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The first episode is not bad at all. I've always ignored this story and/or disliked it for some reason. It could be the fall out from the Happiness Patrol or it could be that it's too like REMBRANCE OF THE DALEKS (a spaceship landing, controlled humans, a Time Lord object that was honed by Omega...and Rassilon, several factions that want it, the Doc setting things up and doing stuff to get his own way) but honestly this first ep is just as good as that one was but will it hold out among all two eps to follow? Here, we're back to time travel and the Doc and Ace get to move about quite a bit in this ep and the next. The stuff happens fast and furious too that I had to check a synopsis as to who was who: the two men that attack the pair as obviously taken over by Cybermen...but from long distance? I guess that the witch and Richard know supernatural stuff and...say, can she be a long ago Gallfrean before they became Time Lords and that's how she knows the Doc's secrets? But how do the Nazis know so much? Did Hitler have supernatural powers? It was rumored he did and perhaps there's another reason the Nazis know so much. Honestly, DeFlores is played completely straight (well, at least not camp; but perhaps straight isn't the correct words if you know what I mean) and in this time of the show that's a plus. Even the witch and Richard are played mostly straight and never veer off the serious side bar a few silly scenes that don't ever get as silly as anything in stories of late and that's a relief. Deflores sort of reminds me of a calmer version of Laurance Olivier's character in the BOYS FROM BRAZIL but I don't think it's a rip off. No, sir, I don't.
Aldred looks stunning in this and she and McCoy share a great rapport at this point and it's fun watching every scene they are in together. The water scene, the resting scene, the stuff in the forest, in the castle and around it, are all very fun thanks to them---and it's seems like the first time in a long time that I can say something like that (possibly as far back as a Tom Baker story or maybe late, later Davison).
I like the scenes that were put back into the show, the duck, the "I'll explain later", the finding of Ace in the painting, etc. It makes the first ep about 30 min long. The first cliffhanger and the second for that matter are pretty good.
Unfortunately, like most DW, if you examine this too closely, it all doesn't make sense. The Doc sent up the Nemesis. Why? How'd he come by it if it's evil? Why would he use it if it's evil? If he's setting Ace, Lady Peinforte, the Cybermen, etc up and lying to them all, then he's a mean person and not trustworthy. Why do it? to destroy the Nazis, Peinforte, and the Cyber War Fleet? If so why not just get Nemesis to do that? He's been setting things up behind the scenes again so again I'm not sure why or how or even if he has...
still, these two eps move pretty fast and the first part is very, very well done. After the clastrophobic sets of THE HAPPINESS PATROL, the open air of the jazz/trumpet music festival, the lake, the bridge, the castle, Windsor, Peinforte's home, etc all seem like a breath of fresh air and all the better for it. ANd unlike HAPPINESS PATROL every one is playing this as if it is serious for the most part in these two eps at least and not like "it's just DW let's camp it up" yet. These two episodes have alot of unanswered questions and I"m sure they don't get answered (see ABOUT TIME 6 again for the THINGS THAT DON'T MAKE SENSE and actually the entire SILVER NEMESIS section about the Doc's ethics etc) but for once, it does not matter too too much as they are enjoyable none the less.
Oh and the Cybermen look...much better than almost every other of their appearance in the color stories. Their outfits looks darker, possibly even a grayish black rather than silver. Amazing that a change of the color can help so much. The Cyber War fleet is kinda rubbish looking but I can accept that. One poor thing is Lady Peinforte getting out of her "home" in 1988 by ...smashing through the windows...why couldn't she just use the door?
All in all, not as bad as I first thought and in fact, I'd give ep1 a 8/10 and ep2 maybe a 6 or a 7 out of 10.