50 Glorious Years: Episode 27 - 1989
Many fans look back at 1989 with a bittersweet feeling because although it was a good year for the show in terms of its output, it was, for a long time, the last year that Doctor Who was a regularly-made television series and certainly was the last year for the classic series. Yet things weren’t quite so bittersweet at the time. Following on from a very positive end to the 25th Anniversary year of 1988, the first few months of 1989 still felt like the show was in its ascendancy. The broadcast of The Greatest Show in the Galaxy part 4 in the first week of 1989 brought the show past the 6 million mark for just the second time after the hiatus, and at 6.6 million, left Season 25 (and the show in general since the hiatus) on a ratings high. This feel-good story was only added to with the news that the 3rd Doctor, Jon Pertwee, was to resume the role on stage for The Ultimate Adventure. After a few months in the role on stage, Colin Baker took over from Jon Pertwee - another feel-good story as Colin got to play the role again sooner than anyone had expected after his unceremonious sacking by Michael Grade & Jonathan Powell (in fact, at the time nobody was really sure that Colin would ever be able to play the role again, save for a 30th Anniversary “7 Doctors” special if the show continued to run that long of course). For UK fans at least, it meant that there were 3 different actors starring regularly as the Doctor in 1989. Film rumours were heating up this year as production on a film by Coast-to-Coast was promised numerous times, but never materialized - and still haven’t to this day (regardless of what company has had the rights to do it).
As the summer of 1989 wore on, the lack of a confirmation of a Season 27 for 1990 began to loom more and more. Rumours and news began to circulate that there would be no Doctor Who in 1990 - the first year since the show began that there would be no new episodes broadcast. This was confirmed by the end of the summer. As the future storm clouds grew ominously, by September fans were able to enjoy another 14 episode season of the Doctor Who with Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor and Sophie Aldred as Ace. It was a season that would be very influential for the future of Doctor Who, even though (or perhaps, because of the fact) it would turn out to be the last one for some time. Many fans certainly savoured the 26th season, particularly those worried that it would be the last for some time - even longer than the 1 year gap that had been suggested. They would be right - but that doesn’t stop Season 26 helping to make 1989 another good year for Doctor Who.
Posted by Luca on Tuesday, July 30 at 9:55 pm