This season is a grower - personally I was horrified at the changes when I saw them on original transmission - nearly 30 years ago now (gosh - that takes me back!!!!), but over the years it has to be said the stories aren't too shabby. So - my personal view as follows:-
The Leisure Hive
This had to pull the changes off and successfully otherwise JN-T would be down the chute. Fortunately it did, and still does. High Spot - "Arrest the Scarf!" Low Spot - the "Unfrocking" of Brock - not very coninvincing.
For all it's detractors, Meglos is a cracking little story. Tom does look very poorly in this one though, which may be why it's not to fondly remembered. Edward Underdown also looks moderately bemused by it all, and dear Jackie Hill's death scene was a little rushed. That saying though Tom is excellent, Freddy Treves and Bill Fraser sinisterly comic, and an evocative score by Paddy Kingsland and Peter Howell. High Spot "I AM MEGLOS!!!!" Low Spot - JH's death scene as discussed.
The return of the Boots! I'd love a pair of them!! And they complimented the costume so nicely. Amazed this was written by (at the time) teenager - a natty tale of procrastination and evolution - not easy bedfellows really. Do we think the starliner ever got any where, or did Inspector Wexford have second thoughts??!! High Spot "I usually get on well with Children" Low Spot - These Deciders aren't made of very much are they? Both Draith and Neefrid didn't take much seeing off did they?
State of Decay
Terrance Dicks - you gotta love this man - fitting as he did Tom's first story that he contributed here. This is surely TD's darkest story - very influenced by the Hammer Films. My third favourite story of this season, despite the return of the socks. Tom looks a little better here, although still not as well as in LH. Splendid execution of story and atmosphere. High Spot - The Doctor telling Ghost Stories to Romana - doesn't work transcribed! Low Spot - The Great Vampire's Realisation - could have been better.
Love or loathe it WG is ground breaking, thought provoking and utterly confusing in equal measures. I think I get it now, but I'm not going to make an **** of myself here with my theories - watch it yourself! High Spot - see the quote on my signature! And the Boots are Back!!! Low spot - some of the CSO didn't really work....
The Keeper Of Traken
Once more back in the Real Universe, the penultimate TB Who see Tom back in good health. It's remarkably effective for a studio based drama. My second favourite story of the season. High Spot - "A New Body...." Low Spot - How can a TARDIS walk?
Entropy - Decay - Thermodynamics - whatever you call it is predominant in TB's finale. With a foe worthy of him in hot persuit (Hmmmm - sounds familiar - does anyone think L influenced End of Time at all - the ingredients are all there - Universe under threat from renegade Time Lord Recently Resurrected, A mighty fall, the end of a very popular stint as the Doctor - possible? I think so!)and the odds considerably stacked against him, the Doctor has - despite TB's own feelings about it - a heroic end. And he "dies" with the boots on too! Hooray! (Interesting to note that the socks returned for Castrovalva...)High spot "Not while that cable holds" - Low spot "It's the end - but the moment has been prepared for" *sniff*
So there you have it - Season 18 - Peter Howell, Burgundy and Purple, Continuity, Question Marks - I love it!!!
The Doctor: I tell you, Brigadier, there's nothing to worry about! The brontosarus is large and placid!
Harry Sullivan: (to the Brigadier) This the patient, sir?
The Doctor: (looking up at Harry) And stupid!
The Doctor & Harry Sullivan - Robot