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Silver Fist/Who Dares


Released
Title
Duration
Format
Release Code
1989
The ArcHive Tapes: Origins of the Cybermen
60m
Cass
--
1989
The ArcHive Tapes: The Early Cybermen
70m
Cass
--
1989
The ArcHive Tapes: The Cyber Nomads
50m
Cass
--
1989
The ArcHive Tapes: The Ultimate Cybermen
70m
Cass
--
December 1989
The Ultimate Interview: Colin Baker talks with David Banks
60m
Cass
SF-UI1
December 1990
Who's the Real McCoy: Sylvester McCoy talks with David Banks
50m
Cass
SF-UI2
December 1990
Pertwee in Person: Jon Pertwee talks with David Banks
50m
Cass
SF-UI3


David Banks - the actor who had played the Cyberleader in Doctor Who from Earthshock in 1982 through to Silver Nemesis in 1988 - had previously teamed-up with artist Andrew Skilleter to release the book 'Cybermen' (Who Dares/WH Allen, 1988; reprinted by Virgin 1990 & 1995): a "pseudo-history" of the Cybermen, gathering together their television appearances and offering a chronological re-telling of each story from the Cybermen's perspective, rather than the Doctor's. The book had been a success, and would be followed by other such creative works in the early 1990s (The Gallifrey Chronicles, which applied similar thought to Time Lord history, and later Adrian Rigelsford & Andrew Skilleter's The Monsters) that supplemented the fictional histories of Doctor Who characters and attempted to weave a logical, definitive history of the universe (culminating in Jean-Marc Lofficier's Terrestrial Index & Universal Databank - destined to inspire a thousand arguments!). Banks' story was told from the perspective of "Hegelia", whose position was out-lined in the opening narration of Origins of the Cybermen:
Imagine an advanced race in a distant planetary system, sometime in the remote future. Imagine that they are dedicated to chronicling the activities of all-known civilisations throughout the galaxy. Imagine that all they know of the Cybermen is restricted to ten Earth documents that have somehow come their way. What you are about to hear is the work of ArcHivist Hegelia. What you are about to hear has been accessed from the files of the CyberHive: one of the vast Arc of Hives drifting in space. These ArcHives are intended by the unnamed race to increase knowledge and understanding of the galaxy, and of the ways of what they term ‘absolute necessity’.
The history stories woven by David Banks carefully include the events of the Cybermen's 9 Doctor Who stories in great detail, and fill the gaps by a combination of careful listening to the back-story described in each episode and sheer original invention. The stories lent themselves naturally to the talking-book format, and Banks took it upon himself to personally record an abridged version of the book in late 1989. With an agreed license from BBC Enterprises (allowing him to reference their trademarks during his reading, but not to market the release under the Doctor Who banner), Banks was joined by Jeremy Dunn, Lucinda Fry and Andrew Cooke of Melting Pot to record and mix the FX and music for the releases, with Jenny Liddle and Andrew Skilleter tackling the sleeve design, and issued a series of 4 Cyber ArcHive cassettes (ranging from 50 to 70 minutes in length) on his own "label", Silver Fist.

It is not entirely clear how or where the cassettes were available. It is possible that they were sold via mail-order (as were the Doctor Who Appreciation Society cassettes Myth Makers: The Music, Time Flight, Space Adventures, Black Light and Corridors of Eternity at around the same time), or stocked by specialist sci-fi stores (such as the early Myth Makers, BBV and Reeltime Pictures video productions); they certainly do not appear to have had a wide release, nor any significant distribution outside the UK, and original copies (particularly of the latter two releases, which may have been issued some time during 1990 rather than 1989) are considered rare finds on eBay or at conventions. The first and only 'proper' commercial release of any of the titles occured in November 2004, when Origins of the Cybermen was remastered and issued on CD exclusively inside BBC Audio's Cyberman tin. Silver Fist's only other releases, a trio of interview cassettes with Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Jon Pertwee and (on the Colin Baker tape) David Banks himself, were also reissued in 2004/05 on a limited range of CDs - with brand new covers by Andrew Skilleter.

The ArcHive Tapes



Origins of the Cybermen
Side One presents potted-histories of Earth and Mondas (plenty of which is Banks' own invention), a suggestion of the Cybermen's journey to Telos and a history of Earth and Mondas's solar system; while Side Two offers "Journey to the Edge of Space": a fleshed-out story of what happened as Mondas left its orbit. This detailed pseudo-history of Mondasian civilisation, and the shortening of the planet's life, offers a re-telling of the Cyberman back-story from The Tenth Planet. Reference is also made to other Doctor Who stories, such as The Image of the Fendahl, to support Banks' future history theories.

Supposed-quotations are included throughout all 4 cassettes, with Banks' vocals treated to sound separate from the narration (and often re-pitched when he wants to sound female!) We are therefore treated to accurate impressions of many characters, among them the Doctors, Jamie, Klieg, Rassilon, and - of course - accurate immitations of all versions of the Cybermen (and their Cyberleaders). There is also original music and sound effects throughout, which the sleevenotes credit to David Banks himself.

The Early Cybermen
The second volume chronicles the "attempts on Earth during the First Nexus: ?1970AD – 2070 AD", based on documents 1: First Invasion of Earth; 2: The Quiet Invasion; 3: The Destruction of Mondas; 4: Space Station W3; and 5: The Moonbase (covering the events of The Invasion, Attack of the Cybermen [the Earth scenes], The Tenth Planet, The Moonbase and The Wheel in Space). Each story is essentially re-told by the narrator, the events unfolding exactly as-broadcast - offering an entertaining short-story collection, threaded together by the on-going chronology and speculation about loose ends.

The dramatisations gather in pace and style as the stories continue, with a particular increase in sound-effects (even down to cow moos and an accurate recreation of the TARDIS take-off at the end of The Invasion) and music which, unlike the generic atmospherics of Origins, immitates the television stories and greatly enhances the atmosphere of the readings.

The Cyber Nomads
Covering documents 6: Awakening of the Cyber-Telosians (The Tomb of the Cybermen); 7: Pursuit of Voga (Revenge of the Cybermen) and a summary of the Cybermen of documents 8, 9 and 0. Given the absurdity of a Cyberman's "revenge", Banks takes pains to excuse the (oft-mocked) apparent emotions of the 80s Cybermen: "emotion" and "motion" both derive from the same latin root, he says, so really they're just exceptionally "driven".

As well as original music, this cassette includes several pieces of library music that had been featured in many 60s episodes of Doctor Who; in particular, 'Space Time Music' (Parts I-III) and 'Space Adventure', which was often associated with the Cybermen due to its frequent use in The Tenth Planet, The Moonbase and The Tomb of the Cybermen. These tracks had recently been found and issued on the Doctor Who cassette Space Adventures, and appeared here uncredited. The original telepathy/mind-control sound effect - as heard in The Moonbase and Tomb - is also used.

The Ultimate Cybermen
Readings of the Earth documents 0: Cybermen on Gallifrey; 8: On-slaught on Earth; 9: Departure from Telos; and 3a: Quest for Power (covering the events of The Five Doctors, Earthshock, Attack of the Cybermen [the Telos scenes] and Silver Nemesis).

Includes original music and effects throughout, often immitating those used in the original stories: hence we have swirling winds, lightning-bolt ray effects and explosions for The Five Doctors; Malcolm Clarke-esque throbs for Earthshock; high-pitched, non-melodic twinklings for Attack of the Cybermen; and jazz music for Nemesis!

The Ultimate Interviews

The Ultimate Interview
Colin Baker and David Banks first met in 1984 on the Russell Harty chat show. Later that year David played Cyberleader to Colin's Doctor in Attack of the Cybermen. Five years on, they found themselves working together again in The Ultimate Adventure. It occurred to them that though both had been interviewed on many occasions, there were more interesting questions yet to be answered. So, they decided to interview each other!

The Ultimate Interview — recorded on Wednesday 19 July 1989 in the Function Suite of the Derngate Theatre, Northampton during the UK tour of Doctor Who - The Ultimate Adventure — is an absorbing and revealing 60 minute conversation in which they explore their childhood memories, their experiences as actors and, of course, their connection with Doctor Who.
Who's the Real McCoy
Sylvester McCoy and David Banks first met in 1988 during the making of the 25th Doctor Who Anniversary story Silver Nemesis. 18 months later they worked together again in the pantomime Aladdin, Sylvester playing the Slave of the Lamp and David the Chinese Emperor — the ideal opportunity for David to discover more about the man behind the Seventh Doctor...

Who's the Real McCoy? — recorded on Tuesday 2 January 1990 at the Palace Theatre, Manchester — charts for the first time in fascinating detail, and in Sylvester's own inimitable words, the early years in Scotland, the training as a priest, the work as a City accountant, the long 'apprenticeship' in theatre and TV and the portrayal of the Doctor — all the elements, in fact, that constitute the real McCoy!
Pertwee in Person
Their 50 minute mission to boldly go where no fan has gone before!

Jon Pertwee and David Banks first met when filming the 20th Doctor Who Anniversary Story The Five Doctors in 1983. Six years later they worked together on stage in Doctor Who — The Ultimate Adventure.

Pertwee in Person — recorded on Thursday 19 April 1990 in the living room of Jon Pertwee's Putney home — explores the incredibly full and varied life of one of our most extraordinary actors and storytellers. Out of the vivid anecdotes, the eccentric humour and wit, the moments of touching insight, and the many voices (and sound effects) which he conjures up, is created an indelible impression of the man himself, Jon Pertwee — in person.

The interviews were remastered and presented on CD for a limited period in 2004/5. Issued in reverse order to their original release (following Pertwee's death in 1996, his interview was clearly deemed the more marketable), the first appeared in September 2004, with The Real McCoy following in November and The Ultimate Interview in February 2005.