What did the Seventh Doctor do for the show?

Ignoring the fact of the show’s cancellation after (during?) season 26, students of the show tend to regard the Seventh Doctor‘s era as a resetting of direction, a rethink of the mythos, even a regeneration. Does this stack up when you consider the stories? Let’s have a check check…

The Seventh Doctor on TV (1987-89)

Let’s summarise the episodes:

StoryVillain
Time and the RaniThe Rani
Paradise TowersChief Caretaker, Kroagnon
Delta and the BannermenGavrok, Bannermen, Keillor
DragonfireKane
Remembrance of the DaleksDaleks, Davros
The Happiness PatrolHelen A, The Kandyman
Silver NemesisCybermen, Neo-Nazis
The Greatest Show in the GalaxyGods of Ragnarok, Chief Clown
BattlefieldMorgaine
Ghost LightLight, Josiah Samuel Smith
The Curse of FenricFenric, Haemovores
SurvivalThe Master, Cheetah People,

You could say Season 24 was an attempt at new stories (Rani excepted) and also proved too much for Mel’s character, cue Ace.

Season 25 has the excellent Remembrance of the Daleks, but also brings back Cybermen in a less than stellar story. So it’s not just about old enemies! [Is there a theme for modern Doctor Who?] It does have both my favourite, The Happiness Patrol and an old gods story.

Season 26 starts with the less than wonderful Battlefield, then picks up the pace with two crackers: the weird Ghost Light and the wonderful Curse of Fenric. Bring back the old gods! Then we have the (unintended) final story, aptly named Survival.

Actually then we had a sense of better stories near the end, not many old villains and some experiments that didn’t (for me) work that well. I think having only had twelve stories and ending reasonably well helps us look fondly on this era, perhaps too much?

What do you think? Let me know!

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