13 November, 2012

Dr. Who (The Early Years) - Part 75 "The Seventh Doctor in Review"

Notes:Because of the machinations of a rival Timelord (The Rani), the Doctor is violently jolted in the Tardis which causes a regeneration [Expanded Universe stories describe this differently]. In reality, Colin Baker refused to return for a "regeneration scene" after getting sacked. The Rani then broke into his Tardis before he could recover and heightened his post regeneration amnesia. Before he came to his senses, the Rani masqueraded as his companion to get the Doctor to help her diabolitcal plans. When the Doctor met his real companion, Mel, he realized he had been duped. With her help, he stopped the Rani. A few adventures later, the Doctor ran into an old acquaintance of his, Sabalm Glitz. In his earlier incarnation, Glitz helped him defeat the Master and the Valeyard, when he was on trial. During the same adventure he met Dorothy, thought she was going by the name of Ace. Once this adventure had been concluded, Mel decided to travel with Glitz, so the Doctor took Ace on as a travelling companion. Despite his insistence, she continues to call him 'Professor'. Ace continues on with the Doctor through the rest of the original series. The final episode does not show the Doctor regenerate. Instead he has defeated the Master and, along with Ace, heads off toward further adventures. During his tenure, the Doctor once again became a mysterious figure. More questions about the Doctor are asked, and we once again began to ask, Doctor who?

Name: The Doctor
Actor: Sylvester McCoy
August 20, 1943 -
Occupation: Timelord
First Seen: Tardis, arriving to the planet Lakertya
First Episode: Time & The Rani (Season 24)
Last Seen: Planet Earth, circa 1989
Last Episode: Survival (Season 26)
Special Appearance: Dimensions In Time (1993), Doctor Who - TV Movie (1996)

Notes:After having helped the Doctor during his trial, it's assumed she is dropped off from where the Master plucked her out of time so the Doctor can properly meet her for his first time. She is travelling with the Doctor when the Tardis is hijacked. Breaking into the Tardis, the Rani takes the Doctor and leaves Mel for dead, or assumes she's no trouble. After acquiring help on the planet, Mel meets up with the Doctor, but he's completely different. Having been unconscious when he regenerated, she was unaware he had done so. After a bit of persuading, the two convince each other of who they truly are. Just a couple episodes later, Mel runs into Glitz again After she helps the Doctor on the Ice World, she decides it's time for her and the Doctor to part company. Instead she opts to travel with Glitz, and possible change him into a better man. Though the Doctor is visibly distressed with her departure, he welcomes the news Ace is looking for a place to go. Not a fan favourite, Mel's character is best described as a screamer. Another problem with her character is her background is never developed and though she was originally intended to be a smart (she's a computer programmer), sassy companion. Unfortunatley, the program had matured enough to not need a screaming companion. In years past, there were many companions who were screamers, but generally had interesting back stories. Confusion of her history with the Doctor likely didn't help matter much either.
Name: Melanie Bush
Actor: Bonnie Langford
July 22, 1964 -
Occupation: Computer Programmer
First Seen: Inside the Tardis, arriving to the planet Lakertya
First Episode: Time & The Rani (Season 24)
Last Seen: Leaving Iceworld with Sabalom Glitz
Last Episode: Dragonfire (Season 24)
Special Appearance: Dimensions In Time (1993)

Notes:The story of Ace is quite an interesting one, as she begins travelling with the Doctor as a young adult and matures into a woman. Before meeting with the Doctor, she is whisked away from Planet Earth to the far future on the Ice World where she eventually runs into the Doctor. Through a series of adventures, the Doctor helps her to come to terms with the Mother she has grown to hate and other aspects of her youth she has never truly dealt with. One adventure she helps a young lady with a baby and Ace falls in love with the child. Later, the Doctor informs her the baby will one day be her mother. Things get even more complicated when it's revealed Ace was never accidentally transported to the Ice World via a time storm, but sent there by a creature known as Fenric. Fenric, being an old foe of the Doctor, was using Ace to hopefully destroy the Doctor. Having Fenric's curse, Ace almost did exactly that. Fortunately the Doctor was able to thwart Fenric's plans anyway and free Ace from his curse. However, to do so the Doctor had to make her lose her faith in him, a ploy which almost destroyed their friendship. Ace continued to travel with the Doctor though future exploits with the Doctor are untelevised. Unlike Mel, Ace was giving an interesting background and her character was fully developed. And how cool is it to see a companion attack a Dalek with a baseball bat. I don't recall Ian Chesterton ever doing that.
Name: Dorothy "Ace" McShane
Actor: Sophie Aldred
August 20, 1962 -
Occupation: Waitress
First Seen: Ice World in the far future
First Episode: Dragonfire (Season 24)
Last Seen: Planet Earth, circa 1989
Last Episode: Survival (Season 26)
Special Appearance: Dimensions In Time (1993)


  1. I might have this wrong, but I have 2 problems with this post, both concerning Mel.

    One, I do not remember Mel being in the TV-Movie.

    If after the trial the Doctor takes Mel back to a time before they met would that be something like putting her in a loop. She meets the Doctor, at some point she is taken back to an earlier time, then they send her back to before she meets the Doctor, then she meets him, and it all takes place over and over again.

    They could not have taken her from before she met the Doctor, because she already knew him in the trial. I would think that they would take her back to the same point that they got her from.

    I hope you understand what I am trying to say. I think I explained it okay, if not let me know.

    Thanks for these blog entries. I always look forward to seeing them.

  2. You are right about the TV movie. That was just a goof on my part. That's what I get for cutting and pasting. The error has been corrected.

    As for Mel, yes, it gets tricky. From her perspective she met the Doctor before, but he still never had a "first" encounter with her. He had to drop her off so he could have that first encounter. When he did, he was the one who, from his perspective, had already met her.

    Wibbly wobbly, timmey whimmey kind of thing. The expanded universe novels and audio explain it more.

    Hope I made sense.

  3. But still when she was taken to the trial, Mel knew who the Doctor was, so they must have met in her past and his future.

    I was just watching the first episode of 'The Ultimate Foe' where Mel and Glitz are brought to the trial, and they both know the Doctor. Mel's first words to him were 'What have you been up to?' showing that she already knows him.

    So it is kind of like River and #11. She knows him, but he has not had his first meeting with her yet. So she must be taken back to sometime after she was taken, but after she meets The Doctor.