Doctor Who: The Curse of Fenric (Story #157)

7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 8/10

Like the Haemovores

Story sometimes falters, Doctor Who is winding down


Thanks for taking me to exotic locations where I get to dress like a maid…

The Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and Ace (Sophia Aldred) have travelled back to Earth during World War II.  In a secret military base, agents work to break the German code from intercepted messages, but Dr. Judson (Dinsdale Landen) is using the ULTIMA machine for his own experiments on an ancient Norse rune.  When the rune releases Fenric into Judson.  Fenric has plans for the people of the town and only the Doctor and Ace can stop it!

Doctor Who:  The Curse of Fenric aired in season twenty-six of the long-running BBC series.  The serial aired in four parts from October 25, 1989 to November 15, 1989.  Following Doctor Who:  Ghost Light, Doctor Who:  The Curse of Fenric was collected as part of The Sylvester McCoy Years as Story #158 (or Story #157 depending on how you count the unaired Tom Bake story Doctor Who:  Shada).  The serial is currently out-of-print on DVD.


Who are you calling fish-face?

I like historical Doctor Who episodes and this story has a lot of basis in history…like the time monsters attacked the British army.  Ok, that might not have happened but the story does feature some real moments in history with a veiled Alan Turing (who has gained popularity recently in the Oscar winning film The Imitation Game).

Unlike many of his previous companions, Ace gets a lot of play this season.  The series dove into her past in Doctor Who:  Ghost Light and Doctor Who:  Survival along with this episode.  It is loosely referred to as the Ace trilogy, but this is a misnomer since the stories aired out of order.  Here we see Ace’s mother, and Ace learns her origin.


They’re coming to get you, Ace!

I actually like the creepy Haemovores.  It is another effective creature in a series that generally creates goofy creatures.  When the Haemovores are rising from the ocean it actually reminds me of a scene from Let’s Scare Jessica to Death which was a great looking ’70s horror film.  It doesn’t have the atmosphere of Let’s Scare Jessica to Death, but it is somewhat chilling in an odd way.

I still argue that Sylvester McCoy had potential of being an ok Doctor.  He was saddled with really bad writers and he never really seemed to develop his own character.  He just feels really generic.  I disliked Colin Baker’s crazy Doctor, but I don’t really have any description for McCoy’s Doctor since he just didn’t really seem to have much personality.  I would have liked to see McCoy carry on for the Doctor a bit longer (and with better stories).

Doctor Who:  The Curse of Fenric had its moments and I would say it is one of the more interesting stories in McCoy’s run.  I don’t think everything about this story worked, but for the most part I do find it a fun tale.  As it turned out, Doctor Who:  The Curse of Fenric was the penultimate story for Doctor Who’s initial run.  Doctor Who:  The Curse of Fenric was followed by the final story of the original series Doctor Who:  Survival.

Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  Ghost Light (Story #156)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  Survival (Story #158)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response