McCoy’s final season was really a taste of things to come, but at that time, it was the end. It wouldn’t return until 1996, and then, only for one single day. Still, it was an instrumental season for the future. And Roger and I both agree, this was a strong season! Take a look…
RP: 7 – Years ahead of it’s time, like much of the McCoy era. Cleverly timey wimey, and does great things with the Brig, showing how his history with the Doctor has made him so much more than the generic UNIT troops. Doctor Who fits very well into a magical, fantasy world. Unfortunately some of the acting really brings this down.
ML: 9 – Regardless of the very few silly items in this, overall the story succeeds on almost all levels. Plus McCoy becomes a real life superhero! The acting is a bit off and the thumb scene takes the episode down from a 10, but otherwise immensely fun!
RP: 7 – You can’t fault the ambition, because this is hugely complex in all kinds of fascinating ways, but it lacks the emotional pull to justify the repeated viewing that its complexity demands.
ML: 8 – Probably worth more, but the audio is consistently hard for me to make out and the story doesn’t seem to make that much sense. But it’s absolutely atmospheric, builds on Ace’s background and teaches us a lesson that I have never forgotten: “Tricky things, mammoths!”
RP: 10 – I won’t say this is quite my favourite, but I do think this is the best the Classic Series ever managed, for a myriad of reasons. There’s no point trying to scratch the surface of the many ways in which this is utterly magnficent in one paragraph, so please click through to my article about this if you haven’t read it!
ML: 10 – The McCoy episode if you need to get someone interested in the series. Lovecraft meets vampires and the apocalypse. The Doctor is the master manipulator too. Fantastic story, absolutely worth viewing!
RP: 9 – This stands as a final, shining example of how far ahead of its time the McCoy era was, as it flows so naturally into the 2005 series. Hold this up against the revival of Who and it rivals it for intelligence and depth, despite a 16 year gap. Compare 2005 with anything pre-McCoy and the gap feels like a huge gulf in comparison. The end of an extraordinary era.
ML: 9 – A wonderful ending to the classic series. Even the Master seems threatening and the message is a good one to wrap up on. The final quote is absolutely memorable. If this were not a final episode, it might not have been such a favorite, but as a finale, it works very well.
RP: 4 – Definitively not rubbish because it’s American. Rubbish because it’s rubbish. A confused mess of terrible decisions, with an incoherent script. It also introduces all the elements of the story as if we already know about them, so is inaccessible to the audience it was shooting for. For fans, it’s quite a bit of fun, and was exciting at the time, and McGann is very, very good, but this never had a ghost of a chance of finding a new audience. It stands as a shining example of how not to launch a new series.
ML: 5 – I have to give it an average rating. The episode is chock full of “holy cow that was embarrassing”, but McGann is Fantastic and the TARDIS looks amazing. Daphne Ashbrook is a wonderful companion too. Roberts is an over-the-top Master and his Popeye scene is embarrassing. Go into this for the fun of it but don’t put too much thought into it.
This has been a fun exploration of the classic seasons. We will be taking a break from these for a while, but will come back to it in the future. For now, I hope these come in handy when deciding what to watch in the future. It’s been a huge and instrumental aspect of my youth, but there’s a lot to choose from, so maybe this makes deciding a little easier.
Well, I’ll be back with more of these down the road. In the meantime, I’ve got work to do… ML