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Dragonfire

Rating Votes
10
1%
1
9
1%
1
8
11%
10
7
15%
14
6
48%
44
5
14%
13
4
9%
8
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
6.1
Votes
91
Director:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 3/13/19 2:59 pm
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

After the absolutely abysmal last story, we end Season 24 on a much higher note that gets the show and the Seventh Doctor era back on track again. “Dragonfire” sees Seven and Mel land on an ice colony on the planet Svartos that is known for housing a mysterious legendary treasure guarded by an angry dragon. Meeting up with mercenary Sabalom Glitz (last seen in the Sixth Doctor story “The Mysterious Planet”) who is searching for said treasure as well as a young girl named Ace who instantly takes a liking to the TARDIS team, they set out to discover the mystery behind this legend as well as its connection to the dictator of the planet known as Kane.

This story sees Melanie Bush’s departure from the TARDIS on TV (only to return with Six and Seven in other Big Finish audios) as well as the introduction of Dorothy McShane (otherwise known as “Ace”) as the Seventh Doctor’s iconic television companion and one of the most iconic Doctor Who companions of all time as well as being the last of the Classic Who companions on TV. It’s a somewhat important story as well as a fun one and a major breath of fresh air after the past few Seventh Doctor stories with a lot to like about it. I find the sets and environment in this one cheesy but absolutely gorgeous that fit the tone and mood that it’s going for even if there are some weird things here and there such as the pure white costumes of the villains making them look like fascist ice cream cones. The mystery behind what’s going on and especially with the dragon and it’s actual nature is handled somewhat well and I didn’t expect some of the twists it pulled which was nice for a change. However, in the end, this story is very much all about the cast and the changes it brings with the atmosphere and story feeling like more or less an afterthought.

The reappearance of Sabalom Glitz from the Sixth Doctor era is also a very odd addition but it surprisingly works well and Tony Selby’s performance is fine for what it is. Bonnie Langford’s Melanie is all right in her best television performance even if she does get her usual screaming moments in and her departure while sweet doesn’t make any sense considering what was established and seen in her actions here. This would be resolved with some extraneous continuity fixing in some of the audio stories where it’s made clear that the Doctor manipulated her into leaving knowing what was coming for his incarnation and thinking that he couldn’t have her as a companion with those darker moments coming. It’s a nice touch but without that bit of knowledge, it makes the moment seem forced and nonsensical even as it brings Ace into the picture. Speaking of Ace, “Dragonfire” really is a perfect introduction for her and Sophie Aldred’s performance is stellar right from the off. A working-class girl from the modern day of the time, she’s very different in personality from the Doctor’s standard companions in that she’s tough and no-nonsense with a rough edge who’s not afraid to stand up to the Doctor and be the rebellious adolescent to the Doctor’s manipulative teacher. Her character steps out more or less fully formed with a great presence and a mystery to her that will define a good chunk of the Seventh Doctor era and in the process become a strong starting point for how companions are handled in the New Series. Her chemistry with McCoy is also extremely strong with Seven still a little on the comedic side but finally starting to turn into what his incarnation was meant to be. His moment in having an out of nowhere philosophical discussion with one of the guards is frankly hilarious and his final moments with Ace as they start a new adventure together absolutely make this story worth watching alone.

It’s not at all perfect and there are still some major problems here and there in terms of a confused story, lackluster pacing, and especially in idiotic moments that seemingly go nowhere or are never followed up on such as the nonsensical cliffhanger to part 1 that was done horribly even with the reasoning behind it. But there are some clever moments too that make it somewhat enjoyable especially in a great villain death a la ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’. For what it’s worth, “Dragonfire” is still not great but it’s honestly a little better than I remember it and I can appreciate a lot more after the dismal sequence of stories of Season 24. But something truly grand was coming next season and it would be truly worth the slog to get to.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
5
Replay Rating:
4
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: AlfredReview Date: 10/8/15 7:08 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The best of McCoy's first season, although it has the indefensible and appallingly executed literal cliff hanger at the conclusion of the first part. The villain is not bad, Ace is interesting, McCoy is finding his feet. I was debating whether to score it a 5 or a 6 but then I remembered that Mel is gotten rid of at the conclusion, so I gave it an extra point.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
5
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
5
Replay Rating:
4
Effects Rating:
4
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 4/30/15 1:48 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The plot of Dragonfire has some potential, and there are a few very good performances. Tony Selby is very good as Glitz. While Ace isn't immediately likable, this is her introduction story and there's certainly enough revealed about Ace to make the audience want learn more about her. And Edward Pael has some great maniacal moments as the villain Kane.

Yet, the story suffers from often being incomprehensible. There are moments like the literal cliffhanger at the end of Part One that has the Doctor lowering himself over a precipise via umbrella for no good reason. There's Glitz and the Doctor's attempt to steal back Glitz's spaceship and the Doctor suddenly abandoning the idea. ANd then there's that little girl running around. She's cute. Okay. What's she doing here. It's a confused mess of a story that still manges to be fun most of the time in spite of itself.