Sixth Doctor (1984-1986)

Vengeance on Varos (1985) portrays perhaps Doctor Who’s bleakest dystopia, a setting fully in tune with the pessimism of season 22. Jonathan Dennis looks at 1980s capitalism and the ‘video nasty’, and at the story’s self-portrait of television as a medium of state oppression.
As a historical built around a celebrity author and his work, Timelash (1985) in some ways anticipates 21st-century Doctor Who. Phil Pascoe analyses how the story intersects with the works and ideas of HG Wells, including on socialism, utopianism and vegetarianism, and his influence on later adventure fiction.
The final two instalments of The Trial of a Time Lord suffered scripting issues unprecedented even in Doctor Who. James Cooray Smith examines multiple drafts of both episodes to explore the creative conflicts behind the conclusion to the longest Doctor Who television serial.