125.5 Seventh Doctor Primer

This is the one where Jared introduces us to the Seventh Doctor as we get ready for Remembrance of the Daleks.

  • Sylvester McCoy
  • Comedian before Doctor Who known on TV for doing kids shows Jigsaw, Tiswas and Vision On
  • First Serial Time and the Rani 1987 
  • Last Serial Survival 1989/Dimensions in Time 1993
    • Also in Doctor Who in 1996
  • He had three seasons, then the 30th special (a short benefit serial like Time Crash) and showed up for the TV movie to regenerate
  • Started with Melanie Bush (Mel) as a companion who carried over from the end of the Sixth Doctor’s time. Then he paired up with Ace McShane.
  • He was more of a mentor to Ace than a companion
  • Ace started calling him “Professor” as a joke and it stuck
  • Ace loves an explosive substance she invented called nitro-9. She said it’s “just like ordinary nitroglycerin, except it’s got a bit more wallop”
  • I think the show writers were going for family-friendly 80s punk. She is laughable by today’s standards, but she did a good job and is a fan favorite. 
  • John Nathan-Turner is still the show runner (he started with the Fifth Doctor)
  •  This doctor was a bit like Monk or Inspector Clouseau. The defective detective trope
  • Roots in the Second Doctor and most closely related to the Eleventh Doctor in NuWho
  • Under his comedic surface there was a manipulative and Machiavellian undertone. The excuse was he did what he had to do to defeat evil. 
  • He thought he was a good dresser
  • He almost always had his question mark umbrella with him. It was sort of like his sonic screwdriver but without any of the cool functionality
  • One of my favorite quotes from the Seventh Doctor, said to Mel as she was leaving: “Think about me when you’re living your life one day after another, all in a neat pattern. Think about the homeless traveler and his old police box, with his days like crazy paving.”
  • The Seventh Doctor’s final monologue what would be the final serial for some time: “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”

The Seventh Doctor was complex. He started off funny and goofy, but then he turned dark and manipulative towards the end. Some think the writers did this as they were revealing more about his past and personal life as they drew the series to a close.

In Remembrance of the Daleks we see Ace and the Doctor together, with the Doctor returning to the Coal Hill school in 1963. This is the start of the Seventh Doctor’s second season. It is Ace’s first full serial and the Doctor is starting to transition from clownish antics to a more serious persona.

Viewership was way down when McCoy started as the Doctor. By his second season, they saw higher ratings than they had in five years. But in his third and final season the ratings took a dive and the producers put the show on a hiatus that turned into cancellation….or was it?

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