are shooting at them the Doctor falls to the left (i.e. upstream) and drops his umbrella to the right (i.e. downstream). When we see him again, he is swimming upstream, with the umbrella in his hand.

Part 2: The Doctor and Ace use a jazz tape to jam the Cybermens' communications to stop them calling for reinforcements. Later, in episode 3, they run out of tape (because, even with all the other gizmos he built into the tape deck, the Doctor forgot to include auto-reverse!). But once the tape stops, the Cybermen never call for those reinforcements.

As the Cybermen attack for the first time, one of them (just left of centre) is clearly having trouble keeping his head in position.

In 1638 a mathematician calculates that Nemesis will return exactly 350 years later on 23rd November 1988. However, something happened in 1752 which would render his calculations out by nearly two weeks. The Julian calendar was brought in line with the Gregorian one, which meant that the 11 days from the 3rd to the 13th of September 1752 were simply skipped over. So Nemesis should actually have returned on 4th December, 11 days later than 23rd November.

Working Titles



This story was used to celebrate Doctor Who's 25th Anniversary (hence being broadcast on 23rd November, and the use of silver - Cybermen, validium).