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TARDIS Index File

Season 26

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Season 26
14 episodes comprising 4 stories
starting with Battlefield
Doctor Who logo 7
Doctor: Seventh Doctor
Companion(s): Ace
Key crew
Producer(s): John Nathan-Turner
Script editor(s): Andrew Cartmel
Series details
Start date: 6 September 1989
End date: 6 December 1989
Premiere network: BBC1
Typical episode length: 25'
More info
DWMSE: 10, 21
Key reference books about the season: The Discontinuity Guide, The Seventh Doctor Handbook, The Eighties, JN-T: The Life and Scandalous Times, Ace! The Inside Story, About Time 6
Key documentaries about the season: Doctor Who: Endgame
Relevant Myth Makers interviews: John Nathan-Turner, Sophie Aldred, Sylvester McCoy, Andrew Cartmel, Keff McCulloch
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Season 26 of Doctor Who starred Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor. It aired between 6 September 1989 and 6 December 1989. This was the last season of the original BBC series. BBC Wales revived the show in 2005.

Overview

The season consisted of four stories and fourteen twenty-five-minute episodes. It was the final season of the "classic" series; the BBC announced in 1990 that it would not be producing a 27th season. A one-off Children in Need special, Dimensions in Time, appeared in 1993, after which a television film, co-produced by an American network, followed in 1996. The series finally returned in 2005. However, the BBC chose to restart the season numbering with Series 1. Season 26 featured the return of Nicholas Courtney as the Brigadier and the last televised appearance of Anthony Ainley as the Master. Unusually for a Doctor Who season, aside from some scenes in Survival, all the stories took place on Earth. Apart from Battlefield, the stories followed a loose character arc, as Ace came to terms with her past. As for the Doctor, he had become darker in personality, treating others as pawns in the battle between good and evil while dressing in dark clothes to match his personality change.

Television stories

# Title Writer Episodes Notes
1 BattlefieldBen Aaronovitch4Reintroduction (and final appearance in Doctor Who) of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart; first UNIT story since 1976
2 Ghost LightMarc Platt3Last story of the original series ever filmed.
3 The Curse of FenricIan Briggs4Debut of Fenric; heavily examines Ace's past and reveals the origins of the time storm.
4 SurvivalRona Munro3Final appearance of Ace; last serial in the original series

Cast

Recurring

Guest

Adaptations and merchandising

Home media

VHS

  • Battlefield (single episode version)
  • Ghost Light
  • The Curse of Fenric (single episode version)
  • Survival

DVD

All serials of season 26 were released individually between 2003 and 2009.

Serial name Number and duration
of episodes
R2 release date R4 release date R1 release date
Battlefield 4 × 25 min.
(Broadcast Version)
1 × 96 min.
(Special Edition)
26 December 2008 5 February 2009 5 May 2009
Ghost Light 3 × 25 min. 20 September 2004 3 February 2005 7 June 2005
The Curse of Fenric 4 × 25 min.
(Broadcast Version)
1 × 104 min.
(Special Edition)
6 October 2003 11 February 2004 1 June 2004
Survival 3 × 25 min. 16 April 2007 6 June 2007 14 August 2007

Novels

Behind the scenes

  • The producers had already outlined basic plots for the next season of Doctor Who when the programme's cancellation hit. In that season, it was proposed that Ace should leave, and a new companion should join. Also planned was that the entire season should do more to explore the darker side of the Doctor. While the scripts never saw a TV screen (and in some cases did not exist beyond a rough outline), they were eventually completed and produced as full-cast audio plays in Big Finish Productions' collection The Lost Stories.
  • This is the last series not to feature the Daleks.

External links

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