By 1993, Doctor Who is a potential, rather than an actuality. The TV show has been off the air long enough that it could realistically be revamped, not just brought back. It’s not a TV series any more, but an idea for a TV series — an idea which can be done in many different ways.

Particularly, there were two ways that the series could be dealt with. The first, and perhaps the most obvious, was to make it ‘darker’ and more ‘cult’.

This was the tack taken by The Dark Dimension

The levels of taste and good judgement in the Doctor Who production office in the mid-1980s can be summed up in three words:

Doctor In Distress.

Earthshock is almost universally considered one of the very best Doctor Who stories of Peter Davison’s tenure in the role, with only The Caves Of Androzani offering it much competition. In Doctor Who Magazine‘s 2009 reader’s poll ranking the first two hundred televised stories, it was rated number 19, and was one of only three stories from the 1980s to feature in the top twenty (in contrast, a full ten of the bottom twenty were from that decade).

It’s therefore a good case study to look at exactly what went wrong with the show