Written by: Ben Aaronovitch
Directed by: Michael Kerrigan
Editor's Note: Hey, kids. Matt here with a small introduction to this week's blog entry. I know Cassandra is going to talk about it later, but I might as well hop in real quick with just a few passing words about Nicholas Courtney, who, as I'm sure you've heard, passed away yesterday.
It's strange that this week's blog and podcast both covered this story. 'Battlefield'. It is, in many ways, The Brigadier's last hurrah even though he did appear in several other stories (both in audio and on The Sarah Jane Adventures). But it's one of his absolute best and the timing really couldn't be better to do him a service.
So five rounds rapid and a moment of silence for the great and wonderful Brigadier. He was one of those real Doctor Who tent poles, a legend in his own right, and a tremendous presence without whom the show would not be the same.
He will be missed.
Background & Significance: One name: Nicholas Courtney.
"Battlefield" is the last onscreen appearance of The Brigadier on Doctor Who. It's befitting, especially because it's pretty epic, much like him. I know there are other reasons why this is a significant serial, but I just wanted to start off with him, especially in light of the news of his recent passing (which I'll discuss a little more in the final thoughts section). Because of the way I write these, I tend to do the commentary first, which I wrote before I found out the news. It's going to be a little bit of a jolt to read, but my hope is that the commentary captures my thoughts and feelings about the serial itself as well as celebrating Nicholas Courtney's storied contribution to and legacy in Doctor Who. Thanks for bearing with me, it's rather upsetting and I'm a little all over the place right now.
"Battlefield" is also notable for being the first serial of Season 26, not only McCoy's last season as The Doctor, but also the show's last full season before the long hiatus that would only be broken by the Paul McGann movie in 1996 before the reinstatement of the show in 2005. Not only does it see the first reappearance of UNIT since the Tom Baker serial "Seeds of Doom," and the Brigadier, as I've mentioned before (last appearing in "The Five Doctors"), but it also saw the return of actress Jean Marsh, who portrayed (semi-)companion Sara Kingdom in "The Daleks' Masterplan", in the role of Morgaine.
But enough of that. Let's take a closer look, shall we?