Long term fans know there have been many dark periods in Doctor Who history. 1986 leaps to mind, as does almost any year between 1990 and 2003, and for all the well-told reasons. Truth be told, even for those of us on the port side of the Atlantic, 1987 was not much better. True the show had weathered being down-Graded, almost literally, but it was still limping along with Sylvester McCoy. But what the heck was it?
Even here in flyover country, it appeared as though the Great Doctor Who Expansion of the Eighties was slowing as all the oxygen was being inhaled Consumption of the past in all it’s grainy glory was rapidly catching up to the present, and the glories (as well as a critical eye for quality) we’re properly wary of the shambles left in the wake of Michael Grade’s intervention with the show. Gone was Colin Baker’s problematic portrayal, but the tonal shift to McCoy was jarring, and appeared from afar to be very much a work in progress.
Season 24 was a mess, but there was a light at the end of that seasons tunnel. Dragonfire is not a very good story. At three episodes the pacing, like it was for most of these stories at this time, was off and could have used a fourth episode to allow for more context and characterization. But even with all that, Dragonfire was the class of the season, and portended (a promise which could never realistically be fulfilled), a return to the gothic story-telling which was always a strength of Doctor Who.
This weeks cap addition to the Tour is Dragonfire. Who knows what next weeks addition will bring?