Seventh Doctor - Story Style

Story Style

In Season 24, the Seventh Doctor era began with a light-hearted approach, with stories like Delta and the Bannermen clearly aimed at a younger audience. However, in the final two seasons with Andrew Cartmel as script editor, the stories soon explored the true nature of the Doctor, hinting at dark secrets in his past. In Silver Nemesis, Lady Peinforte hints she knows the Doctor's secret of being more than just a Time Lord (deleted scenes in Remembrance of the Daleks and Survival also refer to this). Remembrance has the Doctor use "we" when referring to early Gallifreyan time travel experiments. Ace also became the focus of a dedicated character arc that was seeded from her introduction onwards and prominently played out during Season 26.

With the cancellation of the series, these developments were never fully played out in the television series, but some of them were revealed in the New Adventures.

Marc Platt's novel Lungbarrow is usually considered to be the conclusion of the "Cartmel Masterplan". In that novel, the Doctor is revealed to be the reincarnation of "the Other", a shadowy figure and contemporary of Rassilon and Omega from Ancient Gallifrey. Lungbarrow was originally intended for Season 26, but producer John Nathan-Turner felt that it revealed too much of the Doctor's origins. It was reworked to become Ghost Light instead.

According to McCoy and script editor Andrew Cartmel, a number of Seventh Doctor stories were intended to satirise or protest the rule of then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. McCoy told the Sunday Times in 2010 “The idea of bringing politics into Doctor Who was deliberate, but we had to do it very quietly and certainly didn’t shout about it...We were a group of politically motivated people and it seemed the right thing to do. At the time Doctor Who used satire to put political messages out there in the way they used to do in places like Czechoslovakia. Our feeling was that Margaret Thatcher was far more terrifying than any monster the Doctor had encountered. Those who wanted to see the messages saw them; others, including one producer, didn’t.” One story mentioned as having an anti-Thatcher theme was The Happiness Patrol in which the tyrannical Helen A outlawed unhappiness and remarked “I like your initiative, your enterprise” as her secret police rounded up dissidents. The Doctor persuaded “the drones”, who toiled in the factories and mines, to down tools and rise up in revolt, an echo of the miners’ strikes and printers’ disputes during Thatcher’s first two terms in office. Script editor Andrew Cartmel assembled several “angry young writers” such as Ben Aaronovitch and Rona Munro to produce storylines that they hoped would foment anti-Thatcher dissent.

Read more about this topic:  Seventh Doctor

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