Going Out on a Bang!

What is now referred to as “Classic Who” the first 26 years from 1963-1989 went out with a bang, despite a burnt out Producer, The BBC that loathed it, a Script Editor who was pushing the show in new directions and a fandom more interested cannibalism than fan love and appreciation.

They are:


Ghost Light

Curse of Fenric


The word “game” comes to mind when thinking about this season. The Darker, more manipulative 7th Doctor was in full swing. He was the ultimate chess player. Moving pieces around on the board. Sacrificing a pawn or two to get the bigger, better piece and eventually take out the King and/or Queen.

Curse of Fenric even centered on a chess board and a game played by The Doctor and the entity Fenric for millenia.

It also had a very classic 7th Doctor scene:

Ace: You know what’s going on, don’t you?
The Doctor: [dismissive] Yes.
Ace: [gradually getting angrier] You’ve always known, you just can’t be bothered to tell anyone! It’s like it’s some kind of a game and only you know the rules!

In Ghost Light:

Ace: It’s true isn’t it. This is the house I told you about.
Doctor: You were thirteen. You climbed over the wall for a dare.
Ace: That’s your surprise isn’t it? Bringing me back here.
Doctor: Remind me what it was that you sensed when you entered this deserted house. An aura of intense evil?
Ace: Don’t you have things you hate?
Doctor: I can’t stand burnt toast. I loathe bus stations. Terrible places. Full of lost luggage and lost souls.
Ace: I told you I never wanted to come back here again.
Doctor: And then there’s unrequited love. And tyranny. And cruelty.
Ace: Too right!
Doctor: We all have a universe of our own terrors to face.
Ace: I face mine on my own terms.

But the Doctor brought her to this specific house at this specific time to challenge her fears. It’s game. She how long it takes her to work it out. Is she worthy??

All very dark and mysterious.

That’s what I love about the 7th Doctor and this Season in particular.

Then in Battlefield you bring in The Brigadier for his last WHO appearanceĀ  (He would appear The Sarah Jane Adventures some 20+ years later).

The old warriors. The Doctor and The Brigadier.

Lieutenant Lavel: Sir, we do not the situation here.

Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart: The situation, Lavel, is normal. And it doesn’t get any worse than that.

The 7th Doctor starts a game with Morganne as to whether he is or he isn’t Merlin, in another dimension and time.

Battlefield with all it’s Arthurian trapping is wonderful stuff for the Arthurian buff, of which I am most certainly.

But when asked about it, he evades the questions. Secrets, always, secrets.

In this season you have you Sword Fights, Knights, Cold War Analogies, Vampires, Ghosts, Possessions, Childhood fears, faith,Lust, love, hate, and The Master! then so much more.

You can see the beginnings of the turn towards the modern era.

But all that would have to wait as the show was cancelled by the BBC in December 1989.

The BBC did the tried and true tactic that even American Networks do. They put the show up against a highly rated show, in this case the perennial soap opera- Coronation Street- and when the ratings drop even further because Doctor is no longer on Saturday Tea Time and up against arguably one of the biggest icons in British TV History it’s the pretense for cancelling it.

The Press slagging it off.

Fans,slagging it off, like the ones from Doctor Who Bulletin (DWB) and The Doctor Who Appreciation Society, just make it easier.

So much promise was wasted.

But this is not just an product of 1989. This excerpt was found in 2011 by a Matthew Miliam:

It feels tired. Not just tired, but 1989 hanging-on-by-a-thread-tired. The break that the BBC gave Doctor Who after Series 4 should have been longer than a year. I believe by not having a real break, the burnout is beginning to show.

Cancelation is the only answer that makes sense to me. With time, a new team and a new passion for the show will make the series worth watching again. Until that time comes, you are witnessing the beginning of the end.

If the fans who are blind can’t see that, then this will be 1989 all over again real fast.

And when the fans abandon a show, it’s doomed. I said it the late 80’s. I’ll say it again.
Though in the late 80’s I was saying it because, like most, I didn’t believe it would ever come back.
Producer John Nathan-Turner on the future of the show in 1993:
What it needs for the future is a new team with new ideas and a whole new aegis of taking the show forward into the next century.
Ten Years later it was announced that it was coming back to TV as a series (not a TV Movie).
And I think a lot of Season 26, which was overlooked at the time, should be re-examined as a diamond in the rough.
A Season of great ambition, great ideas, great stories, and the beginning of a new era…

DVD Trailers:


Good fan Made one for Ghost Light

Curse of Fenric:


And we fade to black…

About mydoctor1962

Doctor Who fan like few others. Also a fan of Science Fiction, Cooking Shows and more.

Posted on September 15, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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