Here’s an historic moment in Doctor Who history – Survival, the last ever Doctor Who story of its original run.
The Doctor and Ace return to Perivale, Ace’s birthplace. Something odd is happening with cats in the neighbourhood. Nothing much is happening in the old town, apart from an abusive PE teacher ranting about survival of the fittest. But people are going missing.
Even in 1989, Doctor Who was able to attract the highest calibre of guest star – Here’s Gareth Hale and Norman Pace.
Ace soon learns why all her friends are missing – they’ve all been transported to an alien planet by cat people riding horses. And pretty soon so is the Doctor, and the abusive PE Teacher, only to discover a familiar face amongst the cats.
BBC Genome: BBC One – 22nd November 1989 – 19:35
Before episode 2, there’s the end of Wogan, and a trailer for The Ginger Tree. I seem to remember that this was one of the first BBC productions (a co-production with NHK in Japan) made in an HD format (although since there was not an HD broadcast platform in the UK, it was never shown that way.
then, episode 2 of Survival in which the Master reveals he’s stuck on the planet, that the cat people are somehow causing the planet’s imminent destruction, and that the longer the humans are on the planet, the more likely they are to start exhibiting more animalistic tendencies. Cue lots of yellow glowing eyes and fangs. And wouldn’t you know it, Ace starts turning.
BBC Genome: BBC One – 29th November 1989 – 19:35
In episode three, the Master has used one of Ace’s friends, who has turned to the cat side, to escape to Earth – the cats can transport themselves between the worlds. The Doctor uses Ace to do the same, to bring her friends home, but the Master is still rather feral, and for reasons I’ve never fully understood, the Doctor gets into a motorcycle collision with Midge, the young man the Master is manipulating. Although there’s a huge explosion, both of them survive, apparently without any serious injury.
It’s all rather grim, to be honest.
BBC Genome: BBC One – 6th December 1989 – 19:35
After this, recording switches to an episode of Victoria Wood and her BBC1 series, with an episode entitled We’d Quite Like to Apologise. Victoria is waiting for a delayed flight. Featuring many of Wood’s favourite performers, including Susie Blake, Una Stubbs, Jane Horrocks and Julie Walters.
BBC Genome: BBC One – 7th December 1989 – 20:30
After this, recording switches again to Talk of the 80s. Judith Hann in conversation with Clive Sinclair. There’s an interesting point early on when he’s asked why there were so few women using computers in the early 80s, and he says it’s because of the ‘obsessional nature’ of boys, which ‘girls don’t have’. I suspect it’s more about the way they were marketed. He also dismisses the idea of computers enabling distance working, saying that he thinks that people want to go into offices to work for the social aspect.
BBC Genome:BBC Two – 14th December 1989 – 16:30
After this, we switch to Cinemattractions, the US trailer show. This is followed by the start of Major League Baseball, during which the tape ends.
- Coca Cola
- TV Times
- Dairy Box
- Duran Duran – Decade
- British Telecom
- Sinclair Action Pack with light gun
- LBC – The Power Breakfast
- The Best of ELO
- Milk Tray
- Luther Vandross – The Best of Love
- H Samuel
- Foster & Allen’s Christmas Collection
- Oliver & Company – KFC
- The Greatest Love