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Industrial Action

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Industrial Action
Industrial Action
Subject: The making of Silver Nemesis
Original to the DVD: Silver Nemesis
Runtime: 33'
Key crew
Narrator: Paul Ewing
Interviewees: Andrew Cartmel, Sylvester McCoy, Kevin Clarke, Sophie Aldred, Gerard Murphy, Chris Clough, Nick Gillard, Courtney Pine
Executive producer: Dan Hall
Producer: Steve Broster
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Industrial Action was a 2|entertain DVD documentary on the making of Silver Nemesis. As a general overview of production it covered many topics.

It opened with Andrew Cartmel explaining that, as the twenty-fifth year or silver anniversary, the central theme should be silver. This was followed by Sylvester McCoy commenting that you can't have silver without the Cybermen. He called them "wonderful".

Next, Kevin Clarke recalled how he had phoned up Andrew Cartmel to ask if he could write a script. He was told that only the twenty-fifth anniversary slot was left and so he took it, claiming to have a story in mind. The next day he met with John Nathan-Turner and proposed an answer to the question: who is the Doctor? With his answer being: he is God. John gave him the job, saying he could do it, but couldn't say it.

One thing Nathan-Turner insisted on was the return of the Cybermen. Sophie Aldred told how, as a child, her mother had stopped her watching Doctor Who around the time of The Tomb of the Cybermen as she was having nightmares and the Cybermen were her greatest fear. Clarke considered how the only tape he had available of the Cybermen was The Moonbase, but Nathan-Turner promised him they would look completely new, having been updated.

Cartmel noted that, as well as the Cybermen, the production team wanted a "monster of the week". This came in the form of Nemesis with de Flores being a further addition. Next, the humour of the script was examined. Clarke claimed to always include comedic elements in his script but director Chris Clough though that there was perhaps too much of it in Silver Nemesis.

As she had been filming The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, Aldred had not been at the read-through and the assistant floor manager Lynn Grant had read her part. This led to some confusion among the guest cast as to who she was.

Casting was examined. The role of de Flores was initially offered to Charles Gray before Anton Diffring was asked and accepted. Lady Peinforte was offered to a succession of actresses including Billie Whitelaw and Penelope Wilton before being accepted by Fiona Walker. As he had been previously considered for the role of the First Doctor, Clough saw some justice in Leslie French finally appearing on the show, albeit in the small role of the mathematician.

Remington letter

Nathan-Turner's letter pertaining to the gender of Remington.

The character of Mrs Remington was originally a man called Milton P. Remington, but Nathan-Turner requested that it be changed to a woman as he though it would be "more fun". Dolores Gray was in London playing a role in Follies. Chris Clough went to see it, found her wonderful and asked to play the role. She accepted but could only film for one day. When her limousine came to take her to the location, her case containing thousands of pounds worth of precious jewels was left on the pavement. However, it had been safely recovered and so filming continued.

Pine on set

Courtney Pine on set with Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred.

Clarke explained how he wanted to include jazz in some way and so Courtney Pine was asked to appear and he accepted, having long been a fan of the show. They spent a day at Blackjack's Restaurant, having travelled there from BBC Television Centre, and spent a day in the sun listening to jazz, something Sylvester McCoy particularly enjoyed.

The last theme Nathan-Turner wanted in the story was royalty. It was originally intended that filming should take place at Windsor Castle but in the end, only a long-shot was used to set the scene. The rest of the filming took place at Arundel Castle, which was built in the same period.

Prince Edward letter

Nathan-Turner's letter asking Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex if he would like to appear in Silver Nemesis.

Nathan-Turner was interested in getting royalty involved and even sent a letter to Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, asking him is he wanted to make a guest appearance. Cartmel suggested that the reply was interpreted by John as saying Edward would like to appear, but the Queen would not allow it.

A number people associated with Doctor Who turned up at the castle, including Vere Lorimer, Nicholas Courtney, Fiona Cumming, Peter Moffatt and Kevin Clarke. They all appeared as tourists on a package tour.

In contrast to the greenery of Arundel, a derelict gasworks in Greenwich, South London was used for the hanger scenes. Nick Gillard explained how the stuntmen had to put their trust in the special effects as pyrotechnics and the like were going off at close-range. Paul Heasman acted as Sylvester's double in the river as he had flu and so was not allowed to go in.

Clarke noted that the whole thing was wrapped up as it began, with Ace questioning who the Doctor was.

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