|14 episodes comprising 4 stories|
|starting with Battlefield|
|Script editor(s):||Andrew Cartmel|
|Start date:||6 September 1989|
|End date:||6 December 1989|
|Typical episode length:||25'|
|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|
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.
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.
|1||Battlefield||Ben Aaronovitch||4||Reintroduction (and final appearance in Doctor Who) of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart; first UNIT story since 1976|
|2||Ghost Light||Marc Platt||3||Last story of the original series ever filmed.|
|3||The Curse of Fenric||Ian Briggs||4||Debut of Fenric; heavily examines Ace's past and reveals the origins of the time storm.|
|4||Survival||Rona Munro||3||Final appearance of Ace; last serial in the original series|
- The Seventh Doctor - Sylvester McCoy
- Ace - Sophie Aldred
- Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart - Nicholas Courtney
- The Master - Anthony Ainley
- Winifred Bambera - Angela Bruce
- Doris Lethbridge-Stewart - Angela Douglas
- Morgaine - Jean Marsh
- Ancelyn - Marcus Gilbert
- Josiah Samuel Smith - Ian Hogg
- Lady Pritchard - Sylvia Syms
- Redvers Fenn-Cooper - Michael Cochrane
- Dr. Judson - Dinsdale Landen
- Kathleen Dudman - Cory Pulman
- Rev Wainwright - Nicholas Parsons
- Paterson - Julian Holloway
- Karra - Lisa Bowerman
- Midge - William Barton
Adaptations and merchandising
- Battlefield (single episode version)
- Ghost Light
- The Curse of Fenric (single episode version)
All serials of season 26 were released individually between 2003 and 2009.
|Serial name|| Number and duration|
|R2 release date||R4 release date||R1 release date|
|Battlefield|| 4 × 25 min. |
1 × 96 min.
|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. |
1 × 104 min.
|6 October 2003||11 February 2004||1 June 2004|
|Survival||3 × 25 min.||16 April 2007||6 June 2007||14 August 2007|
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.