50 Glorious Years: Episode 26 - 1988
For those of us who were fans at the time, it’s tough to believe that Season 25 and Doctor Who‘s 25th Anniversary was now 25 years ago. In this 50th Anniversary year, 1988 only gets you halfway there.
Although the 25th Anniversary was probably a more low-key affair than the 20th Anniversary (in part because the BBC were now making much less Doctor Who per year than normal, in part because BBC management now wanted to kill the show off, but also in part due to there being no single anniversary special that fandom and the public could focus on), Doctor Who still enjoyed a fine birthday celebration. The show enjoyed a higher profile in the UK than it had since the 1985 hiatus, which partly resulted in the 25th season getting the best ratings of the four post-hiatus seasons (a delayed start in broadcasting to October, rather than September, also likely helped). The show itself, with script-editor Andrew Cartmel & 7th Doctor Sylvester McCoy now much more assured in their respective roles in 2nd runs in the show, is generally considered to have improved upon Season 24 (granted, many would also claim that this isn’t saying much). Popular companion Ace was now also on-board for the full season. After the turbulent events of the previous few years, it did at the time - for one year at least - seem like the show was stable once again and set to run for some time longer. And the improved ratings and reception to the Season 25 episodes created a sense of optimism for the future that was perhaps missing since the BBC had threatened (or tried) to wield its axe in 1985. Usually Anniversaries are all about looking back and while there was some of that (particularly with season opener Remembrance of the Daleks, there was a palpable sense of looking forward to a bright future as 1988 ended.
That bright future was delayed, but we got there in the end.
Posted by Luca on Saturday, July 20 at 11:28 pm