Number : Season 24, episode 4 of 4.
Which One : Ice World with actual ‘cliffhanger’ cliffhanger!
Cast : The Doctor : Sylvester McCoy
Mel : Bonnie Langford
Sabalom Glitz : Tony Selby
Kane : Edward Peel
Belazs : Patricia Quinn
Kracauer : Tony Osoba
McLuhan : Stephanie Fayerman
Bazin : Stuart Organ
Arnheim : Chris MacDonnell
Pudovkin : Nigel Miles-Thomas
Zed : Sean Blowers
Anderson : Ian MacKenzie
Customer : Shirin Taylor
Stellar : Miranda Borman
The Creature : Leslie Meadows
Archivist : Daphne Oxenford
Announcer : Lynn Gardner
Written By : Ian Briggs
Produced By : JNT
First UK Broadcast : 23 November – 7 December 1987.
Length : 3 x 25 minute episodes.
Plot : The Doctor and Mel, land on Iceworld – a frozen planet with a bustling spaceport; ruled over by the nefarious Kane. Here the Doctor and Mel meet an old friend; Sabalom Glitz and (future) companion Ace. They tell the Doctor about a prize diamond, guarded by a dragon.
Whats good : Mel leaves. Kane and Kane’s death. Ace joins.
Whats bad : The actual cliffhanger – “cliffhanger”. Too clever for its own good. The Dragon looks suspiciously like it’s ‘H.R Giger’ influenced!
Review With Spoilers : Dragonfire is the fourth and final episode of season 24. It marks the departure of companion Mel and the introduction of Ace, as her replacement. Also back, is Sabalom Glitz who we last saw in Trial Of Time Lord.
Edward Peel does a really good job, playing the literally cold (in more respects than personality) villain ; Kane. Kane’s Raiders Of The Lost Ark melting face-death, although a bit grotesque; was much applauded at the time – for using the same technique.
This Doctor Who, is mostly notable for the inclusion of an ‘actual cliffhanger’, during a cliffhanger ending. Involving the Doctor (unwisely) attempting to negotiate a platform, for a lower level. By hanging off of a platform but slipping down.
It was probably thought at the time, to be a really clever homage to the classic Who cliffhangers of the past but comes across – as a bit stupid. As to why, the Doctor would risk life-and-limb (or a regeneration); to get to a new location.
“Bring the Dragonfire and you can have the girl. Special closing down sale, you might call it. But hurry – while stocks last!” Kane
The Dragon, that Sabalom Glitz tells the Doctor about, turns out to look awfully like a Xenomorph from the Alien franchise. Along with the same melting-face death SFX, from Indiana Jones. Dragonfire borrows heavily from its contemporary peers.
It’s finally nice, to see the back of companion Mel, who inexplicably decides to take off with Sabalom Glitz. A rest from her ear-shattering scream – is long overdue. The inclusion of Ace, as new companion (arguably the best and least annoying of the Doctor’s 80’s companions) – is a positive step.
There is enough here, to suggest that Dragonfire just about edges, all of the other season 24 stories; as the best – that 24 has to offer.
Watch ‘Dragonfire’ On Dailymotion :