Summary: The Doctor and Ace assist UNIT for one last time (in Classic Who anyway) and discover a nuclear missile convoy has headed into difficulties. Near Lake Vortigan, Morgaine, the evil sorceress from the legends of King Arthur has returned, seeking Excalibur once more. She’s mistaken the Doctor for Merlin, or is he actually Merlin?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.