The Seventh Doctor (Sylvestor McCoy)
As season 24 opens, the TARDIS is struck unexpectedly by laser bombardment from a nearby planet, crash-landing. The landing knocks Mel unconsicous, but fatally wounds the Sixth Doctor, causing him to regenerate once more. The Rani-whose lasers caused the accident-captures him.
The new Doctor is shorter, far less curly, but around the same age as his colorful predecessor, although with a more worn, wary look. He’s fairly quick to stabilize, but unfortunately the Rani doesn’t want him to gain his wits just yet, knocking him out and giving him amnesia potions. She also dresses as Mel in a further attempt to fool him. She needs his expertise to destroy an asteroid, and also use the combined intelligence of him but also Einstein and a bunch of other geniuses in order to develop some weapon-or something (It’s one of the worst WHO stories for a reason).
The Doctor’s new outfit-chosen while the Rani has him convinced he’s Mel-is more low key than the Sixth’s, although still a bit garish with a Question Mark sweater vest.
The Doctor eventually recovers, finds out he’s being lied to, and he and the real Mel team up with the local alien species who the Rani have enslaved to stop her. The new Doctor as it turns out, is a bit of a clumsy oaf, badly misqouting things and falling over. He also tends to play with spoons a lot as a musical instrument. However, these will turn out to be growing pains, as the Doctor’s new persona continues to develop in interesting ways (although not really until the next season).
After defeating the Rani, the Doctor and Mel go to Paradise Towers, a sort of fancy high-rise building in the future. Unfortunately it’s also where the tenants have devolved into all sorts of crazy tribes under the will of a bizarre computer and it’s army of cleaning robots. The Doctor’s able to defeat the overseer though and have the tribes work out things for themselves.
The Doctor next finds himself guarding an alien princess from bounty hunters at a “holiday camp” (British resort hotel) in the 1950s. This one’s a bit of an odd one.
Things sort of get back on track with “Dragonfire”, the final story in the season, as the Doctor and Mel visit Iceworld, a trading depot ruled by Kane (Who can only live in cold temperatures) and his army of mercenaries, where the Doctor is tracking an odd signal. There, they meet Glitz again, and the Doctor becomes intriqued by Glitz’s search for a “treasure” guarded by a “Dragon”. Mel also befriends a local waitress called Dorothy, although she prefers the name Ace. However, it turns out the rebellious, very punk-rock Ace isn’t local at all-she’s from 20th century Earth but somehow wound up among the stars due to a mysterious “time storm”. The Doctor and his companions soon find out that the Dragon’s treasure is in fact a device keeping Kane stuck on Iceworld, and that he’s an exiled criminal. Killing the dragon, he tries to escape from Iceworld, but finds out his home planet was destroyed a long time ago. He exposes himself to the sun, melting him into nothing.
Mel decides to go travelling with Glitz, and the Doctor offers to take Ace back home to Earth-although via the “scenic route” as his companion.
Things are about to get more complicated, though. As Season 24 didn’t do too good in the ratings (but good enough to keep things sort of afloat) another change was needed. Change would come, not in the Doctor or cast, necessarily, but in tone-especially as the series was now reaching it’s 25 anniversary.