The final serial of the classic era. It's a very good one, so it's difficult to come up with what to say. My one real issue is that Ace's mom is referenced as having reported her as a missing person. A matter that is never resolved. At the end of the story, Ace and the Doctor goes back to the Tardis. I sure hope that they, at least, drop by her family on the way. Okay, Ace had a lot of hostility towards her mother, but the mother (and the rest of Ace's family) has spent two years not knowing what happened to her. If she is even still alive. Sure, one of her friends might've later passed on, that they've met Ace (and that she's alive and well). Maybe one of the other teenagers should've been her cousin, or something, providing the story with one relative, who gets to know what happened to Ace (allowing them to stop worrying).

Though, seeing as Ace is my favorite companion, I appreciate that she continues traveling with the Doctor. Originally, Ace was going to leave in season 27, which never happened (as the show went off the air). Avoiding her departure. She wasn't in the 1996 TV movie, but we never see her leave. Leaving her fate, outside of one line in an episode of the Sarah Jane Adventures (that was incorporated into a DVD trailer, with Aldred reprising her role as the adult Ace), unknown (in so far as how long she continued traveling with the Doctor (maybe she spent several years more) and how/why she departed. In fact, there is plenty that we don't know. We know that she founded a charity, but not much else).

This was the final story of Doctor Who, until the 1996 TV movie and the current show. I like that they got to go out with a good story. Though, I do wonder if it wasn't a good thing, for the show to rest for a while. It had been going on since 1963. 26 years later, it was a different media landscape (in fact, Channel 4 had started in late 1982 (and other channels have since followed), giving the BBC more competiton for the viewers, than it had when the show started in 1963). Yet, here they were still doing seasons split up into serials. They weren't doing as many episodes, as they did in the 1960s, but they still split each story across 3-4 episodes. It feels like the story is unfolding slowly. With a budget, that Colin Baker described as "basically tea money" (a higher budget was out of the question, as the BBC outright hated the show). This was 1989. Let's take an example of what else was on television, at that time. Star Trek The Next Generation (which I think was imported to the UK by some rival network) had been on for two seasons (entering its golden age, with the third), had a much higher budget, with entire stories confined to one single, one-hour episode. And that's just one show. I chose to focus on TNG, because that was another show (a big budget one), in the same genre as Doctor Who (therefore, it might appeal to the same audience). But then there are all of the other shows, that were on, at the same time. The next few years would see a breakthrough with CGI, with films like Jurassic Park (1993). Technology that then began entering television (had already begun by 1989), but would've strongly been outside of Doctor Who's budget. Heck, I once heard that one episode of Red Dwarf had a higher budget, than an entire season of Doctor Who (at this time).

I just don't see how Doctor Who, a low-budget television show (hated by the people in charge of the BBC), that still basically told stories in the same format that it had since the 1960s, could've survived the television landscape of the 1990s. In order to compete, it would've needed a massive shake-up. Possibly a reformating. In order for this to have happened, it would've needed the love of the BBC... oh, and the budget to actually do stuff. No, there really was no other alternative, than to let the show rest for a while. Allowing it to then come back, 16 years later, with a fresh crew and a more modern format and storytelling. Incidently, Doctor Who went off the air, when TNG was entering what is ususally described as its golden era. Then Doctor Who came back in 2005, the same year that Star Trek Enterprise was canceled (ending an 18-year era of Star Trek shows on television). Not making any type of connection, just found that detail amusing.

Though, as I've rewatched the final story of the classic era. My thoughts goes to the modern era. I find myself wondering about the future of Doctor Who. In an era, with not only rival television channels, but streaming services. Many having their own sci-fi shows. With bigger budgets. We're entering an era with both multiple Star Trek shows and Star Wars shows, for sci-fi fans to watch. Not to mention all of other shows, both sci-fi and other genres. Can Doctor Who really compete in the coming media landscape? Personally, I have to buy each new series of Doctor Who on DVD (with no garantee that I'll even like a lot of the episodes... which has really been the case of Chiball's era). It's not on any streaming service, available to me. With stuff like The Mandalorian, I'm paying a subscription fee each month. A subscription fee, that also gives me full access to all the other TV shows and movies on Disney+ (heck, my main interest there isn't even that show). I'd likely end up spending more on one season of Doctor Who (usually a mere 13 episodes, with the upcoming having even less), than I'd probably do for six whole months of Disney+. So, which one does one pick? One single series of (maybe ten-ish episodes) Doctor Who, or half a year of full Disney+ access. Naturally, the big question comes to the British viewer, who'd actually impact viewing figures (and what they chooses to watch. The latest episode of Doctor Who... or something on Disney+, Netflix or any of the other streaming services and TV channels?).