Season 26

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So we reach the end of the show’s first run and back in 1989 I was staying with my Nan. She hated colour television and she refused to have them in her home so in my memory Season 26 exists in glorious black and white and by a strange quirk of fate these four stories were perfectly suited to it. Their respective video releases (or bbc2 repeat for Battlefield) were the first time I saw them in colour!
Battlefield kicks things off and we get a return of UNIT and the wonderful Nick Courtney as The Brigadier. Jean Marsh  makes a great villan and The Destroyer looks magnificent. The story is a good one and yet again in the classic run we get a story involving time paradoxes with Merlin is revealed as a future DoctorI must confess when rewatching it I always watch the dvd special edition as it just flows much better.
Ghost Light is just such a lovely rich story full of great ideas and sparkling dialogue all performed by a top class cast. It definitely needs a few viewings to pick it all up but if you aren’t sure about it after only one watch I suggest you give it another go.
Curse of Fenric is up next and it’s one of the classics (again I always watch the dvd special edition) , we get a little bit of story arc which credibly explains how Ace managed to end up on Iceworld and helps round out her character.  Like the other stories there’s a great cast with no weak links bringing a wonderful script to life and again we get a decent looking monster.
Survival rounds things off nicely bringing Ace home and bringing The Master back who is played brilliantly here by Ainley, such a shame he didn’t (or wasn’t allowed to) play it like this before. Sadly the Cheetah People look a bit too cuddly, they could do with being dirtied up a bit.
I think the show was just entering another of its golden ages and if the BBC had got behind it with decent publicity and a timeslot that didn’t see it go against the biggest soap opera in the country then I have a feeling that the general public would’ve watched it.
Sadly it wasn’t to be and us fans were about to enter the wilderness years….

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