Tag Archives: Sylvester McCoy

Season 26

image

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….

Season 25

image

The show’s 25th Anniversary celebrations were very subdued compared to the 20th reflecting how little the then bbc management thought of it. That’s a shame because it’s a good season and could’ve been  a big success.
Remembrance of the Daleks kicks things off in style. Sylvester has completely settled in to the role and his relationship with Ace is a good one. Everything gells and the Daleks feel threatening for the first time in a while. Every performance is excellent and the direction is topnotch.
The Happiness Patrol follows and it’s another story I like that many fans don’t, probably because they can’t get past the Kandyman’s apperance. It’s a wonderfully dark story with a great performance from Sheila Hancock at its heart.
Silver Nemesis is probably the weakest story of the bunch but it’s not terrible, I quite like the Pentforte character but sadly The Cybermen could just be any random monster and as such are easily dispatched when necessary.
Greatest Show finishes the season and is another great story full of great characters deliberately presented as the caricatures they are. The idea of bored gods making people amuse them is a nice twist on the usual marauding alien menace.
In each story The Doctor has deliberately visited each place with the intention of destroying and sorting out menaces, it’s a approach far removed from the aimless wandering of the sixties stories but I like it.

Season 24

image

I have to confess that back in 1987 I really wanted to dislike Season 24 and Sylvester McCoy purely because I thought Colin’s sacking was terrible.
Time and the Rani did nothing to change my mind. I hated it at the time and didn’t think it had any redeeming qualities. I didn’t watch it again untill the mid nineties when the vhs was released and I found it reasonably enjoyable. Whilst it’s never going to be hailed as a classic it’s never boring and makes me laugh in places. The effects are good and Kate O’Mara is glouriously camp.
I did decide to stick with the show and thankfully Paradise Towers came along. A wonderful script with some good performances.  Sylvester had won me over by the end of this story, he’s another of the overlooked and underrated Doctors despite his era forward echoing the Russell T Davies era.
Delta and the Bannermen is just wonderful, a beautiful story that could happily sit in modern Who. Don Henderson is great and so surprising that he hadn’t cropped up before.  Dragonfire rounds things off and feels like a very traditional style Who story but the idea of a villan plotting universal domination and killing people by freezing them whilst running Iceland! We also get the introduction of Ace(very much a Rose prototype) making the companion very much a joint lead in a way they hadn’t been for quite a while. She makes a immediate impression and at the time gave us a lot of hope for the next series.