Seventh: Survival


Writers: Rona Munro and Andrew Cartmel

Director: Alan Wareing

Producer: John Nathan Turner

Companion: Ace (Sophia Aldred)

No. of Episodes: 3

Summary: The Doctor and Ace return to Perivale, and Ace discovers no one remembers her and all of her friends are gone.  A mysterious race of aliens that are half-cheetah, half human are attacking people. The Doctor and Ace discover that they are in league with the Master. But the Master has changed. He has become like these creatures, so savage that he is no longer himself. And the same thing happens to everyone they come in contact with.

Review: I’ve often thought that Sylvester McCoy’s era was one of the show’s most underrated periods. Once Ace joined the cast and replaced Mel, the stories began to improve. One interesting fact about the era is that Andrew Cartmel, the script editor for this era, believed the TARDIS was nothing more than a means of transportation. As such, all of the stories in the Classic Era’s final season have no scenes in the TARDIS.

The story is pretty scary. This is mostly thanks to how animalistic everyone is becoming. The Master is excellent. Anthony Ainley was often hindered by bad scripts that didn’t play to his strengths. But this story does play to his strengths, allowing him to be the Master he always wanted to be–a cunning Master who is more subtle than hammy. He is practically chilling.

This was a great story to go out on. It makes me think the show could have gone on maybe one more season. Maybe if they’d gotten a new producer and a bigger budget, who knows?  The final speech was the best scene to end on: “There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea’s asleep, and the rivers dream; people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there’s danger, somewhere there’s injustice, and somewhere else the tea’s getting cold. Come on, Ace. We’ve got work to do.”

Trivia: This story marks Lisa Bowerman’s first appearance in a Doctor Who story. She is best known as Bernice Summerfield.




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