Starring Sylvester McCoy as The Doctor
with Sophie Aldred as Ace

156 Battlefield

An enthralling mix of sorcery, science, sentiment and soldiering, "Battlefield" suffers from some dodgy effects, but is much greater than the sum of its' parts. The script credits the audience with considerable intelligence, refusing to spell out exactly what happened with Morgaine and Merlin, the guest cast are winning and the Brigadier is on top form. Charming.


157 Ghost Light

Multi-layered, "Ghost Light" manages to be frenetic and moody at the same time. There's a hell of a lot going on, and it takes a few viewings for it to really all fit together, but this just means the thing's rewarding several times over. God knows what normal people watching it in 1989 made of the thing, though...


158 The Curse of Fenric

Ian Briggs' second script does what Who excels at - taking someone else's idea (in this case vampires) and doing whatever it wants with it. The result is a slick, dynamic WW2 thriller that doesn't skimp on characterisation either, notably with the ongoing development of Ace. Sorin, Judson and Wainwright are all superb characters, and the direction perfectly fits the roller-coaster narrative.


159 Survival

Doctor Who (and Ace) comes home, and the comparisons between Perivale and the Cheetah planet works well. Anthony Ainley pulls some real class out of the drawer, possibly helped by the best scripting the Master's received since "The Deadly Assassin", and Ace's friends are well defined. The ending scene is utterly beautiful too.