Ranked: Every Sylvester McCoy Doctor Who TV Story - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Ranked: Every Sylvester McCoy Doctor Who TV Story

Sylvester McCoy, the enigmatic Seventh Doctor, brought a distinct flair to the Doctor Who universe from 1987 to 1989. Known for his "question mark" attire, eccentricities, and darker undertones, McCoy's tenure took the franchise in a new direction. Let's traverse through time and space to rank each of Sylvester McCoy's Doctor Who stories.

  1. "Remembrance of the Daleks" (5-26 October 1988): The story involving Daleks fighting a civil war on Earth in 1963 is a high-water mark of McCoy's tenure. Standout guest star Simon Williams plays Group Captain Gilmore, providing a wonderful counterpoint to McCoy. Broadcast figures for the four parts range from 5.5 to 5.8 million. This story earned its place due to its layered narrative and exploration of the Doctor's morality.
  2. "The Curse of Fenric" (25 October - 15 November 1989): Set during World War II, this story deals with ancient evil, faith, and the Doctor's past. It showcased the growing darkness in McCoy's Doctor, with guest star Nicholas Parsons as the Reverend Wainwright. Viewing figures averaged 4 million viewers across the four episodes.
  3. "Survival" (22 November - 6 December 1989): The last classic-era Doctor Who story involves a face-off against the Master (Anthony Ainley) in a suburban survival-of-the-fittest scenario. With figures around 5 million, it concludes on an uncertain but poetic note.
  4. "Ghost Light" (4-18 October 1989): A complex narrative set in a haunted house with evolution at its core. It showcases McCoy's Doctor at his most manipulative, with guest star Ian Hogg as Josiah Smith. It had an average viewership of 4 million.
  5. "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" (14 December 1988 - 4 January 1989): A dark circus allegory where McCoy's Doctor is at his most fearless. Guest star T.P. McKenna brings gravitas as the Captain. Viewership varied between 4.8 and 5 million.
  6. "Paradise Towers" (5-26 October 1987): A dystopian satire with Richard Briers as the Chief Caretaker. While not universally loved, it did have its moments, and a viewership between 4.2 and 5 million.
  7. "Dragonfire" (23 November - 7 December 1987): This story introduces Ace (Sophie Aldred), and features a memorable cliffhanger. Guest star Edward Peel plays Kane. It averaged around 5 million viewers.
  8. "The Happiness Patrol" (2-16 November 1988): A commentary on Thatcherism, with Sheila Hancock as the villainous Helen A. Averaged around 5 million viewers.
  9. "Silver Nemesis" (23 November - 7 December 1988): McCoy's encounter with Cybermen and Nazis for the show's 25th anniversary. It was viewed by approximately 5.5 million viewers.
  10. "Battlefield" (6-27 September 1989): A sequel to the earlier UNIT stories, with Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney) and Morgaine (Jean Marsh). It garnered about 4 million viewers.
  11. "Time and the Rani" (7-28 September 1987): McCoy's debut, with Kate O'Mara as the Rani. Despite being the first story, it ranks lower due to its lighter tone and plot, yet it managed around 4.2 million viewers.
  12. "Delta and the Bannermen" (2-16 November 1987): A 1950s holiday camp setting with an alien war plotline. Viewing figures hovered around 5 million.

Sylvester McCoy's era is characterized by its narrative depth, progressive story arcs, and the enigmatic persona of his Doctor. Despite the show's cancellation in 1989, these stories had a profound impact on the franchise, setting the stage for the multi-faceted, sometimes darker Doctors that would follow in the revival series. This era of Doctor Who was a testimony to the program's ability to reinvent itself and venture into new territories of storytelling, and Sylvester McCoy's Seventh Doctor remains a beloved incarnation for Whovians worldwide.

Which is your favourite Seventh Doctor adventure?

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