Doctor Who: The Collection, Season 26

In DVD/Blu-ray by Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Doctor Who fans are a passionate lot and, while many will argue about who was the ‘best’ Doctor, most will agree that the Classic era has a plethora of much-loved stories. There’s plenty here for old fans to enjoy rewatching and newer fans to discover or the first time. True, the SFX may have been lacking back in the day but, for plots and characterisation, Classic Who has a lot to offer.

In fact, arguably, in 1989 Doctor Who was on a creative high, with the Sylvester McCoy’s Seventh Doctor and his companion Ace (Sophie Aldred) giving the series a much-needed boost and a new companion-Doctor dynamic.

Season 26 featured four epic adventures: Battlefield, Ghost Light, The Curse Of Fenric, and Survival. These were stories which would see the Doctor visiting a future Britain invaded by inter-dimensional knights; a strange Victorian house haunted by ghosts from Ace’s past; an alien world populated by Cheetah People; and a 1940s army camp under siege from monstrous vampires. 

With guest stars including Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), Anthony Ainley (The Master), Jean Marsh, Nicholas Parsons, Anne Reid, Ian Hogg, Sylvia Syms and comedy duo Hale & Pace, this fondly-remembered set of stories saw the end of an era for Doctor Who, and set the stage for its hugely successful revival. 

The latest in The Collection series of re-issues includes Who stories on blu-ray for the first time. Extras include a host of Rare Restored Extended Cuts, a host of rare archive treats and HD photo galleries, documentaries on the life of John Nathan-Turner, the Making of The Curse Of Fenric, an all-new Behind The Sofa with Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, plus companions Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, Anneke Wills and Jodie-Whittaker-era writers Pete McTighe & Joy Wilkinson.