Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Review - The Seventh Doctor Era
by, 22nd September 2013 at 03:05 AM (676 Views)
The final installment of my 50th anniversary reviews, covering Sylvester McCoy's time.
SEASON 24 - Clowning Around (Or 'The Crappiness Patrol')
TIME AND THE RANI
The Rani lures the TARDIS to Lakertya, where she requires the Doctor's aid to complete a device which will draw on the intelligence of history's greatest geniuses to help her reshape the universe to her own design. To this end, she drugs the newly-regenerated Doctor and masquerades as Mel to gain his trust. The real Mel, however, allies herself with the native Lakertyans, who have been suffering under the rule of the Rani and her bat-like Tetraps. It is up to Mel to rouse the Lakertyans to rebellion, and free the Doctor from the Rani's clutches.
Summary - Crap. Awful. The only good part is Kate O'Mara as the Rani, not as Mel. Although it was nice to see old costumes, like Baker's and Pertwee's. The theme arrangement is ghastly.
Deciding to take a holiday, the Doctor and Mel go to Paradise Towers. Upon their arrival, however, they find the famed complex in ruins. It transpires that, long ago, the adults all went off to fight a war and never returned. Now the only ones left are the Kangs, riotous gangs of teenaged girls; the Rezzies, cannibalistic old women; the Caretakers, who ostensibly look after the Towers; and the cowardly Pex, who had been too scared to go off to war. But another entity also lurks in Paradise Towers: Kroagnon, the building's architect, who has taken mental possession of the Chief Caretaker and the cleaning robots in an attempt to rid his creation of human life forever.
Summary - Paradise? Ha!
DELTA AND THE BANNERMEN
The Doctor and Mel win a vacation on a time-travelling tour bus to a 1950s holiday camp. Also on the bus is Delta, the last of the Chimeron race, who is being hunted by the genocidal Bannermen and their brutish leader, Gavrok. When a mercenary on the bus alerts Gavrok to Delta's whereabouts, it is up to the Doctor and Mel to stop the assassins and find a way to give the Chimerons a new lease on life.
Summary - Season 24 is picking up.
The TARDIS lands on Iceworld, an enormous shopping complex on Svartos. There, the Doctor and Mel meet up with a time-displaced teenaged waitress from Earth named Ace and their old friend Sabalom Glitz. Glitz is searching for the treasure of the legendary Dragon which is supposed to dwell beneath Iceworld. But when the Doctor joins Glitz in his quest, they discover more than they bargained for, unearthing the millennia-old secret of Kane, Iceworld's murderous ruler.
Summary - Not bad! Not bad at all!
SEASON 25 - Unfinished Business (Or 'Forget everything else, the Special Weapons Dalek is BADASS!!!)
REMEMBRANCE OF THE DALEKS
Two factions of Daleks arrive on 1963 Earth via a time corridor. They are in search of the Hand of Omega, a powerful and ancient Gallifreyan stellar manipulator the Doctor was hiding prior to his first inadvertent trip with Ian and Barbara. With the help of the British army, it is up to the Doctor and Ace to defeat both of the warring Dalek factions, even as the Daleks' human allies infiltrate their party.
Summary - The best McCoy story by far.
THE HAPPINESS PATROL
Terra Alpha is under the steel fist of Helen A and her executioner, a sadistic robot made out of sweets called the Kandy Man. Joy is perpetual on Terra Alpha, because to be unhappy invites the wrath of Helen A's crack police force, the Happiness Patrol. Allying themselves with Terra Alpha's repressed natives, the Pipe People, a former Happiness Patrolwoman named Susan Q and blues player Earl Sigma, the Doctor and Ace must end Helen A's reign of terror.
Summary - Was the designer on morphine or LSD?
In the year 1638, the Doctor sent a statue called Nemesis, made out of deadly living validium which was once Gallifrey's last line of defense, into orbit around the Earth. In 1988, the Nemesis statue's orbit decays and it returns to Earth, where it is pursued by three factions -- the Cybermen; a Neo-Nazi named DeFlores; and the mad, time-travelling Lady Peinforte, who nearly gained possession of the statue in 1738 and who knows the darkest secrets of the Doctor's past.
Summary - Weird but the action scenes with the Cybermen are splendid.
THE GREATEST SHOW IN THE GALAXY
Despite Ace's protestations that she hates clowns, the Doctor takes the TARDIS to Segonax to see the famed Psychic Circus. But upon his arrival, the Doctor discovers the Circus has become something sinister: its founder, Kingpin, has disappeared; the callous Chief Clown deals violently with performers who try to flee; and prospective Circus stars must perpetually please an enigmatic family with their act -- or be killed. The time travellers learn that the Circus has fallen under the influence of the evil Gods of Ragnarok, and the Doctor's next performance may prove to be his last.
Summary - Crap with clowns in it.
SEASON 26 - Journey's End (Or 'A disappointing end')
The TARDIS picks up a distress call from modern-day Earth. The Doctor and Ace discover that a UNIT platoon, led by Brigadier Bambera, has come under assault whilst transporting a nuclear warhead. The attackers turn out to be Arthurian knights from another dimension, led by the legendary sorceress Morgaine, whose magical powers appear to be real. When the Doctor meets Ancelyn, a knight opposed to Morgaine, he learns that a future incarnation of himself will become Merlin, and that he buried King Arthur and Excalibur beneath the waters of a nearby lake. The Doctor must confront Morgaine, who has summoned a demonic entity known as the Destroyer of Worlds.
Summary - The only good parts are the Brig and Bessie.
The Doctor takes Ace back to 1883, to a house called Gabriel Chase she would burn down a century later after sensing a lingering presence of evil within. In the 19th century, Gabriel Chase is the home of amateur scientist Josiah Smith, who is conducting research into evolution against the wishes of the Church. But there is far more to Smith than meets the eye: he is in fact an alien who has spent millennia adapting to humanity, and now intends to assassinate Queen Victoria and take over the British throne. Meanwhile, buried in the basement is Smith's former master, a powerful alien being who intends to halt all evolution on Earth. And the Doctor has inadvertently awakened him.
Summary - Meh.
THE CURSE OF FENRIC
The Doctor and Ace land in England during World War II, at a secret seaside base which houses the Ultima Machine, a powerful codebreaking device. But disturbances plague the installation: Russians are trying to steal the Ultima, mysterious Viking runes are found in a church crypt, and vampiric Haemovores are rising from the ocean. The Doctor discovers his ancient foe, Fenric, has manipulated events in order to gain his freedom. And central to Fenric's schemes is none other than Ace.
Summary - Not bad. Great music by Mark Ayres.
SURVIVAL (Ironic name as this is the show's last episode)
Ace returns to Perivale to visit her friends, only to find many of them have gone missing. The Doctor discovers that they have been abducted to an alien planet by a race called the Cheetah People. Pursuing them, the time travellers find the Cheetah People are being controlled by the Master, who is trapped on the planet, and is slowly turning into a Cheetah Person himself. The Doctor must find a way off the planet, before they all succumb to the dying world's animalistic influences.
Summary - The enemies are KITTENS?! Just shows you how good John-Nathan Turner was as a producer. Although the epilogue's nice.
Overall summary - McCoy's era gets off to a crappy start, gets better in season 25, but falls in the final season. Watch Remembrance of the Daleks though, it's smashing.
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