The Curse of Fenric
The Curse of Fenric is the third serial of the 26th season of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, first broadcast in four weekly parts on BBC1 from 25 October to 15 November 1989. In the serial, the ancient evil force Fenric uses the vampiric Haemovores, the descendants of humanity from the future, to attack a World War II naval base in England and orders them to destroy life on Earth by poisoning it with chemicals. Unusually, two further versions of this story exist: the 1991 video release incorporated about six minutes of extra material into the original narrative, the 2003 DVD included a'Special Edition' edited into a single movie-length feature, with new special effects, re-editing of some scenes, 12 minutes of unbroadcast footage; the Seventh Doctor and Ace arrive at a British naval installation near Maiden's Point on the Northumberland coast during World War II. Befriending the base personnel, they learn that the base, run by Commander Millington, is being used as a listening post to intercept and translate German coded messages using the Ultima supercomputer and to stockpile a supply of a lethal nerve gas.
Meanwhile, wheelchair-user Dr. Judson has been using Ultima to help decipher Viking runes found in catacombs beneath the base, warning of a being called Fenric, which has attracted Millington's attention, he believing that he can gain Fenric's power. Outside the base, the Doctor and Ace discover a covert squad of Soviet commandos, led by Captain Sorin, who are seeking to capture Ultima; the Doctor and Ace find a glowing oriental vase, a treasure captured by the Vikings and left in the catacombs, but it is taken by Millington when they return to the base. As Millington and Judson prepare to use Ultima to decipher the writings on the vase, vampire-like Haemovores begin to emerge from the sea and convert the English and Soviet troops and other residents into more Haemovores; when Judson runs Ultima with the vase, energy strikes he becomes infused with Fenric. Fenric begins to give orders to the Ancient One, an old Haemovore in control of the other monsters, to continue to assault anyone in their path and to destroy all humans by poisoning the Earth with chemicals at the installation.
Ace is able to warn one of the WRNS, Kathleen, in time for her to escape with her newborn child, Audrey. The Doctor reveals he has faced Fenric, an ancient evil since the dawn of time, besting him by challenging him at a chess problem. Arranging another chess problem in the same room where the nerve gas has been stockpiled, the Doctor is able to delay Fenric, while he runs off to seek a more permanent solution. Sorin, the last remaining member of his squad, enters the room and prepares to shoot Fenric, but Fenric reveals that Sorin is one of his "wolves", having descended from the Vikings that carried the cursed vase to the English shores and takes over his body; when Ace returns to the room, she unwittingly helps Fenric, in Sorin's body, to solve the chess problem. The Doctor arrives too late. Fenric orders the Ancient One to attack the Doctor but a psychic barrier created by Ace's trust in the Doctor prevents the Ancient One from acting; the Doctor is forced to reveal to Ace that she too is one of Fenric's pawns, as it was he that created the time storm that transported her to the alien colony Iceworld.
Furthermore, by saving Kathleen and Audrey, she has assured that the cycle remain unbroken, as Audrey will grow up to become Ace's mother whom she despises. Ace's faith is shattered, causing the psychic barrier to drop but, instead of attacking the Doctor, the Ancient One grabs Fenric, pulls him into a sealed chamber and releases a lethal dose of the gas; the chamber explodes. As the Doctor and Ace recover along the shore, Ace takes a moment to contemplate why she hates her mother and to celebrate overcoming her irrational fear of the water, before she and the Doctor return to the Tardis; the Doctor chants the names of his former companions to ward off the Haemovores. Most of the names he chants are inaudible, but a few can be made out, including Susan, Barbara and Steven, all companions of the First Doctor. Ace mentions an old house in Perivale; this was intended as a foreshadowing of Ghost Light. The Doctor's new wardrobe for season 26 was intended to be hidden for a large part of this story by a long coat, setting up a dramatic revelation when he removed the coat.
These plans were dashed by the rescheduling. Writer Ian Briggs based the character of Dr Judson on Alan Turing. In an interview for the DVD release of this story, Briggs said that since at that time it was not considered appropriate to depict a character's struggle with homosexuality in a family programme, he transformed Turing's frustration at being unable to express his true sexual identity into Judson's frustration at being disabled. In the same interview, Briggs stated that he intended to suggest that both Judson and Millington were gay and had a shared past, although this was not realised in the finished programme; this story was going to be titled The Wolves of Fenric. Fenric does refer to his servants as his "wolves". However, Nathan-Turner felt that as the "wolves" connection was not revealed until quite late in the story, the title would not make sense to the audience. Although there are several references in the story to the Norse belief in a final battle at the end of the world, the word Ragnarok was removed from the script to avoid confusion with the Gods of
Dragonfire (Doctor Who)
Dragonfire is the fourth and final serial of the 24th season of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, first broadcast in three weekly parts from 23 November to 7 December 1987. This serial marked the departure of Bonnie Langford as Mel Bush and the introduction of Sophie Aldred as companion Ace. In the serial, the criminal Kane has been exiled to the planet Svartos where he remained for three thousand years, he seeks to find the power source for his prison ship, which has since become a trading colony called Iceworld, so he can use it to escape Svartos. The Doctor and Mel arrive at the trading colony Iceworld on the dark side of the planet Svartos, they soon run into Sabalom Glitz, on Svartos to work off a debt that he owes to the crime lord Kane, is preparing to explore the depths of Svartos to locate a treasure protected by a dragon, aided by a map given to him by Kane. The Doctor and Mel offer to help, but Glitz asserts the expedition is too dangerous for Mel, she stays behind at a local diner.
She becomes friends with Ace, a young woman who turns out to have come from 20th-century Earth, propelled forward in time when a mysterious time storm appeared in her bedroom while she was trying to experiment with "Nitro-9", an explosive of her own creation. The two become weary of waiting and follow the Doctor and Glitz. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Glitz follow Glitz' map, unaware that Kane has implanted a tracking and listening device into it. Kane controls a large number of beings, unable to repay their debts, their memories wiped and turned into cold-proof henchmen from Kane's touch. Kane has a number of these follow the Glitz as to grab the treasure once it is found; the Doctor and Glitz encounter the "dragon", but which turns out to be a biomechanoid that can shoot lasers from its eyes. When Mel and Ace arrive and pursued by Kane's men, the "dragon" helps to protect the two and defeat the men; the "dragon" leads the four to a control room. The message explains, they were chased down by authorities, Xana, Kane's lover, was killed in the process, while Kane was exiled to Svartos.
The message continues that the Iceworld spaceport is a giant spacecraft, whose power source lies in the "dragon"'}s head, Kane seeks this as to be able to escape Svartos. The Doctor suspects. Kane, overhearing this, sends more of his forces to seize the "dragon"'s head, while causing chaos among the spaceport, including destroying the Nosferatu with numerous escaping passengers aboard. Kane's men succeed in decapitating the dragon before they are killed, Kane using a communicator to tell the Doctor and the others to bring him the head; the Doctor does so. Kane use the head to initiate Iceworld's engines and it detaches itself from the planet. Kane finds the computers unable to do so. With no hope, Kane purposely allows his body to be exposed to the light of the nearby star and killing him; as order is restored on Iceworld, Glitz declares himself owner of the vessel, renames it Nosferatu II. Mel decides to stay with Glitz, while the Doctor offers to take Ace home to Perivale via the "scenic route".
Working titles for this story included The Pyramid's Treasure and Pyramid in Space. In one scene, the Doctor distracts a guard by engaging him in a philosophical conversation. One of the guard's lines, about the "semiotic thickness of a performed text", is a quotation from Doctor Who: The Unfolding Text, a 1983 media studies volume by John Tulloch and Manuel Alvarado. Story editor Andrew Cartmel had suggested that writers read The Unfolding Text to familiarise themselves with Doctor Who and its history, which inspired Ian Briggs to quote the academic text in his script, in a playful self-reference; the literal cliffhanger at the end of episode 1 in which the Doctor lowers himself over a guard rail to dangle over an abyss from his umbrella for no apparent reason comes under frequent criticism for its seeming absurdity. As scripted, the Doctor did have a logical motivation for his actions. According to Cartmel in a interview, the passage leading to the cliff was meant to be a dead end, leaving the Doctor no option but to scale the cliff face.
As shot, this reasoning became unclear. For the effects shot of the death of Kane, a wax bust of the actor's screaming face was made and filmed being melted down to a skull within, this footage being sped up to achieve the effect. Though this is similar to the death of Toht in Raiders of the Lost Ark, for the family audience of Doctor Who the colour red was avoided in the bust. Ronald Lacey, who had portrayed Toht in the film, was director Chris Clough's first choice to play Kane, but was unavailable John Alderton and David Jason were considered for the part of Kane, but neither were available for the role. On UK Gold in 2003 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Doctor Who, over a weekend DrWho@40weekend was shown which consisted of the best serials of each Doctor voted by the viewing public. Dragonfire was the serial chosen as the best Seventh Doctor serial. DrWho@40weekend included interviews with the cast and crew of the series overall; the Doctor Who Appreciation Society voted the serial to be the best one of its season.
Paul Cornell, Martin Day and Keith Topping said the serial was "An interesting attempt to do what Doctor Who does best: mix monste
Ace (Doctor Who)
Ace is a fictional character played by Sophie Aldred in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. A 20th-century Earth teenager from the London suburb of Perivale, she is a companion of the Seventh Doctor and was a regular in the series from 1987 to 1989, she is considered one of the Doctor's most popular companions. Ace appeared in nine stories, was the final companion in the original run of the classic series. Doctor Who script editor Andrew Cartmel said that the character was written to be a "fighter and not a screamer". Ace is a 16-year-old human who first appears in the 1987 serial Dragonfire, where she is working as a waitress in the frozen food retail complex of Iceworld on the planet Svartos, she had been a troubled teen on Earth, having been expelled from school for blowing up the art room as a "creative statement". Gifted in chemistry, she was in her room experimenting with the extraction of nitroglycerin from gelignite when a'time storm' swept her up and transported her to Iceworld, many years in the future.
There, she meets his companion Mel. When Mel leaves the Doctor at the conclusion of the serial, he offers to take Ace with him in the TARDIS, she accepts. Ace suffered traumatic events in her childhood, including a bad relationship with her mother Audrey and the racially motivated Molotov cocktail firebombing of her friend Manisha's flat when she was 13. Following the latter event, needing to lash out, she burned down a local abandoned Victorian house named Gabriel Chase after sensing the presence of the villain Light there and was put on probation. Ace covered up her own fears and insecurities with a streetwise, tough exterior, her weapon of choice, disapproved of by the Doctor, was a powerful explosive she called "Nitro-9", which she invented and mixed up in canisters which she carried around in her backpack. Affectionately giving the Doctor the nickname of "Professor", Ace is convinced that he needs her to watch his back, protects him with a fierce loyalty. In turn, the Doctor seems to take a special interest in Ace's education, taking her across the universe and prompting her to figure out explanations for herself rather than giving her all the answers.
However, the Seventh Doctor's increasing tendency to manipulate events and people with what appears to be the best of intentions, results in several difficult moments in their relationship. Under the Doctor's tutelage, Ace fights the Daleks in Remembrance of the Daleks, the Cybermen in Silver Nemesis, encounters the all-powerful Gods of Ragnarok in The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, the sadistic torturer Kandy Man in The Happiness Patrol, many other dangers, she faces the ghosts of her own past in Ghost Light and The Curse of Fenric, coming to terms with them and creating them in the latter case thanks to the paradoxes of time travel. Over time, she starts to mature into a confident young woman, her brash exterior ceases to be a front. What the Doctor is aware of, but Ace is not, is that her arrival on Iceworld was no accident but part of a larger scheme stretching across the centuries and conceived by Fenric, an evil that had existed since the beginning of the universe. Ace is a "Wolf of Fenric", one of many descendants of a Norseman tainted with Fenric's genetic instructions to help free it from its ancient prison so it can evolve humans into the Vampiric Haemovores, a pawn in the complex game between it and the Doctor.
After Fenric is defeated in 1943, Ace continues to journey with the Doctor. In the original script for Part One of The Curse of Fenric, writer Ian Briggs planned to reveal that Ace was no longer a virgin, but producer John Nathan-Turner forced him to cut this. Instead, at one point in the story, Ace offers to distract a guard so that the Doctor can free a prisoner; when the Doctor asks how she plans to divert the guard's attention she replies that she is "not a little girl". She proceeds to lead the guard away from his post by intriguing him with a combination of suggestive innuendo towards the guard and cryptic musings about the Doctor's machinations; the scene suggests that she is aware of both her developed sexuality and the Doctor's manipulative tendencies. Briggs, who had created the character of Ace, had stated in Ace's character outline for Dragonfire that she had lost her virginity to Sabalom Glitz on Iceworld; the circumstances of Ace's parting of ways with the Doctor are not known, as the series went on hiatus in 1989 with the end of the next serial, Survival, in which Ace is returned by the Doctor to Perivale but chooses to leave again with him.
A painting seen in the extended version of Silver Nemesis suggests that at some point in her personal future Ace will end up in 18th or 19th century France. This idea is further explored in the novelisation of The Curse of Fenric and the Virgin New Adventures; the novelisation contains an epilogue not included in the televised serial, in which the Doctor visits an older Ace in 1887 Paris. If the series had continued, the production team's intent was to have Ace enter the Prydonian Academy on the Doctor's home planet of Gallifrey and train to be a Time Lord; the story Ice Time by Marc Platt, in which this would happen, was never made. When the Seventh Doctor is next seen in the 1996 Doctor Who television movie, he is travelling alone, with no reference made as to what had happened to Ace. However, in The Sarah Jane Adventures story Death of the Doctor, Sarah Jane reveals to her companions that she has done research on some of the Doctor's companio
Doctor Who (season 24)
The twenty-fourth season of British science fiction television series Doctor Who began on 7 September 1987 with Sylvester McCoy's first story Time and the Rani, ended with Dragonfire. A new logo for the series was introduced with this season along with a new opening credits sequence that moved away from the "starfield" motif introduced in 1980; as with the opening sequence from the Sixth Doctor era, the Seventh Doctor's opening does not use a static image of the Doctor, but rather one with limited animation: the image of the Doctor starts as a scowl fades to a wink followed by a smile. McCoy wears makeup that gives his hair a silver/grey appearance. Episode four mistakenly uses an early version of this sequence, which gives the Doctor's face a shadowy look which producer John Nathan-Turner felt was not prominent enough. Keff McCulloch arranged the new opening theme, it was used until the end of the regular run of the series. The new theme arrangement marked the first time since the First Doctor's era that the theme's "middle eight" section was heard during the opening credits.
Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor Bonnie Langford as Mel Bush Sophie Aldred as Ace The departure of Bonnie Langford saw plans to introduce a new companion. However, owing to Langford being undecided as to when she would leave the show, producer John Nathan-Turner asked writers Malcolm Kohll and Ian Briggs to formulate characters that could be used as potential companions. Kohll designed, it appeared that The Flight of the Chimeron would be the final serial of the season, which would see Ray leave with the Doctor. However, by the time it came to production and scheduling for the season, Kohll's serial had been swapped in the running order with Ian Briggs', led to Briggs' creation, who became Ace, taking Mel's place with the Doctor. Kate O'Mara as the RaniKate O'Mara makes her second appearance as the Rani in McCoy's first serial Time and the Rani. Sophie Aldred guest stars as Ace in Dragonfire. Tony Selby, having appeared in The Trial of a Time Lord made a guest appearance as Sabalom Glitz in the same story and acts as an unofficial companion to the Seventh Doctor.
Andrew Cartmel takes over as script editor. This season is moved to a Monday schedule; the previous season, while ostensibly a single 14-part serial, was divided into three stories of four episodes and one of two episodes. For this season, this was re-jigged into a new format that would be followed over the next three years, with a pair of four-parters and a pair of three-parters. Not including The Two Doctors, which had episodes of 45-minute duration and the Bannermen was the first standard format 3 part serial since Planet of Giants in Season 2; the entire season was broadcast from 7 September to 7 December 1987. All serials of season 24 were released individually in between 2009 and 2012
Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC since 1963. The programme depicts the adventures of a Time Lord called "the Doctor", an extraterrestrial being, to all appearances human, from the planet Gallifrey; the Doctor explores the universe in a time-travelling space ship called the TARDIS. Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, a common sight in Britain in 1963 when the series first aired. Accompanied by a number of companions, the Doctor combats a variety of foes while working to save civilisations and help people in need; the show is a significant part of British popular culture, elsewhere it has gained a cult following. It has influenced generations of British television professionals, many of whom grew up watching the series; the programme ran from 1963 to 1989. There was an unsuccessful attempt to revive regular production in 1996 with a backdoor pilot, in the form of a television film titled Doctor Who; the programme was relaunched in 2005, since has been produced in-house by BBC Wales in Cardiff.
Doctor Who has spawned numerous spin-offs, including comic books, novels, audio dramas, the television series Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures, K-9, Class, has been the subject of many parodies and references in popular culture. Thirteen actors have headlined the series as the Doctor; the transition from one actor to another is written into the plot of the show with the concept of regeneration into a new incarnation, a plot device in which a Time Lord "transforms" into a new body when the current one is too badly harmed to heal normally. Each actor's portrayal is unique. Together, they form a single lifetime with a single narrative; the time-travelling feature of the plot means that different incarnations of the Doctor meet. The Doctor is portrayed by Jodie Whittaker, who took on the role after Peter Capaldi's exit in the 2017 Christmas special "Twice Upon a Time". Doctor Who follows the adventures of the title character, a rogue Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey who goes by the name "the Doctor".
The Doctor fled Gallifrey in a stolen TARDIS, a time machine that travels by materialising into and dematerialising out of the time vortex. The TARDIS has a vast interior but appears smaller on the outside, is equipped with a "chameleon circuit" intended to make the machine take on the appearance of local objects as a disguise. Across time and space, the Doctor's many incarnations find events that pique their curiosity and try to prevent evil forces from harming innocent people or changing history, using only ingenuity and minimal resources, such as the versatile sonic screwdriver; the Doctor travels alone and brings one or more companions to share these adventures. These companions are humans, owing to the Doctor's fascination with planet Earth, which leads to frequent collaborations with the international military task force UNIT when the Earth is threatened; the Doctor is centuries old and, as a Time Lord, has the ability to regenerate in case of mortal damage to the body, taking on a new appearance and personality.
The Doctor has gained numerous reoccurring enemies during their travels, including the Daleks, the Cybermen, the Master, another renegade Time Lord. Doctor Who first appeared on BBC TV at 17:16:20 GMT on Saturday, 23 November 1963, it was to be each episode 25 minutes of transmission length. Discussions and plans for the programme had been in progress for a year; the head of drama Sydney Newman was responsible for developing the programme, with the first format document for the series being written by Newman along with the head of the script department Donald Wilson and staff writer C. E. Webber. Writer Anthony Coburn, story editor David Whitaker and initial producer Verity Lambert heavily contributed to the development of the series; the programme was intended to appeal to a family audience as an educational programme using time travel as a means to explore scientific ideas and famous moments in history. On 31 July 1963, Whitaker commissioned Terry Nation to write a story under the title The Mutants.
As written, the Daleks and Thals were the victims of an alien neutron bomb attack but Nation dropped the aliens and made the Daleks the aggressors. When the script was presented to Newman and Wilson it was rejected as the programme was not permitted to contain any "bug-eyed monsters". According to producer Verity Lambert. We had a bit of a crisis of confidence. Had we had anything else ready we would have made that." Nation's script became the second Doctor. The serial introduced the eponymous aliens that would become the series' most popular monsters, was responsible for the BBC's first merchandising boom; the BBC drama department's serials division produced the programme for 26 seasons, broadcast on BBC 1. Falling viewing numbers, a decline in the public perception of the show and a less-prominent transmission slot saw production suspended in 1989 by Jonathan Powell, controller of BBC 1. Although it was cancelled with the decision not to commission a planned 27th season, which would have been broadcast in 1990, the BBC affirmed, over several ye
Doctor Who (season 26)
The twenty-sixth season of British science fiction television series Doctor Who began on 9 September 1989 with the serial Battlefield, after a regular series of four serials was broadcast finishing with Survival, the final episode of Doctor Who to air before a 16-year absence from episodic television following its cancellation. Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor Sophie Aldred as AceSylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred both continue their roles as the Seventh Doctor and Ace for their final season. Nicholas Courtney as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart Anthony Ainley as the MasterNicholas Courtney returned to play Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart in Battlefield, he first appeared with the Second Doctor in 1968 in The Web of Fear before becoming a recurring character throughout the Second Doctor to the Fifth Doctor and last appearing in The Five Doctors. Anthony Ainley returned having last appeared in The Ultimate Foe; this was Ainley's final television appearance in the role, though he portrayed the Master one last time in the 1997 computer game Destiny of the Doctors.
Jean Marsh, who had portrayed Sara Kingdom in The Daleks' Master Plan appeared in Battlefield playing the part of the main antagonist. Continuing on from Season 25, Season 26 continued script editor Andrew Cartmel's move to push the series towards a darker approach, focusing this time more on Ace's personal life as well as The Doctor's past and manipulations; this season was broadcast on Wednesdays. The entire season was broadcast from 6 September to 6 December 1989; the Curse of Fenric was intended to be aired before Ghost Light, but was subsequently rescheduled. All serials of season 26 were released individually in between 2003 and 2008. Initial planning work had begun on Season 27, intended for the end of 1990, in mid-1989 with Andrew Cartmel and a group of regular writers, including Ben Aaronovitch, Ian Briggs and Marc Platt, discussing potential story ideas. One of the major intentions was to have been the departure of Ace halfway through, which would have seen the character taken to Gallifrey to become a Time Lord.
This would have seen the subsequent introduction of a new companion, planned as an "aristocratic cat burglar". The cancellation of the series meant that no detailed work was undertaken beyond these initial ideas: Earth Aid by Ben Aaronovitch: Intended to feature a new monster called the "Metatraxi", a race of samurai like insect warriors, this was planned as a story concerning the politics of humanitarian aid; the only significant detail was the idea of the opening, which would have featured Ace as the captain of a starship. Thin Ice by Marc Platt: Planned as the serial that would see the departure of Ace, this was to see the return of the Ice Warriors and be set in London in 1968; the third serial was planned as the introduction of the new companion, who would have come across the Doctor in the midst of robbing a country house. The fourth and final serial was tentatively to be Alixion, by then-newcomer Robin Mukherjee, it would have featured the Doctor playing a series of deadly games on an asteroid.
The proposed Season 27 serials have subsequently been commissioned by Big Finish as part of its Doctor Who: The Lost Stories range of audio adventures. Although the first series of Doctor Who's return in 2005 is the 27th full series of the show, the production team restarted the series numbering from scratch; this was due to the 16-year gap between Season 26 and the new series