Season Survey: Season Seven

Paul

Best Actor: Jon Pertwee

As the first Doctor I remember this portrayal is imprinted on my brain. Pertwee has less screen time in his first season than any of his predecessors yet he quickly embraces the part. There is some comedy but not too much. He delivers his lines with sincerity and command. It is also very clear where the seeds of the twelfth Doctor’s disdain for the military are sown. Pertwee’s anger is often masked by charm, but it is very much in evidence in these stories.

Best Actress: Caroline John

Underrated and overlooked. I can barely remember her as a child, but I was only five. When she came back for The Five Doctors, I didn’t know who she was. Since watching her stories again in the nineties I obviously grew to love her and it is a shame she was written out so soon.

Best Supporting Male: John Abineri

Olaf Pooley as Stahlman was slightly hammy, but nonetheless a strong consistent performance. Hugh Burden as Channing was extremely chilling. But John Abineri’s Carrington is a studied convincing portrayal of a man’s slide into megalomania and is the stand out performance of the season for me.

Best Supporting Female: Sheila Dunn

I really struggled with this. Couldn’t really give it to Betty Bowden for the three lines she had in Spearhead and whilst I loved the posh mission control in Ambassadors I have chosen Sheila Dunn because apart from Caroline John, was there anyone else of note in Season Seven who was female?

Best Story: Inferno

It is really hard to pick a winner here as all the stories are so fresh and ground-breaking.

Worst Story The Silurians

Not really the worst as it is better than so many of the fifty preceding stories. It was just such a standout season.

Season Highlight: Liz Shaw’s Boots

Not really, I just liked that as a headline for the real highlight which was the alternate Earth and all the wonderful alternate counterparts within.

Biggest Disappointment: Where did all the women go?

We thought finding strong female characters in the preceding six seasons was hard. This is the seventies. Twenty-five years after women were really allowed out of the kitchen but not onto Doctor Who sets it would seem. Unless they wore a head scarf, were posh totty or were married to the director.

Best Cliffhanger: Inferno Episode 4?? Or episode 5??

Almost gave this to Spearhead 2 with Ransome and the dummy starting to move. This one though is a double whammy, with the Brigade Leader being ordered to shoot the Doctor who then pulls a gun on the Doctor as well, the countdown approaches zero and there is all that noise.

Oh That’s Really Crap Award! : Probably the Primords in Inferno. The story didn’t need a monster of the week. They do not advance the plot and it just makes me think of B Movie versions of Jekyll and Hyde.

Overall Comment:

Someone, I think it was Terrance Dicks, said that in Science Fiction we go to them or they come to us. This season sticks us on Earth. They come to us at the beginning. ‘They were here before us – who knew?’ is closely followed by ‘We try to go to them but they intercept us on the way’ in the middle and finishes with ‘we pop next door and it is all very different.’ Doctor Who really grows up and the story writing is consistently high. Two of the big Third Doctor era’s themes of contempt for authority and the damage the human race has done to the planet are very much in evident. The production team took the series into a brave new world with excellent results.

Spencer

Best Actor Jon Pertwee – brings a whole new dimension to the character. With a bit of style, panache and action. And a proper scientist too. Great interplay between him and the rest of the cast. He plays those indignant moments very well. Also plays the humorous moments well too.
Best Actress Caroline John – I love Liz Shaw. A real shame she wasn’t continued because I think the dynamic was excellent with them being equal. A more mature approach and able to sort herself out. The cynicism at the beginning is great until logic takes over. Is she a lesbian? Jury’s out on that one.
Best Supporting Male Olaf Pooley as Stahlman/nn. Proper irritated acting and love his strange ‘hearing noises’ acting. Believable and can play Primords too.
Best Supporting Female Sadly not the farmer’s wife in Spearhead or countdown woman from Ambassadors, but has to be Sheila Dunn. Not a massive choice this season, but again plays it very well with subtle differences between the alter egos.
Best Story Inferno – tis one of my all-time favourites. Banged out all 7 episodes in one sitting. Clever, well-acted, great tension, good direction, amazing!
Worst Story The Ambassadors Of Death – not really sure what it was all about really. Who were the aliens? What happened next? Who were the baddies? And it seemed to go on forever with not a lot happening.
Season Highlight The cliffhanger to episode 5 of Inferno.  Oh and the dummies coming to life in Spearhead.
Worst Disappointment Liz Shaw not getting a leaving scene (although won’t know that until the next story)
Oh That’s Really Shit Award! Again nothing of real note – at a push the converted Primords look a bit silly with their pearly whites. Should have kept them as the jabbering humans – they were much more terrifying!
Overall Comment Season 7 is what they would call a proper reboot. In colour – more action – Earthbound – more grown up. Love it! 3 of the 4 stories are just amazing – 2 of them contribute to the ongoing mythology of the series.

A very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Blogset.

We will be back in January with season eight.

 

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