Overview: The Sylvester McCoy Era (1987-1989)

seventh doctor

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Colin Baker had had enough.  He’d been fired from Doctor Who, and didn’t even bother to come back for his regeneration.  John Nathan-Turner was still producer, but it seemed the only reason he still held the job was that no one else wanted it.  Eric Saward, his long-running script editor, had left his position, citing tensions as a result of the epic “Trial of a Time Lord”. Nathan-Turner was given one last chance to save Doctor Who. He hired Sylvester McCoy as the new Seventh Doctor. The final era had begun.

About Sylvester McCoy

McCoy’s real name is Percy James Kent-Smith and was born on August 20, 1943. He earned his pseudonym when he created a character named Sylveste McCoy while part of the Ken Campbell Roadshow comedy troupe. An r was added to his first name due to a superstition about a name that had 13 letters. He had numerous roles in British television and even starred alongside Laurence Olivier in the 1979 Dracula. He has also sung in the Welsh National Opera.

Crush the lesser races! Conquer the galaxy! UNIMAGINABLE POWER! UNLIMITED RICE PUDDING! ET CETERA, ET CETERA!”–“Remembrance of the Daleks”

In a Nutshell

  • Andrew Cartmel became the new and final script editor for the Classic Era. He had an anarchist attitude that was reflected in many episodes during this era.
  • The Rani, Daleks, Cybermen, and Anthony Ainley’s version of the Master all made their final appearances in the Classic period during McCoy’s era. Of the four villains mentioned, only the Rani has not appeared in the revival, although she has appeared in Big Finish albeit with a different actress.

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Short Trips Volume 1: Police and Shreeves

short tripsWriter: Adam Smith

Directors: Nicholas Briggs & Ken Bentley

Producers: Nicholas Briggs & Martin Montague

Doctor: Seventh

Running Time: 21 minutes

Narrator: Sophia Aldred

Summary: Ace meets a Shreeve, a shape-shifting species that takes the form of the most dominant species on the planet.

Review: I thought the idea of a species that instinctively takes the form of the most dominant species on a planet was a great idea, but this story has the same problem as “The Death Dealer”–it’s too short for the full investment. I feel this could’ve been a full episode.

Overall: 5/10

 

Seventh: Survival

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.

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Seventh Doctor Audio: Dust Breeding

dust breeding

Writer: Mike Tucker

Director: Gary Russell

Companions: Ace (Sophie Aldred), Bev Tarrant (Louise Falkner)

Running Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

No of episodes: 4, 2 CD’s (download only)

Summary: On 19th century Earth, Edvard Munsch created the macabre painting The Scream, which was supposedly inspired by a scream that ripped through time and space. In the 26th century, Ace and the Doctor have arrived on the colony of Duchamp 331 to “rescue” (actually more like steal) the painting. They discover an alien race called the Krill have contaminated the dust itself,. And an old enemy awaits them.

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Seventh Doctor Audio: Shadow of the Scourge

shadow-of-the-scourge

Writer: Paul Cornell

Director: Gary Russell

Producers: Jason Haigh-Ellery & Gary Russell

Companions: Ace (Sophia Aldred), Bernice Summerfield (Lisa Bowerman)

Note: This is one of Big Finish’s “Side Steps” stories. Although Bernice Summerfield is featured, it is separate from their established stories for her, and more in keeping with what was in Virgin Books’ version of the character.

Running Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes (4 parts, 2 CD’s)

Summary: The Doctor, Ace, and archaeologist Bernice Summerfield travel to the Pinehill Crest Hotel, where they find a dead body that has been resurrected as a vessel for an alien race called the Scourge. The Scourge feed on despair and seek to create it, using the hotel as a starting point for an invasion.

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Seventh Doctor Audio: The Fires of Vulcan

fires-of-vulcanWriter: Steve Lyons

Director: Gary Russell

Producers: Gary Russell and Jason Haigh-Ellery

Executive Producer: Jacqueline Rayner

Running Time: 1 hour, 44 minutes

Companion: Melanie Bush (Bonnie Langford)

Summary: The Doctor and Mel arrive in Pompeii just before Mt. Vesuvius is about to blow.

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Seventh Doctor Audio: The Genocide Machine

genocide-machine

Writer: Mike Tucker

Director and Producer: Nicholas Briggs

Executive Producer: Jacqueline Rayner

Running Time: 1 hour, 56 minutes (2 CD’s)

Companion: Ace (Sophia Aldred)

(Note: This is the first part of the “Dalek Empire” arc, which preludes Big Finish’s Dalek Empire range. The arc is a crossover through Doctors 5-8)

Summary: Ace is looking around the TARDIS library when she discovers some overdue library books. (Yes, really) The Doctor is perplexed because he found the books on the planet of Kar-Charrat, the largest library in the universe.  The Doctor and Ace arrive on the planet and discover a Dalek invasion waiting for them.

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Seventh Doctor Audio Drama: Fearmonger

fearmonger

Writer: Jonathan Blum

Director: Gary Russell

Producers: Jason Haigh-Ellery and Gary Russell

Running Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes (2 CD’s, 4 Pts)

Companion: Ace (Sophia Aldred)

Summary: The Seventh Doctor and Ace find themselves in an alternate version of Britain occupied by the far right New Brittainnia Party. The Party is using a monster called the Fearmonger, who instills fear and feeds on the fearful.

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