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Hindscan - Season 26

Reviewed by David Lawrence


The season opener wasn't too bad. Sylvester and Sophie were great, but so far as cliches... well. Bambera and Ancelyn make a great team. The Brig was great, if a little grey-haired, and the Destroyer was impressive, but like so many others was a throwaway in terms of usefulness. Although this was my least favourite story, Ben Aaronovitch did an okay job. As for the end? Arggghhhh!!!

Ghost Light

Due to the fact that I did about sixty other things whilst watching this I completely failed to understand it the first time I watched it. The second time I understood it perfectly. This has to be the most intelligently written script ever done. However, the incidental music obscures a lot of the dialogue - "Give me my cheeselets!" Everything was dark and claustrophobic, and I sense the title was a pun. There were several quotes from various sources other than The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. There was stuff from Pygmalion (or so I'm told) and also from the musical Me and My Girl. I can't place this story; it was terrible and brilliant (mostly brilliant).

The Curse of Fenric

This has to be the letdown of the season for me. After reading all the reviews for it I expected something amazingly amazing, but what I got was a severe disappointment. I'd expected Ace's relationship to be more solid, her turning against the Doctor to be more major. The Haemovores were great though, but the whole story would have looked better on film.

The story fared badly at my video marathon. Everyone hated Ace's costume, the scene where Judson falls out of his wheelchair was exactly the same as an outtake from a movie several attendees had seen, Jean and Phyllis's fingernails reminded us of a girl we know, and the old bag they were billeted with was straight out of Monty Python. Overall this story was disappointing.


Unlike the reviewers, I found this story good. It had no expectations to live up to, quite simply because everyone said it was crap. I enjoyed it, padding and all. But then, I'm a cat lover...

Overall, Season 26 was the best in ages. The writing was intelligent, particularly in Ghost Light, but it's nothing compared to the Doctor Who of the past...

This item appeared in TSV 20 (December 1990).

Related Items: Hindscan: Season 25, Hindscan: Season 25
Index nodes: Season 26, Battlefield, Ghost Light, The Curse of Fenric, Survival